Does Agile apply when managing a company? In this episode, Simon Severino shares his story and his business of taking Agile to the C-Suite of fast-growing companies!
If you follow this podcast, the success of Agile methods is not a news item. It’s clear that Agile has improved greatly our ability to deliver software products to the market. In this episode, however, we look at a different application of Agile ideas. What if we could apply Agile to the methods we use to manage our businesses? That’s where this interview focuses: how Agile changes our approaches to running a business.
Simon is a growth consulting, he works with business leaders to help them improve the performance of their business. He does that using methods that will sound familiar to all Agile product development team members.
Managing your business as if it were an empirical problem, not a planning problem
Business management has scarcely changed since the early management pioneers started to define their management practices. We still have yearly budgets (even if Beyond Budgeting challenges that concept), and we still need to know “everything” upfront before we commit to an execution plan. If this sounds like Waterfall, it is because that’s exactly what it is. The “Sloan management” practices are firmly anchored in the predictive approaches. However, businesses are affected by unknown events in the future. Those events, require us to adapt and adopt change – like Agile talks about for Software projects.
In this segment, we talk about how Simon helps his clients implement an empirical method for managing our organizations.
We talk about setting goals and measuring continuously where we are, executing in 7-day sprints that end with a demo, and the necessary retrospective + adaptation to the execution plans.
Applying productivity tips to business management
When it comes to the work of management, there are often too many threads ongoing. That leads to overwhelm, and potentially having fewer ideas tested in the market. Simon shares with us some of his favorite productivity tips and explains how he applies those to his work with business leaders, as well as in his own business.
“Cut your lists in half” is a productivity tip that will also directly help Scrum Masters and Scrum teams to deliver. The relentless removal of superfluous scope is how we help teams improve their productivity.
In this segment, we refer to the Getting Things Done method popularized by David Allen in a book tilted (appropriately) Getting Things Done.
In the end, it is all about managing your constraints: Theory of Constraints
Simon is a student and practitioner of the Theory of Constraints. That set of tools has helped him create a fast-growing business that helps other businesses grow. But, at the core, the work he does is based on the ideas popularized by Eliyahu Goldratt in The Goal, a transformative book that served as inspiration for many of the ideas that all Scrum Masters are familiar with today (e.g. focusing on the flow of work, rather than only on planning practices).
If you want to know more about Simon’s work, feel free to contact them. They are ready to help and bring Agile to your business leadership!
About Simon Severino
Simon Severino is the CEO of Strategy Sprints, Europe’s leading remote Growth Advisory. His global team of Certified Strategy Sprint coaches do only one thing: Double the revenue of service-based businesses in 90 days. Simon also teaches Growth Strategy in select business schools. And hosts the Strategy Show podcast.
You can visit Simon’s company at www.strategysprints.com.