Mirror mirror on the wall (1 of 4)
Updated: Apr 29
I already wrote the following posts which are useful reading for this post:
Why agility? .. (preamble to this post) - https://www.ace.works/blog/why-do-you-think-your-organization-is-growing-agility
Mirror mirror .. (preamble for this post) - https://www.ace.works/blog/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-preamble-to-1-of-3
The original Lean Vs Agile - https://www.ace.works/blog/the-original-lean-versus-agile-for-knowledge-work-or-is-it-and
I have noticed a pattern for how one can grow agility sustainably, directions of travel one might start with. Whilst avoiding recipes, I noticed these patterns:
Faking it but getting away from it via Kanban or some framework
Deliver faster (even if it's wrong) via a Trojan Horse
Deliver better value faster (but sticking with the functional org)
Experiment, be adaptive enough to turn on a dime for a dime (moving to a cross-functional org)
Back to the Future ( a framework free zone, or maybe XP - just talk to the customer and ask what they want next)
The above 3, 4, and 5 would be supporting by "Respecting No".
Kanban can operate for most directions for travel as per the Kanban Maturity Model. It takes a lot of discipline to stop starting and start finishing to get the benefits.
Many organizations just have appetite for going "broad & shallow" in the hope that they can:
copy, paste, and adapt something that works well in another industry / organization - that might that work with an experimentation mindset to discover which of what we copy works or doesn't work, perhaps supported by Toyota Kata. We can experiment beyond good.
attain agility while still stuck with a Theory X oriented organization, whilst injecting the organization with practices for agility, e.g., original Lean, SAFe (or new 4.6 at the time of writing with support for government as well as enterprise) , Scrum @ Scale, Spotify/ING copy, paste & adapt, Kanban
attain agility while still stuck with traditional roles that we lack the stomach to deprecate right now
service customers better than before with faster delivery
get positively infected by a "Trojan Horse" of new behaviors, cadences, roles, and processes
attain as much agility as is possible at this point in time that is at least not faking agility (if implemented well)
still support projects with not so long-lived teams, perhaps with external suppliers also
get some shock therapy to shake out of WaterScrumFall without fully complying with the full empiricism of Scrum (for example this genius move by SAFe)
Even for Trojan Horse adoptions, I believe in volunteering to the extent that when I detect NoNos on Scrum teams, I try to help the individuals involved to leave their Scrum team for their own sakes and for the sake of their teams. I am referring to people who will never say yes to change, not people who could perhaps be convinced. So I create an island for comfort with now, respecting no as as answer. I believe that should be the case unless Tipping Point Leadership is used.
Delivering faster is useful to a point. Once "plumbing problems" get resolved, appetite to deliver better value becomes more prominent, even if the organization is not ready to "flip". Check out my next post.
When is SAFe safe? - http://www.valueglide.com/blog/when-is-safe-not-safe