When Your Agile Routines Are Wasted

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It has been frequently reported on the Daily Management System (DMS) routines, and their power for people and teams. Let´s focus in this article one of the fundamentals of the DMS in each organization, the Daily.


Daily is the term that refers to the routine that a team defines and improves continuously in an autonomous way, to coordinate, collaborate as well as to achieve their objectives, and above all, learn.


A first premise to be highlighted at this point is that such a routine must be a useful tool for the TEAM and this is why it cannot be imposed externally, but instead must allow the TEAM to manage and decide autonomously, in order to anticipate recurrent ways of failure.


Agile experimentation and learning are the keys

ONLY ACTIONS CAN ENERGIZE US

The Daily Routine still is a Daily Management System (DMS) and therefore must provide the fundamental principles of DMS.


The Daily, like any Agile routine, must enable self-organization, delivering value and learning.


However, in the current «Agile implementations», it is right this imposition of routines that has led to the development of bureaucratic routines. That is to say, actual waste without any value, value neither for the learning of the team, nor for the development of the product or service that the end user expects to be delivered.


From a Lean point of view, any Agile routine that does not generate learning to enable the team to grow and deliver value to the user is wasted.



At the Gemba, we often are confronted with comments like these:

  • «There´s no need to meet every day».
  • «If nothing has happened, so why do we have to review data and actions?»
  • «I’ll see you around the office and let you know».
  • «At the end we comment on everything except on the real thing».
  • «We don’t meet and nothing gets changed».
  • «It´s a waste of time».

Well, quite an interesting list …

In such a context it becomes evident that the imposition has killed the self-organization of the teams, and above all, that artisan process in which each day they shape the routines to avoid the problems that prevent them from growing: misinformation, reporting on the same matter repeatedly, errors and coordination problems due to lack of communication, complaints due to lack of communication, delay of decisions due to time spent managing emails etc.

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And we all are victims of these issues:

So, how many times have you found yourself in an email queue with a conversation lasting all morning?

Now, how many of you share the feeling that your work is limited to answering emails and completing Excels to report over and over and over again?

And how many times have you spent half a morning trying to solve a problem and, when talking to a colleague, it turns out that it had previously occurred to him and he would have known how to solve it?


Questions that make an Agile organization learn

In our experience, teams that have developed effective routines continually ask themselves the following questions:

  1. Why do we need to perform a routine?
  2. What do we hope to gain by it finally?

Once purpose and objectives are defined, the teams go on asking:

  • Who has to participate?
  • What do we need to talk about?
  • Who has to provide which particular information?
  • How do we want to achieve consensus?
  • What medium/physical setting do we want to use?
  • How much time do we want to spend on it?

An Agile routine that does not help the team to improve and grow, is a wasted routine.


…and the leaders don’t do anything?


Yes, the leaders do. They do a lot. Specifically, they put themselves at the service of the teams’ growth until they become redundant. Redundant with the How but increasingly needed in helping to build a common why.


The leaders´ role has changed


From imposition to service

Micromanagement makes way to vision

from supervision to development

Control leads out to facilitation


Isn’t that exactly the essence of leadership? We wonder when this has fallen into oblivion.

Welcome to the Agile Revolution!


ActioGlobal Team

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