Change, and keep changing

Sometimes people ask me, “When we’ve gone Agile… when we are fully Lean… what will it look like?”

The only answer I can come up with is this:

Things will be changing. You’ll be in a better place to respond to change. Your people will have a culture of courage and respect, and will seek continuous improvement, feedback and learning.

I don’t know what your process will look like. The Lean and Agile communities have some ideas you can use to start with. Not all of them will work. Your processes will change, and keep changing.

I have no idea what skills your people will need. The people you have are good people; start with them. The need for their skills will change, and keep changing.

I don’t know what language, tools or technologies you’ll be using. Start with something that’s easy to change. Technology will change, and keep changing.

I don’t know which projects will succeed. Start with the most important project, or the most risky, or the one which has the highest cost of delay. Your market, your business and your customers will change, and keep changing.

There is no end-state with Agile or Lean. You’ll be improving, and continue to improve, trying new things out and discarding the ones which don’t work.

If you do find yourself with an end-state, the chances are that you’ve documented your processes somewhere, and are now asking your teams to adhere to them. Either your process is perfect, or you haven’t reached the end-state yet. I’m guessing your process isn’t perfect. Change, and keep changing.

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