The Abridged Guide to Agile.
The Agile Manifesto was created in 2001 when 17 individuals gathered together in Wasatch Mountains of Utah to find common ground around software development while skiing, eating, and relaxing together. Since the birth of the Agile Manifesto, there has much buzz around the word agile ever since. Whether you’re a 100-year-old company or a newly formed startup, agility is a force to be reckoned with. With the speed of technology accelerating faster than ever, organizations no longer have the luxury of relying on a favorite saying, “But this is the way we’ve always done it.”
You may vaguely remember the Flip Video camera, a digital video recorder created by Pure Digital Technologies that ran production of its sleek and easy to use recorders from 2006-2011. I remember when I was first introduced to the Flip camera, I was amazed by its slim, sleek, compact body and its ability to shoot a video anywhere and whenever without having to lug a VHS camcorder on my shoulder. It comes at no surprise if you have no recollection of the Flip camera. Several factors led to its demise, and the one I’d like to highlight here is that technology waits for no one.
The story is a familiar one, as companies like Blockbuster, Polaroid, AOL, and more recently Toy-R-Us are cautionary tales, warning organizations that “business as usual” is no longer a viable mantra if it wants to remain relevant and profitable in world of constant change and disrupters. Many leaders believe that speed is the answer to avoid similar paths of these ill-fated companies. While searching for ways to deliver faster, they stumble upon “agile” and “Scrum,” believing they are one in the same.
Over the years, there has been some confusion around agile and Scrum, as some began to use them interchangeably. Agility is a mindset and a movement that enables entire organizations to adapt and implement change before it’s too late. It’s the ability to rapidly and deliberately respond to changing demand, while mitigating risk. In essence, being agile fosters innovation. Organizations can be agile using many of the available frameworks, such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP).
Scrum is one of the more popular framework utilized by organizations, and when implemented properly can help teams address complex problems by incrementally delivering products of the highest value while mitigating risk. The heart of Scrum is built on the three pillars of the empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. The three roles in a Scrum team include the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team.
Regardless of what framework your organization chooses, seeking to become agile requires courage and honesty to ask the right questions and make thoughtful changes that go above and beyond the “business as usual” model. Slapping fancy Scrum terms to existing processes and events without making the meaningful changes in your organization will yield minimal change and value.
If you are interested in more about agility and Scrum, check out our Professional Scrum Master and Professional Product Owner courses or Email Us to speak with a Responsive Advisors consultant.