Spanning 2,000 miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific coast, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America. In the 15-years before the Civil War, 400,000 pioneers used the trail to emigrate West—scholars still regard this as the largest land migration in history. It was an epic adventure.
They had no GPS , no turn-by-turn instructions—they had a compass, landmarks, and their own ability to navigate by dead-reckoning. Also forgotten are the roles played by trailblazing evangelists, friendly Indian tribes, female pioneers, bumbling U. S. Army cavalrymen, and scam artists who flocked to the frontier to fleece the overland emigrants.
Eventually, forged from their own experience of having successfully traveled the trail themselves, wagon masters emerged who made it their jobs to lead wagon trains to their destinations in a way that was safer and more assured of success. Wagon masters had become familiar with the routes, with reading the terrain, the weather, and the other conditions of travel. Ultimately, of course, it was the ordinary families whose extraordinary courage and sacrifice made this country what it became.
Fast forward to today.
The similarities between the Oregon Trail and the “Agile Trail” are remarkable!
Although it is still being written, the story of the “Agile Trail” also has its trailblazing evangelists, its friendly early adopters, female pioneers, bumbling regulators, and scam artists seeking to fleece the organizational emigrants. Ultimately, of course, it is the ordinary folks whose extraordinary courage and sacrifice will make their organizations what they will become.
However, forged from our own experience of having successfully travelled the trail ourselves, experienced with an Agile compass, and with reading the organizational terrain, the political weather, and the other conditions of travel, we at agilityIRL are seasoned wagon masters, and we have made it our jobs to lead others to Agility in a way that is safer and more assured of success.
Are you ready to lead the change within your organization? You don’t have to do it alone.
We start by understanding your “why”—why you want to become Agile. Some dive into Agile because it is avant-garde, others because they have an MBO box that needs to be checked-off. Frankly, these people are just messing with Agile like it is a fad.
Others see Agile as a route to improving the speed and frequency of delivery, while being adaptive to change even late in the process, all in service to customer value, thus creating competitive advantage, and all while increasing pride in craftsmanship and eliminating bureaucratic nonsense in the workplace. These folks see Agile as a game changing organizational solution—the answer to working smarter, not harder. This is the difference between the aspiration to “do Agile” and that to “be Agile.”
So, we start with “Why?” We work with you to clarify your and our understanding of what you want to achieve, and, most importantly, why.
Our experience with the “Agile Philosophy” goes back to its emergent years – before it achieved critical mass and was labeled, “Agile”. In fact, we were among those pioneering the use of Agile in a regulated environment. Also, while there are those who are dogmatic about their chosen framework, be it Scrum, SAFe, XP or any of the others, we consider all that adhere to Agile’s principles and values to just be different doors to the same room.
While others may have mastered the concepts and the theory, we have also mastered the pragmatics. Where others can only deduce from their grasp of the concepts and theory, we can induce from what we learned researching, developing, testing, and implementing the concepts and theory in the organizations we have had the good fortune to lead.
Everything we teach, coach, and consult about are field-proven—by us.
Many Agile consultants are able to offer quality Scrum, SAFe, or other Agile training and coaching. In fact, we do this too, even creating customized training to fit your environment. But, we go beyond this.
Every organization’s value chain is composed of two interdependent ecosystems. One is the technical processes and mechanics used to do the work; the other are all of the social and cultural elements that formally and informally govern the conduct of that work. A poorly understood law of organizational development is that when you change one ecosystem, the other must change, too; else the organization will ultimately reject the change. Frankly, this is where most change efforts fail.
At agilityIRL, we combat this failure by addressing your organization’s:
A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey Doc, can you help me out?” The doctor peers down, writes a prescription to alleviate anxiety, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.
Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest peers down, writes out a prayer to summon divine inspiration, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me! Can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid?! Now we’re both down here.”
Although it seems like a simple story, it explains the importance of having a friend that knows the way out. That’s where we come in. Many consultants have spent their careers in roles on the sidelines. But, not us. We have the scar tissue of experience in real life. We’ve run the plays sent into us, had plays break down for disappointing losses and game-changing gains.
We’ve been in your chair, responsible for the change. But, we’ve also been the pioneers, advancing the principles that would eventually be called Agile. This is why we can move from concept to theory to pragmatic issues in a heartbeat, allowing us to be agile-driven and reality-based.
Does this sound like you? Are you ready to be the match that starts the wildfire of change in your organization? We’re looking for you. To learn more about how to get started, to schedule a program or to learn more about our offerings, send us a message.