“Agile transformations: by invitation, not by imposition.”

Most people know that the principles underpinning Agile were born in software development. Niels Pfläging argues that those principles should have been broadened long ago, and that they need to be scaled up to reach beyond their initial domain. ‘Agilists have been somewhat selfish in that respect. The BetaCodex movement and OpenSpace Beta address the gap.”


Niels Pfläging is a well-known voice in the international Agile, leadership, and organizational development communities. A valued speaker and rebel thinker, he is not one to mince words. “Even the most modern Agile organizations out there still apply a schizophrenic, hybrid organizational model. The parts that focus on software development embrace Agile or Scrum, while the rest of the organization still clings to command-and-control. That is a source of friction for everyone involved, and it shouldn’t be.”


“Stop the slicing and dicing!”

Niels joins Agile Munich in May as a keynote speaker to spread word of a new approach to profound transformation, called OpenSpace Beta. “I’m very excited about this approach, because it puts transformation within reach of everyone, and every organization. OpenSpace Beta is a natural continuation of my work since the Beyond Budgeting Round Table, where I was a director for five years, starting 2003.

At the time, we anticipated that the Agile movement would eventually have to embrace the perspective of Finance and HR, and the business perspective overall, if it wanted to fulfill its potential, even within software development.

Instead, the approaches to bringing about Scrum or Agile remain as myopic as they were in the early days. Scrum is habitually forced upon people by imposition, and we are narrowing Agility down to functional silos or departments. In other words: We are trying to transform bits and pieces. Now it’s time to stop the ‘slicing’ and tackle the whole pie at once – tackling entire systems, or organizations.”


Full-fledged agile transformation in 90 days

“OpenSpace Beta combines the 12 principles of the BetaCodex with the well-known OpenSpace meeting approach: By beginning in OpenSpace and ending in OpenSpace, with 90 days of joint practicing & learning with all the right people in-between. Organization-wide transformation becomes a matter of months, rather than years. Transformation in such a short time-frame becomes possible when self-organization and engagement are unleashed.

This way, in just 90 days, entire organizations can embrace Beta, or an extended set of Agile principles. Not just in software development, but also in supporting areas such as HR, finance, PM/PO, or in marketing, sales or production.”


Organic and inclusive

“Very fast organizational transformation only works when based on invitation. It cannot be achieved through top-down command, or through bottom-up grass-roots activism. The transformation should unfold by working, of flipping the whole system – across departments, silos or functions, for it to have the deepest impact. No slicing necessary! I look forward to Agile Munich where we’re going to think through the process of OpenSpace Beta. If you want to see for yourself how it can happen, you should definitely join me there.”


Agile Munich 2019

Tickets are selling fast for Agile Munich 2019, which takes place from May 8th to May 10th at the Künstlerhaus in Munich, Germany. If you want to reserve your seat, visit www.agilemunich.com!


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