Agile for Your Team's Well-Being? It's Not All Roses

Gil Broza specializes in increasing organizational agility and team performance with minimal risk and thrashing. Dozens of companies seeking transformations, makeovers or improvements have relied on his pragmatic, modern and respectful support for customizing agile in their contexts. His book "The Agile Mind-Set" helps practitioners go beyond process and adopt a true agile approach to work. His book "The Human Side of Agile" is a practical book on leading agile teams to greatness. These days, several of the world's largest organizations are having him train hundreds of their managers in technology and business (up to VP level) on practical agile leadership. Get Gil's popular 20-session mini-program "Something Happened on the Way to Agile" free at

Job stress continues to be a problem for individuals and the organizations that employ them. Contrary to popular opinion, studies show that the key factor is not the job itself, but rather the fit between the person and the environment. And this begs the question: If you change your environment to a more agile one, will that improve people’s well-being?
There has been precious little research on the subject, so what I’ll offer here are my interpretations and observations from 17 years of being around teams of all agile stripes.

How Agile Alleviates Stress
Let’s start by asking Lee, a persona that represents several people typical with whom I’ve interacted in healthy agile environments over the years.

“Lee, as a team member, what would you say about stress?”

“Our work is complex and there are changes all the time. With agile, we’re not anxious about getting it perfect the first time every time. Instead, our process helps us know just how much our work matters and what to adjust. With frequent delivery, our wins are not too far apart, and we catch errors quickly. That’s very satisfying.

“Then there’s the social aspect. I’m in a proper team delivering those results—to actual users! Not like when I was in a team of programmers, and our standard of completion was ‘…

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"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

- Bertrand Russell