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Everyone is talking about Agile something or other. Some organizations apply Agile very successfully. My opinion is even more organizations could benefit from an Agile approach if they implemented one step prior to working with Agile. This is an assessment of their current organizational culture and the likelihood of this culture being supportive of an Agile approach.

Some Questions:

  1. If Agile is new to the organization what specific steps and people responsible have been identified to support Agile Organizational Change?
  2. Do those responsible for Agile Organizational Change fully understand the discipline required to applying an Agile approach? Agile is not simply a way of doing things quicker, without required discipline and consequent lack of expected benefits.
  3. Re-tuning to Agile being new to the organization, what is the C-Suite capacity for understanding that there may be unexpected outcomes, initially results may take longer and their collective & individual executive sustained support for Agile Organisational Change as an alternative to the “tried & true” methods?

It’s worth remembering and communicating that Agile in any of its variants, is not a Silver Bullet in software development i.e. it is not the “killer application” that will fix everything!

When I’m working with organisations and the discussion turns to Agile, it’s amazing how many times those talking about an Agile approach have not read and applied the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles (if you haven’t, Google it).

This is the approach taken by the people who created the first Agile approach to software development, these were the “techies techy” and their manifesto was really interesting on a number of counts.
For me the most important was that they stated that they valued process & technology but the valued the people aspects more.

This would be a sound starting point before hurrying into Agile Organizational Development. What is your organizational culture and does is value people more than process & technology?

Contributed by;

Bob Black,

Principal, People Skills Organisational Development Consultancy.


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