A story about an organisational agility enabler: visualising value generation
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
In 2018 in Madrid, I worked with several scrum teams. My clients's main goal was that the teams demonstrate a continuous improvement mindset.
I observed the teams were very motivated and they really wanted to improve. However, the teams had dependencies between them and were only focusing on improving their part of the work: They were focusing on local optimisation, rather than global optimisation.
I believed that was happening because they were not able to see the whole system, so even if they had a continuous improvement mindset, they could not realise what to optimise.
I thought that if the teams could see the whole system, they naturally would come up with initiatives for improving themselves. I talked with my sponsor and with representatives of all the teams to inquire about their beliefs about why they were focusing only on their teams. During this meeting they decided to validate my hypothesis.
So I had a session with representatives of all the teams for building up a teams coordination flight level 2 board (by Klaus Leopold) which visualised the whole value chain. When the work was visualised, the teams became aware of the bottlenecks.
I also supported them to decide how to operate the board and how to establish a cross-team feedback loop for improving it constantly.
One year after I left, they were still using the visualisation and they had extended it to other parts of the organisation.
My clients's main goal was achieved, to visualise value generation certainly helped to achieve it. The key was that the actions we took were coming from the will of the client to validate the hypothesis, they made it theirs. If it would have been only my will, probably I would have had a short term result and nothing would have changed one year later.