Trail Ridge Consulting been in business for over 11 years (since August of 2005) with an unwavering mission – to help leaders improve business results through empowered high-performing teams focused on their customer’s need. And this business would not be successful without the respect, trust and opportunities that our client leaders offer us to work with them. So it is for […]
In a recent Freakonomics podcast on “In praise of Incrementalism”, Stephen Dubner showcases how substantial change occurs incrementally over time, rather than big bang revolutions. He illustrates this through civil-rights social movements of african americans and same-sex marriage. However, the story that hooked me as a cyclist is on the Sky Cycling team and their marginal gains approach…
What do agile leaders do and how does this differ from traditional leadership? In one sense, you might consider agile leadership to be simply “good leadership” or “healthy leadership”. However, agile leadership is critical in terms of the complex, uncertain, and rapidly changing environments we work in. This article highlights some of the key behaviors/benefits agile […]
For the past 5 years, Trail Ridge Consulting has “adopted” Haiti as one of our key global outreach areas – as the country has continued to recover from the earthquake in 2010. Jana Zimmerman, our Outreach Catalyst at Trail Ridge Consulting has coordinated with Community Health Initiative (CHI) Haiti as both a board member and volunteer […]
My recent talk at Agile Leadership Day in Zurich, Switzerland. Are you interested in scaling or growing agility within your organization? Then stop focusing on the organization and start with yourself!
Pete Behrens from Trail Ridge Consulting is bringing his passion for Agile to leadership. He recognizes that, while the ScrumMaster is responsible for identifying and removing impediments, it’s so often the case that the SM doesn’t have the power to actually remove the impediments: only leadership can do it. Leadership is a key factor in […]
Leading Agile: Laying the Foundation for Success
While Agile offers myriad benefits to an organization, the fact is: adoption and subsequent success of software development projects across the board could be better long-term. Why, when we have a system that has proven to work for countless organizations in various verticals, do initiatives still fail, or else the whole Agile endeavor peters out after a few months or years?
While there are many reasons why Agile approaches can fail, inadequate Agile leadership can be a large contributing factor. Note that it’s not necessarily inadequate leadership, because you can have the most stellar executive leader, but if she doesn’t know how to lead and support an Agile team, she can put it at great disadvantage.
Why Coaches and Consultants Can’t Save Your Organization
Organizations spend millions on Agile coaches and consultants, then point the finger when, a few months down the road, the “whole Agile thing” has gone off the rails. Is it really the fault of these Agile professionals?
Doing vs. Being Agile
While there’s a whole slew of barriers to successful Agile adoption, I think most of them boil down to one major one: is the team doing Agile or being Agile?
Seems a subtle difference, but there are miles between the two. I can’t tell you how many organizations I know of (including some I’ve worked with) who, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to establish Agile processes through training and coaching, have abandoned Agile completely for more familiar territory just a few months or years later.
Here are some of the quintessential differences between doing and being Agile. Maybe defining the two will help other organizations not fall victim to the same fate.
“Life is the Art of Drawing without an Eraser.”
I saw this quote one morning as I entered my local gym. There is a guy at my gym that posts inspirational quotes each day; this one struck me. It reminds me of Yoda’s wise words about the commitment life takes to move forward.
“Do or do not…there is no try”
Time does not provide an “undo.” Everything we do is done. It is recorded, in a sense, in time. And while we may “undo” by erasing or going back, that is also done in time.
Yoda’s message to “do or do not” is thinking about life without an eraser. Everything I “DO” is done. Everything I “DO NOT” is not done. There is no in between. If we “TRY” we are actually “DOING” something.
Joshua Kerievsky wrote an intriguing article entitled Modern Agile which is an attempt at an upgrade to what he sees as stale Agile practices. I was intrigued by his article and am writing this response with my perspectives…