Wednesday April 6th, 2022

What’s the First Step Into Agility That I Can Take Alone, Which One That I Do With Others?

You like or should work in an Agile way? Now you still have a few questions? You are not alone. For example, I was asked the other day:

Which is the first step into agile working forms that I take alone, and which one that I take with others?

Two tips I can give you on this are

Firstly: For you personally

Understand that AGILITY IS A TEAM SPORT. In other words, even if you know as much as you can about Agile, you won’t get far on your own despite all your knowledge and skills. 
Nevertheless, if you want to take a step on your own, find out what Agile actually all about, what it’s there for and what it means.

The best fundamental reading I know on the subject of Agile,

(I repeat myself, I know): The Scrum Guide. It explains the game, the team formation and the basic tactics – to stay in the image of team sports.

From my experience, that’s enough. That’s all it really needs (for now). However, in case you see it differently, i.e. if the Scrum Guide is not enough for you, you are welcome to read the Scrum Guide again. And then, if necessary, also other literature, e.g. about Kanban (references below).

But then you should as soon as possible

start consulting with your teammates on how you can organise yourselves TOGETHER in a more Agile way. Let’s therefore move on to:

Second: Start by doing regular retrospectives together

With your team (this should ideally include team leads or heads of department, or even management!). One to two hours. At least every fortnight, maximum four weeks. Over and over again. No interruption!

Ask yourself the following questions openly and honestly: 
  • What has gone well in terms of organisation SINCE THE LAST RETROSPECTIVE? What gone not so well?
  • What do we learn from this in general? What is the learning for our planning of the THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS?
  • What doable measure can we think of for the next few weeks that will make us a little better?

During the regular retrospective, it quickly becomes apparent how you can improve as a team, what you are still lacking and which methodological tools can help you from the agile (or other) practices.

Important: If your team has a certain maturity – by this is meant that most of them have already realised that things CAN’T go on as before – then you are not just on the way to BECOMING more Agile. Then you ARE already.

Of course, you can also

find fellow campaigners and drum up support for introducing an agile working framework such as Scrum or Kanban in a larger step. However, there are major advantages and disadvantages.
Einer der Advantage: As a team, you deal with the methodical implementation of Agile relatively quickly and intensively. This may help all of you to learn the ropes quickly and to move quickly to Agile. That is, if most of you see that as a reasonable step.

Disadvantage: You have to reckon with everything positive and negative that you know from other change initiatives. And these are often not only cheers, but also the (basically reasonable) general question: “What is this all about? Don’t we have more important things to do?”

Even if your answer to this question in general is ” No”

or especially then, the ensuing discussion will delay your goal of solving problems quickly using Agile.
So why not just start doing it – without much fuss and preferably in a way that benefits everyone? If that doesn’t work, you can always call for the bigger change initiative. 


  • Anderson, David J.; Reinertsen, Donald G: Kanban. Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business.
  • Appelo, Jurgen: How to Change the World.
  • Laloux, Frederic: Reinventing Organizations. A Guide to Creating Organizations. Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness.
  • Rodehack, Edgar: Die acht Schritte eines Sprintübergangs.
  • Sutherland, Jeff: Scrum. The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, New York, 2014. (Deutsch: Die Scrum-Revolution)
  • Schwaber, Ken; Sutherland, Jeff: Scrum Guide
  • Wohland, Gerhard; Wiemeyer, Matthias: Denkwerkzeuge der Höchstleister. Warum dynamikrobuste Unternehmen Marktdruck erzeugen.