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Is your organisation agile enough for Gen Z?

You’re an Agile pro. Everyday your team gathers for scrums, pushes through sprints and sails toward a shippable product. But are you really agile enough for the future? Are you agile enough for Gen Z?

Gen Z is the next wave of young people flooding into the workforce right behind the Millennial generation. They’re all born after 1995 (think Kendall Jenner or younger) and they’re a larger cohort than Baby Boomers or Millennials. Gen Z—like the name of the generation itself—is open to change in a big way. It’s the generation that will test how agile your organisation really is. But how do you measure your organisation’s own agility?

 

 

A good place to start is by asking yourself this question: is my organisation trying to ‘do Agile’ or be agile? If you’re focusing on making the processes perfect—‘doing Agile’—you’re probably straying from the original Agile ethos. Trying to follow processes too closely resembles an old fallacy: obeying the letter of the law rather its spirit.

It pays to remember what Agile is and where it came from. There are four main values in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development:

  1. Individuals and Interactions (over Processes and Tools)
  2. Working Software (over Comprehensive Documentation)
  3. Customer Collaboration (over Contract Negotiation)
  4. Responding to Change (over Following a Plan)

Notice that the emphasis is always on the human and dynamic aspects of development: individuals, collaboration, change. These human and dynamic aspects are something that Gen Z understands well: they embrace new technologies and possess a strong desire for social flourishing.

And if we look at each of these points they can be applied individually – and not to software development but to the way we work across our organisation.

Being an Agile pro means admitting your approach to Agile development itself may need to change. If you can be brutally honest about that, you’re well on your way to making your organisation agile enough for Gen Z and even older generations like Millenials and beyond.

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