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Ingredients for a Successful Transformation to Scrum

Agile Is a Mind-Set

28 April 2014

Agile/Scrum is the current buzzword for obvious reasons, such as its self-organized teams and its empowered, motivated individuals working toward a common goal. Miracles are bound to happen.

But to realize the real benefits of Scrum, the transformation of the team should be complete in all aspects.

Successful transformation to Agile depends mainly on the following two important factors:
  • Willingness to be Agile
  • Ability to be Agile
There is a famous saying: "Where there is a will, there is a way." This holds true for an Agile transformation. It means that when the team members are convinced and willing to be Agile, then nothing can stop them from being Agile. Agile is more of a mind-set than a method.

Hence our focus should on the willingness aspect rather than the ability aspect. When you are willing, then lack of ability won't be a problem, as there are many ways of gaining ability.

Conversely, if we focus more on ability, then Scrum will become more like a Waterfall exercise, as the ScrumMaster must play the role of manager, forcing team members to follow the Scrum method. All the Scrum ceremonies will be more ritual than creation of real value. Since Agile is a mind-set, then ability only, without willingness, can never yield the desired results and will do more harm than good.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 1.3 (3 ratings)


Tim Baffa, CSM, 4/28/2014 1:28:08 PM
I think this article over-simplifies the issue of transforming to Agile. There are many factors that can prevent a team from becoming agile outside of their own willingness.

The biggest impediment to agile transformation that I have come across is lack of concrete support from the excutive level. Rarely will a successful transformation happen from the ground up. Almost always, it is the executive buy-in and the willingness to change the culture that supports the desire to become agile.
Marmamula Prashanth Kumar, CSM,CSPO, 4/28/2014 11:53:26 PM
When you have the Top Management support then only we can go for transformation.My Article is based on the assumption that there is a Top management support. There are many cases where inspite of having Top Management support Scrum has failed.My article tries to address this.
Charles Cain, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 4/30/2014 12:30:06 AM

You indicated in the comment above that "My Article is based on the assumption that there is a Top management support". However, the article itself makes no mention of this assumption. If this needed to be in place then you should have included it in the essential ingredients of a successful transformation to Agile.
Marmamula Prashanth Kumar, CSM,CSPO, 5/2/2014 5:16:31 AM
Transformation is a very big decision, which is taken by the Top management which I have indicated above.You can correct me If I am wrong "Whether any Transformation can happen without the approval of Top Management" & "Many Transformations failed even though there was top management support but people are not willing to be agile".
Getting top management support for Agility transformation is very easy compared to making people willing to be Agile which I have mentioned in my article.

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