The three levels of agile maturity

There are many agile maturity models out there. If we dumb it down, there are really only three maturity levels.

On one end you have a big group containing those that are clueless. They may try to become agile, but don’t have the necessary understanding to succeed, and are doing it for the wrong reasons. Even with help, they are not likely to make permanent change happen, as they haven’t grasped what’s going on. Quick test: If you ever thought “That won’t work here”, “That won’t work at scale” or “..but we need predictability” about some part of agile, then you’re in the clueless group.

On the opposite end, you have a much smaller group that are doing everything right. Either because it makes instinctive sense to them, or because they’ve painstakingly built up the maturity to get there.

That leaves a tiny group in the middle. They’re in that sweet spot were they understand that they need help. They’re also open enough to understand, accept and actually gain value from it. Most important of all, they understand that getting to the final level will take time and effort.

The only way to know for sure where you belong, is probably to find an experienced agile coach with integrity, and ask. After the coach has told you that you’re clueless, ask for help. Not to become agile, but to become less clueless about what agile even means.

Getting to the sweet spot of agile readiness is hard. Before you get there, starting an agile transformation will be a waste of time. A dead end.

“If you end your training now — if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did — you will become an agent of evil.”
– Yoda

Agility is not about training classes. It is not about hiring someone to transform your company. It is a long journey, that no one can travel for you.

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