How Can You Tell?

If you work anywhere near software development, I can bet your organisation is Agile. Well, unless you live under the rock, work in some government institution, or your business is driven by grants. Still, monstrosities aside, nobody wants to admit working the old waterfall way. It is almost as cool as showing up in a car concourse in Skoda. Which, for those of you without a drop of gasoline in your blood, means utterly uncool. Agile has been the dogmatic new black for quite a few years now. Rest assured, I have no problem with that. In theory, it makes all the sense in the world.

Which is why I want you to ask yourself – how can you tell your organisation is Agile? What are the symptoms? What is the reason you want to give the only cool answer?

I’ve asked this question hundreds of times. Answers could be roughly grouped into a few categories.

Pathetic Agile

Well, the HR department told me so.

My manager said we are.

Wait, isn’t that one of these things on the wall by reception desk?

Toolkit Agile

Because we use Jira.

There’s this board here, with all the magnets, hence Agile.

Come on, look at all these post-its! We even got rose pink ones!

The Most Popular Agile

Because we work in this Scrum thing.

Okay, so there’s this chart here and we update it every day!

Well, I’m no longer allowed to call myself Project Manager, *sigh* …

Ruthless Scrum Master Agile

We leave no PBI open at the end of the sprint. We just complete them.

Because we do whatever possible to deliver actual working software every sprint.

Nobody can come and interfere with my work.

Ethical Agile

We can really trust each other. And our client trusts us too!

I don’t remember last time I needed to paint the grass green. And it’s not like everything always goes well…

I know I will be listened to.

Universal Agile

Each of our projects is different, so we use variety of approaches.

We work with the sales team to understand how our clients work and what are their actual needs. And then we verify this, before working on the actual project.

We never stop testing new ways to make the right things, the right way. And I mean all of us, not just the dev team.


So, which of these was the closest match for your organisation? And to your actual answer?

Now, don’t fall into despair. While wanted, I don’t think it’s even possible to start with the Universal one. Wherever you are, there’s always the next step.

Since knowing the next level is everything you need to move on, I believe it’s time for you to get going.

Opinions are my own and not the views of my employers, customers, or clients.

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