A Much Needed Transition From Doing Agile To Being Agile In 2020


If you belong to a software development team, it’s common that you must have heard of the term ‘Agile’. Isn’t it? Most of us think doing agile is same as being agile. But in reality, both are contrary to each other. 

There’s a huge difference between doing agile and being agile. To understand the terms in a better way, read further. Being agile means shifting to an agile mindset. Doing agile means using various agile principles to complete a task. 

This is just a brief difference between the two. In this blog further, some major differences will be studied between the two. 

So, without further ado, let’s the start.

Doing Agile v/s Being Agile

Agile for Teams

So, until now, you must have understood that the two terminologies differ from each other. 

Doing agile just means that you are following the agile principles, techniques, and policies of the agile method. It also means that you are not adept in the agile mindset. 

When an organization falls in the domain of doing agile, its focus lies over means of achieving agility. Their search space remains confined, and hence, they use only pre-defined principles. 

Being agile means possessing an agile mindset. This agile mindset makes them think more about quality, performance, and the team.

When an organization falls in the domain of being agile, its focus lies on how to be agile. 

Let’s understand this through an example.

Consider a team leader. He gathers other members of the team inside a room and starts the discussion on the project. 

It’s like the leader is instructing the members what to do and others are just following it. So, this is an example of doing agile.

Consider another case in which the leader highlights the issues with the project. After doing so, the team members try to solve that issue(s). 

This is irrespective of the fact that the problem is not regarding their work. This is being agile. 

Now, these two examples must have cleared your doubt regarding the two. Now, let’s talk about the transition from doing agile to be agile. For this transition, there is a need for a coach to guide you throughout the process. 

To start with this, an agile organization has the following features:

  • Transparency:

Transparency means solving issues not driven by any pre-defined rules/principles.

  • Being Adaptive:

An organization being agile easily adapts itself to all the businesses. This is irrespective of the domain of the problem.

  • Start quick:

An agile team quickly starts working over the problem as and when the need arises. It doesn’t wait for any environment. 

  • Collaboration:

Being agile means thinking about the team and not as individuals. 

  • Communication:

Team interaction is informal and direct in doing agile. While in being agile, the interaction within the team is formal and indirect.

  • Continuous Improvements:

In a doing agile method, there are no continuous improvements. The being agile method, it lays more stress on continuous improvements. It uses both internal and external feedback for this purpose.

Therefore, a transition from doing agile to be agile is much needed today. But it is difficult. This transition needs changes in every aspect, the important one being in the team’s mindset. 

Hence, professional guidance is the most suitable for this. 

To be agile, you need a team where every team member trusts one another. Because in a team, it is better to lay trust in each other and not cross-check what we have done.

Hence, this was all about doing agile and being agile along with their transition.