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To Mid-sized Companies: Join the Agile Revolution (already in progress)

I’m not looking for a job, but I like to look at the job boards on sites like Indeed to see who is hiring agile coaches and scum masters. Reading the job descriptions, I learn a lot about what posters are up to these days. What I’m seeing is that lots of Fortune 500 companies are starting their agile journeys in earnest. They have the money and resources to invest in this way of working, which has already demonstrated tremendous advantages.

What I don’t see is equally interesting. Midsize companies are not hiring personnel to help them along their agile journeys. Are they going it alone? Have they found a consultant through a search of Agile Coaching firms? Both of these are possible. However, the complete lack of job postings suggests that they are broadly behind the curve.

Having spent my career working with small and midsize companies, I understand that there are “reasons” why it’s challenging for these companies to adopt the changes necessary to begin an agile journey.

First and foremost, many successful leaders of small and midsize companies are still able to coordinate and direct the activities of a company of this size in accordance with their vision. It is only at a larger scale that their reach fails to permeate the entire organization. In other words, “it’s still working.”

Second, small and midsize companies are almost exclusively focused on growth and expansion and the challenges of managing it. Startups have a huge advantage of being able to respond to change rapidly with minimal effort. If they are successful, they grow and add bureaucracy only as necessary to stay on the rails. Pausing to realign the culture and practices of the company seems impractical -- a distraction from the goals in front of them.

To be sure there are other reasons, but these two are the biggies. But, what would their growth and evolution look like if they organized around agile practices earlier in their growth? I’m sure some have done just that. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you are such a company.

If you have not done this, I’d love to chat with you to explore the possibilities. You can do this simply by putting some time on my calendar. As usual, there are no fees, no commitments, and no pressure. By “no pressure” I mean I won’t follow up with you unless you ask me to.

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