Project Management

Can We Please Stop Talking About Agile Transformation?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I hate when people tell me that their organization is pursuing an agile transformation. I hate it so much that I could spend this entire article telling you how much I despise it. But that probably wouldn’t be particularly constructive, so instead I’ll tell you my issues—and then try to offer some alternative perspectives.

Why I hate agile transformation
Let’s start with something basic. What is an agile transformation? I’m guessing that’s a question that you can answer, but I’m also guessing that there will be a lot of different answers (just ask Google, and you’ll see what I mean).

Is it a shift of the organization to an agile mindset (and what does that even mean)? Is it the implementation of a scaled or enterprise-level agile framework? Is it a move away from plan-driven execution to total agile execution? Is it some of those things? All of them?

There is no single agreed-upon answer, and therein lies the first issue. If we can’t agree on what something is, how can we agree on why we need it—or how it’s going to help an organization improve its performance?

All that’s going to happen is that organizations are going to bring in consultants, invest in software, pursue training, and so on. And then they’re going to end up being disappointed with the results because they don’t align…

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