Timing: it’s up to you!
First and most important, it’s about working with people who, even though they may not share the agile mindset and the fundamental principles of what we are trying to promote, they do have the courage and confidence to help us realize when we have obviously departed from our own path.
In “Joy at Work”, I came across another tool I found extremely useful; it simply consists of making a general profile of each person working in the company. This will function as a guide when it’s time to define our policies and rules in our organization. This profile highlights who we are. It is used when we make our policies, take decisions and when we choose a certain path.
When creating these policies and rules, we must be sure they’re aligned to the general profile of people working in our company, not for the borderline cases or exceptions. Moreover, when we encounter these exceptional cases, we should not be disappointed; a profile is an assumption, as flawed as those we make on a daily basis; it’s abstract. I believe that the most important thing is for our policies not to reflect what we wish to avoid, but rather what we are aiming for.
It is really helpful that the profile description is simple, short, supported by the organization’s leadership. Above all, it should be used as a basis for making decisions for problems to come. Thus, we will be more conscious about the size of the changes we propose, and how close we are to really adopting what we preach.
It has been almost two years since I made this exercise I’m now sharing; it has changed very little, and I’m still using it for UruIT, the company I’m working for.
People who work in UruIT:
- are reliable; restrictive control mechanisms are unnecessary;
- have good intentions. In the case of a mistake, the assumption is they acted trying to accomplish their work in the best possible manner;
- are transparent, have no fear of showing what they do and why;
- are intelligent and rational, the things they do are for a reason;
- want to improve and learn new things all the time; that is why they may feel down if they do not have the necessary means to achieve it;
- are autonomous and responsible. They do not need a person constantly telling them what to do in order to excel at work;
- are cooperative, they would rather work in teams.
These are some of the many phrases I encounter regarding “agile transformations”. They all follow the same formula: first the person says he agrees with the agile principle; he then follows up with a “but”. Finally, he declares the reasons why in this case his actions will be different from his words. Little by little, the exception becomes the rule, and the evident contradiction undermines the efforts on the road to agility, regardless of how much we have spent hiring consultants, getting certificates, courses, books, or whatever the newest trend is. There is no transformation strategy to support, in a sustainable manner, the difference between words and actions.
Link for the full article: Your company’s profile: an exercise for shaping an Agile Mindset