RallyON! 2015 Open Space: Characteristics of an Agile Organization.

Here is the output of the RallyON! 2015 Openspace topic regarding the palpable benefits of creating an Agile organization (as opposed to an organization that has a pocket of agility within the technical organization). The exercise was basically pitch ‘traditional’ executives on why they should go Agile.

We discussed 3 areas:

  • Fears/ uncomfortable reactions to considering Agile organizations
  • Organizational problems that will be solved by having an agile organization.
  • Experiments, metrics, or help that could be useful to prove the case.

Here’s the ‘raw’ output, converted from hastily written stickies:


  • The business will slow down
  • $$ to invest in transformation
  • No forecasting (Possible loss of visibility)
  • Need for a new ‘playbook’ (all experience to get to C-suite may not be relevant)
  • New unknowns
  • Vulnerability + possible fail + politics
  • Benchmarking vs. competition?
  • Geeky buzz words makes this sound like mumbo jumbo
  • Need new motivational ‘sticks’

Problems solved with Agile organization

  • Increase time to market
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Start the ROI curve sooner
  • Incur less tech debt
  • Lower investments to prove concepts
  • Better governance & transparency top-bottom
  • Smaller failures!
  • Can view the flow of an idea -> release, from start to finish.
  • Increase employee engagement:

1: Find better people

2: Retain people

3: Lower turnover cost

  • Better work-life balance; frequent check-ins, smaller resets
  • Miss less commitments, better visibility

Help, Experiments, and Data

  • Benchmarks vs. Competition
  • Whitepapers, like Karsten Jakobson (sp) CMMI L5 Study
  • Show cost of feature development
  • Find a safe failure & celebrate it
  • Agile journey research (we’re not a pioneer, let’s see who else has succeeded and take their learnings)
  • Disrupt yourself!