Many organisations considering, starting or who are in mid transformation-towards-an-Agile-company- stage wonder more or less if this is true: Agile ™ the one solution to rule them all.™
We hear different stories or we experience our own transformation in different ways. Some very successful, some not so uplifting.
We look at our Agile coaches for help. We ask other Agile companies or consultancy firms for assistance, but we still wonder... why? Why is my company not succeeding where others do? Why are things so unclear, where we used to have nice reports and status update meetings?
Why am I losing control of my company? Why is my Agile ™ broken and where the hell is my warrantee card?
And by now it all becomes clear to you: Agile™ isn't working, at all. All the buzzwords you heard or read about: it all loses value quickly as you see your company sliding down into total chaos.
Maybe, just maybe you expected something else? A clear-cut solution, a magic wand to make your company better, faster, lean and agile. Maybe you expected Agile ™ and instead got coaches. They started to coach newly formed teams, explaining other ways of working. People are becoming more important than the process. Change is happening.
Reporting went down the drain, along with command & control project management and quickly got replaced with deliveries, demo's and challenging the business people to think about what value their ideas have for the customer. It seems you're losing control. But is it so bad to 'lose' control?
Let's put it differently: what if you hired highly skilled, highly trained and expensive(!) professionals to do complex work that demands creativity, experience and special skills. Yes, special skills.
And what if you let them figure out the solution for your problem all by themselves? And... hold on, what if they show you a possible solution for let's say 50% of your problem after a few weeks? Would that be bad?
Now it becomes tricky, what if this team of professionals learn from what your customers tell you about your solution and solve the problem in a different way? I see a pattern here, you too?
What I see is that we should trust our highly trained, highly skilled professionals to do the job. Let them figure out how to solve the complex problems for you. Don't interfere with progress reports, time sheets and all that nonsense. No, give them the room, opportunity and tools they ask for and trust them get the job done.
What job? Ah! And here is where you come in. You know what your customers want. Your marketing and research department are in full flex and data is gathered and analysed. You know what you should do, now the only thing you need is to work together with your teams to help them understand what it is that your customer want and let them create it for you.
No command, no control, just agree on what it is that is needed to be solved and have the team solve it for you. I know that they are proud to show you in a few weeks what they've come up with. And are eager to learn if that is what your customers needed in the first place.
You want to measure progress? You want to verify how your organisation is performing? Ask your customers. Why?
Because hey, they're only the ones paying you.