HBR OCTOBER 01, 2018 Newsletter

Executive Summary

In the spirit of becoming more adaptive, organizations have rushed to implement Agile software development. But many have done so in a way that actually makes them less agile. These companies have become agile in name only, as the process they’ve put in place often ends up hurting engineering motivation and productivity.

Agile processes go awry, because as companies strive for high performance, they either become too tactical (focusing too much on process and micromanagement) or too adaptive (avoiding long-term goals, timelines, or cross-functional collaboration). The key is balancing both tactical and adaptive performance. Whether you’re an engineer or product manager, here are a few changes to consider to find this balance: 1. Software development should be a no-handoff, collaborative process. 2. The team’s unit of delivery should be minimally viable experiments. 3. The team’s approach should be customer-centric. 4. Use time boxes to focus experimentation and avoid waste. 5. The team should be organized to emphasize collaboration. 6. The team should constantly question their process.