I was helping a friend prepare for an interview – one of the questions she had to answer was about showing how she could get Scrum done right. How, they asked, can you help us get the perfect Agile programme?
Really, this is a daft question – because agility is about flexibility and responsiveness in pursuit of delivery. It is not about getting Scrum right or being the best at Kanban. This leads me on to think that in many cases the framework itself becomes a distraction to the real goal – delivering a valuable product that customers love.
One of the issues I have with ‘Agile Coaches’ is that too many of them are falling into the trap of trying to get the framework ‘right’. They live in process-land, not delivery-land. Anyone can do process. Generally speaking it’s copied from someone else anyway. Now, delivery on the other hand – well, that’s hard.
So who are the best coaches and PMs at delivering? In my opinion it is those who dare to try new things. The people who look at a process or framework and see it as a starting place… and then evolve it.
If you are doing Scrum ‘right’, you are probably doing it wrong. Scrum, like all Agile frameworks needs to be evolutionary. It needs to grow, develop and renew.
What this needs is willingness. That’s the key ingredient. Willingness to try new things. Willingness to fail and learn. Willingness to break the rules.
So, what’s the answer to the question? How do you get the perfect Agile programme? Well it’s this: be creative in delivery. You use all of the tools under the Agile umbrella to get the job done, because it’s only teams that deliver that are truly agile. The ones that don’t are probably wasting their efforts.