Seeking for answers which I won’t provide
During one of our last classes we got a question from one of our students – which best practices can we copy from you and introduce during our transformation process to make whole process simple and gain expected results quicker? This is kind of question where you already know that response you are going to provide won’t be the expected one.
Such kind of questions aren’t surprising but still very interesting.
Choose the method to the problem you are dealing with
Scrum is a framework which allows to address complex problems. By complex I mean problems without clear and single path towards the solution. There are multiple variables and elements of systems (people, business units, partners, laws, processes etc). All are connected with each other without obvious input-output path. In such environments hypothesis driven approach helps you to understand where you are and adapt to new conditions based on gain data and knowledge(Probe->Sense->Respond). For more details check Cynefin framework.
Transformations – what kind of challenge is it?
Transformation of organization is not a simple task. There are many people involved, each of them has her own opinions, experience and quite often different agenda. Business is still there around and don’t want to wait until the change process ‘ends’. In my opinion it’s more a definition of complex and chaotic environment rather than organised, predictable from A to Z approach.
Why are we looking for simple solutions?
As humans we often try to avoid situations when we do not know how to act. It’s kind of in our nature to find approach, quickly decide and move forward. Even if evidence shows the path is not valid. The feeling that something is not done and solved causes tensions and breaks the pace of our daily work duties. And we, people, do not like such tensions.
What are your main duties, dear leader?
From my observation, quite often transformation process sounds like additional task to be done. Added to the pile of all stuff we should do every day. When I ask managers what are they daily routines, I often hear – fire fighting, urgent calls, emails, decisions, solving teams problems, many actions and changes during the day etc. Some will say – management. I would say – being busy. It’s funny and also sad how often I see someone leaving the room during training class to answer a call or write new email because of bad situation at office. What is even more interesting, such kind of approach is also recognised as good, hard work of an important person and being rewarded be other leaders. So nothing surprising that transformation of organization (as tough and long process) doesn’t match the normally used routine.
Why do you hate little kitties?
So here is the surprise, what if I told you every time you extinguish the fire one lovely kitty dies. What if I told you that your main duty is to create environment where people can deal with business fires in organised, safe way. They learn from it and improve. In such case, transformation is no longer a task on your pile of work. It’s the pile of your work. Please, remember about kitties.