Why should an organization adopt Agile Lean Leadership (ALL)? What main values or outcomes can organizations expect? Here is an overview of the main benefits:
Agile Lean organizations are not just jumping through hoops and over fences for show, they are much more capable of facing the challenges of the modern world. Disruptive-technology and quickly evolving markets make it very difficult for traditionally planned companies to keep up, but organizations using Agile Lean Leadership patterns have a number of significant competitive advantages, for example:
- Radical transparency enables obstacles to be identified and addressed in real-time. No unpleasant surprises or loss of momentum. Organizational value is maintained or enhanced through the drive for constant improvement.
- “ALL” organizations are designed to deal effectively with change and unforeseen circumstances.
- “ALL’s” long-term perspective creates sustainable value for all stakeholders, developing solid relationships built on trust and a customer-first mindset.
- “ALL” Organizations built on team-work and trust are resilient and able to ride out the storms with minimal deviation from the common goal.
“ALL” organizations are dynamic because they are constantly learning and therefore changing. Team members take responsibility and are accountable, but because “psychological safely” is achieved in such organizations, they are encouraged to contribute ideas without fear or inhibition. By creating a work environment that values all contributions, personal satisfaction is enhanced and bonds created with the team and its collective aims.
Agile Lean Teams are cross-functional, but with clearly defined expectations, simple operating procedures and reporting principles. Communication between team members and other teams is transparent and documented by the “artifacts” which show the goals, progress and impediments. For example the Product Backlog, it is a list of requirements, project elements and milestones; the Sprint Backlog shows daily progress and the Impediment Backlog highlights obstacles to be resolved. Other artifacts might show budgets, timelines, estimates and risks.
ALL is a mindset that engages all the staff and permeates the organization. Demonstrated benefits of ALL include:
- Intrinsic motivation. People like to work for a higher cause, have a certain amount of autonomy and the experience of mastering a task. As W. Edwards Deming said: “Pride of workmanship”.
- Higher morale, resulting from great job satisfaction.
- Teamwork. A sense of belonging and of providing value to one’s colleagues.
- Goal seeking. A sense of common purpose.
- Greater loyalty to the organization, even in times of turmoil.
- Focus on serving the customer. Greater transparency leads to better products.Employees are treated with respect and are valued and trusted.
- Balanced Benefit. Owners and investors experience consistency in purpose, greater transparency and lower risk because the organizations focus is on long term value not short term speculative gains.