Agile emphasizes learning. And learning is a little like reaching an agile escape velocity, where the elusive goal is reaching space - and more importantly - staying there as we build on the experience of getting from one altitude to the next.
A sub-orbital launch gets you into space - you get to see some of the sights and experience weightlessness, but it takes energy to keep you there, and without constant attention you’re quickly on your way back down to Earth. Think of this as simple, isolated or team-based agile. Learning is emerging, but difficult to sustain.
Reaching a stationary orbit is the next stop. More stable and resilient to organizational change, synchronous agile teams change the world around them. Like satellites, they enable a step-change in how things get done. Synchronous teams still require energy and effort to maintain their ‘orbits’ but they also run themselves well and can become a stable fixture in your organizational environment. You are now experiencing a learning organization.
The goal, though, is to achieve escape velocity. Shoot for the Moon! Organic agile teams allow you to change the paradigm. Technology-enabled organic agile teams define a new norm. When organic agile teams are perturbed they are more likely to fall back into agile ways of working than traditional ways of working. Now, the stars really are at your feet. You choose where to go, what planets to explore. Every pattern is valuable, and in order to reach the moon you’re going to have to get good at each step along the way. But ultimately, the journey is worth it. The views are incredible, and when you get there the opportunities are limitless.