Important characteristics of a Lean Agile organization
An Lean Agile organization has the following important characteristics;
Respect for people
People work in small self-organizing multidisciplinary teams. The teams deliver customer value from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The teams collaborate heavily and frequently with their customers and really understand their drivers, needs and jobs.
People feel free and safe to fail and learn. There is an ongoing flow of improvement happening. Improving working processes, improving team work, improving customer understanding and improving individual skills. People decide how they do their work, when they do it and who in the team does it.
Clear measures of progress are visible all the time. The measures flow directly from the work the team does and are used to improve their work, their plans and their knowledge. There are measures on quality, customer satisfaction, current experiments and progress towards the goal.
Management is there to help the people do their work. Management sets expectations, offer team and individual coaching, manages knowledge creation across the organization and creates leaders.
Practice low risk high value innovation
Customers are frequently presented with product improvements that helps them improve their life at work or in private. Through frequent collaboration with customers the organizations learns. Customers express their needs and problems, customers and the teams co-create their solutions.
The frequent release of new functionality into the hands of the customers validates the assumptions made during development. This reduces the risk of building the wrong thing and enables rapid change in direction. The customers are offered only the features that they need and when they need them. There is no time lost on low value features.
Focus is on creating customer value
Creating customer value is seen as the path to sustainable profits. The product teams are continuously understanding customer demand and focussing on the customer experience of their services and products.
The focus is not on satisfying the stakeholders because the organization understands that the stakeholders become satisfied once the customers are satisfied.
Teams are an asset
Teams are seen as a key asset in the organization. Teams are kept together for long periods of time so that they can grow into high performance. The work is made to fit the teams. The teams are not made to fit the work! The teams are fully accountable for the product or service that they create.
A team is able to create a complete slice of the product from innovation idea to production release.
People on the teams have their individual expertise but help most others in the team. They do this because their goal is to create customer value and that can only be done as a team and not as an individual.