Aye Aye, Captain…

Image of Gurmeet Singh
Gurmeet Singh

How many times you have been drowned by the burden of change?

How many times an idea called agility led you to a cross roads.

Few or many. Well if you have then welcome to the club!!!

The agility journey is loaded with all such moments.

You start somewhere new, you are trying to bring in a small habit change in the team and eventually you are in a team moving in right direction. All these crests and troughs are loaded with such moments.

So the question is:

If I am hitting a wall what do I do?

  1. Crumble down/let the teams go back to old ways
  2. Be adamant on new ways/lose your ground
  3. Aye Aye Captain BUT keep agility target intact


Well, I am sure you got by now where I am getting to: Aye Aye, Captain.

If you are still reading this I would like to safely presume we both have faced such situations. Haven’t we?

So, my dear friend (I hope you don’t mind calling you a friend) let’s have a chat.

Like me I am sure there have been situations when all your persuasion skills, all logic, all knowledge, all experience, all you have been told, all you have read is at stake.

Trust me it is the break of the dawn. The divine advice is ‘Keep calm and carry on’. In all my transformation attempts this sad moment is the moment that has brought me surprises.

However, it comes at a cost. You are right the cost is you back off a bit and treat it like a test and learn situation. It’s difficult but surely doable. Its natural when you are changing habits, the habits fight back hard. So, just take it in your stride.

Next time anything like below happens:

  • CIO/CEO has a go at you on why we are not agile yet
  • An engineer tells you this is next fad, I have been here longer than your agility concepts
  • A PMO person thinks you need to have more command and control
  • A team thinks your agile ceremonies are not so useful meetings
  • Head of Transformation wants quantitative data on the team’s performance to build a presentation for C suite/ compare different groups
  • Service Operation head thinks boundaries must be kept intact in build and run parts of business
  • Costs discussion force that you don’t have a Scrum master in a team/Product Owner is Proxy with no decision powers/Developers and Testers have a heated discussion on who’s responsible for what
  • A major data collection exercise starts at the end of year focusing on agility’s value for money
  • Innovation is sacrificed to get the next set of features out as per a defined plan

Or any such instance that makes you think this organisation will never get it and no point carrying on remember

Aye Aye, Captain.

  1. Keep calm
  2. Listen to view points
  3. Suggest a Test and Learn approach
  4. Be an observer like a student doing an experiment in Lab

BUT keep agility destination intact

In many cases I have seen this works. Why don’t you try it out and let me know, my friend?

Become a KMP

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