Groundhog Agile

There seems to be clear evidence that many agile teams and projects hit a wall in terms of energy and keeping everything alive. Many of the Mentors I speak to are successful at enabling the initiative, but how do teams and projects move on once the enablement has occurred.  Is it the case that Agile projects can only last say 6 months before they burn out, or become Groundhog Agile environments? 

Seemingly, this is what happens once the Agile Project has lost its dynamic focus. The businesses have tolerated the Agile way for months on end, now they see no difference from the previous method. Slowly day after day the stand up, retrospective, and planning games are becoming just the norm. All of a sudden it’s become Groundhog Agile, day after day the same old thing happens. The energy has been lost, the motivations and desire have evaporated, now the team are looking for a new way, a reinvention of direction.  In many projects the Agile Mentors are finished and walk away within the year, who picks up the reigns to continue the energy levels?  

 I’ve had the pleasure to work with many Agile teams over the last 10 years each with a unique method and direction. The one thing they have all had is a variety of different ways to energize the team and the teams’ environment. Having seen the Groundhog film recently, in my mind, after 6 months the projects fall into a Groundhog way of working. Who has the answer? 


2 Responses to “Groundhog Agile”

  1. Neil Martin says:

    I think i have commented on this in your blog elsewhere but i think a lot of it is about keeping it fresh. Teaching the ability to adapt. I don’t think any one thing can work forever everything has its season.

    Some times as well in terms of the business there has to be room for compromise you have to be prepared to understand the business presures upon the KDM’s and principals and be prepared to adapt your practises to accomodate this ever changing land scape.

  2. Oliver Galloway-Lunn says:

    It might be worth letting the team move onto a new project. If that’s not possible try switching/swapping some team members with another agile team (probably not more than a 3rd of the team) to reinvigorate the team dynamic.

    Another option might be to introduce some non-agile or junior developers into the team to allow them to gain some agile skills and experience as well as giving the experienced developers an opportunity to learn some agile coaching skills.

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