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    Entries in agile (33)

    Thursday
    Aug222019

    Overcooking the work - Overworking the cook 

    It was a reality cooking show and a competitor ruined the protein for all of the meals by overcooking it. In the bin! What a waste!

    This can happen in our everyday life. When we have a task to complete we can keep cooking and cooking it, trying to make it better. Then at some point it’s overdone, overcooked. What a waste!

    It isn’t only the waste of effort; also the waste of energy, time, resources, power, space, people ...

    Even though time is our most precious resource, we often act as if we - and others - have plenty of it. We still get distracted everyday, overcooking, overthinking and overworking, getting dragged deep deep deep into the work of our ‘cook’ - whatever the 'cook' is for you.

    The kitchen's 'rare/medium/well done' scale is a useful analogy to work out how much your task needs to be cooked.

    It’s best to scope out the minimum amount of work required (so you can then test or validate) before proceeding any further. You don’t need to go for well done, initially ... ever.

    Where might you be overcooking something at the moment? Have you checked with others, validated your thinking or tested out your progress? Pause and give it a taste test.

    Thursday
    Aug222019

    It may not be all planned out and certain

    I received a call from a company wanting guidance on transitioning to new-ish ways of working. We talked about why they wanted to do this, yet they also wanted a plan, a document that showed what would happen when so they could ‘roll it out’ across the business.

    But here’s the thing: as the world is all uncertain and changing, so too might this change or transformation process. The way it starts may not be how it continues or how it ends.

    As the team learns more, they’ll hopefully try more. As they try more and experiment more, they’ll learn more. And so this evolution happens of learning, experimenting and learning.

    There’s a kind of irony here. If we need to begin working in some more agile, adaptive and responsive ways, it will mean we’ll need to be more agile, responsive and adaptive.

    We can’t do it by being controlling and coercive and delivering 186-slide PowerPoint decks. It doesn’t mean no plan but it does mean being more adaptable. Throughout. Stay adaptable, responsive, interested in what’s next.

    Action: Talk about expectations of change. Some people want detailed information; others are okay seeing how things change, unfold or evolve.

    Thursday
    Aug222019

    Locked, blocked, stirred or primed

    Locked, blocked, stirred or primed.

    It's how I see people, teams and business on awareness of new ways of working. Work keeps evolving and customer needs do too, so we must adapt and respond to these forces. This is agility.

    πŸ”’ LOCKED - Unaware of old ways It's easy to stick with old ways of work not thinking anything is 'wrong' with them. But that view is most certainly fixed, locked.

    β–ˆ BLOCKED - Unaware of new ways If you're not learning, reading, thinking and listening more about how work is changing, this is most certainly a block to success and progress. Are you waiting for someone to do it for you?

    β˜•οΈ STIRRED - Aware of old ways With this new ways of work talk, many of us can get stirred up, rattled, wondering 'what does this mean?', or 'what will I have to do?' Just realising there are old, last century ways of working and newer this century ways, is sure to stir. And that's ok... because:

    πŸ‘πŸΌ PRIMED - Aware of new ways You can't un-know stuff. Once you come upon the way clever leaders, teams and businesses are doing things in this new world of work, you're primed, pumped and ready for change.

    ACTION: Plot yourself, your leader, team and the executive or board on this model - and have a conversation about it

    Thursday
    Aug222019

    Start talking about it - new ways of working

    If agility is on your company's agenda, then start talking about it.

    → What does agile mean to you?

    → Why is it important to you?

    → What are your customers expecting?

    → What things can you begin to shift and adjust as you move towards newer ways of working?

    → What older ways of working might need to go?

    Too many organisations impose change that disrupts employees and leaves them wondering ‘why’. So much so that no amount of town hall meetings or ‘ask me anything’ sessions will resolve or temper the uncertainty.

    When agile or agility is on the horizon, or is underway, start talking about it - at all levels across the organisation and with all sorts of people.

    Secretly configuring a change or transformation in the background that will be ‘rolled out’ across the organisation as of x date isn’t agility. It’s prescription and control - sorry, that’s still an old way of working.

    Develop, discuss and explore the need for agility in your business and engage with people on it, talk about it. You might need to be willing to hear some uncomfortable questions and uncertain objections.

    Action: Put agility on the agenda of your next meeting. Kick off with a conversation about it. Find out what people think. 

    Thursday
    Aug222019

    Don’t outsource your culture change

    Adopting new more agile ways of working is on the agenda for businesses - large, small, corporate, not for profit, government - responding to the needs of customers and the changing ways of the world. If a business needs to change how it is working, the culture will need to shift too.

    You can't hope to make changes to the way work is done without looking at what the culture might need to be like. Yet many organisations engage or outsource to a company to 'come in and do it for us'. It's ‘let’s get someone in, they’ll make it happen and we won’t have to do it'.

    Yes it can get messy and complex and tough, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

    Any cultural shift in your organisation will take time. It’s not a mandate; it’s a conversation, a demonstration, and a commitment to try on whatever new ways of working appeal.

    New cultures are created, meeting by meeting, conversation by conversation, task by task, person by person. They don't switch over like summer time or flick on like a light.

    So start now. It doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to have it all ‘worked out’ first.

    Action: Get your people together and start a conversation on the culture they'd like to work in.