Invited | Imposed


Agile Must Be Invited
Agile Should Be Directed

  • “When we impose Agile practices, we kill any chance for an Agile mindset to grow.”
  • “Why would I include someone who doesn’t understand Agile in planning the implementation?”
  • Everyone must co-create the vision for change.”
  • Leadership owns the vision for, and drives, the change.”
  • “What are the risks of starting Agile ‘wrong?’
  • “How does the way we introduce Agile affect people’s effectiveness?”
  • “What happens when we delegate more, or less, of the strategy for implementing Agile?”
  • (Conversation is about the needs/fears of individuals and the organization)
  • “How will we accept feedback on the approach we’re taking around commitment and engagement?”
  • “How do we ensure the needs of the organization are met, too?”
  • “How can we get our people involved?”

This bramble was identified at the first Agile Dialogs unconference as a possible one for discussion; see the proceedings. This particular one was explored further at Agile Coach Camp 2016 in St Louis with particular attention to identifying thorns.


2 thoughts on “Invited | Imposed

  1. I like this topic… I’ve been pondering it for some time. ‘Bouncing from one end of the binary dichotomy to the other, perhaps. Today I seem to be on the Invitation side of the balance scale…

    If you are also playing with options in this domain… I’d suggest two options are viable…
    OpenSpace Agility (OSA) is a repeatable technique for getting a rapid and lasting Agile adoption. It works with what you are currently doing, and can be added at any time.

    The other end of the spectrum…
    Scrum “Shock Therapy” How To Change Teams FAST

    What I suggest is not a viable option – to continue doing what has delivered mediocre results in the past, that has you searching for something different – take bold action. Now you are on an agile path.


    • Thanks David, these are great pointers to either end of the spectrum and when people dig in on either of these there is usually some middle ground that never gets discussed. What have you seen that gets people moving forward without causing them to react so negatively to something being imposed or feeling the invitation was something they could ignore? Was this gentle nudge something that occurred after pro-longed debate on these ends? If so, what caused it work? I hope you make it to Agile2017, as we will be discussing this as one of the topics in the Polarizing Topics Audacious Salon.


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