There is a difference between being agile and doing agile. Doing is not enough. Being is everything!
Agile is defined by principles and values. On the back of it, a framework, structure and certain rules are drawn in sand. What is being Agile? It is not about knowing these principles or rules but rather being guided by the principles of agile, communicating with others and helping others learn. It’s about embracing the concept with open arms and admiring the collaborative work. The communication must be transparent.
Being agile just doesn’t mean that we use a certain set of tools or we have a framework or some structure or we subscribe to just one methodology like Scrum or XP or Kanban. Agile is about having this mindset, a new way of thinking that is based on the Agile Manifesto. We’re referring about the values and the principles that come with that.
In Agile, we want to welcome and expect change where we create these small value added increments. We have feedback loops with our team, with our product owner and with our stakeholders.
We offer opportunities for people to give us feedback. We’re constantly learning through discovery and creativity. We innovate and base our ideas on our experience. We focus on developing value.
We are not afraid of failure. It’s okay to fail, and better to fail fast. The faster you fail, the sooner you have learnt what didn’t work. So now you can move forward. We want to deliver value throughout the project, and not just at the end.
The reality is that we prioritize value. We’re constantly improving throughout the project. Process are improved through the project and from one project to another. Continuous improvement is embedded into our processes. We are moving from being predictive to being agile.
What does that mean? It means that we have to coach and teach others. And yes, it involves a little bit of hand-holding, not just with our project team members but our customers and stakeholders as well. So in essence, agility is not at an individual or team level but organizational agility is what we want to aim for.
Our goal is organizational agility. So it begins with the individuals through which you have to think and embrace agile and then, doing and understanding agile will help us to influence others. If we influence others, they begin to embrace Agile and we give them opportunities to demonstrate and to educate others. And so it begins with the individual, the idea that it grows from the team to the organization.
So the idea is that it’s bigger than one individual that you collaborate in and we see successes or other people see our successes, and they would want to do what we’re doing. It becomes an addiction, a good contagious habit.
Embrace agile. Be agile.