The Ideal Agile Environment

One of the biggest myths perpetuated by the teambuilding industry for its own gain is that personality is a key driver of behavior. A mass of clever research studies has proven instead that the scenario is the key driver, a combination of the environment (including business culture) and the circumstances of the moment. Culture change starts at the top of the organization. So the closer your situation is, or can be changed, to the ideal environment below, the easier any Agile transformation will be:

  • The entire organization adopting the change reports up to a single executive with profit-and-loss responsibility for the unit.
  • That executive fully understands the implications of the transformation and supports it.
  • If the organization is part of a larger one, the parent imposes relatively few centralized controls on processes and tools; in other words, subunits are allowed to operate more like independent businesses.
  • Each team is or will be a cross-functional, full stack team formed of people in the same building, or at least within three time zones of each other, including the Product Owner and Scrum Master for each team.
  • People in cross-team Guidance Roles are close enough in time zone to participate in all required meetings without issue, even if they have to work outside their normal business hours.
  • Dates are requested, not imposed, and the executives understand the response is a prediction, not a commitment.

Not having this environment is not a show-stopper—it just makes your life as a change agent harder, and the need for executive buy-in more critical.

Make a FuSca! | ← Applying Systems Thinking to Agile | End of section

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