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The Sudden Rise of AI Will Single-Handedly Change the Way We Work in Agile by Dawn Nicole McIlwain Copy

When agile was first introduced, it was all about remaining true to its discipline and being somewhat of an agile purist. This was necessary since the agile methodology was still essentially in its early-adoption phase, and it was important that people followed the antidote to reach the intended outcome.

However, in 2023, you don’t get points for going by the book, you get points for producing outcomes that matter, thinking critically through complex decisions and rapidly responding to change, regardless of which set of Agile methods you use to do so.

We can no longer afford to be married to the Agile relationships of yester-years and instead must evolve, change, and adapt to the growing world around us; you know, actually be agile.

There’s this oxy-moronic notion that Agile should never evolve to meet the needs of the world we live in, and this simply isn’t practical. And rather than embrace its eventual evolution and attempts at refinement, many Agilists turn to in-fighting over which method is right, wrong, or better.

I have news for you: almost every single original doctrine or law in history has been updated or changed to align with the growing needs and new information of the world around them, including Newton’s Law with the development of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Revisions and updates are not limited to the laws of the land, even AI and computer algorithms continue to be adjusted & retrained every so many thousands of users to continue to assess and adjust its critical controls; and agile is no different.

In 2023, critically acclaimed as the year of the AI revolution, we will watch the Agile landscape change, whether we like it or not. We can be on the front lines of leading change, or we can get rolled over.

In the very near future, the agile conversation won’t just be about the many certifications agile professionals hold, instead it will be about how those certifications are being used to help companies think critically outside the box and move AI adoption efforts forward in meaningful ways.

In my upcoming Keynote presentation at IIL’s Agile & Scrum Online Conference on June 1st, I discuss how AI will reshape certain aspects of the agile professional’s role and beyond. For example, today there is heavy reliance on the human aspect and people involvement in Agile, yet in the very near future developers, programmers, and subject matter experts, will help to find the intersectionality between emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence in Agile.

Consequently, we will see a number of new things pioneered, such as programs that will not only be able to conduct a team retrospective virtually and digitally, but AI programs will be trained to determine trends in the retrospective feedback over a period of time. Or there will be AI systems that predict and anticipate what could happen tomorrow as a potential watch out, based on feedback being captured today.

We are just scratching the surface on how AI is going to be used and agile and rather than see it as an enemy, we should absolutely see it as an ally.

In my talk, I will also discuss how companies are changing the trajectory of what they are working on in order to navigate this new landscape of AI.

Many companies who had not previously considered AI functions are now recognizing that in order to keep up with demand and remain competitive, they have to adopt AI in some form or fashion.

Lastly, the other interesting thing about AI is that not every piece of automation introduced necessarily equivalates to intelligence. There’s a misconception that automation equals intelligence, and that’s not the case, just as many automobiles of the 80s and 90s were simply automatic vehicles vs. intelligent vehicles. It would not be until the early-mid 2000’s we’d see the introduction of true smart cars.

So, as you can see, automation and intelligence are related yet different, just as your sewing machine isn’t exactly intelligent, it is however, more efficient than traditional sewing methods.

What makes Artificial Intelligence truly “intelligent” is its ability to think, act, behave, and predict in some cases, like humans.

Although this is a small basic distinction between automation and AI, the ability for agile professionals to understand this, and a few other AI foundational aspects, will help them compete at the highest levels in their Agile Careers.


Dawn Nicole McIlwain-COO

Co-Founder and COO at Skilldora, an AI EdTech & eLearning company which is the first in the world to launch & earn accreditation for an eLearning platform using all AI Digital Human Instructors. Speaker, Published Author and Philanthropist, Dawn Nicole brings an unrivaled track-record for helping world class organizations deliver more business value and gain more outcomes in less time.

With a background in AI-eLearning, Business Agility and Building Globally Accredited Programs, Dawn Nicole brings advanced execution strategies & innovation to the table.