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|No Agile Happy Meals!|
I have come to the conclusion after visiting many of the Fortune 100 Companies and assisting with their Agile transformations, that many managers feel as though Agile practices are like a Happy Meal from a Drive Through. Please allow me to explain. As a father of four who VERY rarely visits fast food establishments, we regard those types of meals as a luxury, not an everyday necessity. Yet many managers drive up to Agile like it is a menu to choose from. I would like to order the faster time to market with the improved quality, hold all of the meetings and a large batch of reports and documentation. I want nothing hard, undesirable, or difficult to do, I'll just settle for the immediate results at the lowest possible cost and I want it by the time I reach the second window. As funny as it may sound, I believe the conundrum is quite obvious. They order exactly what they want, leave out the portions that are hard or less desirable, and expect to receive the toy immediately for their gratification.
I always use a different metaphor for managers. Agile is more like golf. It is simple, but certainly not easy. Golf is all about hitting the small white ball into the hole out there somewhere. Pretty easy game, very few rules, etc. Yet very few are REALLY good at golf. Agile is the same way! You should not try to make your way through the entire course using a sand wedge or putter for every shot. Nor do I recommend using a driver for all of your putts. You need to carefully select the club that works for your organization and take precious care to make certain that you measure the results of the completed shot in order to select the next best club for the subsequent shot. Results are a far cry from immediate. You may get better as you progress at a sustainable pace, but if you try too hard and wear out or lose patience at your inability do get every shot perfect, the game quickly grows old and frustration sets in.
The fact is Agile transformations take time and any great golfer will tell you that one of the most important decisions you can make is who your caddy will be. Just ask Adam Scott, what Tiger Woods did not see in his caddy, Adam did and won his first major with Tiger's former caddy. Selecting the right Agile coach to assist in your organizational transformation is just so critical! There is a lot more on the line that a golf game or happy meal. Organizational transformation with the correct coach can save your organization MILLIONS of dollars and make your organization MILLIONS of dollars at the very same time! The right coach will bring a wealth of real world experience combined with the theoretical knowledge needed to push your organization to the threshold of success.
As Agile and Scrum grows in popularity, more and more training / coaching companies are popping up claiming to have the tools you need to be successful in this very venture that could make or break your organization, PMO, and your very job. Everybody seems to feel like they have the vanilla answer to the very specific problems your organization faces. Please do not fall into this trap. You are Special! Your company is ready to make a difference! The problems and adaptations may seem similar in nature, but are certainly not the same as what everyone else sees. Agile is NOT a one size fits all model. Treat your Agile Coach selection more like your golf club selection. Do not fall for all of the impostors who can save you a few dollars and feed you the same old vanilla solutions. There is no such thing as an Agile Happy Meal. If there were such a thing, the toy would be amazing beyond words, but you would have to work so hard to get it, that it would be prized and cherished. Learn to work smarter not harder.
PS: I am VERY busy! In fact, we are looking to hire qualified Agile Coaches in the US! Please fire over an email with your resume if you are as serious about Agile as I am! ~ AgileDad