Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Hydra and the Abyss

I recently had occasion to speak to a good friend about the state of agility in general and the needs he was looking at in his organization. This brought me to the question – what is your biggest problem and how are you trying to address it? The answer surprised me a little – because I have dealt with it before. He was looking at the integration of the “last piece” of the IT structure. How do we get the mid tier and back end IT support groups into the Agile umbrella? If I recall my mythology correctly, the hydra is a dragon like monster with many heads – and when you cut one off, two heads grow in its place. I find this an ideal metaphor for transformations, because it seems just when you identified and resolved a core issue – you have two more issues take its place. The challenges I face are always interesting, but they seem to circle around three “heads” – management misalignment of expectations, team misalignment of expectations and product team involvement. I have dealt with all three of these recently, and have realized that any one of these can “kill” a coach immediately.