In 2018 even the last companies tried to jump onto the Agile transformation train. Agile and Digitalization is dominating new titles and people with Agile in their mind became the new heroes. And Agile transformation programs have gained a tremendous momentum and size.
One way to success?
It have not been the small niches anymore. Incubators continuously are increasing in size. Companies build whole campuses to run Agile programs. Most of them have multi-year transition plans, by when Agile must happen.
Agile consulting has become a new industry. Though companies are willing to invest massive amounts to train their people. They have to understand and implement Agile. Yet employees are told to become self-organized entrepreneurs. So managers equip them with a huge portion of “trust” and a maximum of freedom to take their own decisions. The “Great Place to Work” batch can be found on many company websites.
But in the end, many of these efforts are more and more contradicting Agile principles. Small steps, quick iterations, continuous reevaluation and adaptation, collaboration with high integrity, focus on working solutions rather than exactly predicted results – this cannot be implemented by a transition program or master plan only. Thereby many of those companies will realize that their bet is on a dead horse.
Turn around the way of working
Burn-out ratio is growing with the same speed as the size of the transformation projects. Though highly motivated employees will leave those companies again. They will be extremely frustrated, as promises of a new, better place to work never came true for them. Outcome will stay close to zero.
At the end of 2019 none of these companies will want to hear about Agile anymore. Instead they will rethink leadership. The approaches with short development cycles will have to turn into an end-to-end flow optimization. This requires guidance and structures.
Hence it is all about the way we balance clarity and support. Get right, how the entirety of people can contribute to success, how structures and principles encourage employees to collaborate, how folks co-operate (in) a company. As a result processes and methodologies will play a minor role. Individual needs, increasing motivation, and wide-spread contribution gets into focus.
Agile is dead, long lives agile
Good for those, who are prepared as they started the think Agile organizations from an wholistic point of view rather than from Agile transition programs. Most of the others will follow up – sooner or later. There is no better cure than learning from failures.
Agile principles will stay. However it will get back to the minds of the people rather than the plans of managers and the purses of consultancies. Nonetheless the term Agile will get killed. It has caused too much pain by then. People will have learnt and adapt.