Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 4

I started this series with observations that my clients appear to confuse strategy and tactics. They think agile approaches are tactics and agile tools are part of their strategy. That’s why they want to Buy an agile approach. And that’s why they want to Customize and then standardize on tools. This post is about this …

Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 3

In Part 1 and 2 of this series, I wrote about how an agile approach might offer strategic benefits. And because an agile approach changes your culture, I said the agile approach was part of your strategy. So let’s ask this question: Can any tool—agile or otherwise—offer you a strategic advantage? (I don’t see how, …

Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 2

So when does it make sense to customize your agile approach to gain a strategic advantage? Whenever you have a unique problem to solve that’s strategic to your business. Let’s start with a couple of examples. Example 1: Startup/Small Organization with Few Products SmallCo has revenue of about $30Million a year. They offer their product …

Agile Approaches Offer Strategic Advantage; Agile Tools are Tactics, Part 1

A number of my clients confuse their strategic ideas with tactical work. They think that the agile tools they use, such as boards, offer a strategic advantage. So they build or customize their tools. However, they adopt or “install” an agile framework or process without customization. Those actions lead to organizational brittleness. Instead, agile organizations …

Leadership Tip #13: For Innovation, Remove at Least One Policy or Procedure a Week

Some managers wanted to prevent Bad Things from happening in the organization, so they added policies or procedures. Now, these same managers want business agility. However, the policies and procedures increase friction and make it harder to get the Right Things done. It’s time to start removing some of those policies and procedures. The more …

With Agile Approaches, No Need to “Meet” or “Enforce” Deadlines

Several of my clients struggle with their deadlines. One of them, Brad, quoted Douglas Adams to me and frowned: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” He thought agile approaches would work to “meet” and “enforce” deadlines. I asked him these questions: Do you think people don’t want …

Fun Discussing Management “Mobbing” on the Mob Mentality Show

I had a terrific time with Chris and Austin on the Mob Mentality Show: Modern Management with Johanna Rothman. Is “mobbing” is the right word for management collaboration? Maybe. I’m not sure. However, the reasons we mob—to get all the people we need to learn and think together—those reasons work as well in management decisions. …

A Simple Way to Measure Work Satisfaction and See Trends

I explained in Leadership Tip #8 that measuring happiness was a lost cause because happiness is a function of more than just work. I suggested we measure satisfaction. And I didn’t tell you how. (You didn’t mind-meld with me, did you?) Here’s how I’ve measured satisfaction with several teams. I start with the 5-point scale …

Why Shared Services “Teams” Don’t Work with Agility

One of my clients wants to use shared services “teams” as they start their agile transformation. Their developers work on a product for months and years at a time. However, the testers and UI people are part of pools of people. The organization calls these testers and UI people, “shared services.” Shared service-thinking denies the …