Oh, so that's what you do...
I'm fairly certain that most of my friends and family think I'm a drug dealer. 💊
When asked by people outside of our world of enterprise transformation and product delivery "what kind of work do you do?," I typically respond with something to the effect of "well, that's complicated."
One of the coolest things that we came out with in SAFe 5.0 is a simplified image describing what we are trying to achieve through SAFe for the customers we serve.
This is how I explain using the image:
With the advent of the post-digital economy, we can all agree that no matter what sort of work you do, or what sort of product you deliver, the digital ecosystem must be mastered to assure success.
We are trying to help businesses in all stages of maturity address these challenges by helping them focus on the right patterns, values, mindsets, and principles.
To achieve "Business Agility" organizations must..
Embrace the ideal they must rethink how we approach work so that we can become truly customer centric. Delighting the customer is the #1 immutable concept required for success in the new economy.
To become truly Customer Centric,
First, we must consider our mindset, principles, and values. This begins with leadership embracing and living the paradigm that will create the psychological safety for the rest of the organization to also embrace the new way of working.
Then, we must establish team and technical Agility: create empowered, persistent, and autonomous teams focused on delivering the right things, at the right time, with an unwavering commitment to quality.
Then, we can begin focusing on true product delivery: product lifecycle planning, design thinking, and effectively managing change.
Then, we can scale our product focus to how we build and deploy large and complex solutions safely, within compliance guardrails, and with flexibility. Though this idea will not apply to everyone, to those building the most complex and life changing products in the world (aircraft, cyber-physical systems, ERPs) ~ this is a game changer.
As we improve how we build and ship product, we then must rethink how we fund work and consider strategy. The ideas within Lean Portfolio Management will free senior leadership from day-to-day activities so that they can focus on the next opportunity, while remaining confident that the teams are doing the right things based on their commanders intent: vision.
As we master new ways of working, our organizational culture will begin to change. The wins that we have recognized to this point can be scaled throughout the organization (HR, Marketing, Sales, Operations, & more) by considering Organizational Agility.
To sustain the wins we have consolidated in our new way of working, we must not rest. We must embrace a continuous learning culture that allows our people to rapidly learn the new skills of tomorrow as they emerge.
Just as we pivot our products to meet market demands, our people must also be empowered to relentlessly learn new skills and technologies without mercy or guilt for it is they who our competitive advantage: our people.
Without them, our valued people, there is no product, and without product there is no us.
So, yea, that's what I do.
I contribute ideas to the framework that helps the biggest organizations in the world do this stuff.
I also mentor the enterprises, executives, consulting firms, consultants, and internal change agents who do the hard work to make these changes happen.
Together, we will change how work is done and value is delivered.