“The Time is very well invested” — that was the assessment of the participants of our one-day workshop “Understanding Agility”, which we recently held at a European service company.
For us, the common understanding of agility is a key success factor for agile transformations. Because agility is not quite as simple as it seems at first glance. Because that is why many agile transformations still fail, regardless of the industry. Because agility is an attitude and not a set of methods. Yes, the Agile Manifesto is a quick read. Four guiding principles, twelve principles that all sound logical and have proven themselves over many years. But actually living the agile values and applying them every day is exhausting. Agility cannot be forced or ordered — and therein lies one of the greatest challenges of agile transformation.
Agility is a learning process and new behaviors such as self-organization, iterative work, and a feedback culture can only be established step by step as part of the corporate culture. A common problem is the agility gap within companies: while software teams have been working as “agile islands” for years, areas that previously had little contact with agility are now also to be transformed. Workshops such as “Understanding Agility” can make an important contribution to minimizing points of friction and misunderstandings, increasing motivation for upcoming changes, and significantly accelerating the learning process.
It is not enough to just understand agility in theory. The aim of our training is therefore to create “aha moments” and to make agility tangible. Together with the HR department, for example, we developed an individual concept with active phases in the workshop mentioned, in which the participants could get to know Scrum, Kanban, and Design Thinking in a playful way. The willingness of the team to engage in agility was great and the response was very positive. The numerous questions about the applicability in everyday life in the respective departments have already provided valuable impulses for the further transformation strategy. According to the subjective assessment of the participants, the workshop increased their understanding of agility from an average of 3 to 7 (on a scale of 0 to 10).
Conclusion of the joint retrospective at the end of the workshop: keep going and keep learning! In the future, the HR department of our customer will offer the “Understanding agility” workshop regularly every two to three months in order to gradually anchor the agile mindset throughout the company.