#3 The Cost of Simple

#AgileDoesNotHaveToBeThisHard. Insight #3.

The Cost of Simple
How the focus on simple frameworks puts the onus on the adopters.

The idea that you need a simple framework to help people in product development is incorrect.

If a framework is simple but puts the onus on its users, the overall combination of people and framework is not simple. We must take a systems approach here and look at the whole.

Simple is not the point. Effective is.

Effective means you provide the right information at the right time.

And since we’re talking about Agile, this should be information that helps people make better decisions, not telling them what to do.

There is an irony that we rail against management when they tell people what to do but accept so many Scrum trainers that tell teams to “follow until they understand.”

We all know how it’s easier to tell people what to do. Simple frameworks must resort to that.

In the same way want managers to guide instead of telling, we want our frameworks to guide instead of telling.

Frameworks need to be designed to bring forth people’s dormant knowledge – that is, what they know intuitively – that takes advantage of their experience. They must help us build a mental model of what to do to guide us.

This simplifies people’s work because they will discover they already know most of what’s needed.

This requires more than a simplistic approach.

Being purposefully incomplete merely means more work for the adopters.

The content is always incomplete.

The guidance system doesn’t have to be.

Like a GPS, only part of it needs to be displayed, but if it’s not there when you need it, work gets complicated.

“A good tool improves the way you work. A great tool improves the way you think.” Jeff Duntemann

An approach that doesn’t provide a model to understand why it works will be more difficult to use than one that does.

Kant – “Experience without theory is blind.”

Maybe that explains why you have to hit impediments in Scrum instead of avoiding them.

I’m continuing my series on understanding what’s needed today. Join the free Amplio Community of Practice for weekly insights on how to improve your work.

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