This week on The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg, Ryn describes the best places to consider an Agile Transformation, the symptoms that signal it is time and the types of places and personalities that are not suited to Agile. The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg is the only podcast anywhere devoted to Agile, Scrum, SAFe, and corporate governance challenges that could best be managed using Agile principles. To listen got to iTunes, Soundcloud, or www.rynmelberg.com.
Why Consider Agile?
There are plenty of reasons to consider an Agile transformation, particularly for those who work in a place where some of the following occur: missed due dates, missing requirements, unhappy customers, unhappy team members, immediate demands for edits to the software, no end date in sight, version one is folded into version two, etc. “If you have wonky architecture, or development issues you are good candidate,” said Ryn. “ But Agile need not be an ‘all or nothing’ proposition. It is possible to be successful with elements like those from extreme programming, or dev-ops. Often the lowest cost option with the highest benefit solution for a problem is Agile.”
Not Changing Is Not An Option
When discussing the often risk averse leaders she encounters Ryn was emphatic, and stated that the risk averse change leaders needed to accept change or move on. “We have to be change leaders ourselves because change is what we do. Change is not an option if anyone wants to stay in business,” she said. But there was good news and even solace for the risk averse. According to Ryn, “Agile takes risks and beats them down into their absolute smallest components, so that any risk is small and therefore more acceptable in most organizations.”
Benefits of Agile & Who Is Benefitting
The benefits of Agile are well known. Like better quality, faster time to market, reduced costs, better end user satisfaction, etc. And were anyone asked if they wanted those things, the answer is obviously yes. So given this universal appeal, everyone should choose Agile, right? According to Ryn, “that is probably what people say now but it’s a good idea to stay open to other ideas,” she told listeners. Ryn further stated that government regulators were not yet on a level to fully understand the utility of Agile, “so tactics from waterfall like checklists are still needed,” she said. But regulators will have to catch up as according to Ryn, most if not all of the financial services industry have gone Agile. “Most major retailers including Wal-Mart are using Agile,” Ryn reported.
Those Not Suited To Agile
Agile is not for everyone and Ryn was able to name the types of people who would not do well with it. “People who are extremely rigid in their thinking are not good candidates for Agile,” Ryn said. Also those who have to be center of attention or feel the need to be seen as heroes for the organization will not do well.” Surprisingly Ryn stated that contrary to popular belief, introverts excel in an Agile environment. “Introverts actually tend to perform better because they need time to process internally and have an opportunity to contribute in a safe environment, so they do really well.”
Who Should Leave?
For people who are not able to adjust to the Agile environment will generally self-select to leave a company on their own, rather than try to fit into a system that is counter to their philosophy or ability. “There are those who will struggle anywhere they go because they cannot deal with change; it feels like chaos to them” Ryn said. “They have to decide, do I want to change my thinking and trust others or surrender control to others? Sometimes people will let go and surrender to what they feel is chaos. The ones who do not embrace the chaos will generally decide to leave on their own.”
More often than not it seems that Agile will save time, save money, deliver better software product sooner and bring people out of their silos/cubicles and onto a working/productive team. Only those who are devoted to isolation or practice just in time delivery of software are the ones who may not prosper or do well with Agile.