Tales of the Bizarro Scrum – Of Course We Are Agile!

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Executive: “Of course we are agile, everyone is using Jira now!”

A tool does not make you, your team, or organization Agile. I see many organization invest in tooling without investing in proper training and coaching. Our first Agile value is about focusing on individual and interactions over processes and tools. So, any tool we do invest in should be about supporting and improving team collaboration and communication.

When we start with the tool teams adjust their processes to fit the tool they are using as opposed to the other way around. These teams become too focused on what the tool can and cannot do instead of trying to address the real impediments they are facing and how they can continuously improve.

Deciding on what tool to use should be the last thing a team considers. I generally recommend starting out with very basic tools like walls, whiteboards, post-its, and spreadsheets. Work with a coach to get in the flow of Scrum. Once you have several Sprints going, decide if you need a tool or not and set it up based on your context and needs and based on the flow that is currently working for you.