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How to Become Agile Outside of Software?

Recent story from a technology company: The CEO, seeing the software teams’ outcomes from being Agile, wanted the sales team to work in an Agile manner as well. In fact, he told the VP Sales to be more like the tech teams.

A few years ago, this would have been quite a shocker. Technology teams as the model of behavior? Yet, that’s becoming more and more the case, because Agile teams have a different impact on business: they work with the whole product in mind, make more strategic trade-offs, are more transparent and responsive, and so on.

So how does a non-software group/department/unit adopt Agile?

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Imposing Agile Is a Non-Starter

For years, whenever people wanted to know about my Agile coaching practice, one thing I would bring up was, “I only coach the willing.”

Sometimes they would chuckle or nod understandingly. Yet, more often, they didn’t realize why I was saying this. I’m a professional coach, wouldn’t I coach everyone?
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The Silent Killer in Your Agile Implementation

Suppose you have Agile teams and things look good. Folks work on important initiatives, do high-value work, get feedback regularly, and deliver finished products/services to their intended consumers frequently.

Question: How long before things start to break down?
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What Can Management Do to Support Agile?

Everyone who tries to adopt Agile in their organization quickly realizes that the change extends beyond the team, project/program, and value stream. It affects management too. But how? More specifically, what should managers focus on to support the change to Agile?

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Going Agile: Not with “Ceremonies” and “Rituals”

Imagine you’ve been asked to join another Agile team. The person in charge meets you and during the introductory conversation, says “Mondays, we have the planning ceremony at 10. The other main ceremonies are on Friday afternoons…”

Rewind to where the person said “ceremony.” Did you feel excited? curious? nervous? unenthusiastic?
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