Category Archives: The Agile Mind
Many people live in fear of failure.
But what they fail to realise is that failure comes before learning; even in the dictionary.
That’s because learning tends to happen when we step outside our current comfort zone and move from the known to the unknown. And in the process, we’re likely to get things wrong before we get them right.
But did you also know that organisations using Agile in other areas of their business (i.e. HR, legal, sales, marketing, accounting) are reporting higher retention rates, quicker returns on investment and higher profit margins?
See that’s the thing about Agile…
Although companies might be having some success with Agile at the team level, scaling Agile at the enterprise level presents a new set of challenges – and therefore, requires a different approach.
For example, whereas team dynamics and customer collaboration might be key at the delivery level, leadership becomes a critical success (or failure) factor at the enterprise level.
So how do Senior and Middle managers make the transition from traditional management to leadership?
And what’s the difference between the two?
In the book ‘Black Swan’ Nassim Taleb introduces the concept of epistemic arrogance: where what a person thinks they know exceeds what they actually know.
On Agile projects, epistemic arrogance is evident when there’s a mis-match between what we think the customer needs and what the customer actually needs – something David Hussman refers to as ‘Product Arrogance’.
Although one of the key goals of Agile is to deliver value to customers early, it’s not uncommon for ‘agile’ labelled projects to end up delivering the wrong thing on time and within budget. From a Lean perspective, anything that does not deliver value to the customer is waste; and according to Taiichi Ohno, father of the Toyota Production System, “waste is a crime” – as well as bad for business!
In this video, Product Anthropologist David Hussman shares some valuable tips, including:
A fundamental truth in life is that there’ll always be more to do than we’ll have time or money to do.
And although projects are (arguably) a part of life, some Project Managers/Customers/Clients still believe they can defy this fundamental truth by introducing Agile – and then using it as an excuse to make unrealistic demands from delivery teams/suppliers.
However, the goal of Agile is not to deliver everything that the customer wants…