Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Have you ever heard or said them? We have certainly all heard them, and may even have uttered them ourselves at some point too.
All of the above reflect frustration, ignorance, misunderstood needs, and poorly applied priorities, but above all, they reflect a failure to understand “WHY” we do what we do.
So what do we mean by Agility and Scrum?
There is not much more to it than that, it is not rocket science – on the contrary, it is so simple and so “common sense”, even obvious, that it tempts and encourages us to start applying it immediately, and this may be the beginning of the end in applying Agility.
Scrum can be a great tool, but also very dangerous when used incorrectly without understanding the reasons and the “whys” and “what fors” of the ceremonies, activities, roles and elements.
As you can see from these examples we talk about the continuous improvement process and risk management. Many times these definitions are not well understood or are not taken into account (and perhaps these labels are unnecessary), but these examples clearly reflect how important it is to understand why we do what we do. Understanding their true meanings greatly facilitates the correct execution and use of Scrum (and of anything, really).
How to be Agile
So, what does this mean? Is it wrong to use Jira, Trello, or other task management and assignment tools?
Until we fully understand, should we stop holding daily meetings?
Should we stop meeting once a month for retros?
The answer is a resounding no: keep doing these things because they are extremely useful, but do them while bearing in mind that being agile is not the same as applying Scrum (or using any other tool). But keep going.
If we hold, for example, 3 daily meetings per week and no retros, does this mean we are not, and never will be, Agile?
No, another resounding no. At most, you will not be following Scrum, as Scrum has specific requirements, but just as applying Scrum does not automatically make you “Agile”, not applying it does not automatically make you “not Agile”.
How do I know if my organization is Agile?
If you answered yes to these questions, carry on, you will not be using Scrum, you will not have the latest trendy management tool, and you will not cover a blackboard with post-its, but perhaps you are being Agile.
About the Author
José Meyer is a talented Project Manager and very experienced in working with teams of diverse sizes and backgrounds. He has excellent planning and communication skills, and specializes in Agile Methodologies. José is a strong leader with a great work ethic.