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What Should Your Agile Organization Value?

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Adopting agile is not easy. Many organizations often struggle trying to squeeze the practices of Scrum or XP into the way they work. Mike Cottmeyer offers a reminder to such organizations that placing too much value in the "how" of agile may be a misguided approach.

Cottmeyer asserts the following:

Getting straight about what we are are actually trying to accomplish with our teams will help us get past some of the dogma, methodology battles, and Scrumdamentalism that is preventing us from incrementally adopting agile practices. Is our goal to adopt Scrum or is our goal greater business agility?

Mike goes on to explain the reasons he believes its most important that teams "deliver value" while being "accountable", "predictable", and "transparent", and that they "get better". Following this, he gives his view on why each of those things is more important than teams having "Product Owners", "Scrum Masters", "Planning Rituals", and doing "Daily Standup Meetings".

He asserts that not having a similar value system could actually be your impediment to successful agility:

[Certain Scrum or XP practices] could be out of sync with your organization and actually impede your ability to adopt agile. You might need to think about what you're really trying to accomplish and come up with some situationally specific strategy to build teams... and to get teams predictable.

It might be unreasonable to ask the business to take a Product Manager and turn them into a Product Owner. It should be perfectly reasonable to ask them to make sure teams have the requirements they need to build software... requirements that accommodate change... help mitigate risk... and deliver value better and faster back to the business.

Jim Shore has previously discussed related ideas, well worth checking out after reading Mike's original post.

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