Who are you? Doing Agile or Being Agile!

Before jumping into “doing” versus “being,”, we first need to understand, what exactly is agile?

  • What is Agile?
  • What is the Agile Manifesto?
  • What are the Agile Principles?

What is Agile?

Agile is the set of collections of beliefs (values and principles)that teams can use to make decisions about how to work. Work may refer more than just building the software.

Agile Manifesto:

- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

- Working software over comprehensive documentation

- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

- Responding to change over following a plan

Agile Principles :

Source: www.visual-paradigm.com
  1. Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
  3. Working software is delivered frequently.
  4. Collaboration between business people and developer
  5. Projects are developed around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  6. A face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (Co-location)
  7. Working software is the chief proportion of progress
  8. Practical improvement, ready to keep up a steady pace
  9. Continuous analysis of technical excellence and good design
  10. Simplicity — the craft of amplifying, the amount of work, not don — is fundamental
  11. Self-organizing teams
  12. Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

For the in-detail understanding of each Manifesto and principle, you can refer to this video link. [Recommended]

Hope the above information helps and gives the basic understanding of Agile. Now welcome to the world of Agile!

With no further delay, let’s jump in understanding the difference between Doing Agile and Being Agile.

Source: https://agilitrix.com/

Doing Agile — Process and Principles :

Doing Agile means constantly following the practices defined and applying the practices without even understanding the fundamental concepts and use-case of it. You are following it, but not practising it. The difficulty of this approach is you are restricting the team to make independent decisions and making them less self-organized in different situations. This will eventually same as following the AgilFall (Waterfall + Allow late requirements + accept the feedbacks later part of development), this isn’t Agile.

If you’re hoping for quick success with Agile, this approach works best for you. By Doing agile, you are more about getting the things done and enjoy all the benefits that the “new” structured way of working will bring to your team but the principles and mindset are still the same — this is the same as buying the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and waiting in the Bengaluru Traffic for the Green Signal.

Being Agile — Values and Mindset :

Agile Mindset + Doing agile = Being Agile.

Being Agile is adopting formal principles and practices and applying them to accommodate challenging situations and different clients. This would empower the teams to approach the problem from a different perspective and gain the potential to achieve great things with positive intent. This would make the team stick to the same vision of the organization and influences all the decisions made during the entire process of software development.

While “doing” is more about getting things mindset, “being” is more of an abstract idea. It has nothing to do with applying a process to make changes, it’s more about the reinvention of the mindset. Consider Being Agile as a Culture, not as a group of processes.

Mike Cottmeyer makes this distinction: (Read thrice)

Adoption is about changing the ‘agile doing’ side of the equation.
Transformation is about changing the ‘agile being’ side of the equation .

Transforming from Doing Agile to Being Agile will be very challenging — it requires and demands a change in organization principles, breaking the team mental models, Work procedure, and execution-style. Being Agile is the Journey to experience, not the destination to stop. Once you start taking the first step towards being agile, you will start experiencing positive outcomes. Try not to focus too much on tools and processes. While tools and processes change over time but the principles and culture stay reliable!

Now it’s time to decide: Who are you? Doing Agile or Being Agile!

The choice is yours!

Up next — I’m planning to write a new series of blogs on product management-related book reviews. Stay tuned.

Refer to my previous post to understand the Scrum and Sin.

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