A great read on the concept of “fake” Agile that recognizes that it’s far easier (and alarmingly prevalent) to adopt the terminology and rituals of Agile than to actually effect meaningful change. Real Agile transformation requires a top-down commitment to transfer responsibility for operational and strategic initiatives to smaller, customer-focused teams. However these mindset and cultural changes directly conflict with traditional organizational structures, resulting in the half-measure of ‘doing Agile’ vs. ’being agile”.
With the growing recognition that “Agile is eating the world,” surveys by Deloitte and McKinsey show that more than 90% of senior executives give high priority to becoming agile, while less than 10% see their firm as currently highly agile. The gap between aspiration and reality has led to a vast number of managers, consultants, and coaches claiming to be agile and offering to help firms become agile. Quite a few firms also have CEOs who are asking, “Why aren’t we agile?”
As a result, the term “agile” is often thrown around without any agreement as to its meaning. It is often applied to firms, or parts of firms, that have no substantive claim to any kind of agility. In part, as a result, firms that are in fact very agile often shy away from the label, “agile” and use their own home-grown vocabulary which feels more authentic.