One of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” Unfortunately, many associate that practice with performing team retrospectives at the end of a sprint, or periodically in kanban. But if you seek to build a high-performing team, there are more improvement activities you should consider adopting.
Large companies traditionally have run software development projects so that after delivery, the project finished and the team dissolved. In the digital age, one might think the experience of running and delivering projects would be an advantage, but the legacy mindset and practices of corporate IT projects are actually a hindrance. Digital work needs to be ongoing, which requires a different management approach.
A lot of what agile teams do can be used effectively outside software development teams, and even outside the typical business organization. For instance, retrospectives and the practice of talking about what went well, what you should keep doing, and what can be improved can be applied anywhere—even to families. Read on to learn how to bring continuous improvement into your daily life.
Somewhere along the way, agile implementations have gotten overblown and unwieldy. Managers and leaders look at all the models and frameworks and think agile adoption is too confusing or not worth the effort. To communicate what agile truly means, we have to simplify the message by getting to the heart of agile: collaborate, deliver, reflect, and improve.
Science is the building and organizing of knowledge into testable explanations and predictions about the world; lean is an approach which recognizes and leverages many scientific discoveries to enable faster flow, higher value, and greater capability. When thinking about opportunities for continuous improvement, science and lean should go hand in hand. Karl Scotland explores some of the science behind lean-from mathematics to neuroscience-in order to explain why and predict how various practices can have a positive impact on the way we work. Gain a deeper understanding of both the science of lean and how to take a scientific approach to learning in order to reap the benefits of paying attention to people, process, and economics. Leave with richer insights into why and how lean approaches work, and the ability to apply the science-and a scientific approach-to your own teams and organizations.