Book review: Rethinking Agile: Why Agile Teams Have Nothing to Do with Business Agility

In this engaging review of Klaus Leopold's "Rethinking Agile," we delve into how the book challenges traditional agile methodologies with a mix of humour and critical insight. Leopold argues for a strategic integration of agile practices into business, rather than just team-level implementation. Through practical case studies and a proposed thinking model for true business agility, this book is a must-read for agile coaches looking to elevate their impact from the ground up.
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Rethinking Agile: Why Agile Teams Have Nothing to Do with Business Agility” by Klaus Leopold is a witty and insightful romp through the Flight Levels thinking model, especially its execution and value in the broader business arena. Klaus Leopold isn’t just another expert in Kanban and agile stuff; he’s a bit of a maverick who loves to poke holes in the conventional ways of doing things. This short and engaging page-turner offers a fresh, sometimes cheeky take on why just “doing agile” doesn’t always mean you’re getting anywhere in the business.

What’s Inside?
Klaus structures his book to slowly unravel the myths and hypes of agile, building up to a grand reveal of what business agility could really look like. Here’s the lowdown on what you’ll find inside:

Busting Agile Myths: Right off the bat, Klaus chats about how agile is often a shiny veneer on the same old chaos—lots of businesses talk a big agile game without really playing it.

The Team Trap: Here, he dives into why rocking it as an agile team doesn’t always mean you’re rocking it as a business. It turns out, that excellent team agility might just end up in excellent confusion if it doesn’t sync up across an organisation.

Scaling Shenanigans: Klaus is pretty sceptical about the whole “scale it up to fix it up” mantra. This chapter is a gold mine of examples where simply growing agile didn’t quite grow success.
Agile Meets Strategy: One of the coolest parts of the book is when Klaus argues that agile needs to get cosy with business strategy.

Real World Rumbles: Throughout, Klaus brings in stories from the trenches—companies that tried, stumbled, or triumphed in their agile journeys. These aren’t just tales of caution but also blueprints for success.

Blueprint for Business Agility: Wrapping up, Klaus doesn’t just leave you hanging with a critique; he offers a robust approach for integrating true agility into the heart of business practices, complete with tips for leaders to create a thriving agile culture.

So, Why Read It?
If you’re an agile coach, grab this book to shake up your thinking and maybe your practice. Here’s why it’s a worthy shelf addition:

  • Fresh Perspectives: Klaus doesn’t just regurgitate agile platitudes; he challenges them with a grin and a sharp insight.
  • Practical Nuggets: Between the chuckles, there’s a wealth of practical strategies mixed with real-world examples that you can actually use.
  • Big Picture Thinking: This book isn’t just about getting your team’s agile act together; it’s about weaving agility into the very fabric of your business strategy.


Final Thoughts
“Rethinking Agile” by Klaus Leopold is a delightful, thought-provoking read that asks tough questions and offers smarter answers. It’s perfect for agile coaches and practitioners, business leaders, movers and shakers. Klaus serves up a blend of humour, wisdom, and a little irreverence, making the journey toward true business agility not just educational but also enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to tweak, transform, or totally overhaul your approach, Klaus’s insights might just be the agile coach’s new best friend.



Rethinking Agile - Klaus Leopold

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