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Agility can’t be planned

I have been fortunate. I have been involved in some larger scale Scrum transformations. I have learned much. I have much to learn.

Here are some basics that are fundamental to set the right expectations for a enterprise Scrum transformation. I will relentlessly repeat and remind these. Because introducing agile without accepting these essential truths closes the door to the path to agility instead of turning it into a gateway of opportunities.

Agility can’t be planned. Agility can’t be dictated. Agility is never ready.

A time-planned way to introduce agile at an organizational scale sets unfavorable expectations. Change processes are highly complex and therefore not predictable. And agility is much more than following a new process. It is about behavior, it is about cultural change. In a transformation towards an agile way of working, there is no way of predicting what change needs will be encountered at what point in time, how these are to be dealt with and what the exact outcome will be. There is no way of predicting the pace at which the change will spread and finally take root.

A decision to move to agile is a decision to leave the old ways behind. It is not only about accepting but about celebrating that agility is living the art of the possible. It requires the courage, honesty and conviction of acting in the moment, acting upon the reality that is exposed by iterative-incremental progress information. Agility is about doing the highest possible at every possible moment, given the means we have and the constraints that we face.

Time-plans create the illusion of deadlines and an end-state. Agility has no end-state, but introduces a state of continuous improvement, a state in which each status quo is challenged, all the time.

Agility can’t be planned. Agility can’t be dictated. Agility is never ready.

This must be in the hearts and minds of every person guiding or driving a Scrum transformation. Because agility needs to settle in the hearts and minds of every person impacted by a Scrum transformation. And in general those people have been instructed the wrong behavior for 15 or 20 years. In general a plan will slow down the transformation process, as it just extends the old thinking. Living the art of the possible engages people and accelerates a transformation as it thrives upon the future. A bright future if you have the vision, the determination and the dedication. And if you have, I hope I can help you. And I will bring metrics, practices and tools that will light your path.

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