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The biggest indicator that a company is struggling to adopt agile methodology is the visible presence of post-it notes.  This sounds strange because many agile practitioners are obsessed with post-it notes.

However, truly innovative companies who are authentically agile use digital systems to manage their scrum boards with products such as Jira or Trello.  Hard paper copies are not only cumbersome, they limit the level of detail and searchable record keeping that online systems provide.  There is a reason that Atlasssian is valued at over $10 billion and it’s because Jira and the like truly help with productivity.

So why are so many corporates addicted to their post-it notes?

It’s because post-it notes are great theatre.  In an office environment where everyone is watching everyone, it pays to appear as the champion of the shiny new trend.

And what better way to dramatically demonstrate your credentials in agile than by creating a physical monument in the middle of the office.  Not only are the colourful whiteboards of post-it notes hard to avoid, it gives the ‘scrum master’ a centrepoint to exude their presence and gain the attention of their peers.

The drama is of course completely unnecessary and wasteful.  But when a workplace is in the throes of adopting a methodology that focuses on increasing productivity, the good old post-it note is the top indicator that things aren’t working yet.

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