Sustainable Agility

One of the very common questions people ask is why companies are failing their agile transformations and what do we need to do to create sustainable agility? Let’s start with the most common mistakes. The first one is starting the change without creating a sense of urgency. If you don’t know why you need to change and what happens if you don’t change, there is only a little chance to be successful. Unless you know why you are changing the way you work (to be more agile, Scrum, or Kanban), then don’t do it. Neither Agile, Scrum, nor Kanban is your goal. They are just some sort of a ‘walking sticks’ helping you on your journey to success. You need to have a higher purpose defined which will be stronger than people’s individual goals and therefore unify them along the way. There needs to be a strong sense of urgency in the environment. Being different or implementing agile is not enough. There is another reason why the real strategic reasons need to be defined and that’s because those are exactly the metrics you need to measure to know if your transformation was successful. For example, if the real business reason for a change was to increase flexibility and fasten your learning, that’s how you can measure the success of the agile transformation. Neither velocity nor number of retrospectives matters.

The second most appealing way how to fail is to copy what someone is doing. Take their current way of working as a strict process and call it the only right way. When it worked somewhere else, why shall we take a hard time trying to invent it ourselves when we can just apply it as it is. Let’s rename it to some fancy name and fix it. It usually starts with a big push from the top and has often wrong expectations from such a change. Being Agile is going to be hard, you might not see the results right away, and renaming a few roles and departments would not be enough. You need to experiment and develop your own way of working. Only then you get the right habits and mindsets. MyCompanyAgile, nor Agile2.0 will help you.

To create your own flavor of the way of working, you need to start from the bottom, get experience from the teams, learn on the way through your own failures, do experiments, and have the courage to do things differently. Turn the organization around and build it based on the cross-functional teams who can actually deliver value end to end. Be business value driven, customer-centric. At some time, when you get used to this way of working at the team level and can imagine what needs to change in the business, systems architecture, and multiple team picture and you might need to get ready for the next step of scaling (implementing the agile way of working to larger products and ecosystems) and eventually the overall system of business agility (changing the way an organization operates, it’s structure, culture, and organizational design).

In summary – reflect, create a sense of urgency, experiment to find your own way, start small at the team level, and only once it works scale it through the entire organization. There is no silver bullet, you need to create your own way of working.

Join the 10th anniversary of the Agile Prague Conference

I started organizing a conference because I wanted to bring interesting people to the Czech Republic, to Prague where I live. I wanted to give people here some sort of feeling of what it means to be agile across the globe, how different organizations do things, what is a hot topic nowadays in the world, and give them an opportunity for two days to learn from the best agile speakers.

The first year we started small and run an experiment as a track of the WebExpo conference and because people liked it, we decided to start a full dedicated conference called Agile Prague. This year we are celebrating a 10th year anniversary. I guess time flies.

Agile Prague is always on Mon-Tue in September so you can enjoy the weekend in Prague and connect pleasure with a bit of learning. We start creating a program already in January, while I speak & travel for different events, I also search for interesting speakers and inspirational stories so many of our speakers are joining on our invitation.

This year you can join us on Mon-Tue Sep 19-20, 2022. We are having two parallel tracks of short practical talks, where people can deep dive into the topics during the open space each day. The entire conference is in English and the topic is “Sustainable Agility”.

To give you some idea about the program, we have several keynotes presented this year:

Alexey Krivitsky and Roland Flemm will help you to “Improve Transformation results in corporate organizations with Adaptivity that fits”. Many organizations struggle to adopt agile in a way that delivers on its promise to make the company fast, flexible and efficient. Alexey and Roland created a model called Adaptivity Fit, that helps you to create a map to guide your agile transformational journey.

Boris Glogger is in the Agile and Scrum space almost forever. I was in his Scrum class many years ago and I still remember it.  During the conference, he will share his experience with us presenting his keynote “Let’s do it again – the role of agile consulting for a sustainable world”.

Evan Leybourn will explore “The Shape of Agility” and what it takes to build the organization ready for no matter what the future brings. Evan is the co-founder of Business Agility Institute which has the best collection of curated content about business agility.

Pat Guariglia will talk about “Quiet Resistance | An understated force”. Change is hard. Transforming to an agile mindset, environment, and way of working is always challenging. Could agile transformations be challenged with something more basic and fundamental, something more core to human behavior? The success of agile depends so much on social interaction and collaboration.

Richard Cheng and Karim Harbott will close the conference with “What is Business Agility and Why It’s Important”. Richard and Karim explore why business agility is critical for our teams, organizations, and leaders and why they need to understand the concept and values around Business Agility.

And together with them, we are bringing over 30 awesome speakers from all around the world.

Join us at Agile Prague Conference Sep 19-20,2022