Tag: Agile Transformation

The Borg Effect: Assimilation Instead of Transformation

When agile meth­ods encounter encrust­ed struc­tures of tra­di­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions, one can­not auto­mat­i­cal­ly expect a sus­tain­able trans­for­ma­tion. It is much more like­ly that the new prac­tices will be inte­grat­ed into the exist­ing struc­tures as smooth­ly as pos­si­ble through assim­i­la­tion. As an Agile coach, you might feel as secure and effec­tive as Jean-Luc Picard in the cap­tiv­i­ty of the Borg.

First the Problem, Then the Solution!

Agile frame­works are col­lec­tions of gen­er­al­ized solu­tions to typ­i­cal prob­lems in agile orga­ni­za­tions. Apply­ing these solu­tions works best when the pain of the prob­lem is felt instead of just under­stood the­o­ret­i­cal­ly. An agile trans­for­ma­tion is not an intro­duc­tion of a frame­work but a joint jour­ney on which obsta­cles are dis­cov­ered and solved with the help of the known frameworks. 

The Agile Transformation and Its Metrics

In ret­ro­spect, I con­sid­er it one of my biggest mis­takes to have always cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly reject­ed met­rics for the agile trans­for­ma­tion. Although I still see the dan­ger of an explo­sion of car­go cult if phe­nom­e­na of agili­ty are mea­sured and reward­ed instead of the essence, I would con­scious­ly take the risk today. For soon­er or lat­er, in every trans­for­ma­tion, there comes a time when the ques­tion is raised very insis­tent­ly as to what all this is meant to achieve and what it brings. And then you have to beat the sys­tem with its own weapons.