What is hyper agile? Breaking down a commonly misused ‘hyper agile’ concept

20 Jul 2020 03:53 PM

Blog posted by: Helen Garcia, 20 July 2020.


In my last article: Will working with agility be the new norm now? I touched on some agile buzzwords. Now it’s time to clarify, let’s focus on the hyper-agile concept.

Hyper-agile is defined as: 

Hyperagility seeks to drive an agile culture further, beyond the walls of any one product team or project, embedding it into the organisational DNA. This is hyperagility.(1)

This is where we come back to agile misconceptions. There are many ways to describe an agile way of working and the imperative mindset change that is required.

As an organisation if you decide to commence on the journey towards becoming more agile that shouldn’t include a new form of labelling. Agile is not a focus point for one team, one individual, one division, it needs to be an organisation mindset change. Note, this doesn’t mean a top down approach, but a collaborative and transparent and organic change. And this doesn’t mean a big bang approach, it’s important to make small changes over time with intrinsic inspection to adapt and improve, this is always at the forefront of my coaching. Those small changes can even start with a pilot agile team. A team which will look at enhancing themselves and their environment to deliver better value sooner, safer and happier.(2) 

“Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” – Agile Principle: 5

So what is hyper-agile? Really? Well if you apply the real principles of agile leading to a change in mindset, starting with piloted teams, branching out over time when and if this new mindset fits with the organisation’s journey towards; faster feedback loops; releasing products often; achieving the most value from the return of investment; then that you are on the path toward becoming more agile not ‘Hyper agile’, ‘new agile’, ‘future agile’, ‘agile & flexible’ … or any other labels that have increasingly grown over the past few years.

If you are looking for a scalable framework to support this, Scrum can be used, although SAFe®️(3) is another option for an enterprise level change.

SAFe®️ looks at distributed teams, enterprise adoption, management involvement, ART(4) teams (5-12 people), with all this said, Scrum is a valuable framework to use across the globe, in a diverse and enterprise setting.

Tip: Next time you come across an agile buzzword, cross check it with the values and principles of an agile mindset and value added frameworks such as Scrum.

Take-away: Let’s remember that scaling agile would be organic. Forcible change is archaic. Building bricks with a firm foundation with a safety net of scaffolding to reaffirm values and principles along the way.

Agile processes allow organisations to be ahead of the game through continuous delivery. We all too often forget that the more frontwards you are against the competition the more you survive and the higher probability to thrive. And that’s when you 'get' what all this 'hype' is about.

Let me know in the comments the buzzwords and misconceptions that you know! I’d love to help support clarifying the real deal...

Read Helen’s blog ‘Will working with agility be the new norm now?’ about what we really mean by ‘being more agile’ post the aftermath of COVID-19.

(1) https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/agile-hyperagile-destination-journey-10182
(2) https://ukfinancialservicesinsights.deloitte.com/post/102fs7e/want-to-do-an-agile-transformation-dont-focus-on-better-value-sooner-safer
(3) Scalable Agile Framework
(4) Agile Release Train teams – cross functional team that build and deploys the minimal viable product (MVP)

About the Author

As a project practitioner with 10+ years of experience across a number of industries and sectors, reaching from rail, simulation, cloud platforms and pharmaceuticals, I have a deep understanding of project methodologies.  I am passionate about delivering change, striving to serve others by enabling recognition, inspection and adaptation as a team to drive organisational change. I strongly believe in guiding others and in doing so this motivates me.

My goal is to enable households and businesses to adopt an agile mindset, not through purists approaches but in reflection of what we have learnt and how we can use this to continuously evolve into better versions of ourselves, our teams and our organisations. 

Follow me on twitter: @hels_wills – Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-g-80a93340/  or check out by website at: https://maykitprojects.com/