From Zero to Agile hero - 5 tips to succeed

It’s Monday morning and you feel that you should probably have spent more time resting during the weekend than you actually did. You show up at work and you feel something is different. It’s not the coffee or the ventilation and the printers are working as badly as before, but there is something going on and suddenly a big meeting has been announced for all staff.

In the coffee room the air is thick with excitement with a hint of anxiety, and you can almost feel the uncertainty that the unexpected meeting has ignited. You look around and you see the same glare in the management’s eyes, and then you remember that your colleague at HR told you that the management was going on a workshop weekend that they had just returned from and apparently that included a inspiring lecture about Agile.

On the staff meeting there is a hip slideshow presented by the CEO in a totally new company template from the workshop weekend. The CEO announces that he is convinced that Agile will do tremendous things within the company and it will be the solution for the company future success.

The slideshow ends and people are curious and at the same time confused about this new Agile thing and that everything will be Agile from now on, everything from people to processes and tools to techniques.

But what does that mean? What is Agile and how do you “do Agile” and how and where do you start?

The important thing is not to spend too much time preparing and just start and be prepared to adjust as you go, because the simplest explanation for Agile is simply learning.

If you want to succeed with Agile, you want to follow these 5 key points below. It does not matter if you are starting to work with Agile or have already started working with Agile, these points will help you with your Agile work.

Embrace learning – failing to learn leads to stagnation, and that make changes impossible.

To be able to learn you need an honest look at the current situation regarding people, projects and tasks. To understand the current state and way of doing things, often you need a bit of the past as well.

Get a common understanding of the tasks really mean ahead of time with your team.

You want to have clear goals or aims. Your team is a crucial part of all work and changes need to be discussed openly.

Build trust and transparency with your team.

Get people aboard by delegating tasks between people and be honest. Show your cards, embrace different opinions and healthy discussions and be Honest because Honesty builds trust and trust is key to empowerment.

Start working on an Increment of work that you and your team agree on.

You work on the increment for a short period of time, say a week, and then you assess the results of the work with your team.

Learn from previous increment.

Based on the previous work results, you make the necessary adjustments that the team thinks are needed and you continue with what was good. All this goes into the next project or tasks


By following the above steps, you are learning and adjusting as you go, just as when you drive a car – you are moving forward but you are also looking into the rear-view mirror every now and then.-

Some might protest and say that you only need a car with a big engine and a full tank of gasoline to move forward in an effective way, but make no mistake – if you ignore the above points you will only go faster in the wrong direction risking ending up in a ditch.

Only with a clear view on the road ahead and the learning from the past, you will be able to be more effective and more in control.