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SurveyMonkey Have Implemented Agile Practice, And You Can Too


Lean Agile Practice is a term used to describe the process of having implemented a Lean-Agile mindset in the workplace. That is a term use to describe the culminations of actions, beliefs, etc. of people in leadership roles whom embrace the ideas behind the Agile Manifesto and Lean thinking, striving to apply it to their lives on a daily basis.


This is explained in SAFe Distilled 5.0: Achieving Business Agility With Scaled Agile Framework by Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell. In their book, they identify the difference between a growth mindset, and a fixed, rigid mindest. They explain that individuals with a growth mindset are much more likely to embrace change as they are not bound by the same rigid thought process of “this is the way it is, and there is nothing that can be done to change this” that an individual with a fixed mindset would have.


In the book, they identify that someone with a fixed mindset would perceive themselves in the following way: “My potential is predetermined”, “Failure is the limit of my abilities”, “I’ve learned all I need to know”, “I don’t like to be challenged”.


Meanwhile, an individual with a growth mindset would have a different outlook as demonstrated here: “My effort and attitude determine my abilities”, “Failure is an opportunity to grow”, “I can learn anything I want”, “Challenges help me grow”.


Ideally, to successfully implement agile practice in your workplace, you need to encourage your colleagues to abandon the rigidity of this mindset and instead, be willing to explore what else can exist, if you let ideas take root.


Should you wish to read more information on the Lean-Agile Mindset you can read our article: Understanding Mindsets.


Forbes identified five steps to implement agile practice in the workplace successfully in their recent June 2021 article: Adopting The Agile Mindset. These steps have been paraphrased below.


Step One: Cast away the step-by-step management guide: you cannot implement agile practice in the workplace if you are still trying to hit hard targets every week. An element of flexibility, innovation and creative problem solving is required in order to be successful in this practice. This means that sometimes, it may take longer to solve one issue, than another. By ridding yourself of the step-by-step guide, you can allow your work to flow between parties with ease, instead of ricocheting from point A to point B like a pinball machine.


Step Two: Craft a team that will work for your goals: It is easy to want to have the best players in your company working on your new project, Jodie is great with numbers and Mateo is amazing with thinking around problems, but, will they be able to fix all of your problems.


We explore the importance of creating the right kind of team in our article: Catch A Falling Star.


Step Three: Start off small, with a project that can be delivered successfully in a fortnight: it may seem rather straightforward to not want to jump straight into a hefty agile project. However, by working on a project with a quick turnaround, you can immediately highlight what can be done better the next time around, not just with the project, but with how you manage future agile endeavours.


Step Four: Constantly add value during each iteration of practice: Again, this may seem obvious, but when implementing sprints and scrums, especially at the beginning of your agile transformation, you must focus on value. Adding something to your project that will improve it is essential, you cannot let yourself take one step forward and two steps back, especially with projects that need to be delivered consistently.


Step Five: Be willing to change directions: Of course, sometimes plans completely fall out; there are many instances where a new project from a rival company makes your work obsolete in its entirely, and you have to reroute your product, because the window you had, has been closed. Sometimes when one door closes, another one opens, and, if that’s the case, you must have a willingness to turn around and find it, instead of attempting to crash through a locked door.



There are many companies that have implemented this practice in their workplaces. However, recently, a new face in the world of agile practice is SurveyMonkey. This company is rather new to adopting the practice to allow those who use their services to access intel in an easier manner. Although SurveyMonkey exists as a culmination for data and statistics with marketing analysis at the forefront of their business model. The platform, has been used for varied purposes throughout its life thus far, from university dissertations to important data collection for business ventures. However, this move to an agile practice was not necessarily one that the world anticipated. After all, how could a company that simply crunches numbers for other companies perform any better than it already does.


That’s simple. It comes from the original purpose of agile methodology. Prior to being implemented as a business model, agile practice was used in the tech industry for software development. SurveyMonkey have moved to improve their practice through developing better internal processes of handling the data input through the surveys on their network. This means that the changes to SurveyMonkey, when you use their platform have been processed through an efficient process known as scrums. The new features on the website for consumer ease have been trialled internally in short sprints by teams on the other side of the screen. These sprints, that form scrum events are short bursts of time dedicated to tackling problems, and then presenting what has been developed for feedback.


When looking at agile practice for a business, it is very similar. For SurveyMonkey, which will henceforth be known as Momentive Inc., their scrums may focus on creating easier ways to present data in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner. However, for a company in a different sector, using agile practices as a model for developing their own products and services, each sprint in the scrum process may focus on attempting to work out the best way to solve a consumer problem, and work out how a theoretical problem can do this whilst still making the company profits.


Of course, with any business, making this change is significant. When you are transitioning rom one business practice to another, there is a daunting middle ground that inspires doubt in even the most loyal of employees. However, industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t— you’re right.” This means that when you are making these changes in your mindset and in your organisation’s foundations, there is a necessity to believe that your staff equally have the same capacity as you do to explore this new pathway.


We explore this idea in more detail in our article: Resistance Is A Lack Of Clarity.


Momentive Inc.’s CEO, Zander Lurie addressed his attitude to making this change to agile practice a statement. “If the last year has taught us anything, it’s the critical role that listening plays in organizational decision-making. Companies need agile software to better understand their stakeholders and quickly make the calls that shape better experiences for all.”



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), 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: arvind@theagileworks.com

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