• The Agile Mindset – Nature or Nurture?

    25 juni 2018 | randy
  • A lot of times, when I visit companies who have adopted an Agile way of working (mostly Scrum), I encounter teams that have all the ‘mechanics’ right. They have (most of) their events, their backlog and their work that is currently worked on. Everybody is playing their part and everybody is putting their best effort into getting the work done. Nothing wrong you might think.

    But having seen quite a few teams in my career, I’ve noticed that in some teams the spark is missing. I guess that is the difference between ‘doing’ Agile and ‘being’ or ‘breathing’ Agile.

    When I start a conversation with the teams, most of the time that spark used to be there. They successfully started, had a lot of energy and fun, and they achieved great results as a team. But somehow, ‘just getting the work done’ took over somewhere. Agile neglect has creeped in over time. Agile values have faded and no one seems to be really missing it. I see Scrum Masters doing an excellent job in facilitating their teams, but not coaching and mentoring their teams to make the next step and grow even further.

    Teams got so busy just getting the work done, that they forgot to take time to sharpen the axe and become more effective as a team.

    The nature of people is in many cases to work hard and do what they’re paid for, the best way they can. To keep an eye on the process and to also invest time in getting better and more effective as a team might not always feel natural in the fast world we’re currently living in. With Agile neglect as a possible result.

    That’s why I think you should always coach teams to invest time in themselves. Keep an eye on where you are now as a team and where you want to be. I always put effort in enthusing and training Scrum Masters and Agile leaders to continue coaching and mentoring their teams and organization. Besides the benefits: it’s much more fun than ‘just facilitating’ as well.

    There is always a next step to grow to, so nurture the Agile mindset of the teams and the organization, so hopefully one day it will become nature.