You don’t need an Agile Framework. Create your own “Agile Ways of Working”.

Photo by Salvador Godoy.

I’m going to burst your bubble. You don’t need a new framework. To add some context, the past week, I read an article in one of the influential business journals that said companies should “go agile” by using an existing framework like Scrum… Here’s a surprising fact — there is no such thing as an Agile Framework for all, and not all businesses work precisely the same way.

The only “Agile Framework” that will work in your organization or team is the one you make. Agile Ways of Working means that we found a way to bring value to our customers, and that way makes sense to our organization or team.
This “Way of Working” is a path to increase more and always better value, for that reason needs to be continuously improved.

Defining an Agile Framework

Agile Frameworks help teams to build and ship value. They make the best interaction levels to increment the highest quality value (product or service). Agile frameworks exist to help teams deliver high-quality value in shorter timeframes because teams need user feedback frequently. That’s it; Agile Frameworks have helped many teams and companies to adapt more quickly to market changes. But also agile frameworks are not written in stone: That means that you can follow Scrum, but you need to improve Scrum for your organization or team needs.

Tailoring Agile Frameworks to Agile Ways of Working

When I think of the word “tailoring,” I think of a tailor. He’s the one who fits my suits when they’re ready to wear. And, he is the one who cuts the cloth to create a unique, custom-fit suit for me. Tailoring an Agile Framework takes a similar mindset. Tailor it to your culture and organizational environment, and make changes as you learn more about your customers. So, what makes a good tailor? They first listen to you tell them what you want and then make suggestions based on their expertise, experience, and knowledge of current fashion trends.

Agile Ways of Working works with the basic idea that agile teams need to build in short timeboxes (sprints) to collect feedback from stakeholders and users about what features they need. Tailoring an agile framework is about figuring out what we need to change in our ways of working to improve everything.

I’ve been coaching teams for a long time. The main take of that? We need to tailor Agile Frameworks into personalized Agile Ways of Working. Agile is great, but it’s not suitable for every situation. In particular, we need to do a better job of tailoring agile to organizational needs. Tailoring has become a prominent theme in Agile recently. And a key competence for Agile Coaches.

Agile Coaching and Ways of Working

We work in teams and organizations to help them adopt agile ways of working. A common misconception about agile coaching is that it is about telling people what to do. This leads to resistance because people don’t like being told what to do or being put into a box, especially if it doesn’t work. That’s where the Tailoring Mindset comes in Agile Coaching. The Tailoring Mindset starts with the belief that every person and organization is unique and has different needs and capabilities.

Optimize your Ways of Working with tailored approaches. Always.

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