Standardizing Lean-Agile is Not Antithetical

Some people that moved enthusiastically to Lean-Agile pushed back when we standardized our approach. In their own research of Agile, those folks had picked up a sense that Agile was a free and open way of work and that standardization was antithetical to saying we are Agile.

We combine Agile and Lean, however. Lean also includes the idea of standard work.

Another side effect of standardizing internal tasks is that it reduces complexity. You see this on shows where someone comes in to save a failing restaurant. They reduce the menu and focus on fewer, better options.

This is what we are doing with Lean-Agile. We are optimizing for the entire organization’s performance, not just the single development team’s performance. This means that we look for what gets the best results and make that standard practice with all teams, working now and for future projects.

Additionally, the customer focus demands this. If we have two teams doing projects for the same customer, the customer expects a consistent experience with us in both. It is rather like how McDonalds fries taste the same in Texas as they do in Tokyo. McDonalds has standardized their french fry making process, so the customer experience is the same.

This rationale can help initially resistant staff agree to adapt and move forward.


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