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An image of a tombstone with agile commandments inscribed into it

The commandments of Agile

15th May 2019
Working on end-to-end product/service design means we have frequent discussions about methodology.

The organisations we work with span a wide range of sectors - financial services, energy, automotive. Typically, we see an almost religious fervour around shifting to Agile delivery.

We’ve built this out into a tabula as follows:

Questionable belief:

  • Thou shalt stop delivering in the bad old ways – huge, black box waterfall projects.
  • Thou needest to think and act more like a startup.
  • Thou shalt copy, emulate and ape how the world’s best companies [insert your favourite brand here] regardless of heritage, culture, mindset, skills and process you currently have.


The right kind of religion:

  • Thou shalt believe in the power of customers to define their own products. 
  • Thou shalt be comfortable critically challenging one’s own ideas. 
  • Thou shalt embrace the global nature of teams. 


Clearly, a few of our suggestions are more obvious than others - some are perhaps questionable or flippant. 

In reality, the context of the organisation in which you work and the culture it has will model how you deliver branded products and services to market.

Getting Agile right is about uncovering and committing to what works for you – yes you may need to transform your processes, priorities and tools but ultimately it has to slot into your organisational ecosystem.

Equally, setting expectations and levels of commitment expected from stakeholders to deliver in Agile helps. This protects the purity of the methodology and can determine the success of what you deliver to market.  

For more on Agile and its failure, here's some more thinking on the topic.

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