“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you’ll be successful”
Olympic athletes crave only one thing: a gold medal. Those who actually receive such a medal, have given everything to get it. Not just during the final match, but foremost during the many hours, days, weeks, months and even the years before that glorious moment. The athlete fights a continuous battle against herself. She never gives up. Despite all the pain and every drawback, she keeps improving. Bit by bit.
The agile manifesto and the many agile practices and methodes are incredible tools for companies to become successful. But…how much pain are you willing to bear to become successful?
I often visit companies that tell me they are using Scrum. Zealous people then show me the most beautiful backlogs and plan boards. Proudly they tell me all about the fact that they now collaborate like never before. How great is that? Though after a few hard questions, it becomes apparent that they are hiding dozens of impediments. They timidly acknowledge that structural change has hardly happened and they acquiesce in the inexorable status quo of their standing organization. Scrum has become a sports canteen instead of the Spartan workout machine it is meant to be.
Improving just within the margins doesn’t win you a gold medal. You must really want the success and put everything else aside to get it. That means making choices. When we look at the project calendars of many a company, it appears that they want to participate in all available sports. The large number of innovation initiatives shows us that the company wants to excel in just about everything. What do you really improve when you work on just pieces of everything? Sven Kramer dropped the 1500m ice skating to be better prepared for the 10,000m. Which choices does your company make?
Now of course there are millions of excuses why being successful is hard: we don’t have the money, “they” do not cooperate, it is not my responsibility, the business is not involved, it’s all politics up there, we must comply…we are so darn afraid of the pain we so desperately need to truly go forward.
Athletes that have excuses do not participate in the Olympics. Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with having a gay Saturday afternoon playing netball.
So…which success does your company want?
With the Agile Consortium we offer you inspiration to be successful with agile, regardless of your ambitions. We offer all kinds of opportunities to get in touch with people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.
However, we’d like to offer the corporate athlete a lot more. They choose to be challenged in our Agile Master Certification program. They will be provided a stage to proudly broadcast their successes and lessons learned. We will go beyond the limit to help them be even more successful.
Whoever you are: join us and have a great time.