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Even Cacti Water Themselves: The Need To Measure And Grow

The way that nature thrives in the harshest conditions is the subject of many documentaries, but the nature of the cactus, a vibrant green, in a sea of dryness is always a standout to me. The nature of the cactus, bearing spines to expand their surface area, collect and store more water during the plentiful rainy season, and under its own momentum, sustain itself until that time rolls around again is spectacular.

Organisations that take on an agile transformation can be likened to the cactus, depending on their approach to the final stage, outlined in SAFe Distilled 5.0: Achieving Business Agility With Scaled Agile Framework: Measure and Grow. This idea is described by Steve Denning of Forbes where he stated that “an Agile transformation is a never-ending journey”; this, although referring to the implementation process, is also applicable to a growth mind-set, as an agile transformation never truly concludes, it is a cyclical experience, where an organisation constantly evaluates performance to learn and improve upon itself.

Since agile practice stresses the significance of being a learning organisation, the nature of further developing the company practice makes sense; you learn through market observation, just as you learn through product testing. Equally so, you learn how to improve from mistakes, shortcomings etc. perhaps you learn not to leave something so late in the process, perhaps you learn that being too stringent on an idea may limit the vision of the design team. You never know until a project is complete, and every WIP that moves from being in-progress, to complete on your Kanban board is a chance to reflect.

For further reading into the nature of learning organisations, look no further than The Agile Works; we have covered this in our pieces: Learning To Be A Learning Organisation, Are Learning Organisations The Solution To Active Disengagement and We Are All Learning Organisations.

By reflecting on each project, you are like the cactus; nourishing the progress of your organisation in a hostile climate, making sure you thrive, and survive to the next rainy season once again.

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (, is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address:

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