Organizations that are true leaders in their field are ones that create customer requirements to which their competitors must respond. Their highest priority is the early and continuous delivery of value, be it product or service. They connect, surprise, and succeed. They avoid friction and bureaucratic nonsense. They embrace change, even late in the process. They value pride in craftsmanship, honor their commitments, and do all of this while maintaining a sustainable work pace.
These teams, these leaders, these organizations do all of this in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. What sets these entities apart? They are Agile, focused on adapting to change, delivering their value faster and realizing their full potential in a more efficient and effective manner.
“Agile” is the answer to working smarter. This is how you achieve competitive advantage and prosper in times where the rate of change is no longer racing up some line of ever-increasing slope, but where it has gone vertical and has become ambient.
We’re agility In Real Life, agilityIRL. We help teams, leaders and organizations, not “do Agile,” but actually become agile through our whole-system approach addressing the mechanics by which their work is performed, the culture in which those mechanics operate, and the interdependence among it all.
We are not abstract about this. Through our education and coaching services, we work with you to reengineer your mechanics to reduce transaction and switching costs, thus improving speed and adaptiveness. Because they are interdependent, we work with you to tune your culture to those mechanics, busting the bureaucracy, simplifying the complex and descaling the bloated.
Because we have personally led such efforts multiple times in the organizations that we have had the good fortune to lead over the course of our own careers, we can move from concept and theory to pragmatic issues in a heartbeat—our approach is field-proven. This is what we mean by “reality-based” and “agile driven”.
Developing an agile team out of fallible human beings is not a mechanical challenge. Teams and organizations are not assembled, fabricated, or improved by rewinding a spring, adjusting a screw or replacing a part. Instead, they are grown.
We have real life experience in a wide variety of organizational terrains and reading the political climate. We know how to test the cultural soil for toxicity or fertility and condition it accordingly. We know how to plant new seeds. We understand the laws of nature—the rhythm of growth, the importance of root development and not pulling up the plants to see how the roots are doing, and that there is no shortcut from seed to crop.
We know how to water and feed. We know how to prune. We know how to grow cuttings from established plants and how to protect the crop from noxious weeds, insects, and other parasites and predators from within and without. When faced with a field overgrown or mismanaged, we also know how to do site clearance in a way that leaves the soil fertile for new growth.
Throughout our decades of experience, we have field-tested these concepts and theories in the organizations that we had the good fortune to lead. Not given to passing fads and showing no patience for management-by-bestseller methods, we’ve built upon what we found to work in real life and have thrown away what doesn’t.
This practice test is an excellent addition to your preparation for certified Scrum exams: