Agile transformation begins in the mind
The six biggest prejudices about agility
The topic of agility and agile transformation has arrived at most companies as an alternative to traditional work processes. But to this day, some misconceptions stubbornly persist among both proponents and critics of agile working.
Agility is chaotic
Until today, many decision-makers in companies believe that working agile means that there are no fixed responsibilities. The result is organisational chaos that no one can keep track of. In reality, however, there are requirements that have to be met even in agile working. What is not specified is how these are to be implemented. The responsibility for this lies with the team. The advantage is that there is no basis for assigning blame and the focus is on solving the problem.
If I use agile methods, I am agile
Another misconception is that it is already enough to introduce agile methods such as Scrum or a Kanban Board in order to benefit from the advantages of agile working. But there is much more to agility. A prerequisite for the successful implementation of the agile transformation is that it is incorporated into the company’s goals. Only in this way a corresponding agile mindset can develop among the employees and the company management.
Agility only works for software development and start-ups
If you start from this premise, it is also quickly clear that agile project management works in many areas. After all, agility is a matter of mentality and means above all that all employees are willing to take responsibility and to design and adapt their processes themselves according to the tasks to be solved require. This enables companies to react better to the ever faster changing circumstances.
Agile working is the answer to everything
Conversely, this does not mean that agile working makes sense for every company or every task. If the existing structures and processes work well, there is no reason per se to adapt them, as change causes unrest and must be accompanied. A regular review of the existing organisation always makes sense, because as the Corona pandemic showed, circumstances can change quickly.
Agile transformation is done in three months
The experience with the pandemic and the necessary adjustments associated with it have shown that change takes time. The same is even more true when introducing the agile way of working. Not only do the processes have to be adapted, but the entire corporate culture has to be changed. The transformation towards agile working is an ongoing process in which the narrative that exists in every company has to be reworked and developed.
Agility no longer needs leadership
The last misconception closes the circle. Because of course agile organisations need leadership. However, the understanding of a leader is different. He or she is part of the team and becomes a coach, creating the framework conditions so that the team members can carry out their work as undisturbed as possible. Important here is communication at eye level and a pronounced tolerance for mistakes.
If one takes a closer look at these prejudices, several conclusions can be drawn: Firstly: every company should check for itself whether and to what extent agile working makes sense for its own goals. Secondly, anyone who decides in favour of agile transformation should be aware that, in addition to the external structures, the attitude of the employees must also change. Because agility begins in the mind. That’s why the agile transformation needs time and often support from outside.