Project Management

5 Ways to Become a 'Grassroots' Agile Team

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Many teams have a desire to be more agile in the way they operate and deliver products and projects. When teams say this, they usually mean the small “a” version of agile—that is, they want to be a nimble group that is able to move and adapt quickly to a changing environment. Executives hear that a team wants to be agile, and they will sometimes hear the large “A” version, which can make them nervous. There are many stories of large organizations who attempted an Agile transformation and wound up with disappointing results, even after spending a lot of effort and resources into making it successful. Few executives would want to go down that road for uncertain gains.

This difference in outlook can create a conflict. A large organization that mandates a shift to Agile from the top doesn’t always know what outcome it is trying to achieve, and how or why this kind of transformation might get them there. An individual group may not understand how it fits into the larger environment, and it may try to make a change without knowing the impact. Combined, this creates confusion and chaos—no one really knows what they are trying to do, or why.

But this common predicament should not prevent a team, group or other organizational unit from starting to follow the agile principles themselves. Teams that are attempting to operate in an agile way …

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"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. "

- Albert Einstein