Stefano Galati: Agile, Scrum, and the Journey Towards Innovation

22 March 2024

Stefano Galati, currently an Agile PMO and Scrum Master at Team Partners in Switzerland and the author of a series of books on Agile methodologies, now in its second publication, offers us a glimpse into his personal and professional growth journey, also influenced by the  Hybrid MBA English edition at Bologna Business His transformation from a software developer to an agile leader has been a journey of discovery, passion, and continuous innovation.

Let’s talk about your journey. Today, you work as an Agile PMO and Scrum Master. You are also an author and are about to publish the second in a series of books on Agile methodologies for business. How did you decide to specialize in this sector, and how much has the Executive MBA English edition at Bologna Business School influenced your human and professional path?

My career has developed through an exceptionally rich and continuously evolving path. Starting from the IT foundation as a software developer, I gradually expanded my field of action by embracing the leadership of development teams as a tech leader and then venturing into project management following established methodologies such as PMI and Hermes. This trajectory led me to explore and, ultimately, enthusiastically embrace Agile methodologies, proving to be transformative tools not only in the managerial landscape but also in the human one. In this context, I became particularly passionate about the Scrum framework, deeply perceiving the culture and the positive change it promotes. This passion transformed me from a simple user to a catalyst for change within my organizations, promoting adopting agile practices to stimulate innovation and improve operational effectiveness. My journey at the Hybrid MBA English edition at Bologna Business School represented a fundamental chapter in this journey because it allowed me to delve into emerging themes and understand how, despite growing curiosity towards organizational agility, many work environments are still at the dawn of its understanding and application. This awareness ignited in me the desire to contribute to the spread of this philosophy, culminating in the decision to write a book aimed at clarifying, simplifying, and disseminating Agile methodologies. My goal was to make Agile accessible to those unfamiliar with it without neglecting the depth needed by those who wish to explore it more thoroughly. In this context, I quote a phrase reflecting my approach to agility: “In the world of agile, the only acceptable failure is not to try.” This philosophy embodies my journey: a continuous search for growth, innovation, and improvement, both professionally and personally.

Your first book introduced many professionals to Agile methodologies that are applied to business. Can you share a preview of what we can expect from the second? Which new perspectives or methods will be explored?

While my first book opened the doors for many professionals on the applications of Agile methodologies in business, my commitment continues with preparing the second volume, which is currently in the initial stages of writing. I am excited to announce that the title will be “Agility Without Borders: From Kanban Efficiency to the Dynamism of Agile PMO.” This new work is a compass for those who wish to navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters of agile transformation, offering a more in-depth and diversified perspective. The book focuses on guiding readers through the journey of Innovatech (the fictional company at the centre of the series) in adopting and integrating the Kanban methodology with the Scrum framework. We will explore how combining these two powerful methodologies can result in a more fluid and flexible approach to work, promoting efficiency and responsiveness. In particular, the benefits of a visual workflow, process optimization, and how effective communication is fundamental to maintaining transparency and collaboration among teams will be examined. The book will also address the Project Management Office (PMO) transformation into a crucial element for orchestrating and supporting the transition towards agility within organizations. It will not only be a collection of theories; it aspires to be a practical manual, rich in applicable strategies and a source of inspiration for those seeking to implement or improve their agile practices.

During your journey in Bologna Business School and in your professional experiences, which elements of Agile methodologies have you found most effective in transforming theories into practical successes in business projects?

During my academic journey at Bologna Business School and my professional experiences, I had the opportunity to deeply explore the ocean of Agile methodologies, discovering the elements that best embody the ability to transform theories into tangible successes in business projects. Among the sails that have pushed my ventures towards the horizon of success, retrospectives and the pillar of inspection stood out for their extraordinary efficacy. The retrospective, a moment of collective reflection at the end of each sprint, is an opportunity to celebrate successes and, above all, an open forum to identify areas for improvement. This practice, the essence of inspection, allows the team to constantly adapt and refine its methods and approaches, turning every project into an iteration towards excellence. Inspection, then, acts as a pillar that supports the entire Agile structure, promoting a culture of transparency, openness, and continuous improvement. It is fearlessly scrutinizing one’s processes, products, and practices to elevate them to new levels of quality and efficiency. In this context, the retrospective becomes the beacon that leads to incessant progress. During the Master’s, I learned that mastering Agile methodologies requires more than just theoretical knowledge; it requires the ability to weave these practices into the fibres of one’s professional being. The essence of Agile, with its emphasis on self-organization and team empowerment, taught me that the proper leader is the one who knows how to step back, allowing the team to navigate its own waters, guided by the stars of retrospectives and inspection. By incorporating these principles, I learned that Agile goes beyond software projects’ boundaries, becoming a life philosophy. I learned to see every challenge as an opportunity to learn, grow, and, above all, guide my crew towards unexplored shores. Formal education is essential in understanding and applying Agile methodologies, and practical experience and continuous reflection are necessary to translate these theories into concrete successes.

Addressing current and future BBS students, what advice and reflections could you share based on your experience as an Alumnus, professional, and author? How would you tell them to apply Agile methodologies in the world of work, especially for those aspiring to become innovative leaders in their sector?

My journey as an alumnus, professional, and author has taught me that learning and improvement come from constantly putting oneself out there. The Agile world teaches that continuous improvement is achieved by questioning oneself and one’s mentors and teachers. This open and constructive dialogue allows for mutual and constant learning, ideally in line with the spirit of Agile methodologies. In my writings and professional practice, I have always sought to adopt a holistic approach, integrating different methods to create hybrid systems that respond more fully and harmoniously to project needs. I would advise BBS students to fully embrace the Agile philosophy in their journey towards innovative leadership through some key points:

Maintain an open and questioning mindset: do not hesitate to question yourself and challenge conventions, even in an academic context. This spirit of inquiry paves the way for new discoveries and innovations.

Adopt a holistic approach: Integrate different aspects and methodologies in your work, always maintaining an overall vision. Remember that significant innovations often arise from the intersection of other ideas.

Consider the cultural and personal context: Agile transformation goes beyond technical aspects; it involves cultural change and people empowerment. Recognize the importance of team dynamics and work to create an inclusive and motivating environment.

Experiment and adapt: do not fear failure. In an Agile environment, every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace experimentation as part of the learning process and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Promote collaboration and communication: An Agile leader facilitates collaboration and fosters open and transparent communication within the team. This creates a work environment where ideas flourish and projects progress effectively.


Finally, remember that the journey towards innovation and leadership is not a solo path but a collective dance. Be the choreographers who guide your team through the complex steps of change with the lightness of those who know that movement and adaptation are the keys to creating extraordinary harmonies.


Back To Top