#SGZA 2015 Opening Keynote: Stop scaling… Start growing an agile organization

Posted: October 23, 2015 in Agile, Team
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently attended the regional Scrum Gathering for 2015 in Johannesburg. This is the first post in a series on the talks that I attended. All posts are based on the sketch-notes that I took in the sessions. Note, this was my first ever attempt at sketch-noting, so be kind!

keynote1

My main take-outs

Our working culture needs to shift

The environment in which organisations need to operate has shifted significantly from the time in which the science on which we base most (if not all) of our organisational and management structures was formed and tested. In those days, the need was for mass production. The demand was greater than what could be produced. For example, when cars were invented, people wanted a car. They didn’t care how many passengers would fit, how many doors it had, or what colour it was. They wanted to be able to afford a car (any car) because their neighbour had one.

Times have changed. The internet is a well-established part of our world and people expect goods to be tailored and customised and that this happens quickly. The environment in which organisations operate is one that is constantly changing. Applying the old sciences, proven with very different outcomes in mind, no longer makes sense. And hasn’t made sense for quite some time!

The new organisation needs to:

  • Have a client and value focus. They need to focus on learning about the product
  • Allow for self-organising and autonomous teams. No more single wringable neck. No more bosses or ‘leads’. People must be encouraged to ask questions and learn from each other.
  • Build things in an iterative and incremental fashion so that they can continuously reduce the risk of building the wrong thing.
  • Strive for excellence, which means striving for continuous improvement.
We are still bad at implementing change
  • Change should be principles focused
  • Change should allow people time to stabilise (how they work) before we try to standardise (how they work)
  • Change should not be about copying and pasting what worked in your pilot team to all of your other teams
    • Context is lost when you do this
    • Teams need to learn for themselves
    • It is better to coach teams through small, incremental changes that give them the opportunity to inspect and adapt
  • Change is not linear

You can find the full slides, video and transcript of the talk here.

What struck you about this topic?

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