Agile Behind the Gates of Culture

In all my 6 to 7 years of IT career, I have wondered why Agile and his cousins ​​look so attractive and brilliant from afar. But if we look at them closely, they do not realize their expected impact and what they have promised.

There was a straightforward way to answer this question, which I probably did not spend time on because I avoided the fact that when the human element enters a realm, we face complications. Complications that we were not prepared for at all.

In the following, I will express these cases…

Job opportunities with attractive and new names

The first time I heard Agile and Scrum whisper, LinkedIn was suddenly filled with people changing their job titles. Or at least edit its name. We even see people today whose work experience in product management goes back to before the invention of this job title.

Because in our culture, being up-to-date and perhaps having catchy titles is far more important than doing the job. There is a root cause in us, that if we look at our history, people have a lot of competition for titles of this kind.

In IT, it seems that these titles act as social status, and the IT community, despite being up-to-date and leading in the field of knowledge, is interested in the same old structure of receiving titles.
Other examples include the father of Java in Iran, the aunt of the Persian Web, etc.

But, in all companies and organizations, some people do not have a glamorous job title and have not changed their job title on LinkedIn for a long time. But a large part of the work is led by these people.
What we do, defines us.

Acceptance and change diagram

When we encounter new cases like this in the IT community, I am reminded of shiny objects that are attractive to our eyes and any other living thing from a distance. But as we get closer, we realize what they are.

At first, many people, teams, companies, and managers were interested in accepting this new thing. They are excited to welcome it and talk about it at this stage. But as we move forward, behaviors begin to change.

And when the phase of collapse and despair begins, not everyone can get out of it quickly and proudly. It is difficult to change any point of view because we forget that initial support and interest are not very important; the effort and practice matter.

What infrastructure are we working on?

Problems become known over time. Because we forget that these obstacles always exist. On what foundation do we build this structure?
It is good to think about this question.

When you have to teach teamwork to 23- to 40-year-olds, introduce them to roles and colored hats in collaboration, and point out the importance of psychological issues at work, you realize that this infrastructure needs to be addressed much sooner.

In the face of frustration and confrontation with these facts, you either decide to continue and use people’s hidden talents and make them flourish, or you think you have to change a lot of employees. The second way is not possible.
We have limitations … let’s not lie to ourselves.

We forget the role and perspective of senior managers

Senior managers play a crucial role in creating change and its life cycle. Suppose you want to transform an organization or even make agility changes digitally. In that case, you have to see if the managers’ point of view is compatible with the reality of agility (and not its appearance).

For example, when you talk about defining next-generation roadmaps, you have to ask yourself, are my managers still looking for Gantt charts with delivery times and milestones, or are they willing to change their minds? Is changing this view in the interest of the business at all or not? Why should this change be made, and why should a multi-billion dollar business trust “me” and implement my proposed change?

What makes the culture?

What makes a culture? The answer to this question has a scientific definition.
So if you are interested in accepting or making a change, read these definitions and think about it.

Think about how to make a subcutaneous change without raising these issues. Although Wikipedia is not an official and scientific source, it is good to think about it and finally get information from somewhere.

The change that Agile is looking for goes into the deeper parts of the character. Creating commitment and teamwork, striving for a goal, and many of the things mentioned in the Agile Manifesto and the Scrum Principles all have individual personality traits at their core. For people to run Agile and Scrum in action, they have to be Agile or become Agile adaptive.

In Agile and Scrum classes and workshops, you will never be told the obstacles you face. Why? The critical point is that our ability is determined when encountering obstacles.

The subject of education has long been forgotten!
People may not know a series of things until they get here, whether it is psychological or internal issues or specialized.

However, one of the tasks of organizations and groups is to provide training in various fields. Otherwise, attracting people who have Agile and face performance criteria is not a particular task .. Do you know why? Because tomorrow they will go somewhere else with a higher offer.

In addition, with the departure of these people, the change you think you made will also leave your organization because you did not know about educating all the people in the organization.

Because you have not standardized this as organizational culture. Think about it. Think about the whole change process and know that it is not easy.
Too much noise in the path of change will not be a sign of success. Agile or any methodology, framework, thinking, etc., gets stuck behind the cultural gate of people if we forget education.

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A Product Owner who loves reading and writing, nature, animals, and art.

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Masih Heidarizadeh

A Product Owner who loves reading and writing, nature, animals, and art.