Sunday, 23 March 2014
Forget Being Lean Until You Get Some Rigour
Over and over again, people talk about Lean like it is a giant waterproof, super-fast healing Band-Aid that will fix every delivery team. They say "Toyota this" and "Motorola that" and "you're not lean enough."
The problem I have with this is when the Band-Aid is being applied to a delivery team that has no structure at all. You can't make a cowboy team leaner or even more agile without putting structure in place and then improving it.
I don't mean picking Scrum or Kanban and saying do this and then become leaner. Instead, I mean that teams must become aware of their as-is way of functioning. Identify practices and articulate them. There always are practices in place but people are not always conscious of them. Without consciousness, there is no method. Once you have method, you can use it rigourously.
Become aware of what you do now. Decide on where you want to be. Map a course of action from one to the other and most importantly, give yourself time and give yourself permission to fail and correct.
Telling a team with no self-awareness to become leaner is pointless. First find the point.