Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Schneider's Culture Model and Agile

Schneider's Culture Model is like all models flawed. However, I think it still tells us something of value about the organisation we are looking at or attempting to change. If you look at figure 1 below you should be able to map your company's footprint on the various quadrants. How much focus do people put on the various areas? How much are they discussed? What attitudes do you notice?
Figure 1. Source: http://www.infoq.com/resource/articles/organizational-culture-and-agile/en/resources/Schneider-Culture-Model.jpg

Once you have mapped out your company and have an idea of the culture it might be interesting to look at figure 2 below and compare the two. Although some authors have stated that Kanban is a Control culture I believe that there exists an Agile Culture that is larger than Scrum or Kanban or whatever method you use. This culture is represented by figure 2 below. Of course one can implement any Agile method within, for example, a predominantly Control Culture. However, I believe that if your company is strongest in the Control quadrant it may be difficult to adopt agile values and therefore have a successful implementation (even if you use Kanban). unless you have a strong Agile Culture you will not gain the expected benefits, and ultimately may even have to abandon your Agile practices. 

Figure 2. Source: http://agilitrix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Agile-Culture.jpg


  1. Very good insight about the culture egg. I've seen that on the Stanford Advanced Project Management courses and in the Execution your Strategy book.

  2. Kanban is a visual indicator of what's happening in the underlying (i.e., real-world) process. It can be used in Scrum...or waterfall. Has nothing to do with command and control management approaches or the lack thereof.