Imagine this scenario in a training about agile mindset and methodologies:

Trainer: „Why do you want to be agile?“
Participant: „We want to have smaller teams.“
Participant: „We want to use Scrum.“

Why Agility?

Typical goals companies thrive for when introducing or using agility:

  • Accelerate product delivery
  • Enhance ability to manage changing priorities
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve project visibility
  • Enhance software quality
  • Improve business/IT alignment
  • Reduce project risk
  • Improve team morale
  • Enhance delivery predictability
  • Improve engineering discipline
  • Better manage distributed teams
  • Reduce project cost
  • Increase software maintainability

(Source: 12th Annual State of Agile™ Survey, 2017, VersionOne)
These are the challenges, the questions to solve, the WHYs of Agility.

What is Agility?

Agility comes in different shapes, mostly with values, principles, and practices, it is lived in many methodologies, like Scrum, and most of all: it is a mindset.
Typical practices used in agile environments:

  • Early and continuous value delivery
  • Market changes as new opportunities
  • Cross functional collaboration
  • Empowerment and self-organization
  • Trust in motivated people
  • Flow via pull
  • Work in iterations
  • Transparency
  • Simplicity
  • Technical Excellence
  • Inspection and Adaption

These are some answers to the topics above, the WHATs of Agility.

With this in mind, Scrum never is the question or the challenge or the goal. Scrum is a set of roles, events, and artefacts, and offers answers to -let’s say: many- challenges in our fast changing environments.

We do not do Scrum, because we want to do Scrum. We do Scrum, because it helps us to be more transparent, to deliver frequently and more customer focussed, to reduce the project risk, and so on. These are the challenges, Scrum is an answer… and there might be others.