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Why Is Agile So Hard?

One of my favorite quotes about an agile transformation is “If you think Scrum (/ Agile / SAFe) is easy, just try it”. I have no idea who said it first, but it captures a lot. Done right, the move to agile will make visible all the problems you currently have, and then gives you a couple of weeks to make progress on them. While this is all going on there are subtle shifts in the thinking process that you have, which adds to the confusion (for more see What Are The Changes in Culture That Need To Happen with Agile?)

But under all this, I think there is something more subtle going on and that is the difference between “knowing” something and truly understanding that thing. A colleague recently sent me a video that really helped me understand the difference:

Clearly “knowledge” is not the same as “understanding.” But I think there are a number of other interesting lessons from this video:

  1. You have biases, and you are probably unaware of them
  2. If you already “know” something, learning a variation on what you know is especially hard
  3. If you “know” something for a long time, it will take a long time to undo that learning

Since most of us have been working software development for a lot of years, is it any surprise that we have difficulty changing how we think about the problem?

This is what I got out of the video - what else did you learn?


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Why is it So Difficult to Change to an Agile Approach? Premise Managing shouldn't be so hard. Knowledge work shouldn't be so hard. For most of us it is all about figuring out what the customer wants, and then figuring out how to get it to them in the fastest possible time, preferrably without killing ourselves in the process.


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blog/why_is_agile_so_hard.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/01 13:07 by hpsamios