Whilst reading a recent article with a very philosophical approach to failure I was struck by the parallels between Agile and another constant challenge in my life.
At some point in life many people recognise the fact that for one reason or another they need to lose some weight. The first reaction for many is to sign up for an off-the shelf solution, whether it’s a well established slimming club or the latest fad diet, it is all too easy to think that you can reach your objective by following a set of rules prescribed by some expert in the field.
The way I see it there are two problems with this approach. Without taking ownership of the solution the results will be both limited and short term only. You may lose a few pounds in the first few weeks but if you’re not really happy with what you’re eating then you will return to your previous ways and the weight will return.
For real sustainable success most of us who face a weight challenge will need to change the way we think both about food and exercise. Whilst a good nutritionist can provide advice and ideas to try, and a personal trainer can help us find an effective exercise plan that fits into our daily lives, ultimately, only by making the changes in our own mindset and subsequent behaviours will we succeed.
Most teams experience an improvement in productivity, collaboration or some other factor if they implement even the most basic Agile focused changes by following the Scrum framework or some XP practices. However, without the adoption of an Agile mindset and a real commitment to Agile values and principles the success will also only be limited and short term.
So if you’re someone who has ‘tried Agile’ and been disappointed by the results then ask yourself whether you were truly committed to changing. Did you buy a solution or certification and expect it to just work for you without any adaptation or did you really approach the situation with a willingness to experiment to find the changes in thinking and behaviours that would work for you?
An Agile Coach can provide advice and guidance on experimentation options, whilst helping you understand the methods to improve your working practices. Whilst some may attempt to sell you a solution, beware of such snake oil salesmen. Understand and focus on your objective and when you commit to making the changes in yourself then great things can happen.