Just Be It!

by | Apr 6, 2016

Meditations / Pixabay

We’ve been talking a lot in the office recently about ‘being agile’. As opposed to ‘doing agile’.
There’s a subtle, or maybe not so subtle difference between the two and we’ve been trying to put some indicators in place so that we can tell if we’re ‘doing’ instead of ‘being’.
I’ve been collecting a few examples over the last couple of weeks.
Up first, the obvious, but oft-stated “we’re agile!” This is almost exclusively followed by “we have a stand-up every day” and is normally pronounced by a Project Manager. No other ceremonies or activities are undertaken, just the stand-up. And let’s face it, this is really just the PM micro-managing the team.
Closely related to number one; having a PM as Scrum Master. You’ve spent years training to be/being a PM, then it’s a massive (uncomfortable) step to being a Scrum Master. One I’ve never seen work well. Just too tempting to direct, tell or manage (clue’s in the title) rather than run the process and support the team.
Thirdly, throwing resource at a short-term problem. Experience tells us that if we increase the size of a dev-team, then they loose velocity before they go faster.
Fourthly, and related to number three, growing the team to 12 developers. And I mean developers in the non-agile sense of people that write code. 12 is too many for an agile team. A team made exclusively of developers is just wrong.
Which brings me to number five, very closely related to having a ‘dev-team’ of just developers, is leaving user acceptance testing, or any other contact with users outside of the process. Wrong, wrong, wrong! It’s not done-done until the user says so!
And number six; recruiting a role into the dev-team without understanding the t-skills of the team. Recruit a skill set, not a role. And complement the existing skills.
So there’s my quick six ‘doing’ not ‘being’ if you’ve got any others, post them in the comments section below!



  1. Another Disaster Movie | OptimalBI - […] I chose the difference between doing agile and being agile. I wrote a blog on the subject recently entitled…
  2. Being Agile, Not Doing Agile | OptimalBI - […] warehouses is the difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ Agile. I wrote a blog recently with some of the differences…
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *