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Man doing martial arts routine on the beach Agile Shu-Ha-Ri for Business Innovation

The learning pattern Shu-Ha-Ri—originally from the Japanese martial art aikido—has been adapted to apply to agile adoption, with the three levels sometimes interpreted as imitate, assimilate, and innovate. However, it is easy to oversimplify Shu-Ha-Ri, which can slow or halt your agile adoption. Agile is not just another process—it requires changes to our mindsets. Here's how to approach this as a cycle of learning.

Daryl  Kulak's picture Daryl Kulak Hong Li
Distributed team pointing out their locations on a map Creating Time for Collaboration with Distributed Teams and Agile Approaches

Many of us have horrible experiences with distributed teams where we can find no possibility of collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if a team is distributed, those team members need collaborative opportunities and space. What’s important is the team’s time for collaboration, not time zones. Here are some ways you can visualize when your team works and create more quality collaboration time.

Mark Kilby's picture Mark Kilby Johanna Rothman
Mentor teaching a new developer coding skills Learning the Skills of a Professional Software Developer

We hire for programming language skills or framework experience, but these are the kinds of things that any developer should be able to pick up quickly. David Bernstein says we should be hiring based on talent instead, and mentoring developers to write code that can be maintained and extended more easily. These critical skills are best learned on the job, which is why mentoring is so valuable.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Software professional identifying risks along a project lifecycle How Agile Reduces Product Risk

With traditional software development methods, you are betting that end-of-lifecycle testing will let your team correct all risks, but experience has taught us that this seldom happens. With agile, you are incrementally reducing risk with every iteration and release you do, mitigating risks as you go. This article examines each of the value statements from the Agile Manifesto to illustrate how agile ultimately helps us reduce product risk.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
Barriers in front of a road It's Not Just Culture: When Teams Impede Agile Adoption

Cultural norms can hamper successful agile transformation. Many of these habits and customs are started and perpetuated by senior leadership, but that’s not always the only source of resistance. Often, ingrained behaviors and thinking can occur within the team, including business partners, that also can hinder agility. Five of these barriers are explored here, as well as mindset antidotes to help get the team on the road to agile success.

Joe Schofield's picture Joe Schofield
DevOps team bumping fists 7 Ways to Change the Culture for DevOps Success

The hard part of successful DevOps isn’t implementing the technology; it's ensuring you have the right culture in your organization. You need to break down silos and align competing priorities and individual incentives to gain real benefits from DevOps. Move beyond thinking about technology alone and look at the people side of the equation. Here are seven ways to create a successful team that delivers the benefits of DevOps.

Steve Jones's picture Steve Jones
Cars speeding down a highway Accelerated Quality Using Agile

One of the huge benefits of agile is improved or increased quality. However, many newly agile teams report their product quality decreasing at the rate at which delivery is increasing. Leanne Howard has some solutions for these teams, including making quality everyone's responsibility and embracing a shift-left mentality. To get accelerated quality in your agile initiatives, you have to truly be agile.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
Horse leaping over a barricade Countering 5 Barriers to Enterprise Organizational Agility

Many now recognize that organizational agility is critical to business success, but historical patterns of resistance still abound. Before you can change work processes, you should first tackle the traditional mindsets that can pose challenges to the transformation. Here are five traditional behaviors that impede agility, as well as some actions you can take to counter them by changing the corporate mindset.

Joe Schofield's picture Joe Schofield
Team of cyclists Successful Agile Requires a New Kind of Leadership

In an agile world, team members are empowered to make important decisions within the context of the behavioral architecture, without having to ask permission from supervisors or managers. But these supervisors and managers are coming from a lifetime of learning how to succeed in a hierarchical world, so they will need to leave behind those ingrained lessons. In order for agile to be successful at scale, leaders will need to change.

Jeff Dalton's picture Jeff Dalton
Two agile team members standing beside a large globe Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals

Consider how your team currently organizes: for resource efficiency, optimizing for the individual; or for flow efficiency, optimizing for the team? Successful agile teams—distributed or not—should collaborate to optimize the flow of work through the team. This approach lets you understand your capacity, learn together, and deliver more effectively.

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