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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 5, 2021

Oftentimes, those who practice agility will turn their nose up at teams or companies that are not doing agile perfectly. And though the agile practices are important and are great pathways to success, many teams and companies often find ways that work for them that are not perfect agile. In this conversation, Dan and Sam highlight some of the ways in which companies and teams find what works for them, why perfect practicing agility isn’t the end-all-be-all, share the key characteristics for succeeding in agile, and, most importantly: why you shouldn’t be getting your agile shorts in a knot!


Key Takeaways

Should a team or company be doing agility perfectly?

If a team finds a helpful practice for them, then that’s what they should do 

“That’s not agile,” or “That’s not the way story points work,” is not very helpful to somebody

It’s important to remember that everyone is on their own agile journey and you shouldn’t judge where they are right now in it

An agility mindset is what really matters; they will improve their practice over time

As long as it works for them, they’re delivering, and their customers are happy then they’re good

Just because a team isn’t doing something by the book doesn’t mean they are wrong in doing it

Advice in entering a new role within a company that’s getting started with agility:

Enter the company/role with curiosity

Just because the role states you will be doing certain things doesn’t mean you will always be doing those things/won’t be doing other things

Start with what the company already knows/is doing; you can adapt as you go along

If you’re interviewing for a position of any kind, it’s not just about, “Do they want you?” but, “Do you want them?”

When selecting a company you want to work for it is important to make sure that they breed a culture of innovation (regardless of where they are in their agile journey) and have a culture of constantly wanting to inspect, adapt, and innovate

Strategies for failure in agility:

There are degrees of planning that can be unhelpful when trying to forecast things out — but zero planning is also a strategy for failure

There is this idea that agility is a binary state (I.e. “You either are or you are not agile”) — agility is more of a continuum (it never truly ends)

Key characteristics for succeeding in agile:

Curiosity is a key characteristic of anybody who wants to succeed in agile

Low tolerance for impedance and that we cannot change things; we have to do it this way

Question how things could be done/how things could be done differently

Asking: “What would happen if ______?”

Having an experimental mindset

Don’t make assumptions about what you think are bad practices/what isn’t agile you could learn a lot from these experiences


Mentioned in this Episode: — Visit for AgileThought’s upcoming virtual events & RSVP!

Agile Coaches Corner Ep. 116: “Modern Management Made Easy with Johanna Rothman”


Ralph Stacey Chart

Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis, by Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman

Johanna Rothman’s Modern Management Made Easy Book Series


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