The agile method for business teams and personal agility
Vima is an Agile method (or framework) specifically designed to support business teams and personal agility. Vima's key differentiator features are calendar integration, multi-backlog support and catalyst leadership.
Vima is trying to solve the problem of identifying a set of useful patterns and ideas when coaching business teams in the context of an Agile transformation. Business teams have unique characteristics that distinguish them from product development teams and standard work teams.
Vima combines Visual Management with good ideas from Scrum and GTD to create an innovative approach. You learn to organize your daily work effectively, without losing sight of the bigger picture and staying flexible. It scales down to personal level and all the way up to enterprise agility.
You can use Vima with any team where Scrum and Kanban are not a great fit. For example, any environment with multiple products or projects, different types of work streams, date constrained work such as recurring tasks and deadlines, and multiple dependencies.
Example teams include most internal departments such as admin teams, marketing, sales, procurement, finance, legal, compliance, HR...; most core business processes, whatever industry you are in; leadership teams, small companies, non-profits, and personal productivity and family management.
Who is behind this?
How do I learn more about Vima? Is there an official Vima training?If you are an Agile Coach the best ways to learn Vima are: follow the authors on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, join the Vima community on Slack, read the materials we are regularly publishing on this website, attend a conference where we are speaking, or watch an online video. You can also reach out privately to Joke and Xavier via LinkedIn for punctual questions. There is no official Vima training or certification. All Vima content is free to read and use. For the broader audience, it is important to master Scrum and Agile fundamentals before focusing on Vima. Vima is heavily inspired by Scrum and there is a large overlap between the two. You cannot fully embrace Vima without understanding Scrum first, and we do not currently cover Scrum and Agile foundational topics neither in the Vima website nor in the provided materials. There is a large amount of "fundamentals" that are assumed to be known. In a way, you could say that Vima today is targeted mostly towards existing Agile, Scrum and Kanban experts. If you are an organization looking for Vima coaching, please refer to www.agilar.com for consulting services.
Isn't this just Scrum with some simple modifications? Or an implementation of Scrum for a specific scenario?Maybe. Vima combines many elements of Scrum with what we call "Visual Management". Vima is derived from and inspired by Scrum, in combination with original ideas first published in 2009 by Xavier in his blog. The authors are recognized international Scrum experts and guide level members of the Scrum Alliance. Xavier is a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Coach since 2009 (nowadays called "Certified Enterprise Coach" or "Certified Agile Coach"). Xavier is also a Certified Scrum Trainer since 2011 and Joke is a Certified Scrum Trainer since 2019. When trying to implement Scrum in non-native environments (teams that don't do product development) we were faced with challenges that forced us to substantially modify Scrum. We came up with some ideas that worked, which combined many elements of Scrum with our original Visual Management concepts such as calendar-based taskboards. After a while, and several success stories, we concluded these ideas were patterns. There is also the personal productivity aspect of Vima which is completely different than Scrum. There is a lot of resistance within the Scrum community to call substantial modifications of Scrum "Scrum". Ken and Jeff are a bit ambiguous with the 'container' concept but we can infer they frown upon forking and heavy modifications. Quoting the Scrum Guide 2020: "The Scrum framework, as outlined herein, is immutable. While implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum. Scrum exists only in its entirety and functions well as a container for other techniques, methodologies, and practices." We consider we had to modify some of those "immutable" characteristics of Scrum. Thus, we contend Scrum is not a container for Vima - we have changed some of the fundamentals. For example, there is no Scrum Master or Product Owner, the Sprint Planning is different, the Product Backlog does not exist. Based on this, we feel confident in saying that "Vima is not Scrum". We can have a debate on how many modifications there need to be, or how big they have to be, to justify calling something a new "thing" and whether Vima is a framework or just a bunch of ideas that might work for a specific scenario, but that is a discussion for the community forums, not here. Feel free to reach out to Xavier to discuss and debate this topic. I am open to comments, constructive criticism, and general discussion about the state of the Agile community, and where Vima and similar initiatives fit within it.
Can't you do all this with Kanban?Yes, you can do anything with Kanban. Kanban has been defined in a way to be so broad that it is no longer a method or framework. Kanban is everything and nothing at the same time. In other words, if you want to solve the challenges Vima addresses with Kanban, you can - but you have to reinvent the wheel. If you are coaching a business team, Vima gives you a set of patterns that will allow you to get started faster - you will "hit the ground running" as the expression says. Additionally, Kanban has no built-in calendar visualization which is something unique to Vima. So there are some things you will not be able to do with Kanban, or at least not as elegantly as with Vima.