After validating with different people in the Project Management branch, one tends to perceive that there is an inclination towards the use of Scrum, or creating one’s own agile methodology to modify a company's strategy in the face of Digital Transformation. And Scrum certainly dominates the market with several companies (entities) that offer Certifications, which makes it even more and better known by people and companies.
Now, Scrum is to Agile like a sheet is to a notebook: it is not the only methodology, it is just one more framework that became better known and made more famous in the market. It was construed by two colleagues who came together, and proposed an improvement process for Project Management, but eventually they disagreed on diverse aspects, which caused them to separate and each one generated (with few differences) their own version of the same process. For this reason, there are different schools with different approaches to the same framework. In the end, third parties appeared and modified the original versions according to their own ideals and took advantage of Scrum's already existing fame to make their way in the niche.
This situation facilitates things for that both organizations and collaborators, in different markets for services and products, to be easily adapted. However, Scrum is recognized as an agile and easy to implement management method, which is closely related to what was previously discussed.
Recruiters are easily drawn to these certifications, when they need to search for specific profiles. However, Scrum is not just one, there are many religions that profess it. Each certifier or institute has created its own version of this methodology. Some are more flexible, others are more robust; but with differences between them, which sometimes makes it difficult to perceive when they refer to one or the other.
Scrum, as well as any other agile methodology, is a topic on the move, everyone is talking about it. It’s something everyone thinks they want, or think they need. But ... is it so? Think about it for a moment, take a deep breath and try to define what it means to be able to apply Scrum in your life, in your work, in your organization. It is important to be able to clearly question why I want to implement Scrum? This depends on the use and the importance that it is given.
In a recent Webinar, a philosopher explained what agility and agile were, and what set them apart. After about 45 minutes, he asked the audience to explain the difference. Everyone who attempted to respond, mentioned they were different, but when answering some of his specific questions, they ended up being the same.
Interestingly enough, the philosopher said that agility was nothing particular or innovative, but something that has existed since ancient times; but that now people claimed it as theirs or gave it different names and offered diverse frameworks. He then gave an example that Machu Picchu was built based on agility. He is possibly quite right. Surely, he is not the first or the last person to think this, but in the end, each person gives it the perspective and perception they want.
Agility is booming in the digital age, and everything revolves around innovation and the creation of experiences that captivate the human being. Agility is an empirical process that, beyond creating frameworks or innovative methodologies, seeks continuous learning and expansion to other areas to generate better experiences and greater knowledge.
Personally, agility is a lifestyle, it is a set of tools that allow me to identify points of improvement in different areas. Agility is a set of practices that involve a shift in mentality and the creation of certain habits that enable a constant and continuous flow of change, innovation, evolution, for any type of transformation. It is an individual feeling that can be shared with others, to improve and appropriately handle events.
I've heard and read a lot of comments lately where people say, "I use Scrum in my daily life for everything", or "I use Kanban to organize myself." It’s interesting how this change of mentality allows a general adoption on the subject, to the point that the habits they have claimed, now have a specific name; now it makes them agile. And it makes perfect sense, agility has always existed, but we didn't see it that way until names and frameworks appeared, making us aware. Since childhood we have had iterations in which we learn and improve or acquire new skills, but it was simply the stages of life. Now these terms making us more engaged towards agile thoughts.
It may sound crazy, but it really makes a lot of sense. I recently listened to a Presentation where a person spoke precisely about this. Each day is an iteration (or sprint as it is known in Scrum), each proposed goal is an iteration, each stage of life is an iteration.
At the beginning of the day, I make a list of the tasks that I want to fulfill in order of importance, sometimes I even define how long I can spend doing these activities or how much time I want to assign to the activity during the day. Here we start the Scrum cycle with iteration planning.
The list can be made daily or weekly. For example: We sometimes tend to ask ourselves: ¨What did I do yesterday? What am I going to do today? What prevents me from moving forward? ¨ With these questions, we discover many things. Perhaps there is a lack of motivation or commitment, perhaps you are not really that interested in the defined task, or you really something that is blocking you from solving a certain issue. This is equivalent to the daily meeting.
We review all the tasks performed to see if they are finished, if they turned out well, if something needs to be improved, or if they stay that way because they meet their objective, just as they do during the Iteration Review. Then a retrospective is done to acknowledge what need to improve and what we can learn about the past week.
It is not something elaborate, we may already do it in our lives, but we had not seen it from that point of view; in fact, it’s possible that the habit was generated later on in life. The same applies from a professional perspective, our work goals, a project that functions with a particular methodology, or an agile organization. Which can lead to better adaptability to circumstances.
If agility on a personal level can enhance learning and benefit the momentum of change, what could be said about the potential that a company can have. We are in the digital age, we must move forward, not stay stagnant, evolve, and transform ourselves.
A company does not function without its employees and in turn must adapt, innovate, and improve. By managing the entire global structure, the business can adapt, learn, and cultivate continuous change towards improvement. All in all, working hand in hand, seeking the same goal, and allowing the generation of new ideas that involve everyone in the organization and grow accordingly.
Acquire new skills, new tools. Technology is on our side, but it does not depend solely and exclusively on it. People must work with technology, and utilize it for the benefit of the company, promoting areas that allow expansion and generate new services, on the path to a Digital Transformation.
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