(Excerpt from Ch3. Business Agility from the book “Enterprise Scrum: Business Agility for the 21st Century”, 2018, Mike Beedle)
Just about everyone you talk to, has a different understanding of what Business Agility is. This comes to no surprise, since the term has been used increasingly to the boiling point of sizzling buzzword in just a couple of years. To make things more complicated, agile and agility itself have been defined and re-defined now for different domains and industries — proof of that is all the emerging Agile Manifestos everywhere. So what is Business Agility?
We were blessed to create a working group of Enterprise Scrum practitioners in 2016, formed by executives, managers, consultants, coaches and trainers, that through months of painful debates and opinions, came to an agreement as to what Business Agility meant. This is our definition. It is a definition, not the only definition of Business…
Let’s say it out load without restrains, political correctness, or sugar coating shall we?
“The Agile movement …is NOT very Agile!!”
This came up within another “little conversation” that I had with Jim McCarthy at the OSA (Open Space Agility) FB group, the other day. Yes, the the author of the Core Protocols, and a guy that has the uncanny ability to make me more blunt, as if I needed any help.
But now this statement is really getting to me, burning me, really. How did this happen? Wouldn’t you expect that WE, the people that tell the entire world that Agile is the “way to go”, the “way of the future”, the “better way”, be Agile in what we do? …
We live in the “Age of Disruption”; therefore, we need to cope with rapid change everywhere! Our 100-year old management techniques (Sloan management, departments, Taylorism, managing business processes, etc.), are simply not good enough to handle this much change, and everything is pointing to more “agile management” everywhere, not just in software development:
However, with so many choices, so many frameworks, and so much advice everywhere, what are even the right questions to ask as you embark in Business Agility? …
“Business Agility is the future of management.”
I met Michael Sahota, a good friend, and the leading CAL, Certified Agile Leadership, trainer for the Scrum Alliance, and his girlfriend Audree last night for dinner here in Chicago, and we had an AMAZING conversation. No, TRULY AMAZING!!! We talked about a lot of things but mainly about what stops people and companies achieving Agility.
The main problems with Agile Transformations are that, 1) we the people doing these transformations are not really changing our values, our hearts. So we want to do Agile without changing ourselves. That stops us from both doing and leading Agile. 2) We are not really opening up and expressing our thoughts and feelings. So true cooperation or even understanding is always compromised. And, 3) we don’t really understand people or systems to the point where we feel confident to do these Agile Transformations in any predictable way. …
There are a few missing or implied things in Agile and the Agile Manifesto. Some of these things are actually connected.
Let me explain.
Many of the problems with the waterfall and other similar methodologies, were systemic problems: when we planned for a “linear assembly line”, we found hidden loops that ruined our plans. In other words, the true system behavior was off from our model of it.
We solved these “beer game” type of problems by avoiding handoffs and by including the “hidden rework feedback” loops as a natural feature of the system, and we ended with Scrum, and with this philosophy, that attempts to capture the Scrum essence, but comes a little short, called Agile. …
We had a great time at our FIRST CSSC — Certified Software Scaling Coach class and certification. Thirty students graduated from the class and four candidate CEST started their journey into teaching Enterprise Scrum — Software Scaling.
On day 1, we presented and did exercises for Business Agility, Enterprise Scrum framework, and Enterprise Scrum — Software Scaling (The Enterprise Scrum framework applied to Software Scaling), including multi-team local and global Release Planning.
Enterprise Scrum — Software Scaling presents many options:
Last week was PHENOMENAL in all possible ways. We graduated our FIRST 30 students from the Enterprise Scrum — Business Agility class and certification. Enterprise Scrum — Business Agility is the first Business Agility certification worldwide. We also graduated 5 CEST (Certified Enterprise Scrum Trainers), with contracts pending, which can start doing their own CBACs or CSSCs as soon as we complete all the necessary actions: Brett Palmer, Juan Saldana III, Jon Jorgensen, Javier Haro, Michael Herman.
In day 1 we did presentations and exercises regarding Business Agility, Enterprise Scrum framework, and Enterprise Scrum — Business Agility (Enterprise Scrum applied to Business Agility). …
The Innovation Revolution is about innovating in everything we do within a company. It is larger than Digitization or The Creative Economy, and it will be powered by Business Agility techniques, Business Agility frameworks like Enterprise Scrum, and Business Agility transformations.
But what is business agility? Business agility is about (in prioritized order):
I have owned several somewhat successful startups over the last 20 years: Framework Technologies Inc., e-Architects Inc., New Governance Inc., Enterprise Scrum Inc., QuanTraders Inc., etc. I have also played some roles at several companies including my own, starting as a programmer (since 32 years ago), (team leader and project manager 28 years ago), and management and executive roles (director of management consulting, CEO, etc. since 25 years ago) And with each experience, I have learned more insights into what it takes to make a company successful.
My goal has been to grow companies, make them successful, and manage them in the best possible way. Because some of these companies have been products or services to make things better at even larger companies (compliance management, trading, etc.), I have been passionate to learn what works at different companies, what makes companies grow, profitable, competitive, and what are ways, attitudes and techniques to achieve these things. …