“What Agility Enablement Platform should I buy?”

Chris Davies

There is a consultancy group that outsources advice to a global network of ‘experts’ in different fields. So if a client of theirs wants to know about a particular industry trend, the group sends a request to an expert in that field and facilitates a phone call between the expert and the client to convey the appropriate information. Heck, there are probably a few of such groups.

An ex-colleague referred me to one such group some months ago, and because the demands on my time were going to be limited, it was an opportunity to make a little extra money on the side, and I was curious to know what people in the Agile industry might want to ask me about, I joined up.

For some time, all was quiet. Then one day I received an email asking for an urgent response. They send such emails out to not just one ‘expert’ but many, and the client (I assume) then selects who they want to talk to.

The email asked if I could offer advice on selecting Agile Planning tools.

Curious, I accepted, but wasn’t selected for the interview.

A few weeks later, I received another email, asking if I could offer advice on Agility Enablement Platforms. Amused, I responded as follows:

I would be happy to speak with your client, but my advice is that platforms do not enable agility; organisational changes do. My advice therefore might not be what your client would expect. If you’d still like me to speak to them, let me know.”

Unsurprisingly, the anonymous client declined my offer and chose to speak with someone else.

I am frankly amazed at how, after all this time, companies still think that they can buy agility; that a tool or a platform can magically make them agile. While Agile Planning tools are useful, “agility enablement platforms” by definition don’t exist.

What concerns me more is that apparently, some so-called agile experts are prepared to earn a little extra money by pandering to this illusion and offering advice on methods and tools, without addressing the people and interactions part. Do agile consultants not have any integrity? Or am I missing something?

Gives the whole industry a bad name, does it not?

Chris Davies

Written by

Team Coach | Leadership Coach | Agile Coach | Team Facilitator | ORSC Practitioner. I write about teams, leadership, organisations and agile.

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