Doing Agile vs. Being Agile

Doing Agile and Being Agile are different. Here is a popular infographic that explains what Agile really is and illustrates common misunderstandings about it:

Doing Agile is not Being Agile

Doing Agile

Doing Agile is about the practices: standups, user stories, iterations, etc.

There are significant benefits from using Agile practices – I see it as “common sense” of getting work done. Adopting these practices will lead to benefits. Perhaps 20% or more from what I have seen. This is widely reported by industry research such as Version One’s Annual report.

Being Agile

Being Agile is about our Consciousness or way of being. We may also refer to this as Mindset or Organizational Culture. It’s about how we see ourselves. How we relate to each other. How we behave. What we value. A recent post explains more about this: Agile Culture –> Self-managing People.

I put the ROI on this at 3x to illustrate how much impact this has on team and organizational effectiveness. It could be much more. We are talking about reinvention here – not applying a process change.

Being Agile is NOT the Goal

After looking at this diagram, many people decided that “Being Agile” is a worthy goal. Real change requires organizations focus on their own goals and dreams – not cut and paste Agile in their organization. This is why I advocate stopping Agile initiatives and Conducting “Agile is NOT the Goal” Workshops.


Bob Hartman noticed and coined the concept that Doing Agile is not Being Agile. See his slides.

Michael is the number one trainer for the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) Program through the Scrum Alliance after teaching over half the graduates worldwide.

His classes are controversial and unique but that’s what allows his Agile students to flourish by showing them the missing pieces and common organizational challenges you can go back and implement immediately.

Tagged with:
, ,

Find Content

Adoption Agile Agile2009 Agile Failure Agile in the Large Agile Tour Toronto Change Artist Christine Day Coaching Communication Container Craftsmanship Creativity Empathy Facilitation Fear Games and Simulations Hierarchy Kanban Kotter Leadership Lean Management Observing Organizational Change Organizational Culture People Personal Growth Production Product Strategy Project Management Red Pill Safety Scrum Strategic Play Teamwork Technical Practices Training Training from the Back of the Room Transformation Transition Trust VAST Vulnerability XP

Leave a Reply