I like to share Marcus Raitner’s posts because they express exactly what I think. This post from 27.11.2023 by him particularly appealed to me. Category: Recommended and worth reading. Best read with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, definitely in peace. What was it about in essence? Fruitful change needs vision and self-organization
The aim must be to create a framework based on a grand vision in which a suitable organizational model gradually emerges from the collaboration of self-organized teams.
Marcus Raitner in the above article, 27.11.2023
I would like to start with an excerpt from his text: “If you want to spare your (agile) transformation this dead end, as a manager you would do well to give up the role of chess master and act more like a gardener. The aim must be to create a framework based on a grand vision in which a suitable organizational model gradually emerges from the collaboration of self-organized teams.”
Yes, that’s right. Attention dead end”
Scrum is more like industrial process-like working. You rarely see that much creative work, mostly due to the self-generated time pressure. Whether the sprint lasts 2 or 4 weeks is not the issue.
The relevant question is: do the employees have enough time to do this creative work? Is your company, as Marcus writes, self-organized to the extent that this goal of “creative development of the future” can be achieved? Or is the work constantly being torpedoed or slowed down by new ideas from superiors or silo or cock fights? Therefore: fruitful change needs vision and self-organization
So here are a few thoughts from me – inspired by Marcus.
The fashionable topic of “Scrum” combined with outdated leadership can also backfire.
So first a little change of subject.
How often have I seen my superiors come back from a trip or a weekend getaway on Monday (by the way, today, 27.11.2023, is Monday again 😉) and announce: “I’ve seen/read/heard that company xy is implementing topic xy so successfully. We’ll do the same from now on.”
Fruitful change requires vision and self-organization
My reaction was: Does that fit in with our culture? Or does it fit our brand? Or does it suit us at all?
It is dangerous to contradict euphoric managers. But I (and many others too) were simply tired of seeing how an idea was briefly touched on and then immediately discarded to make way for a new idea. The next Monday, the next idea was already in the room, and so on. Nothing stuck.
Trade is change! – But continuity looks different!
Now we were briefly on a completely different topic. In other words, the same phenomenon (as just described) happens if you apply the Scrum method incorrectly.
You set a goal and then it starts with sprint 1, sprint 2, sprint 3 and so on. But while one sprint replaces the next sprint “seamlessly” and without a break, the changes in the company, in the organization, in the process – with the employees and managers – do not arrive.
It becomes pure industrial processing instead of the creative, evolutionary process that was originally intended.
Fruitful change needs vision and self-organization – time to rethink Scrum
The foundations of the Scrum method are always bent in everyday life: Time to put an end to this madness, this staccato-like “Scrummen”. Employees need time to deal with, learn and internalize new ideas, new processes and changes.
There should therefore be a waiting period after each sprint. And also the associated questions: Which new aspects will be incorporated into the corporate culture? Which management tasks will change as a result?
This may be exhausting, but the other – such as the two aspects described above – is a waste of energy. This tends to lead to reactance or an attitude along the lines of: Dear God, please let this cup pass us/me by without a trace!
There is no patent remedy or “let’s just see what other successful companies do”.
The above requires hard but important leadership work. You have to work on the system, not just in the system. That is worthwhile. That way, you don’t have to come up with a new idea every Monday, a new sow through the company.
Fruitful change needs vision and self-organization – Let’s summarize:
All of this requires a communication effort that goes viral within the company. But in a positive sense. Colleagues are infected by it. They realize that something is changing. The change is driven from within and accompanied by the management framework.
Only then, and only then, when (here I quote Marcus again) the direction is as follows: “The goal must be to create a framework, aligned with a great vision, in which a suitable organizational model gradually emerges from the cooperation of self-organized teams.”
Only then can we speak of sustainable, consistent and consequent change.