Schlagwort-Archive: Variety

The Alpha and Omega of Agility

When people and their collaboration become more important and results count increasingly and customers are tighter involved and the flexible reaction to changes determines the work, then we speak of agility. Everything is about the involved parties and, above all, the working group who takes self-determined care of tasks, which can neither be extrapolated from the past into the future nor pragmatically predicted in advance. A look at the Agilemma has shown that the new conditions are pulling the nerves of the managers – although they have the key to successful actions – the alpha and omega of agility.

It’s all about activating employees. For this reason, managers in an agile environment, actually not just there, need to consider the following points.

  • Micro management
    Once the boss is the best employee, it will be difficult. Micromanagers are busy taking care of the smallest details and reworking all the results of the employees. Managers who cannot let go are a serious obstacle as soon as employees are expected to act independently.
    The autonomy of the agile teams is unimpeachable.
  • Options
    In order to obtain viable solutions, the working groups need various options for action. On the one hand, the requirements determine the choices. On the other hand, the solutions need sufficient means for implementation. The provision of resources is one of the most fundamental tasks of a manager.
    The responsibility of the team is the best regulator against extravagance.
  • Transparency
    To be effective, actors need as much information as possible about stakeholders, the environment, the capabilities of participants and the beliefs that drive all. The decision-makers do not have to provide the figures, data and facts, but do have to provide sufficient opportunities to become adequately informed.
    Borderless data flow is an important prerequisite for agile work.
  • Impetus
    The inner drive of the team members is the fuel, which keeps the zest in the iterations of the project. Everything that hinders the momentum belongs to the alpha and omega of agility. The managers have the task to do everything they can to ensure that stronger performance is achieved and that everybody deals better with failures
    Capable bosses master the art of awakening intrinsic motivation.
  • Variety
    Complex tasks can only be implemented with even more complex means. For this reason, a wide range of characters, solutions and activities is indispensable. To ensure that diversity is not disturbed, all forms of nepotism must be avoided, since this generates envy and resentment, which ultimately results in poorer performance.
    Anything that increases diversity is indispensable.
  • Aim
    In the absence of clear objectives, the rough direction and the emotionally charged target horizon are the most efficacious description of the intention of the decision makers. If the undertakings of the bosses are based on the available resources and offers the team a loose network of people, and if additionally it becomes possible to draw ideas from coincidences and mistakes, and the efforts are limited to what one is prepared to lose, than the intention has good chances to deliver results.
    The coherent aim is the fuzzy vision.
  • Team
    Internal and external interdisciplinary partnerships are essential for an effective team. Given the different origins of those involved, it is essential to create an encouraging sense of belonging. Decision-makers must ensure that appropriate team-building activities are carried out.
    Here applies – Together Everyone Achieves More
  • Individuals
    The team hopefully consists of various characters that complement each other. Each team member should have a strong self-confidence and assertiveness in order to enrich the team in its capacity. The decision makers should resist the impulse to recruit teams from their old boy network, as this only causes discomfort in the team.
    The team is more than the sum of the members.
  • Orientation
    Independent of the agile approach applied, the decision-makers must in particular ensure that there are clear target visions by which the employees recognize the direction. In the absence of reliable foresight, it is not a matter of tough specifications, but of awakening yearnings.
    The team needs the fuzzy vision in order to have orientation.
  • Need
    The advantages arise on the way to the goal, which develops only in the course of the iterations. In contrast to classic projects, which create in advance an elaborate business case that promises great benefits in order to get the budget to start, in an agile environment small steps create small increments that can only be evaluated at the end.
    Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Bottom line: For a long time, “classical” organizations with business processes and projects have given their business the finishing touches. After years, this has led today to insufficient capacities being available for the next round of transformation, the Digitization. Therefore they want to use agile work styles. For many managers, this creates the Agilemma. Besides the required mindset it is necessary to master the alpha and omega of agility – the MOTIVATION of the employees in the agile teams.

P.S .: It takes a lot of time and energy to gain the trust of the parties concerned, but only a blink of an eye to destroy everything with a disrespectful, degrading and unfair leadership style.


Seats differ from each other depending on the use. There is no one and only solution, because the requirements deviate from each other in each case. This becomes evident with the one-legged milking stool that is fastened with a belt and that provides maximum mobility. In contrast, the office chair comes along on five legs and offers maximum stability despite the rollers. Accordingly, businesses need in each case a certain number of pillars in order to fulfill the purpose of the enterprise.


The equivalents of the supporting legs are in business the responsibilities for projects, tasks, products, organizations and similar, which are assigned under one roof. The following thoughts are intended to stimulate the consideration of this question.

  1. The one-legged approach concentrates on one purpose. The project manager, who is responsible for one project, concentrates just on it and ensures that nothing goes wrong. The available capacity is fully assigned to the project.
  2. Stability rises, as soon as a further pillar is added. On two legs, it suits better than on one. Employees, who settle two tasks, do not need to give everything. They have thereby a larger variety at work.
  3. The three-legged approach secures the stable condition. A responsible person has healthy variety with three products. The diversification prevents harmful routine and enables skillful distribution of the available resources. Three main points are within our cognitive abilities and therefore well workable.
  4. From another leg, arise four sides that topple more easily. Accordingly, organizations that consist of four areas reach a complexity that is still manageable, but already reach an increased risk.
  5. The five-legged approach has a manageable complexity and stands stable. However, the attention per topic is limited to 20% – in other words four days a month or one and a half hours a day. Thus, the limits of manageability are reached.
  6. More legs increase the complexity and become less manageable and eventually become too much of a risk. The attention is always absorbed by the “squeaking wheel”. One can take care of the other areas, if they create bigger problems than the others do. The consequence is a swinging back and forth between the areas.

Bottom line: Stability is best achieved from three to five pillars. Keep the number of tasks, products or organizations that are in one responsibility, within this range. As soon as the number continues to rise, the (cell)division into new units is recommended.