Agile Lean Leadership makes organizations more resilient and creates sustainable value for all stakeholders. It offers a reliable and innovative approach that provides consistency of purpose and enables organizations to react quickly in times of rapid change.

The Challenge

Agile practices and Scrum in particular are now generally accepted for project development. The immediate challenge is to translate the benefits that those practices provide at the project and team level, to the whole organization.

Agile teams are defined by transparency, the ability to react quickly to change and the drive for constant improvement. The results are resilience and the creation of sustainable value.

As complexity in organizations grows and change accelerates, there is an even greater need to apply these benefits to whole organizations.

Arne Åhlander
Geir Amsjø
Christian Myrstad
Kurt B. Nielsen

To help organizations apply Agile Lean Leadership (ALL) a group of Scandinavian Scrum Trainers and Coaches, have consolidated Agile and Lean patterns and designed the educational and implementation program outlined below.

Agile Lean Leadership – the Solution

Training courses, support and mentoring, plus software tools are offered to aid effective Agile-Lean implementation. The training provides a road map for the organization and step by step explanations of how and why the patterns and practices work.

Leaders need deep domain knowledge so they can take responsibility for the organizations. We provide them with the patterns and building blocks to design their organizations, not a checklist to follow.

To be effective, organizations need common values and sense of purpose, along with enough structure to operate well and predictably. The structure should provide clear roles and expectations with freedom to experiment, learn and use empirical process control. This creates a learning organization and enables high performance at the team level and throughout the organization.

“Give everybody a chance to take pride and have joy in their work!” – W. Edwards Deming

Agile Lean Leadership – the Content

  • Circle Relationship Map

    What’s in it for me? Why should leaders be concerned about Agile and Lean in the whole organization? What benefit does it bring? Is it worth the effort?

  • The role of leadership in Agile and Lean – Understand the benefits of clear purpose and value; learn how to communicate purpose and value. Understand how to create psychological safety and transparency, work with intrinsic motivation, push responsibility as far out in the organization as someone can carry it. Remove impediments.

  • Preconditions for the Agile and Lean organization – First make it safe, then mandate radical transparency. Everybody should willingly tell the truth and show the facts. Work together to discover threats and opportunities – a human sensor network. Allow people to adapt. Everybody should know what is expected of them.

  • The dual leadership principle – Exemplified by the Product Owner and Scrum Master in Scrum. One with focus on the strategy, looking out, what should we do? and the other with focus on how we work together, looking in.

  • Cross-functional Teams or Circles – used throughout the organization to get jobs done sustainably and resiliently.
  • Value Stream – Design the value stream of Circles with internal coherence and low external coupling. Create relationships between them where they delegate deliverables to each other.
  • The organizational toolbox – A set of patterns, tools and templates to facilitate the development of good organizational structures. Analyze dependencies, response times and functional requirements of circles. Come up with structures that have high internal coherence and low external coupling.
  • The history of Agile Lean Leadership – Tracing the history and development. There is a long and sound heritage.
  • Value based prioritization – Learn to build Story Maps with milestones, perform Kano analysis and impact-estimation to engage stakeholders in prioritizing strategically.
  • A road-map – A set of practical steps that can be taken to start the process. How to achieve critical mass. Focus on the value creation; let other concerns be secondary.

“Leaders must establish common purpose and build trust within an organization.” – Stanley A. McChrystal

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