State of Agile using maps



My name is Philippe - I work in the UK as a change agent for agility in enterprises. I have drafted the attached WhitePaper about the state of Agile.

Whitepaper available here

It shows that:

  • The state of agile transformations is dragged into a commodity by the training/certification economy
  • It is failing the change it finishes to drive because the change is to happen in the Custom level and therefore requires different approaches
  • This is the result of a wrong focus on the practitioners rather than on the end users / businesses needing change
  • A chasm is growing and we should wonder when this bubble might burst. The cycle of new order items gets swallowed back into the codification / commoditisation whirlpool
  • It is all building up to something new around “Being agile” (as opposed to doing Agile) and how this is connected to Digital Leadership

I am working in this field and I am aiming to drive the next generation of professional services, which I call Coachulting

  • Though the people see the need for change, it is a difficult sell to the traditional management who “want the problem solved by consultants” without having to get their hands dirty
  • In this process many managers may find themselves obsolete and redundant (despite driving “doing Agile”).
  • For how long will the current situation last before a new order item disrupts the current nonsense?

Maps helped to crystallise the problem. Change should be happening between emergence of new ideas and Custom implementation in organisation, because the model of delivery is enabling innovation, quality, keeping costs in check, etc in a digital world.
However Agile is focusing on lucrative certification revenues and driving Product/Commodity into the market. Maps make it obvious that there is a Chasm.

Feedback welcome before sharing on the mainstream forums.

Best regards,


An agility model will require a finance/billing/budgeting function to control cloud service and code execution environment costs.

I imagine this will span across roles and responsibilities and include billing prediction, procurement, operational cost escalation mitigation, and even cost of curiosity.

Open source tools will probably emerge that can automate some of these processes and decisions during design, development and deployment. A marketplace of providers/resellers offering cheaper code execution environments (serverless) may emerge - similar to Amazon EC2 spot instances but with more finely grained price points and a wide range of SLAs. These providers will only be suitable for certain workloads and therefore require (agile) risk assessments too.


There are already cloud tools to analyse the bills and figure where the usage may not be that optimised.
The difficulty with those tools is to determine compared to what?

  • Looking at idle instances or over-processing vs usage (but if you have a monolith that will always be the case)
  • Unused environment over night? (why not descaling your test enviornment)
  • Data duplication
  • Reprocessing of large calculations because of whatever challenge
  • Unleashed worthwhile capacity on new value creation
  • Cost optimisation over the wasteful underutilisation of current physical servers

All the above can only be truly managed decently using a disciplined Kaizen approach / Culture. Most enterprises have been very bad at that.

It is really difficult to figure the baseline to compare. Many corporates will move a big batch of monoliths as lift and shift because of a corporate mandate and running out of a lease in their data centre.
Dumping entire monoliths and associated data into the Cloud (basically using Cloud as a Virtual server) is going to be very expensive. Cloud is cheaper if you take advantage of the elasticity but some will be in for a bad surprise once they lift and shift.



Hello Philippe,

I am seeing the limitation of Agile approaches within organization and how tough it is to go beyond the benefits of initial adoption.

A ‘continuous’ kaizan (coupled with occasional kaikaku) approach is needed - and for that it is the organization’s leadership ought involved - and be the ones driving it.

The "Agile Certification Industrial Complex’ also does not help.

I am interested in seeing where your maps and your hypothesis leads to next.

With Best Regards

Shyam Kumar
Agile Coach
Boston, MA, USA


Glad you are mentioning this as others have done.

Kaizen is not just a process, it is a culture. As such you cannot associate or interchange it with Kaikaku or Kakushin. Bigger change needs investment, coordination, etc. This involves many layers where the man/woman on the ground are not so consulted. Kaizen aims to find continuous changes that don’t need that, and are therefore within the reach of anybody in the company. It also reveals the challenges of driving the simplest changes and escalates through the company as a way of resolving systemic constraints.

Adding up the little changes of course ends up with bigger change, but it is especially resulting in a culture of driving and accepting change. So resistance is not such a problem.
The continuous improvements culture also drives an effort of evolution and quality (naturally). So you don’t need to end up with legacy through building up of tech debt. So you need less of the big projects that refresh the legacy that builds over time.

Kaizen is typically very much turned to problem solving, and in IT / Agile we are also looking for innovation. It is therefore important to establish how the Kaizen values can be applied to innovation. This is where Complexity thinking, SenseMaking, experimentation, feedback mechanisms, etc. You pivot from 5 whys to Obstacles-to-Outcomes.

I am currently working with teams working with Systemic Management / Coaching. Putting the team through its pace to let emerge the thinking from them, whilst guiding the exercises to enable this. I am working with many tools and workshops adapted to the conditions of the teams.

There is no magic mushroom method because it is about skills to develop the culture. Not knowledge to implement a method.

I am looking to work with a pair of Business Stakeholder / IT Stakeholder over Zoom (so anywhere in the world). I would consider discounts for this under some conditions.


I have taken some of the comments onboard and have now produced what is likely to be the final version.

Please download the WhitePaper from here

Some may think that my opinion is biased because I am positioning what I do on the emerging side. For those, I would say that the reason I do what I do, is precisely because I am following my own map! :slight_smile: