Want to be agile? Then don’t be a pussy!

Door Patrick Verheij

Being agile can be quite easy…if you are starting a company from scratch.\r\n\r\nAlas, bigger companies and government organizations usually have built up quite a legacy. A complex IT landscape with lots of systems depending on one another, a hierarchy of functions that have people earn salaries to buy and maintain cars and mortgages, lots of contracts and licences to keep things running, buildings and offices that were designed for a specific reason that was valid last decade, and so on.\r\n\r\nPeople tend to use the “oil tanker” methaphor to describe such places. I personally believe an oil tanker is pretty agile compared to quite a few larger organizations.\r\n\r\nAnyway, you want your company to be agile for some reason. Fine. Then at least learn these two facts about becoming agile:\r\n

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  1. If your company isn’t agile right now, it’s because of one or more reasons. Those reasons live within your current organization. Your lack of agility is caused by existing structures, processes, systems, beliefs, hierarchies, agreements, contracts, practices and ways of working. Stuff that you and your colleagues (or subordinates if you still prefer) do. Clinging to all or most of that stuff will NOT make you agile, regardless of any attempt you make. Even if that includes Scrum, SAFe or McKinsey.
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  3. Agile processes are designed to reveal organizational inefficiencies. People use such processes to get real stuff really done. And then doing it better again and again because you learned something. Along the way you break down any structure, process, system, belief, hierarchy, agreement, contract, practice and way of working that doesn’t seem to work and replace it with something new or nothing at all.
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\r\nSo to become agile, you need some people in key positions within your company that a) are not afraid to part with anything even if it hurts, b) are knowledgeable, skilled, and disciplined enough to implement disruptive agile processes, and c) are pretty well committed to your company and its purpose in order not to let some ignorant nut change everything for the sake of agile itself and dragging the company to its demise while doing that.\r\n\r\nBecoming agile is a commitment to choose for the sake, the health and the future of your company, its employees, its stakeholders, its partners, its customers and for the good that company does to society.\r\n\r\nYou probably guessed by now that agile is not for pussies. It’s for people that dare and care.\r\n\r\nDo you dare? Do you care?

Patrick Verheij

06 59 443 447

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