Is Brand Extension Diluting Agile and Scrum?

Is Brand Extension Diluting Agile and Scrum and has it already set the stage for it’s own demise? Is there a risk that these both will go the same way as 7 Up and sink into the abyss of irrelevance?

What’s Agile?

If you ask 10 people what Agile is, you’ll probably get 12 answers (since a couple of people will waiver between it’s this or that).

In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words, or so. Ask a consulting company what Agile is and you’ll get a picture that looks a lot like this London Tube map version of Agile from a well-known consultancy:

Source: Christopher Webb / Deloitte

For anyone new to Agile, this picture would probably be enough to deter them from ever embarking on the tedious and treacherous journey that this map represents. “Mind-numbing” is the phrase Ted used to use – I can see the executive’s eyes glazing over, right now, just looking at this dizzying piece of Op art.

For those that are not familiar with the term “brand extension,” it is taking a product or service and creating a new “flavor” with an existing product. The image above, from Deloitte, perfectly and beautifully illustrates (and drives home) this point.

The starting point was Agility, but now it has branched out into all kinds of various flavors:

  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Scrum of Scrums
  • Kanban
  • Tools (Jira, et al)
  • Business Agile
  • Scaled Agile Frameworks (SAFe, LeSS, S@S, Nexus, etc.)
  • DevOps
  • DevSecOps
  • Lean

Yes, it’s all “Agile” -and- in the end, it looks like an eye-watering “Where’s Waldo?” painting. And, I intentionally left Flow off the list since some versions of Flow are just an extension of Kanban. Flow Leadership, on the other hand, has been built from the ground-up in the fires of real-world assignments during the past 26 years. And the foundation and core of the framework and mindset is even more relevant and applicable today as it was then.

Cutting through the Fog

In Flow, we Distill the chaos created by and in the Deloitte picture down to this:

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

My guess is that Christopher Webb didn’t have the 4D Model in mind when he drew his map. His version feels a little like PMI PMBoK’s five (5) project processes (perhaps intentional on his part?) and it invokes a somewhat “waterfall” look & feel because of that.

The 4D Model is actually an iterative process and happens simultaneously, but at four different speeds, in the enterprise (Individual, Team, Product and Organizational levels).

Simple is not easy!

Marketing is a game of perceptions and I am sensing a major shift regarding all things Agile. The dilution and hybridization of Agile may improve some ways of working. For example, the traditionalists using waterfall techniques have moved from a 14% success rate to a 26% success rate during the past seven years (depending on which studies you cite) by integrating Agile thinking and ways of working into their methodologies. At this rate of improvement, the traditionalists will catch up to Agile in another seven or eight years (maybe), or so. And, the Agilists have been stranded at a 38% – 42% success rate for the better part of a decade.

Is this the best we can do? No!

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

We have seen amazing performance increases for Agile teams using the Flow Leadership Framework. One CIO (that is both an FCT and an SPC) trained his teams in Flow and reported back that his teams achieved a 300% increase in performance in 90-days. And, that was for teams that were already Agile.

In addition to clarifying the Vision and making sure that the right people are on the right teams, one of the other primary reasons for this increase is that the 4D Model is one of the few mindsets designed to mitigate politics and eliminate friction in your teams and organization. The key is Distilling Agreement. Don’t skip that step. Doing so will only complicate and delay whatever product, service or result that you’re trying to Deliver.

Flow Delivers Results!

Flow is methodology agnostic and will deliver consistent, remarkable results regardless of what’s being used at the individual, team and product levels in an organization. That’s been proven over-and-over again during the past 26+ years on assignments in Europe, N. America and Asia.

So, why aren’t you using Flow yet?

Let’s chat!

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For those that are not familiar with the Flow Leadership Framework & Mindset, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks or management tools that they use throughout their enterprise. Flow is methodology agnostic.

Are you ‘in the zone’ of optimal performance right now as a person, team or enterprise? Did you get there by accident or by focused intentional acts?

“Flow” gives you the way of working and mindset needed to create and maintain an optimal state of high performance as an individual, team or organization.

The Flow Leadership Framework turbocharges everything you do, including “business agile” leadership and Scaled Agile.

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

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