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Agility is a mindset

I think we miss out on the ‘heart’ of scrum or agile when we talk about it from a getting things done point of view for a project or an outcome. Yes, I know that’s exactly what the methodology is meant for and I know some of my friends who use it in their day-to-day and boy, they’re some of the most productive people I know. So much so that it seems they’re on something all the time! (Just that their performance enhancing drug of choice is a methodology and not anabolic. Thank god for that!)

That said, being agile also has a mindset component to it which sadly gets lost admits all the humdrum — the willingness to stay flexible and accommodating to life’s (including work, of course!) challenges. You can implement the latest and greatest methodology but it’ll be just as good as the last one which didn’t work because the people weren’t eager to embrace it.

And this feeds right back into leadership and organisational culture. As leaders, have we built an organisation in which people truly care about the bigger picture, so they know how their contributions matter? Or do they need to be told what has to happen and why? In the first example, the team decides to self-organise, evaluate and deliver results. In the second example everything depends on how hands-on, proactive and responsive the managers is as the team doesn’t have a clue or desire to know why or what needs to get done. Which means, the managers are probably stuck at the tactical level for the rest of their careers!

You can guess which of the two examples above will help an organisation grow further in leaps and bounds. I’m quite convinced that a project’s success (and hence organisation’s, eventually) depends a lot on effectiveness (of the go-to methodology), organisational culture and the people on board. They’re all interrelated, whether you like it or not.