Making Agile work for you. Why two pizzas may not be enough.

Over the past year, I have been fortunate to help drive the agile transformation of a digital programme. This transformation was — unintentionally — realised in two phases. In the first phase we moved from a waterfall to an ‘agifall’ model, also commonly referred to as ‘agifail’. We were ‘doing agile’ and we had all the agile ceremonies and roles. However, we weren’t ‘being agile’ and were still delivering in the waterfall mode we had always known. It wasn’t until the second phase, where we fully adopted an agile mindset and culture, that we could reap the anticipated benefits; a happier team, improved efficiency and productivity, and a better product for our customers.

During this transition, we learned that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to agile. As Dan North’s theory describes, we ‘ SWARMed’; we Scaled Without A Religious Methodology. According to Dan North, packaged agile solutions — like SAFE or the much coveted ‘Spotify model’ — are ‘ neither necessary nor sufficient for successful agile transformation’. Instead of blindly following an existing model, we chose to do what is right for us as a team and our product. We took a pragmatic approach and applied common sense. Moreover, we stuck to the basics of the agile manifesto, even when this meant we were doing things that weren’t — according to the theory — specifically considered agile. Here are some examples.

Size matters

Agile planning

The art of effective communication

The conundrum of the agile programme manager

Fascinated by digital transformation, working with agile teams and building great products.