Random Acts of Agile

Are You Stuck Performing Random Acts of Agile?

In the past, our company has seen success through referrals and a small amount of marketing. When we decided to take it up a notch to be more intentional in our growth, we reached out to Barb Bertsch, a marketing wiz, to evaluate our efforts. What we learned was enlightening. Although we felt like we were “doing marketing,” we didn’t have a marketing strategy, we weren’t measuring our results, and we weren’t evaluating the results of our activities. Barb explained that this was a common phenomenon known as Random Acts of Marketing. There are organizations I’ve worked with who essentially do the same thing with Agile.

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Are You Performing Random Acts of Agile?

Those organizations I mentioned earlier say they’re “going Agile” and they want to become a company that incorporates it into their structure. They’ve read some great articles about the topic and what it looks like. However, they tend to pick and choose what to incorporate; instead of taking an all-in approach.

As a result, they take their project managers and make them Scrum masters. They tell their teams to conduct “daily stand-ups” and have “sprints.” These teams may even have a few meetings to explain what all of this means. They might even offer ample time for the team to adjust to the these new changes. All previous indications up till now have pointed to this being a great change for the organization.

Yet, in spite of all these efforts, they just don’t see any benefits, leaving a lot of confusion and incomplete projects. This confusion could easily be avoided. The problem is this: they’re performing Random Acts of Agile; when in fact this really needs to be a more focused effort. You can’t be “half-in” for this type of methodology.

It’s About Being Agile, Not Doing Agile

AdobeStock_254846561_Preview-jpeg-2Organizations must understand that it isn’t about doing Agile—it’s about being Agile. The key is to become Agile through a whole-system approach, addressing the mechanics by which their work is performed, the culture in which those mechanics operate, and the commonality among it all.

Your organization will continually reject the changes made if one ecosystem changes without the other. In fact, this is where most efforts fail. Only performing random tasks associated with Agile won’t result in an Agile team, much like random marketing tasks won’t result in meaningful growth.

Stop Performing Random Acts of Agile and Move Forward

Just like our random marketing tasks, you can’t be half-in when attempting to become an Agile organization. This needs be an all-or-nothing approach. It’s time to stop performing these random acts and start moving forward. To learn more about Agile development, view Mike’s blog. We also have some great blogs of our own on the topic, such as the New Scrum Guide. You can check out our other articles relation to this methodology here.

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Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO
Director of Product Development at
Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO