Implementing agile across different cultures | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

Implementing agile across different cultures

Research Briefing

Keywords: agile, agile methodology, culture, psychological safety, scrum, scrum teams, management, managers, middle managers, leaders

As any agile consultant will tell you, implementing agile in organisations rarely gives the same, or even similar, results and outcomes. The amount of variance that occurs during and after agile implementation is significant. The range of variance of agile implementation has been the focus of a significant amount of research effort to date. Whilst there are a wide range of variables involved in effective agile implementation, one variable in particular has been found to be the cause of a substantial level of inconsistency; organisational and macro culture.

In a number of studies the way that different organisational and national/regional cultures perceive and react to the core ideas underpinning agile has been found to have a considerable impact on the effectiveness of agile methodology implementation. . Examples of these perceptions/reactions include :

  • Treating the customer as a collaborator
  • Continual feedback cycles
  • Self-organised teams
  • Continuous adaptation and change
  • Reduced hierarchical influence
  • Data driven decision-making
  • Open formal and informal communication
  • Testing and retesting

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