I’ve worked with a couple of companies that are taking very different approaches to “Agile” recently and it has caused me to pause and reflect on what the best ways to utilise Agile might be.

One company is following all the Agile Scrum strictures and processes to the letter (with an almost religious fervour) and the other thinks it’s doing “Agile” even though it’s hard to identify a single “Agile” artefact or ritual there.
They would both consider what they are doing as successful so neither of them are “wrong” ..but which one is “better”?
On reflection I think the best approach to agile crucially depends on the culture/environment it exists within.
The focus needs to be on the outcomes Agile is designed to achieve, and as as much or as little formal structures as necessary should be implemented to achieve them.
The company taking a more formal approach has quite a “traditional” company culture and obviously feels more comfortable using a “methodology” that can be described, taught, learnt and read about.
The other company has a much less formal company culture and implementing very strict processes around Agile would be very counter-cultural.
At the end of the day both approaches achieve the same things though…
– The production of working software is the goal and success measure.
– The sponsors and software developers think of themselves as one team and frequently communicate and collaborate.
– They don’t fight change..they see it as an opportunity to further optimise.
So..there is no right or wrong way of doing “Agile”.
Focus on the outcomes or “What”..if they are not what you want them to be then have a look at whether a different approach to the “How” would be better.
Rorie Devine is an Interim CTO and Growth Hacker for gro.team. Give them a shout if you need someone exceptional parachuted into your team on an interim basis to help make you and them successful.