Thursday July 22nd, 2021

How to Practice Agile Working in an Straightforward Way?

You are planning to or you are supposed to work Agile? However, you still have a few questions beforehand? You’re not alone. For instance, I was recently asked how one can practice working agile.

How can you practice agile working in a straightforward way

In the backlog of a team that was just taking its first agile steps

I once found the following user story: “The prerequisites for working agile are in place.” I found this a bit funny, which in turn didn’t go down well with the team. (Sorry again, guys!) And in the light of day, it’s really not that funny.

Because: Doesn’t that mean we don’t trust ourselves to start out working agile right away? Why? What do we need to practice? What are these prerequisites supposed to be? Everyone has a certificate as a Scrum Master or as a Product Owner? Enough money has been spent on Agile training sessions or Jira licenses?

Of course, in our world of education and work, it is obvious

and typical to think and proceed in this way. After all, everywhere we go, we learn that some kind of preconditions have to be established first. Before we can get started, we usually first need a degree, a training, a certificate, a correctly filled out form, the project application, in other words: Some permission or proof that we can do it.

And no question

when it comes to things where it’s REAL stuff, where it takes REAL specialized knowledge, I’m also VERY much in favor of doing it that way. For example, you should NOT let me build a highway bridge for quite a few reasons until I have proven and also demonstrated to you that I can do it.

But generally in organizational matters

and especially where agile, self-organized work is appropriate – that is, in situations that tend to be complex, which includes, for example, all services – it is quite rightly said: Stop Trying! Start Doing!

After all, we have a JOB to do. We have more important things to do than to create conditions for agile working.

As experts of our own work

we can also trust that we certainly won’t cause too much harm if we organize ourselves just a little bit differently than we normally would.

What could possibly happen if – unlike in the past – we meet once a day for fifteen minutes standup to decide over important matters of the day together as a team?

Agility assumes

that on the way to the finished results, we naturally always have to deal with unfinished, imperfect, non-ideal states. So, in a sense, the imperfect and the struggle with it is built into the agile philosophy and methodology.

This also applies to the way we organize ourselves. After all, that’s why we’re always undergoing joint reviews of the status quo. That gives us precisely the flexibility that we miss so much today in the rigid hierarchies we mostly work in.

So again and again it goes:

Are we on the right track? Is the quality of the results we are producing a good fit? Do we have the enough cash flow? Are we happy with the way we cooperate? This way, we gradually approach – without being overwhelmed and in feasible steps – the desired ideal state of both the product or end result and the state of our collaboration.

So please don’t practice working agile first. Instead, begin with it preferably today! And never stop again!

We should all do this!

Because there are strong indications that we will soon have no other way to get the results we need to get if we want to play a role with customers and in the competitive and the skilled labor market.

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