Future of Organizations
What changes will pass through organizations? After Agile, what could be the next structural and process changes organization could adapt?
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In my previous article, I quoted what new forms of organization in the broad sense might be. Obviously, this does not go into detail of the small and big changes, but here are some changes that might appear in my opinion.
If you want to be Agile, you want to be able to adapt to any change. If you have to adapt to any change, you must be able to change the organization of a team at any time. If you want to change the organization of a team, the concept of hierarchy does not allow you to adapt to change, because a 40-year-old person can very well be the strong leader of the subject to be dealt with, then become a more "simple" operator, bringing less value to the work in progress. If you put a hierarchy on that, you won't be able to reconfigure your teams. Moreover, a hierarchy pushes a good number of people to respect its hierarchy, encouraging them to be silent when an error is about to be committed. Let's stop the hierarchy defined by the company and switch to the hierarchy of competencies. It's simpler and more efficient.
The challenge is always to have the right product at the right time, so you can't abandon a product because the project is finished. The project has an end, not the product. This product logic is strongly driven by agility, and yet we speak of an Agile project. So what do we do? Do we continue to make Agile projects or do we make Agile products?
The Death of the SAFe Framework
Warning: subject to obvious trolling. I am not saying that the SAFe framework is bad, or that it should not be used. In my opinion, it's very good when you want to make an organization evolve towards agility without jostling everything. However, in my opinion, the SAFe framework contains some points for improvement:
Where is the product? We don't talk product around here?
It is a framework that remains anchored to date in a hierarchical vision of organizations. Do we really have that much opportunity to express ourselves there? Certainly more than without, but less than desirable.
This is for me a Taylorist vision of work. Real creativity and innovation do not have the place they deserve in SAFe Framework.
The SAFe framework must, therefore, be seen as a step along the way, and the target organization must be much more dynamic than that. Not sure a framework will do the job anyway, maybe a Canvas.
Meet-in-The-Middle Conway Manoeuver.
We heard a lot of Conway's reverse maneuver, which consists of simplifying to define an architecture, then from it an organization stuck to it. Moreover, considering my article on AI, one could even think that it is the machine that will define the architecture, and therefore the organization. However, this concept can work badly, because even in an ideal world we are constrained by the imperfect and autonomous character of the human being. Does the organization thus defined go against the wishes of employees? Won't realities on the ground create imponderables? Does Roger, who is 6 months away from retirement, want to train to adapt? That is why I advocate an exchange between architects and operational staff to see to what extent a new architecture is going in the right direction or whether it needs to be adapted. Even the best AI can't do everything...
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