You can’t run from agile

by Riina Hellström (@extemporea)

Rarely have I seen so much potential in the room simultaneously. These are the people twisting and turning Finland agile. Our common aim is to grow the agile ecosystem. Agile Finland’s CxO meetup was held at YLE on Tuesday.

It was especially nice to see that the “IT geeks” have welcomed other functions into the discussion, too. A year ago, when we started talking about “Agile HR”, people’s reaction was “HR? (smirk) We want to keep them as far away as possible from what we are doing”.

In the Agile CxO event there was chatting about agile and lean thinking in connection to i.e. procurement, marketing and branding, concepting, legal and contractual things and a lot about people issues including plenty of stuff which lands directly on HR’s backyard in corporations. We also touched upon board work for agile corporations, and these comments were not all printable. If Boardman(2020) is interested to have an agile get together, we definitely are all in. Clearly, this paradigm change impacts in a holistic way.

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Agile CXO 22.1.2015

There is no function that can run or hide from agile. Agile is meant to make the inefficient structures of organizations visible. If you work according to lean/agile principles in part of your organization, you will hit your head against some traditional non-agile structures eventually. If not on the portfolio level, you’ll hit it on the planning and budget level. If that works in an agile way, you might hit your head on the individual level incentivizing or a rating-based performance management system. These are actually on HR’s plate, but people, these are defined by boards. So, all the way up it goes.

Clearly, it is team sports to grow our agile ecosystem. And it is a long tournament, many different players are needed. Finland is lucky to have such skilled players in the field, though. Let’s welcome more practitioners into the game, and let them learn in their own pace.

I have started to learn this field five years ago with calling a friend and saying: “I read this Scrum Guide. It is brilliant. Help me get started with understanding agile”. And he did. Being an HR and people pro mingling with geeks has been fun and teaching. Luckily I speak “engineer” due to my education. It helps but is not a prerequisite.

You don’t have to be able to refactor code to be included in the agile movement anymore. You are welcome. Start where you are and dig deeper. There is a lot of help around. You can start by joining the Scan Agile conference 10.-11.3.2015 in Helsinki. See you there?

/Riina

 

Jussi Markula

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