By Javier Hernández
2020 is showing us that we are now more than ever living in a VUCA world where global context is changing fast and organisations must adapt as quickly as possible.
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How can organisations adapt, including the teams and people within them? Both main speakers, Jutta Eckstein (author of ‘Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy’) and Alistair Cockburn (one of the 17 authors of the Agile Manifesto), agreed in that we should have two focuses: to work on simplicity and to work with values as a driving force.
Some of the Agile frameworks can be a little complex to begin to work with, and for some organisations, it may not be the best moment to further stress themselves by starting an agile adoption using one of the most famous agile frameworks.
In that sense, it would be wise for some organisations to look for ‘small’ changes that could make the difference instead on fully adopting a new framework. For example: start by boosting collaboration by putting everyone together to listen and create trust and safety. Allow your company to conduct new experiments focused on adapting to the ‘New normal’.
Work step by step by looking for simplicity and sustainability in your agile adoption, which is what Alistair Cockburn is promoting: to focus on what is the heart of agile.
All Agile frameworks, simple or complex, were born to try to maximise value delivery; now more than ever, organisations should focus on it, having teams that are no longer collocated or having part of the organisation directly affected by COVID-19 restrictions, or by COVID-19 itself.
The focus on delivery needs to include measuring the impact of the organisation’s deliveries and/or services. Measuring is the only way to ask questions such as: Have my customers’ habits changed? Is that feature we released last year relevant nowadays? And it is also time to reflect on what we are measuring.
Impact is not only measured by user adoption, usage, performance… It could be also measured in how our product or service is impacting our environment and community. Does our product increase our carbon footprint? Does our app consume a huge amount of devices’ battery life?
It is time for companies to review their values and be concerned with our communities, our health and our environment.