Context: It takes us time to decide to fix problems, and we let some problems fester because we don’t want to get anywhere near them. When we are on a team, we can blame someone or something else for a problem, and often do. We might blame our own permanent flaws for a problem, feeling guilty. None of this blaming seems to fix anything, but we stick to our comfort zone. Pitching in to fix problems can associate us with the problem and put us in danger. It might be a tar baby.
We delay improvement by avoiding responsibility, leaving problems unresolved…
Creative organizations, teams and leaders often encounter problems, as they explore new frontiers.
In solving a problem, our biases can lead to a dysfunctional “fix”…
Completing a task may involve many people and many steps. If it fails, we often focus on the last people involved or the last steps taken (Availability Heuristic). If we don’t look deeper, our solutions could worsen our situation. For example, if bad news causes us to kill the messenger, we eliminate a good source of information (Shooting the Messenger).
Context: We can study others who succeed, imitate their activities and gain their skills. But these activities create nothing new. Once we have reached their capabilities, how do we know if we’ve improved?
Long-term success metrics provide poor short-term guidance …
Join Dan Greening for a conversation on Agile Leadership Patterns on June 17, 2015 at 6:00pm in Santa Barbara, California. Remote participants can join the meeting online. Dan first used and researched Scrum and agile methods at Citrix Online, several of his publications discuss practices and data from that early work. Now, Dan has distilled our understanding of agility into a small set of practices: if you do them, you’re agile; if you don’t, you’re not.
Please register and mark your calendar!
While agile has zealots, it is not a religion. Agile is a scientific method that converts economic chaos to profit.
Enterprises often have lots of time-sensitive opportunities and insufficient skilled or creative people (called “developers” in this pattern) to do everything.
Problem: Stakeholder competition distracts creative people, interferes with profitable work and creates office politics …
Something is Wrong, It Must Be Agile
To sustain rapid adaptation and innovation, we need good agile managers. But management talent is rare, and agile management talent even rarer.
Danger lurks when executives and managers don’t understand agile. You can tell when managers don’t understand agile: they don’t use it themselves. Agile methods, Scrum particularly, are perfect for managing creative teams, including management teams planning and executing strategy (see Strategy Scrum Teams). [suth2014]