I am sad.
I do not believe I am oversimplifying when I say that participant engagement is absolutely essential to enterprise-wide process change.
I do not believe I am oversimplifying when I say that engaging people- at every level of authorization- actually creates ALL of the “right underlying conditions for agility” that are necessary to succeed.
I do not believe I am oversimplifying when I say that engaged people can and do routinely solve big, huge problems like “crushing system dependencies” without any help from an external authority. Being able to do this (without an army of consultants) is, after all, what self-sustaining, freestanding, enterprise-wide Agility is all about.
Accepting the idea that the “it doesn’t matter if you mandate it or not” is very much out of alignment with absolutely core Agile principles. Martin Fowler said as much, directly and plainly, back in 2006.
The fact that we as a community are willing to accept and approve of the idea that engaged people “don’t know how to self-organize” is something I am truly sad about.
Really? Is this true? Do we actually believe this?
Are we then to “manage” this process of self-management?
If the answer is yes, perhaps we are part of the very problem we claim to be solving.
Martin Fowler said as much in 2006: The Agile Imposition:
“…Imposing an agile process from the outside strips the team of the self-determination which is at the heart of agile thinking.”
Simplicity is what scales. It all starts in Open Space.