Being Agile or Doing Agile?

Date 2011/11/18 5:09:39 | Topic: Quotes

We were coaching in Europe and met with a manager who had been assigned the agile transformation responsibility; he wanted to show us his plan and ask for feedback. He presented a Gantt chart of his planned transformation: many stages of precise duration all in sequence, milestones, specific managers assigned to tasks along the way, cost estimates, and more. According to the plan, in twenty-seven months the group would have transformed to "agile". The detail was impressive - it was also the wrong approach.

Our colleague had confused doing agile and being agile. And he was applying command-and-control management thinking combined with predictive planning - in essence, traditional management "agile" adoption. Fortunately, within a few minutes of chatting, the plan was jettisoned and his view shifted to serving the teams, using a backlog, and adaptive planning.

This misunderstanding to agile or lean adoption is common in corporations that (1) mandate a top-down "transformation", (2) think this is another change project with an end ("we have now finished changing to lean - you get the bonus") or (3) have a centralized group responsible for pushing processes. Adopt lean and agile principles the same way as applying them: with experiments, adaptation, self-organization, and a focus on the value-add work by applying Go See.

Source: Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development - Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, Addison Wesley, ISBN 978-0-321-63640-9


Get more details on this book or buy it on
Get more details on this book or buy it on

This article comes from Agile Software Development

The URL for this story is: