Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Trying to be Agile is as hard as loosing weight. Or probably harder.

I found this lovely picture some days ago and just though it would be a waste to not used for something cool.. After a bit of mental digging I guess it might help to explain a funny metaphor I came up the other day to explain why some business struggle to “become” Agile…

“Molly is a sad cow. She wants to loose weight. All these days spent lazily munching and hanging around the fields have not done her any good. She sees herself in the mirror and fully acknowledge she is a bit… big... Ok, Molly knows she is fat. Don’t bully the poor animal. She is obese not because of lack of information, Molly knows what she should be eating and what she should not be indulging herself with. She knows she should walk more around the pastures instead of just lay around by the shade eating and eating and eating. To pay for a nutritionist would be just finding another excuse to give herself more slack until the appointment comes because she knows what the doctor will say - "Eat more veggies Molly, more fresh greens. Cut down the horse's sugar cubes you being sneaking at night.” and so on.

Molly is fat not because of ignorance about healthy nutrition or exercise habits you see... She knows all the forums with tips and diet tricks, she even joined the farm’s gym. She downloaded Nike App, she bough a new pair of trainers. She’s got all the tools to start her journey towards being a great slim cow but she is just too lazy to do anything about it. She cannot find a way to break this vicious cycle."

Some companies Agile journey are like Molly’s challenges in loosing weight. They know they are fat, bureaucratic over processed organisations where everything drags and takes time to happen. They know they are dysfunctional and that their teams are demotivated. They know their software is bad, takes time and is stiff. They can pin point exactly where is their pain. They have the time, the budge and even a few people interested in helping the change but they still fail to do so. Why? Why?!

Because as usual, the hardest muscle to train is the brain. Change habits, change mentality, this is way harder than being able to do 50 push-ups non-stop. The brain is lazy. It will try to deceived you, to force you to stay put in the comfort of your misery. It’s always easy to just keep doing whatever is that you are already doing, right? As the great Kevin Spacey said in American Beauty, “make today be the first day of the rest of your live". Get up from the other side of the bed. Give chance a change. Try, evaluate  the outcome and try again. And again, and again and again…

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