A process doesn’t work without people. A framework doesn’t work without people. Process and frameworks are meant to facilitate the delivery of value. Value isn’t delivered unless you have people. If everyone can agree on this we should also be able to agree that, in order for the implementation of a new framework, process or effort to deliver value to customers faster, people are THE lynchpin.
If we agree people are the lynchpin, we need to agree on what they need to be a strong lynchpin. If I think on times where I have performed the best, there were common themes:
- I trusted those I was working with and was trusted by those I was working for
- The people I was working with were all focused on the same goal
- We all had high standards for ourselves, our product and each other
- Having FUN was not an afterthought
There are a few more but, these are the “biggies”. Note, there is nothing in here about how we worked together. I say this because I think, sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the process – or framework – of work. Actually, the simpler the framework, the harder it is to implement because it is so very reliant on…people. When you look at Scrum, it’s very light on the process and how. Kanban is even lighter. Simple processes imply a faith and trust in people to do the best they can, be open and honest with themselves and each other and try to be better each time.
Heavy processes or frameworks imply a lack of trust in people. Otherwise…why all the process? Process is made of checkpoints, flows, owners, approvers, accountable, responsible and the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, people either did what they set out to do or they didn’t. A process or framework won’t actually guarantee success.
When a company or team decides to implement a new framework, they need to first look at the people and decide a few things. One, do they have people they trust? Two, are they (the people making the decision) open to working differently? Three, do they believe the framework they are implementing and the people they have to work within it will truly help us achieve their goal?
Processes and frameworks for the sake of having them are no good. It’s not good for the company, the people or the customers. Make sure there’s an environment for people to be successful in. Keep the framework/process as light as possible and. Ensure people are working on valuable products. Leave the people alone unless they tell you they need you. Then, be supportive and enable their learning and success.