Why You Need Lean Beyond a Team

May 1, 2016 — Posted by Al Shalloway

This blog was inspired by a good blog by Luis Gonçalves called, 5 Crazy Reasons Why Agile Does Not Work in Germany. Good blog, although I think this blog is more about the limits of Agile than it is about the culture of Germany. Back in 2005 I started getting in trouble with the Scrum/Agile community for saying that effective Agile required Lean - the result being that I ultimately got thrown off the Scrum Development group for talking about the limits of Scrum and trying to "sell Lean."  Actually, I was trying to demonstrate why one should not get attached to one's approach but rather focus on the customer's needs.

Agile is a team based mindset (see Agile Manifesto: Incredible Success and Time to Move On).  Most organizations do not have team oriented challenges as their main issue.   Attempting to solve challenges such as Luis mentions (hierarchy, silos, over-planning, perfection and traditionalism) requires a mindset that can be appreciated by the culture you are working in. Attempting to solve these challenges with traditional Agile, for example, Scrum, is ineffective (see How Successful Pilots Often Actually Hurt an Organization).

The target for improvement should be achieving faster realization of business value (which, of course, is primarily based on customer value), predictably, sustainably, and with high quality. Agile is as much of a mindset as a set of principles but is too often expressed and adopted at the team level. This is like trying to improve a car's performance by tuning the engine when the tires are flat. The irony is one thing the Agile Manifesto got right is achieving customer value is very important.  This means we need to focus on value - not methods.

Net Objectives has been leading with Lean-Thinking in the software development world for over a decade. We've had a very high success rate in transitioning organizations to more effective methods and event transforming a few. We also incorporate Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming, ATDD, TDD and more to fill the client's needs. BTW - I am not trying to "sell" you on us - I am telling you you must do something similar to get effective results. 

OK, so here's the sales pitch - if you _do_ want to do Agile better, send me a note.  We provide free consults for people serious about improving their organizations.

Al Shalloway
CEO, Net Objectives

 
Subscribe to our blog Net Objectives Thoughts Blog

Share this:

About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With over 40 years of experience, Alan is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, SAFe, Scrum and agile design.



        

Blog Authors

Al Shalloway
Business, Operations, Process, Sales, Agile Design and Patterns, Personal Development, Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Cory Foy
Change Management, Innovation Games, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile
Guy Beaver
Business and Strategy Development, Executive Management, Management, Operations, DevOps, Planning/Estimation, Change Management, Lean Implementation, Transitioning to Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Scrum
Israel Gat
Business and Strategy Development, DevOps, Lean Implementation, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum
Jim Trott
Business and Strategy Development, Analysis and Design Methods, Change Management, Knowledge Management, Lean Implementation, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile, Workflow, Technical Writing, Certifications, Coaching, Mentoring, Online Training, Professional Development, Agile, Lean-Agile, SAFe, Kanban
Ken Pugh
Agile Design and Patterns, Software Design, Design Patterns, C++, C#, Java, Technical Writing, TDD, ATDD, Certifications, Coaching, Mentoring, Professional Development, Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Marc Danziger
Business and Strategy Development, Change Management, Team Agility, Online Communities, Promotional Initiatives, Sales and Marketing Collateral
Max Guernsey
Analysis and Design Methods, Planning/Estimation, Database Agility, Design Patterns, TDD, TDD Databases, ATDD, Lean-Agile, Scrum
Scott Bain
Analysis and Design Methods, Agile Design and Patterns, Software Design, Design Patterns, Technical Writing, TDD, Coaching, Mentoring, Online Training, Professional Development, Agile
Steve Thomas
Business and Strategy Development, Change Management, Lean Implementation, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile
Tom Grant
Business and Strategy Development, Executive Management, Management, DevOps, Analyst, Analysis and Design Methods, Planning/Estimation, Innovation Games, Lean Implementation, Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, Kanban