Becoming Agile vs Doing Agile (Research Keynote)

After 20 years since the manifesto, the latest state of agile reports more than 80% of organizations as "still maturing" in their agile practice. As agile methods expand beyond small teams and software itself, we are still struggling to answer these questions:

  • Why is it that some teams are more 'agile' than others even though they all claim to be practicing agile methods?
  • What all dimensions need to change as teams, managers, and entire organizations attempt to become agile?
  • How do these dimensions interact with each other?
  • Overall, what does it take to become agile and how does that differ from doing agile?

This talk is based on my original theory of becoming agile developed from 10+ years of industrial research of agile practice in New Zealand and India, which received the distinguished paper award at the IEEE/ACM international conference on software engineering (ICSE), in 2017.

In this session, I will explain the key dimensions that need to transition during agile transformations, using industrial examples, and highlight what you can do to progress beyond simply doing agile, to harness the most from your agile transformations.

This keynote will add a unique research perspective to the conference program, sharing agile research in an industry-friendly format and delivery style.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • How we currently understand agile adoption
  • Questions that remain unanswered (see list in the proposal above)
  • Key dimensions of becoming agile (based on my theory of becoming agile)
  • How the dimensions interact
  • Takeaways for teams, managers, product owners, and senior management

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the difference between becoming agile and doing agile
  • Become aware of the responsibilities of teams, managers, customers, and senior management in enabling effective agile transformations

Target Audience

Anyone practicing or looking to practice agile methods (teams, managers, product owners, senior managers, stakeholders)

schedule Submitted 6 days ago

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  • Prasad
    By Prasad  ~  22 hours ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you Rashina for your proposal .. it is interesting to see an  academic research paper. In addition to Thatagat’s comments; our conference normally attract lot of industry practitioners and influencers who are in their journey towards agility. I have not seen much academia representation, it will be interesting to hear on what experiments academia is doing to prepare talents with agile mind-set and practices and their impact in early employment..


  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  2 days ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks for your proposal Rashina. It is very relevant to the agile community. I would like to understand the following:

    • You say that you have developed your original theory of becoming agile. How have you tested the theory for real-world industrial applications? 
    • Your talk describes some prescriptive aspects of being agile. In general, these ideas are known the practitioners, and especially change agents. Does your ideas offer a diagnostic, and also a predictive capability? If yes, it would have great to share the test results from it

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