What is your approach to adopting agile practices?

What is your approach to adopting agile practices?

Vivek Jayaraman
22nd Feb, 2020

What is your approach to adopting agile practices?

Organizations choose Scrum, SAFe, and other frameworks thinking and believing that they will help them in achieving the results they are looking for. Many a time, it doesn't help them because of various reasons. Also, some Organizations and their leaders are unwilling to change things that aren't working for them. 

It leads to so many complications, and the pressure is mostly on the employees in the Organization. People do not understand the need for adopting agile. Change is inevitable, and also, change is constant and continuous. 

Adopting a framework or a method for your change isn't going to help unless you constantly improve what works and eliminate what doesn't. 

Need for adopting a change

I will narrate this with a story from my personal life. I have built my house on the outskirts of the city. I wanted to have a pet dog for so long and having a home of my own increased my desire to get one.

Moreover, we needed an excellent Dog for security duty as well. I wanted a native breed rather than an imported one. I shortlisted three kinds of dogs and chose the one I loved. It was a hunting breed, and it isn't effortless to get the pure breed. 

I did some homework and found where to get it. It was so long I had to travel and shell out some money to get the pup. It was so joyful to have him home.

Challenges in Adoption

My wife is not a dog person. She has reservations when it comes to a dog as she grew up thinking dogs spread diseases. Her mental model was so strong. After a couple of months, she started liking him very much. 

I am a trainer, coach, and consultant by profession. It involves traveling, and I had to be away from home for my work at times at regular intervals. My wife is a working professional, and my kid will be off to school. That leaves the poor creature all alone during the day, expecting us to be home soon. 

Dogs howl when they are alone, and it's a cry. It's a myth that when a dog cries, something terrible happens. The neighbors started complaining, and my wife started believing in that myth. She started complaining to me about the howls. 

If it doesn't work, change it

Additionally to all of these, due to our work, we were unable to spend time with the dog. A dog needs so much attention and petting. I started feeling that the purpose of having a dog is not helping the dog or me. 

So, I decided to give it up, and one of my friends happily took it home. Then, it was my wife who started missing the dog so much. It went like that for a while, and then a stray approached us. It will sleep near our gate, and we started feeding her. 

She liked us a lot and started moving into our porch. Seeing her getting fed, we had three more joinings for the food. The strays get their food and love from us without having to spend much time with them. They wander around when we aren't home and come back once we are at home. 

Now, the dogs are doing security duty plus receiving the care they need. We also enjoy the company of dogs around us. Purpose served and problem solved. 

Agile adoption in Organizations

Coming to the Organization's need for adopting agility through some framework is mostly because of their purpose for change. It could be increased ROI, revenue, or profit. They don't know if adopting something will work for them. 

They need to experiment if that will work for them. Organization involves people, and there will be strong mental models which prevent people from change. They will have reasons why things will not work. Knowledge is key. 

Educating people on the purpose, adoption, and need for change is very much important. Increasing transparency helps in visibility across Organizational levels. 

Agility is not just about adopting something in the workplace. The change will not happen as a whole or overnight. It takes time and practice. Small changes need to be practiced until it becomes a habit. Over a while, it becomes culture. 

Leaders should be ready to give up what isn't working and adopt what will work for them or is working for them. It comes through continuous inspection and adaptation. Organizations as a system need to realize that the cost of NOT changing is high. 

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