It happens frequently, but it never gets old. Recently as part of a post training coaching session one of the senior leaders of a client organization said after a day of working with the team, “We’ve gotten more done in the last six hours than we did in the last two months….” She was working on the same project, with the same people in the same company. The only difference was that we helped them define, establish and follow a common process for doing the work.
This is a common experience our coaches have with our clients. W. Edwards Deming put it this way “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
We regularly come across teams and organizations that believe they have a process and that everyone understands the process. Yet when we start asking some questions it quickly becomes apparent
- They don’t really have a process
- They have a series of activities that people do, but the order is not clearly called our and the roles and responsibilities are not defined and/or followed
- Or worst of all, they have a process with roles and responsibilities, but only a few people know what it is (and it’s rarely the people doing the work). I’m looking at you PMO’s of the world…
That’s why Scrum and Agile are so powerful and have become best practices for organizing teams. Scrum is a process that is easy to understand, has only a few roles to be filled (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Member) and helps people organize around what is most important, THE WORK! That’s why it’s so important your team’s process matches your organization and why investing in a couple of days of continued education (training) is as close to a sure thing as you can get in this ever changing market.
How about your team? Can everyone on your team describe what your process is? Is it a consistent definition?