Agile failure is now a fact. Industry research shows that organizations are failing at Agile – they are getting some benefits but the promise is unfilled. And this has been true for years. It’s not new.

We know how to make Agile work on teams and it’s amazingly successful.

And yet, we see failure, resistance and conflict at the organizational level. Agile is being asked to deliver organizational high performance and is failing. Why?

Failure Reasons (from Version 1)

Here is research from Version 1 that people report as the barriers to progress with Agile:

Top five reasons are:

  • Company philosophy or culture at odds with agile values
  • Lack of experience with Agile methods
  • Lack of management support
  • General organizational resistance to change
  • Lack of business/customer/product owner

Failure Reasons (via My Research)

Here is my research conducted around the world at meetups, conferences and my Certified Agile Leadership Training. This is what people say when I survey them about why they are failing with Agile:

  • Agile Mindset Challenged or Lacking
  • Leadership Behaviour
  • Organizational Culture
  • Lot’s of “Doing Agile”, not “Being Agile”

So why is Agile Failing?

There are two main reasons.

1. Agile represents and requires a particular culture system. See: 80% of Organizations Have Culture Challenges

2. Agile is focused on teams, not individual behaviour or organizational design. It needs to be extended to include people and organizations. See: Whole Agile – Unleash People & Organizations

What you can do now

Look for signs of Agile failure in your organization. Checklist:

  1. Culture not supportive of Agile?
  2. Culture is not discussed or an afterthought?
  3. Leaders do not model Agile Mindset?
  4. No clear plan for shifting culture?
  5. Mixed messages from Leadership?
  6. Conflicting or unhelpful metrics?
  7. Conflict between different departments or groups?
  8. Teams not supporting each other?

Learn More

Join me worldwide for my unique Certified Agile Leadership Experience (CAL1) to unlock high performance in your organization.

  • Execute a step by step playbook for engaging leaders
  • Connect leadership behaviours with organizational culture
  • Foster an “agile” organization aligned with the Agile Mindset
  • Become an effective leader
  • Evolve culture at all levels of the organization
  • See causes of resistance and eliminate them