AGILE COACHING LESSONS
If you impose a framework- ANY framework– on a team, you can expect weak results and disengagement. No one wants to play a game that they MUST play. A game where the beginning, middle and end of the story is written, by…someone else.
If, on the other hand, you explain that the story is yet-to-be-written, and invite everyone to help write it…that gets you some mindshare. That gets you some engagement.
You explain that the the story of the Agile adoption needs to be written…and that many chapters need to to be written…and that the beginning, middle and end of the story are in fact “under construction”…with an unpredictable and unknown ending…that creates an intriguing invitation to come and play.
OPEN SPACE is exactly like this. When is starts, there is no story. Just a blank wall. And the facilitator explains the game…1 law, 5 principles, a couple of funny roles, 1 slogan…that’s it. Everyone understands that the beginning, middle and end of this story are by no means defined. By no means prefabricated.
And then the Open Space participants are invited to write the emerging story, the one that can only happen there… and then. At that time. With those people.
“Whoever comes are the right people.”
And: “Be prepared to be surprised.”
And: “Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.”
If you are starting to think that Open Space provides a model for how your Agile adoption is going to ACTUALLY be successful, how it is actually going to scale.…you are getting much, much warmer.
If you show up with a pre-fabricated, imposed “scaled agile” solution, you can expect a lukewarm reception. Lukewarm results soon follow.
If you show up with a pre-fabricated, imposed “Scrum” solution, a game no one agreed to play…you can expect disengagement. The exact opposite of what is essential for success!
If you show up with a pre-fabricated, imposed “Kanban” solution, you can expect trouble. And trouble often shows up as a total lack of interest.
Because the very people who can make your enterprise Agile adoption “take” are the independent thinkers. This is true at every level: team members, managers, architects, directors and executives.
Your pre-fab “solution” leaves them cold. You repel them with your pre-fabricated “story.” The one with the prefabricated plot. The one with the preordained destination.
Scaled enterprise agility runs on engagement. You get engagement by inviting people to play the game, and be in the story, and be an author of the story.
So: as a coach, you better figure out a way to invite everyone to be part of the story, and figure out a way to invite them to be a character in the story, and figure out a way to invite them to write the story.
Anything less will not win the game.
Because: if you present them with a process-change ALREADY created, already written, already “baked“…and you do not get their consent….you are going to lose the very people who can (and want to) actually make your enterprise Agile adoption go.
Agile Coaching Lessons:
If you find value in these essays and find yourself curiously drawn to them, consider investigating OpenSpace Agility, and/or following me on Twitter and/or joining the OpenSpace Agility group on Facebook