True Value of Agile – Not Always Product-Centric – Agile Improves Work-Life Balance

Agile Can Change Lives – Client Story

“I’m not sure of the value of Agile, and how it’s been working so far.”

I received this comment from a client earlier this past year. She was a manager of the 3 teams in a large enterprise that I had been training and coaching Scrum to for the previous 4 months. She is a brilliant woman, eager to learn how Scrum and Agile could change the direction of their teams to higher-performance. I asked her if I could ask a couple of questions about her statement and see if we couldn’t find what needed to be done:

[ME] – “Scrum and Agile adoptions can take a good amount of time to fully realize their potential. Often it’s the discipline that needs to be solidified first, then cultural change… tell me, how often did your teams work overtime these past 4 months?

[MANAGER] – “Not that much, maybe not at all… you wouldn’t allow it!”

[ME] – “Right! We’ve gotten a stable velocity now, the discipline seems to be settling in well, we now are moving towards better predictability, right? … How often, previous to the training and coaching, has your teams had to work weekends to complete the builds?”

[MANAGER] – “Usually about twice a month.” (She knew where I was going with this conversation by this time)

[ME] – “Right! As it stands today, only once in the last 4 months has our teams had to come in on Saturday to complete the build… and that was right in the beginning!”

[MANAGER] – “I see … where you’re going with this…”

[ME] – “Yes. As we’ve created stability and consistency to our delivery cadence, we’ve improved the work-life balance of your … about 30 or so team members. If anything, initially, we’ve improved the lives of your people. In due time, we hope to improve the delivery of products, and the quality of that delivery.

Agile Improves Work-Life Balance and (Can) Change Your Life

Managers could say to this… as well as others, “Who cares? We are building products, I don’t care about how it gets done or if it improves the lives of my employees.” – Right. Exactly, this post isn’t meant for you.

This post is meant to be an encouragement to anyone looking to help people. If you are an Agile Coach, never forget the power that you have to help people change their life (within the right context/environment). For this reason, I love what I do: Making an impact on people.

2 Responses to “True Value of Agile – Not Always Product-Centric – Agile Improves Work-Life Balance”

  1. Ken 'classmaker' Ritchie
    June 22, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    + Butterfly Effect! As we improve, we have a more positive effect on those around us. With snowballing! More begets more, exponentially faster and faster!

    It’s like compound interest on our investments in each other’s lives.

    Thanks for yours!
    ;-)

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