Most transformations fail, a staggering amount! I once heard a figure that over 90% of transformations fail and I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is closer to 100%.
How many of us have watch companies start their agile journey only for a few months or years later they abandon it and fire all their scrum masters and coaches, regress and ironically years later start the cycle again often re-hire the very same scrum masters and agile coaches they fired in the first place! We are stuck in agile-groundhog-day!
Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results - perhaps the same could be said about us as we continue to jump on the latest in a very long line of failed agile transformations?
Worse, it would seem we creating our own demise.
Much like words, definitions change over time. You may have a definition well documented but how it's perceived is everything. As perception changes so too do definitions. The more we continue with these failing transformations and allow for poor implementation of scrum, etc and roles like the Scrum Master to be reduced to a "delivery manager" or worse a jira monkey, the more it is becoming the perception and norm.
Are we in a race to the bottom and we don't even know about it? "agile fatigue" is very real and even us practitioners cringe when we hear the words "tribes" and "squads" even "agile" at times! We dodge labels and do things by stealth but ultimately still fail in the end.
I am reminded of the (then) chief of army whilst I was at the Royal Military College who famously said, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” are we accepting this by allowing it to happen? By saying yes to a part in these large transformations? Is this our slow death by 1000 cuts? Have we created our own demise?
So I ask what is the future of being a Scrum Master and Agile Coach? Is there even a future? Do we need to radically change how we approach the adoption of agile?
Help me workshop how we might approach things differently and not allow ourselves be end up like taxi drivers vs UBER. Or perhaps we past the point of return? Perhaps there is a second wave beyond agile? A new agile?
Let's find out together!