When Lean is Too Lean
There is a meme circling Twitter right now where Executives believe that Agile = Waterfall but with daily meetings. In Corporate America, “Agile” and “Lean” have often been misused to push projects (and people) fast. For example, it’s not uncommon for a disconnected Executive to demand quick results regardless of whether that’s wise. This particular Executive may shout terms like “Agile,” “Lean,” and “Just add it in your Stand-up Meeting” to justify pushing people fast while allowing them to change their minds regularly. In essence, Agile is often perceived as being synonymous with Fast. It’s not, in fact, synonymous with Fast. Not even close, Mr. or Ms. Executive.
If you ever feel like you are being rushed into failure, feel free to use this gem – it usually stops those Executives in their tracks.
You can’t make a baby with nine women in one month.
If you think saying that line and walking out of the room, George Costanza-style, might not work, perhaps reference Brooks’ Law. See also: Death March.
It’s common for an Executive to offer to pull additional resources to make projects go faster. That is a fallacy according to Brooks’ Law – which states that adding resources to a project may take longer. And Death March is precisely how it sounds, and we’ve all had one. Everyone knows the implementation project will fail – everyone but that one Executive. Sometimes, projects need time to be successful.
If none works, perhaps this video of Lemmings marching off a cliff will cheer you up. But, of course, for some lemmings, it’s just another chapter in their little lemming story.
Fast for fast’s sake and no direction or an ever-changing direction is just stupid and will burn the best and the brightest out in no time.
Sometimes, projects need time to be successful.
Note: Originally posted December 31, 2017