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Introduction: 

Agile in its core needs to bring business teams closer to the technology implementation and increase the speed of feedback loops. With Business outcome at the critical success factor along with culture of courage, transparency and commitment built into teams as a core driver, all teams start their transformation.  

Between the many practices and lingo of rituals and jargons, the core is slowly getting lost. Unlocking Business Value needs to be looked as an intervention to focus what is the business value that’s being delivered with clear focus on the cultural transformation.  This is a step towards Being Agile while Doing Agile.

Background:

There has been a focus on empiricism when it comes to Agile way of working. Several attempts to measure upfront with the traditional mindset has been futile. The way forward is to accept emerging business value. In order to do that, reducing the unknowns, exploration of an experimentation attitude along with brutal prioritization has taken center stage. 

With the absence of clear documentation of Business Value measurement, and lack of possibilities – we are seeing organizations clearly leaning more towards Hypothesis based development.

There are several changes in culture that needs to be in play. 

Staying in the Problem Domain

Often as technologist, we like to stay in the comfort zone and when a problem is put forth, our brain immediately goes to the solution before analysing the complete picture. This leads to either less effective solutions or customer atrophy. Both are problems that we need to avoid in this competitive environment. 

Staying in the problem domain means understanding the problem that is being solved fully before moving to a solutioning is critical. What this means, is that when a problem is encountered, product management, need to give time for the agile teams to fully understand the problem prior to asking for the solution. 

At the same time, agile teams, need to equip themselves in asking the right questions. We will detail how to equip ourselves in this area in a future blog. 

Engaged Teams

Ensuring that everyone has the same shared understanding of the problem, the team members become engaged and completely bought into the issues. Motivation of such teams also would lead to higher day-to-day energy to the purpose. 

When two sculptors are asked what they were doing, one person mentioned that he’s creating a jewellery in a very intricate manner. Second person said, he’s making an anklet for the Goddess Saraswathi. While what both the sculptors were doing are the same, their mental state or being were very different. Many times, agile teams, go into the state of doing what has been asked of them rather than understanding the higher purpose and being aligned towards it.

Innovative Solutions

As we referred to staying longer in the problem domain, provides a larger than life purpose as well as the solutioning also becomes more laser sharp and cognitive.  Isn’t that the reason why a few firms, particularly start-ups are able to go faster and purpose driven, while larger teams, loose their nimbleness?

Can talking of innovation and providing innovation budget is only the starting point, but creating a fertile ground for innovation to happen is when the magic starts unravelling. 

Bringing it together

Agile in its core needs to bring business teams closer to the technology implementation and increase the speed of feedback loops. With Business outcome at the critical success factor along with culture of courage, transparency and commitment built into teams as a core driver, all teams start their transformation.  

It’s important invest in people to help team members understand the purpose, staying in the problem domain and investing in innovation. These three steps need to be done to unravel Being agile pivoted toward business value based solutions, platforms and products.

Unlocking Business Value is an intervention to help teams to deeply appreciate the value that is being created and pave a path for even higher value creation.

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