My long due project of Agile Dojos in Singapore have started and I’m so thrilled. It’s the first Tuesday of every month and anyone can register on Meetup.com.
I believe that at some level, practice can only be learnt by practice. In this regard I’ve been longing for a meetup where I could exercise with other Agile practitioners and learn by comparing our approaches. In short: an Agile dojo.If you want to review the various sessions and register on meetup, here it is
To ensure the focus will stay on practice, here’s the charter synthetising the spirit
it’s a place and time focussed on practice
we favour transmission of knowledge by practicing together (companionship) instead of being taught
the dojo belongs to attenders. Act like it’s yours, make it interesting, bring ideas, raise your thoughts, convey people to join
not confidential: what is said and seen can be shared outside
diversity of practitioners improves the learning: brings your teammate, your colleague, your client, experts _and_ beginners
Coaches in Singapore comment among themselves how the transformations in the region are done wrong, leading to a puzzling absence of any success story. To me, it’s frustration and sadness.
Frustration when I compare to everything I’ve learnt over the years about change management. Sadness when I see what some clients are going through while their transformation is dragging for years without much to show for it. Fatigue is felt.
It was time to tame my frustration, turn it to passion, and speak up.
Since I submitted the topic, my brain has been racking up everything I learnt and everything I witnessed on transformations good and bad. While working on the topic I had several aha moments, felt dots connecting, thoughts starting to simplify. I got way more clarity on what exactly is going wrong in the current trend and how to explain the difference with the approches that prove successful.
Have you heard of the Stacey matrix? Stacey has described the relationship between complexity in solving a problem and the different approaches that are effective.
A detailed plan can only address a situation where response to your actions remain predictable. Beyond this level of simplicity, plans don’t work. Solving your problem means “dancing” with it: entering a dynamic, engaged, and highly adaptive approach. That’s exactly the level of complexity of an Agile transformation.
What makes transforming an organisation to Agile so complex? 3 key factor comes to my mind
Your organisation will evolve all along
After your first step, the organisation has already evolved to something new. Mindsets have changed, new habits have formed, structure and processes have been changed. Heck, even people will change. It’s already a new territory, and many other steps are due.
Your organisation will react to the change
Your organisation is a living being. Every single individual, every team, every division, branch has their own context, processes and personalities, each one will respond differently. Some changes will be easy here, while extremely difficult there. Variants will appear. This can’t be predicted.
Some fundamentals will be rocked: culture, beliefs, habits
You are going through an approach that challenges how people work together, how your organisation is structured, and how you do business. I can’t enumerate how many aspects of a business is touched, and I’m discovering new ones with my clients as we go. And so will you.
So what do you need instead of a plan? You need a vision and a strategy, and a system.