Agile is gaining a lot of traction due to the results companies get from proper transformations. This was further seen during the covid19 pandemic as agile companies adapted faster. However, this creates a new problem of the quality of Agile transformations. There is increasing demand but quality of supply cannot keep up. Many transformation efforts are falling into chaos instead of agility and that causes hatred for agile as reflex. This bad implementation is what is referred to as fake agile, and I even heard the term organized chaos.
An agile transformation has 3 main dimensions. Culture, structures and processes (or practices). Culture has always been elusive, the agile culture is centered around a mindset that has the values stated in the Agile manifesto as a foundation. Then comes structure, structure provides the depth and is more actionable, yet still difficult, compared to culture. Processes are the most actionable and easiest to understand.
This fake Agile is very process oriented even though one of the values in the Agile Manifesto clearly states that individuals and interactions over processes and tools. There are different Frameworks and practices in agile but the point is to help individuals and interactions not make it more complicated and difficult for people.
The biggest challenge with fake agile is a lack of faith in Agile in general. Creating another mountain to climb. As if Agile transformations were not difficult to begin with. Many Agile coaches mitigate that by not focusing on what it is called and present it as experimentation and common sense even if it seems initially counter intuitive.
So how do we avoid fake Agile? Since agile is about people and agile coaches are at the epicenter of transformation, it is important to know the different kinds of coaches. These coaches are fictional. They can be internal managers, or external coaches, or consulting companies. What they have in common is that they cause real pain with no gain in the transformation.