(#AgileEngine – holistic and freely scalable approach to continuous improvement and systemic change)

Most agree that becoming (more) agile is something you should strive for. Even more so if you are doing product development. But, what is the optimal way to drive an agile transformation? How should you go about it?

How can you become more agile both in your primary operation and in the way you handle change?

Have you ever had the feeling that, despite good intentions, sometimes your organization is working more against you than with you? And, when going agile, there are so many things you need to learn and change before you can get started?

You often see organizations in need of change who fail in making the needed changes. One scenario is that big plans are made and targets set, but then every-day business kicks in and you forget about the plans. Another scenario is that you feel a need for a new tool or method to help you – and then implementing the tool or method becomes a distraction from your real change objectives. If you need to change, then change. It’s often the journey more than the means or the destination which is important. Because on your way you will learn new things and everything you thought you knew may change – again. You need to be agile to be able to steer. You need to find a way of managing your situation, so that you retain the lead and command.

Here is an approach that enables you to start your agile transformation right from where you are and to act on the learnings you harvest on your way.


The foundation is illustrated as the ‘Agile [and Lean] Engine’ (#AgileEngine). It’s agile, because you can run it at any speed and as smart and clever as you need/want/have to. It’s running lean because we are reducing the wasted opportunities as much as possible. And it’s an engine, because it’s what drives you.

— agile —
moving as fast, smart and clever as required

— lean —
wasting as little opportunity as possible

Here’s an illustration of #AgileEngine:

AgileEngineSimple v1.32

#AgileEngine allows you to start right from where you are. It is a non-assumptive, freely scalable and structure-free approach to leading any organization towards better performance, building on agile and lean principles.

Once you have set up your #AgileEngine – which is easy – you live by the mantra:


We call it the #NeverEndingGame! Part of this is busting risks, impediments and dissatisfaction in any shape or form.

AgileEngineAnnotatedWithGame v1.32

Where do you start? One plausible way to start is by visualizing how much work you have ongoing – if you are suffering from long lead- and cycle-times, then this is the place to start. Make your work mutually comparable to aid prioritization. Limit your work-in-progress by balancing your load to capacity. You probably find some activities which have no clear value or which are far from meeting expectations. If you have no or low confidence in their viability … kill them!  And then follow what happens.

What you need to drive your engine is to find the unique one thing that at any given point of time and level will be driving you forward. You need to make this visible and measurable, so that you can track and communicate progress, and so that you can course correct when needed.

Sufficient context understanding is required to operate the #AgileEngine: Business model, plan, metrics, goals and insight in prevailing impediments and opportunities. Part of this is a clear ‘why’ – a higher level purpose to guide directional choices in the transformation.

The #AgileEngine serves implementing your strategy and executing your business model! It’s a set of thinking tools for keeping focus on what is important and adjusting when and as needed.

The aim is to create an organization where everyone can perform and contribute.

An organization that will perform to its full opportunity, not just survive at any given time.

Find latest material from #Downloads (CLICK HERE!)

=== Some history

#AgileEngine started as discussions and reflections during XP2014 in Rome. The challenge was to find a structure free approach to drive agile transformations … my answer to this question is #AgileEngine!

=== Good to know

Continuous improvement is an area where many flounder because they only think process – you also need to think shaping of work, organization, etc … aka the full structure impacting behavior. #AgileEngine builds on the same set of ideas as Toyota Kata.

=== Public presentations

  • SDMD Europe, January 2015
  • Tecpoint, November 2014
  • #AgilityLab, October 2014
  • EuroSPI, June 2014
  • DELTA Agenda, June 2014