The world changes quickly. Can you act fast enough?
If we are ready to release this new product in six weeks, why will it have to take three months to get approvals from finance to acquire servers?
– JF Unson
I actually posed this question to the finance person I was working with when I was working at Yahoo in 2005. Does this sound familiar to you? This kind of conversation still happens today. The context may be different, but the conclusion is the same:
An organization is only as agile as its least agile function.
In this complex, constantly changing, and evolving world, do you and your organization have the luxury of time to respond and adapt to change? Especially when we’ve had several black swan events like the pandemic, earthquakes, and even wars, you need to be able to turn on a dime to use an American phrase.
- What if your teams can release things at will and continuously achieve the outcomes you set out to achieve?
- What if your teams are unencumbered by dependencies (especially with other teams) and can quickly move and deliver what customers want?
- What if everyone can collaborate and work effectively, no matter where they are in the world?
What would your team or organization look like if you could be like this? How successful would your organization be?
The journey towards organizational agility is not limited to product development teams. The rest of the departments and teams in an organization need to move just as fast so that the company can act and react quickly.
What would it take to get to this kind of team or organization, where people thrive with the challenges of a constantly changing environment, delivering value while at the same time enjoying the meaningful work that they do?
I am JF Unson, and I am a computer engineer by education and have worked in Silicon Valley since graduating from college. My career in the valley started as an exciting journey, but after almost a decade, I could feel the burnout creeping in. Interestingly, during this time, I came across new ways of working and decided to experiment with them with my teams to see if I could stop or minimize the burnout. The success of these experiments with new ways of working helped me remain in the tech industry – sans burnout.
At first, I thought that these new ways of working (or Agile, as most people know it) were limited to product and engineering. However, once I saw how fast these two areas could go, I felt the harsh pull of being slowed down by other areas of the organization. I started asking myself, can we… (continued)