Bringing Agile to the Organization

Almost all of the literature out there recommends the first step being finding a “pilot” project where you can use an agile methodology.  The project can’t be too complex, too simple, too large, too small, too critical, or too unimportant. 

I’m starting to wonder if we’re over-thinking this.  Why don’t we decide what to use depending on the project?  If RUP fits REALLY well, then why don’t we use that?  If Scrum fits REALLY well, then we should have the option of using that…right? 
In reality, the only thing that will ever hold back a true agile adoption on a project or an organization is the culture.  And, the other reality is that most organizations have a culture that does not support an agile framework.
But, how do we change the culture?  Do we change the process first and hope the culture changes with it?  Or, do we try to change the culture ahead of a process change?
At my current place of employment, agile methodologies are accepted, along with any methodology that makes sense.  There isn’t a “corporate” methodology.  I really like that.  Imagine if a company was by-the-book Scrum.  No other options.  Imagine having to beg for permission to “pilot” Kanban…ugh.
My point is this…maybe we should stop the notion of “piloting” Scrum, or Extreme Programming with the intention of rolling it out and making it the “approved” delivery methodology.  Maybe we should instead focus on sound principles that we know are true, universal, and also happen to be highly valued in agile and lean.  Principles such as:
  • The primary measure of progress is working software
  • Business and IT working together daily
  • Face to face communication
  • Reducing waste
  • Building quality in
  • Delivering as fast as possible
  • Delivering working software frequently
  • Self-organizing teams
  • Welcome change
  • Sustainable development
  • Technical excellence
  • Keeping it simple
  • Continuously improving the process
 As long as we let these principles drive our process, and people are empowered and allowed to make mistakes which will in turn promote learning, the process will work.
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About Andre Simones
I am a founding partner of One80 Services that specializes in agile training, small business and startup guidance, and custom development. My goal is plain and simple. To see others succeed. I want to teach you how stop doing the things that aren't working and give you tools that will empower you to succeed on your own.

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