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We do Scrum (or Kanban or SAFe or..)

How often have you met people – usually executives and management at conferences or other spaces outside of their company and they proudly proclaim ‘we do Scrum’.
I meet them alot – not only at conferences – on planes and more worryingly in their own companies. It’s like the Sixth Sense – only with Process.

Then with the slightest of prodding – examining what they produce, how they produce it, who they produce it for, what feedback they get – and how often they get it, what they use the feedback for and how quickly they apply it – the delusion begins to become clear. This is what I call the Process Delusion:

The Process Delusion is the  pretense – for whatever reason –  that you are doing something a certain way for certain benefits but there is little or no evidence that you are doing it or getting the expected benefits.

Let me say straight off – I applaud the willingness of anyone in any organisation who tries out any process to get some improvement.

It takes recognition that something needs to improve. So many just live with the gross imperfections – often the downright insanity – of how they work. I’ve met them. Through whatever path they came to this point, they don’t really give a crap about what they are asked to to do. They’ve arrived at a place where they gave up or never started trying to improve things for themselves or their organization. But I digress.

So, willingness to try is wonderful. But it is – sadly – not enough.  It is like taking out gym membership. You get kudos for recognising you need to get fit and ‘well done’ for taking out the gym membership. But the real applause comes when – most importantly – you start to see actual improvements. And that takes persistence and focus.

How does the Process Delusion play out in your team or organisation?


Photo by Michael Gwyther-Jones

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