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Adopting a New Philosophy to Thrive in the Agile World

12 July 2017

Saad Ali Jan
SE-Consulting GmbH

The world is changing rapidly. The traditional level of delays, mistakes, defective products, and defective practices are not acceptable anymore. Transformation requires that an organization overcome known issues and looks for the unknowns — a more proactive approach is needed. As customer demands change frequently, to counteract the effects one needs to learn and adopt a new philosophy.

Agile Principle 11 states, "The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams." This means that those teams have full control over the technology and employ a proactive approach rather than sticking with the technology solutions that were imposed by management in traditional development environments.

I am die-hard fan of this principle, and I believe and have seen in practice that in self-organizing teams, teams are free to choose and adopt whatever they think is important for delivering value to the customers. Teams are fully flexible in terms of adopting new technologies that embrace innovation. This comparative fearlessness about innovation is often considered a necessary tool to obtain high-quality results. I have seen the benefits that result.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming once said, "It is cheaper to do things right than to fail, rework, and afterwards do things right." This philosophy underscores a manager's tendency to blame workers for failures. In contrast, the empirical Agile approach encourages learning from failures. For example, Facebook's "move fast and break things" philosophy rewards employees for failing, as long as the lessons of the failure are learned and turned into cooperative benefits. Other Agile companies adopt similar philosophies as well. This is the way for companies to move forward successfully.

C. Zibreg, "Mark Zuckerberg says you need to 'move fast and break things,'", October 2, 2009,

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: 4 (3 ratings)


Prabhneet Suri, CSP,CSM, 7/13/2017 5:15:44 AM
The article is simple to understand. Im personally an admirer of the way facebook handles failures or flaws that get reported. Good and Simple
Saad Ali Jan, CSP,CSD,CSM,CSPO, 7/18/2017 4:46:21 PM
Yes. I always see positibe side of failures as long as we are learning from our failures and we are not experiencing the same failure twice.

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