Creating Agile Teams is More Than Just a Fad

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Upper management is progressively recognizing that agility is eating the world, so to speak. In recent surveys, over 90% of upper management would like to be agile, and a staggering less than 10% already see their company as highly agile. Large companies and organizations, both private and public, are planning agile transformations.

Agile is Used For Cost Reduction
Let’s go over a global bank that implemented agile. The idea was to accelerate innovation so there would be an improvement of quality services and products and in turn, would increase customer satisfaction. Agile implementation began to suffer and eventually failed because, in order to improve profits, staff had to downsize along with other cost-cutting decisions.

It’s A Scientific Management System
Certain companies have ceased using the term “agile” and deploy a less direct slogan to win over the support of late-adopters and avoid the burden of being attached to that specific term. Shifting to different terminology can actually run the risk of resorting back to the cost reduction we talked about earlier.

Agile Needs To Be More Than Just A Patch
In a separate case, a global company was careful in its deployment of the agile process. They tried to incorporate repetition, daily standups, dealing with past events, and small groups. Unfortunately, agile was just a minor patch and their work eventually continued as it did before.

It’s Used As A Scaling Framework
Some cases of scaling framework have been implemented across organizations. Then they go about without seeing any significant change in their work practices. Once again, no benefits have been proven where the work is carried out.

When Agile Is Not Implemented Properly
Let’s look at another case where a firm was moving forward, profiting, and making excellent progress in the agile execution. During this time an official order came down the pipeline where the company needed to implement significant cost-cutting measures. While management tried doing their best to keep the gains they already had and minimize casualties, in the end, trust was lost.
The employees eventually saw that management talked about the value of staff and customers being a primary concern. But ultimately they learned that the real concern was the value and concerns of shareholders. This ended up being another failed attempt at agile implementation.

Key Takeaway About Creating Agile Teams
In the end, it needs to be clear to your team and company that agile is more than a fad. It’s something that needs to be trained and consistently checked on within your organization. It will work as long as you are making sure to avoid these costly mistakes.

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