What do all of these tales have in common? They started out as an idea that led to a small change. These changes could be implemented easily, cheaply and quickly when there was complete buy-in from everyone that the change was necessary and for the better.
Of course, I didn’t always find myself in a better place. One result had us building a product that became attractive for an acquisition, while our related labor cost did not. Many of us lost our jobs to promote the sale. Another consequence of success was having a senior executive in our organization determine that formally sponsoring Agile was no longer needed. We were invited to look for work in other parts of the organization for awhile, or had to leave the company entirely.
Yet there are times when I did help make things better. The best improvements I’ve been a part of happened gradually, required patience, and added up over time. This helps remind me that I can improve my current situation. I need to help the team see the problem clearly and suggest ways to validate proposed solutions.
If we have a shared perspective of the current situation, then we can agree on how to make it better. We will need to check in frequently, and constantly re-validate the understanding and approach.