Cleaning out my inbox, I found an email from Seth Godin titled “The do-it-yourself at-home surgery kit”.
As some of you know, I am a huge fan of Seth Godin. He is one of the easiest folks to follow. Every morning, you get a short email with a singular thought. It’s an easy read, and it always seems to be poignant.
Reading Seth’s post, my mind immediately leaped to the approach I see from time to time. When you think about DIY related to the home improvements, there are a variety of outcomes ranging from perfection to disaster. Perfection looks as though a professional craftsman completed the work flawlessly. Disaster, on the other hand, looks as you hired an amateur to take on the project. What’s more, a professional craftsman can create a disaster as well at the instance of the homeowner. Over the years as a homeowner, I have created more disasters than perfection.
Many times, I see a lot of DIY Agile that looks like a disaster. Is it a result of a professional craftsman (Agile coach) creating a disaster at the instance of the homeowner (the organization)? Or, could it be the result of an amateur (inexperienced Agile Coach/Scrum Master) trying DIY for the first time?
In my experience, DIY Agile is a result of neither one. The problem isn’t whether you hired a professional craftsman or an amateur. The problem is you are not a self-learning organization.
Every opportunity I get, I say basically the following sentences: “A high performing team doesn’t just wake up one day to find they are high performing. They iterate their way to become a high performing team. If you get nothing else from this workshop, remember the retrospective is the most important thing you can get right.”
An organization or team that embraces the concept of retrospectively looking in the mirror, identifies the good and bad of what it sees, and then fix the bad will become high performing. Why do I say that? They are continuously correcting and adjusting as they go, prioritizing to solve the worst things first.
In other words, they are finding and fixing their problems.
That’s all we need to do is start fixing problems. It sounds simple, yet it can be hard to start. Once you start, DIY Agile will fade into the background.