Earning the right to “Be Agile”

Earning the right to “Be Agile”

You are currently viewing Earning the right to “Be Agile”

I was talking to the CTO of a company heavily invested in “going Agile” the other day. He was incredibly frustrated.

It seemed they were pouring money into the execution / technology teams – moving from an investment of 9% of revenue to nearly 35% of revenue in R&D. From his perspective, they were hoping that agility would be a creative and productivity “force multiplier” in their space and they were doing everything they could to support it.

However, what he was seeing from his perspective was…nothing.

The teams were operating as an agile entity. They were growing and hiring more people. And there was a sense that things were going well – from an agile culture or environment perspective.

However, this senior leader wasn’t seeing the team deliver on the promises of agility. They weren’t delivering the goods. Results weren’t transparent and it seemed like nothing “concrete” was being delivered.

Is that a common problem? In my experience, yes!

Is it agile? I don’t think so.

I often think that agile, or at least agile done well, as an incredibly disciplined activity – more disciplined than any other approach. Part of that discipline should be never, ever…

Going Silent

You see we have to earn the right every day to work in an agile way. I does not simply happen. It requires discipline and skill. It requires commitment. It requires professionalism. And it requires results.

We have to stay:

  • Focused on our goals;
  • Energized;
  • Quality-centric;
  • Demo-centric;
  • Delivery-focused;
  • Ultimately focused towards creating and delivering value.

The ultimate measure of healthy agile deliver is this:

Are you creating raving fans in your customers and stakeholders?

So you’re not realizing agility if you simply say you’re agile. And you’re not realizing agility if you’re simply “doing” Scrum or another method.

You ARE realizing agility if your customers and stakeholder’s say you are and if your team behaves in such a way as to create sustainable value.

So often we fall into the trap of talking about something and believing that we are what we say we are. Instead, I believe an agile team is an agile team when everyone else recognizes it and says they are.

So, are you “agile”?

Stay agile my friends,


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