Book Review: Rethinking Agile

This book connects the dots. Rethinking Agile: Why Agile Teams Have Nothing to Do With Business Agility, by Klaus Leopold, explains in simple terms why organizations that adopt Agile tend to see these results, or should I say lack of results:

  • Their products loses, or fails to attain, a customer focus.
  • Their time to market for product features remains the same, unimproved by Agile.

It is not complicated — this is most definitely not rocket science — but conceiving, building and delivering products today involves so many steps and so many different types of expertise, that few people know the full picture.

That’s why: few people know the full picture, and so they don’t see what is happening end-to-end. Leopold links things together so you can see that,

  1. The way that product planning is done has a ripple effect all the way to delivery.
  2. The way that initiative funding is done tends to overload things and choke up the whole process.
  3. The way that product teams are fragmented causes them to always be waiting on each other.
  4. The way that the work of the teams is brought together — integrated, validated, and pushed into the market — also causes huge unnecessary delay.

One must look end-to-end, from the point at which a product or feature idea is conceived, funded, initiated, built, and delivered. If you only look at how it is built, you are missing most of the problem areas; and even within how it is built, the use of autonomous Agile teams causes fragmentation and huge amounts of waiting by one team for another.

And all of these problems are solvable. Leopold explains how!

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