#RightToLeft is #Agendashift (outcome-orientation) for delivery

Going by chapter counts, Agendashift [1] is 80% outcome-oriented change and 20% continuous transformation. It describes an approach to Lean-Agile transformation that  rejects imposition, replacing it with meaningful agreement on outcomes, bringing together organisational ambitions and the needs of everyone who will help bring those ambitions to reality.

Can we do for delivery what Agendashift does for change? Of course we can, The only surprise it that it’s so necessary!

It has always been well understood in Lean circles that to make proper sense of a delivery process, you must start with how the thing that is being delivered creates value in the eyes of the customer, and work backwards from there. Somehow, that lesson gets forgotten in Agile circles; either Agile is all about teams (a view I can find some respect for, even if I don’t fully buy it), or we’re fed the ironically process-centric lie that teams start with backlogs and create value from there.

Screenshot 2018-05-05 06.23.15
Our handy, referenceable, Definition of Done

#RightToLeft is about recovering a focus on customer outcomes for Lean-Agile delivery [2], and maintaining that perspective as we work backwards through the delivery process, understanding it better, managing it better, and finding ways to do it better.

It’s a simple but surprisingly radical change of perspective. With it, it’s surprisingly easy to see that there are two Scrums [3], the mechanistic, backlog-first left-to-right version and the ‘iterated goal-seeking’ right-to-left version. It turns out that there are two versions of SAFe too; expect to see more on that soon (and not just from me). I haven’t yet established whether there are left-to-right and right-to-left versions of the other leading scaling frameworks; it would be nice to identify some that are predominantly right-to-left, but we’ll see (if you can help or just want to stay in touch with this work, join us in the #right-to-left channel in the Agendashift Slack [4]).

The Right to Left book [5] will come out next summer. Meanwhile, Agendashift has plenty to offer. For example, how do you explain survey results [6] like these?

Screenshot 2018-07-20 10.59.11

When I see results like these (which I do a lot), it’s all I can do to resist sarcastic lines like “Great to see all that leadership put to such good use!”. There’s some good(ish) news –transparency, balance, and collaboration are doing somewhat ok, relatively speaking (even if the numbers aren’t great in absolute terms and they’re not having the impact on flow that we would hope for), but just look at customer focus! Fortunately, I see a great appetite for doing something about this, paying more attention to needs, embracing validation, and so on.

I’ve said a few times now that I would be happy to see the rest of my career (I’m 53) being devoted to outcomes. When I first started saying it, I didn’t have #RightToLeft in mind, but that’s 100% ok. Perhaps one day we’ll be describing #Agendashift as #RightToLeft for change!

[1] Agendashift (www.agendashift.com)
[2] Understanding Lean-Agile, right to left (blog.agendashift.com)
[3] #RightToLeft works for Scrum too (blog.agendashift.com)
[4] Agendashift on Slack (www.agendashift.com)
[5] Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean-Agile (www.agendashift.com)
[6] Agendashift™ Assessments, also chapter 2 of the book (www.agendashift.com)


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

One thought on “#RightToLeft is #Agendashift (outcome-orientation) for delivery

  1. Good timing Mike, looking forward to seeing the thinking you have behind this. True customer value has needed to be on the top table for some time now! 😉

    Like

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