January 12, 2015

The rising stars of Agile Entrepreneurism

It is 1998, it is my first day as lead developer at a major corporate and I don’t have a computer. I sit at my empty desk and my very enthusiastic boss tells me I need to give him my dream spec for my machine, a list of any software I want and what books I would like him to order.

After getting over the shock, I ask him what budget I have to spend. He looks at me with surprise and simply says, we have very deep pockets.

17 years on and I look back and realise I was too young to really understand or take advantage of what was happening around me. I didn’t have the entrepreneurial skills to make a difference. But I do remember the feeling that something special was happening that perhaps we wouldn’t see again ever. Our world was going to change and change big.

That feeling that something special is happening doesn’t happen often. It happened then. And it is happening again now, for the first time in nearly 20 years.

This time it will be a new set of entrepreneurs, this time we will have more patience and manage our risk. This time we have the past to guide us and this time I do understand what is happening and this time I am ready to take advantage of it.

The emergence of low cost public internet and the free internet browser kick-started the dot com boom, now we have a few free simple frameworks that have changed the way we develop. Scrum, Kanban and XP have changed building software for ever. We now have Certified Scrum Masters as a standard role who are there to advise and guide the team on how to be better.

Despite all this we are NOT yet seeing the real benefit of Agile in our bottom line at an organisational level. The teams are aligned around value but the organisation is not. Scrum Masters are powerless to deal with impediments outside of their influence and there is despondency and frustration from all sides. Organisations who don’t adjust will be left behind but those that are trying are feeling pain and they need our help.

 When times are bad is when real entrepreneurs emerge. – Robert Kiyosaki

Unsurprisingly, solutions have emerged to deal with this pain in the form of Enterprise level Agile frameworks. These frameworks will change our organisations, aim to remove these common impediments and bring the agility and alignment around value and risk. Understanding these frameworks and then building upon them is the cutting edge of Organisational Change and I.T.

We have Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) co-created by Craig Larman which builds directly on principles of Scrum and keeps true to its values. We have the Disciplined Agile  framework (DAD) created by Scott Ambler which has a strong technical and architectural background and we the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) created by Dean Leffingwell which has the big picture at its heart.

Entrepreneurism is being where the pain is, it is coming up with something new or combining what already exists in new and innovative ways and it is making money from the process.

If you have a handle on team level Agile but want to move to the next level, move up to Servant Leadership, become a coach, drive change in our organisations and take advantage of this new boom and become one of the leaders of the future, you need to get your head around these frameworks and where they are taking us.

The path to success is to take massive, determined action. – Tony Robbins

I have created Adventures with Agile as a community of practice to bring the thought leaders and experts to share their knowledge and create open discussion and networking amongst attendees.

If you have a passion for Agile and Lean thinking, are an existing change agent, coach or trainer, or you have explored and either been frustrated or had success at a team level but want to grow your skills and ability in Enterprise Agility, then I welcome you to join our group and attend our free and paid for events.

See all our courses here and events here.

In 1998, it took me 3 days to build my machine and install all that software. I read the books in a month or so. I had no mentor, no training and no guidance. It wasn’t really available back then. Perhaps with these I might have developed the entrepreneurial skills needed in time to make the most of the dot com boom, but at least we have these available this time around.

We are at the beginning of this great entrepreneurial curve and now is the time to get onboard or watch from the sidelines.

 

Simon Powers
Simon Powers is an Agile Coach specialising in large scale transformations and agile adoption. He has a background in very large enterprise architecture which has led on to organisational design and agile process refinement. Simon is the founder of Adventures with Agile.