Agendashift as Good Strategy

[This is the third and last of a three-part series. Start from the beginning: Lean-Agile transformation as Lean-Agile process]

This post has been a while in coming. If you’ve been waiting, apologies! I’m going to cheat a little: what follows is lifted directly from the end of the just-written third chapter (Mapping) of the forthcoming book [Update – it’s now out: Agendashift, clean conversations, coherent collaboration, continuous transformation]. Preceding chapters: 1. Discovery, and 2. Exploration. After 3. Mapping: 4. Elaboration, and 5. Operation.


Is it Good Strategy?

To finish this chapter, the promised third reconciliation. This time a very quick reconciliation of your transformation map with Rumelt’s strategy kernel. This model comes from another brilliant book:

Three questions (Rumelt’s model, my words):

  1. Diagnosis: Is your strategy rooted in an understanding of the challenges you face and the opportunities available?
  2. Guiding policy: What gives shape to your strategy?
  3. Coherent actions: Are your planned actions coherent with each other, your guiding policy, and your diagnosis?

You should be able to give positive answers to questions 1 and 2 simply by virtue of your transformation map’s construction. You can give a positive but partial answer to question 3:

  1. Diagnosis? Witness the obstacles and their respective outcomes from Discovery, Exploration, and Mapping (chapters 1-3) together with the survey analysis that informed Exploration (chapter 2).
  2. Guiding policy? Your strategy was given shape first by the values and prompts of the assessment (chapter 2), and then by the transformation journey steps of this chapter.
  3. Coherent actions? You have identified detailed outcomes that you have reconciled with your broader goals. Moreover, most (if not all) those outcomes align with one or more of the values of the survey, and those values are themselves coherent.

We could add to point 3 that our overall approach to the transformation process is highly coherent with our Lean-Agile sensibilities. Hardly a minor point!

So we’re good then? Not so fast. A solid basis for a good strategy certainly, but a further level of detail is still required. We’ve said what we want to have happen, not the concrete steps we will take and what impact we think they will make. Cue chapter 4, Elaboration.


This was the third of three related posts:

  1. Lean-Agile transformation as Lean-Agile process
  2. Agendashift as coaching framework
  3. Agendashift as good strategy

See also Karl Scotland’s post Good Agile/Bad Agile: The difference and why it matters.

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