Monthly Archives: March 2016

More Than A Process

Imagine being tasked with learning to play jazz. Working the scales. Memorizing songs. Over time you would develop a level of talent regardless of passion. You would probably even get good enough for gigs with a local bar. This would probably be good enough to fulfill the task of learning jazz. It wouldn’t get you to the level of Louis Armstrong though.

Sun Saxophone Means Jazz Music And Acoustic

Stuart Miles – www.freedigitalphotos.net

Attempting to move your team to Agile is the same. Put the proper processes in place. Follow the rules. Over time a new pattern of work develops, one that is more Agile-like than the previous one. This new paradigm plateaus. It’s probably different enough than what was done before that everyone looks and says “yep, we’re Agile now.”

Over time the management that wanted the team to go Agile is going to get frustrated though. This new paradigm, it’s not what she wanted. She was promised continuous improvement. She thought the team would become high-performing. She was expecting to have a product to market more quickly, and more relevant to that market when it arrived. Something went wrong.

This is not a process problem. In fact, evaluating the teams process against the rules of Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, or whatever agile process was chosen is likely to result in their process passing with flying colors. The problem is that Agile is more than just a process.

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