A Guide for Going Agile

My company is in the midst of an agile transformation. We’ve pretty much got it working at the tactical level, but we are struggling a bit at the strategic level. We are getting there, but progress is slow. So I went looking for a book to educate myself with the goal of being more of an asset during this transition. What I found was Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos by Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez—and it was a good find.

I love that it starts out by showing how agile really works and how agile is scaled across a large enterprise before moving on to the details of agile transformations. Along the way the authors ask questions, never making any assumptions. For instance, they ask, “How agile do you want to be?”, pointing out that agile is definitely not the solution to every business problem.

My favorite chapters were chapters four and five about leadership and planning respectively. Leadership must buy in and, more importantly, model agile principles. Furthermore, they must be practiced in the finance process – planning and budgeting. Every chapter ends with a summary of five key takeaways.

Perhaps most importantly, the foundation for the book is the case studies throughout it that are the basis for the thoughts and conclusions expressed. I took a lot of notes reading this book, and I am looking forward to putting the principles I learned into practice.

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