To Agile or not to Agile
If you are reading this, then perhaps you have been involved at some level in an Agile transformation, maybe it went well, maybe not so well, or you and your organization didn’t see the expected results when adopting one of the 70+ Agile methodologies that are being packaged and “sold” to organizations around the world. Many organizations are labeling and “selling” an Agile framework and/or methodology claiming it to be “best in the market” or “world class”. In this approach the missing component is a proper understanding of the needs of the customer, you. Having worked with agile teams and organizations, I can very confidently tell you that the first step should always be for you, the customer, to define what it is that you are trying to achieve by adopting Agile before choosing a methodology or a framework.
You, as a client or customer have to make an important decision, if Agile is right for your organization, if the team making the sales pitch can deliver everything it says it can, if you are equipped with the right information to make that decision, and if your organization is prepared to do the hard work and make the investment an Agile transformation will entail. You may be in an acronym daze from trying to understand what TDD, SAFe, Crystal, Scrum, Kanban and a host of other methods can do for you. Even those of us who have been working with Agile for many years have to spend a considerable amount of time keeping up with the way Agile is evolving, the new methods and best practices being put to use, as well as looking at the failures that are happening and learning from them.
Why are there so many methodologies and frameworks out there? If everyone claims to be “the best” in the industry, why can’t it be proven? I like to use this analogy, if you think about “Agile” as a toolbox, and the methodologies and frameworks as tools, you begin to understand why there are so many methods and frameworks that claim to be the best. Just as a craftsman has a favorite hammer, saw, or type of nail they select to get the best results on a job, a good Agilist uses the right methods and frameworks to get the best results for the organization they are working for. Following this analogy, you can see why different organizations get very different results from following the same methods and frameworks.
So why hire an Agilist, coach or consulting firm to help you on our Agile journey? Following up on the earlier analogy, let’s say you go home one afternoon and see a shingle hanging down from your roof. Being a do-it-yourself kind of person, you go and grab a hammer and a couple nails, climb up a ladder and re-attach the shingle. Congratulations, you fixed the immediate issue and that may be good enough for now, however if you had hired someone to help you with this project, you could have had many different results, some resulting in a more secure and better outcome, others that solve the problem to a varying degree and finally some may just cost you a lot of money and frustration. A contractor may have come out and told you your whole roof needed to be replaced, another might say you just need a patch, and another might do what you did, but use different tools and materials. Many people, teams and organizations approach Agile in the same fashion, there are do-it-yourselfers, salespeople, consultants, coaches, team specialists, transformationalists, and Agilists, your mileage will vary with each.
To emphasize the point, please remember that you need to understand the problems you are trying to solve, or benefits you are trying to realize, before you pick a methodology, coach or consulting firm that is right for you and your organization. There are a lot of people, coaches, consultants, and firms that will tell you what is best, but you are the one that understands your business, employees, customers and goals. Cinnovx will take the time to understand that, because we are looking to provide the best solution to your needs, not a cookie cutter approach.
Our goal is to help you understand some of the Agile terms and information people will throw at you and look at real data to help you determine what is a sales pitch, what is just noise, and what could really make a difference for you and your organization. Depending on where you are in your Agile journey, Cinnovx has many different paths we can show you.
Cinnovx can start at the beginning to help you and your executive leadership team focus in on the issues you are having, look at different case studies and metrics from other success stories and evaluate if they apply to your organization. We can help you identify areas where you need to focus and outcomes that you want to pursue to make sure your Agile transformation gets started in the right fashion and explain what metrics and milestones you should put in place to make sure you are realizing the benefits of adopting Agile, or are able to course correct if things are not going as planned.
If you have started a journey but aren’t seeing the results you expect, we can do an Agile assessment to see if the team is actually following the steps they need to, to maximize the expected result. We can also look at the methodologies you have selected to see if they are the ones that will deliver the best results given your goals and organization’s willingness to adopt an Agile mindset.
Finally, if you are looking to take your Agile Transformation to the next level, Cinnovx’s experts can help you take a deep dive into all areas of your organization to ensure better communications, implementation of best practices, and application of expert learnings and coaching. Remember, being Agile is the ability to shift to new priorities quickly, apply metrics and learning to the best effect and ensure resources are utilized most efficiently to meet the goals you have chosen as the reason to pursue an Agile transformation.