In the Cynefin Framework, there is something we call the 5 C’s. These 5 C’s refer to the different types of problems one may encounter. One of the most common problems where Scrum fits in, are complex problems. Since Scrum is founded on the principles of empiricism; transparency, inspection, and adaption, when dealing with complex problems, it often requires a high-level of problem solving, experimentation, and goal setting.

In the time that I have been working as a Professional Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and Trainer, I would have to say that one of my favourite teams that I’ve ever worked with was a heavy-duty engineering team. You see, since I am not really a technical person per se, working with this team in particular, required us to grapple with a ton of complex problems, and really get down to the nitty gritty about what the problem actually was, and how best to solve it. The journey began with a team of about 28, working both night and day shifts, as well as onshore, and offshore as some people were on sea, and others on land. So as you can imagine, time management, and organisation on how to rally up the team into a daily scrum format, proved to be quite challenging at first.

Another added layer of difficulty was that as individuals, everyone had different specialisations, and levels of training and certifications. And so, as you can imagine, when faced with a set of complex problems, we had to really come together, work as one, and find an actionable solution, in order to achieve our product goal. This meant collaboration, and transparency were key to achieving what we sought to accomplish.

When working in an Agile way, there needs to be a great deal of transparency, and trust between Developers and the Product Owner, and there needs to be a shared belief that what we are doing will lead us to achieving our goals. This working relationship can therefore be quite intricate and intimate, in the sense that there cannot be achievement in isolation, but only when we work as a whole. So, when I have worked with teams, such as the engineering one, we had to collectively come to an agreement on what we wanted to achieve, and what those methods could look like.

What I found to be the most useful, was allowing and supporting teams to work independently. You see, the idea of Agile Working is that when you support and provide a team with a great deal of autonomy and innovation, you enable your team to solve problems independently, and therefore aid their decision-making capabilities. And the result of this? Creativity and innovation. This is because when individuals or teams feel like “wow, this is mine and I am responsible and accountable for this,” it inspires a level of pride, which consequently motivates people to go the extra mile.

Another great experience for me was when the General Project Manager of an exceptionally large project asked the team to incorporate Agile and Scrum into the delivery process. It seemed like Mount Everest at first, but after breaking the project down into simple deliverable elements, the team was able to generate and deliver a solution within hours rather than minutes. This shows that Scrum, combined with a culture of business agility, empowered the team to leverage the framework to deliver a valuable, working increment to the client faster, more effectively, and cheaper than a traditional project management approach.[7] [8] [9] 

The benefits of Agile were also evident to me, when one day I came into the office, and there were about six people from our team working passionately on the whiteboard and engaging in a series of constructive discussions about how best to approach a particular problem. And since what they were working on had so many interconnecting variables, where every move would impact the other, it was important to understand and give value to all points of view and recognise that no solution could exist in isolation. We discovered that a ‘bottom-up’ approach that focused on generating a valid starting point and allowed the team to improve with each iteration, resulted in an optimal outcome that checked all the boxes for our client. The ability to start working and evolve based on what we are learning and discovering, is one of the things I love most about an Agile approach.

Overall, this experience truly ignited my passion and desire for helping others and seeing them succeed. Agile and Scrum Training not only taught me about how an organisation can better manage themselves, but when you really think about it, it also teaches you some valuable lessons on human nature, and how to resolve problems collaboratively instead of suffering alone. Over the years I have witnessed teams and people completely transform after learning about Agile and Scrum, and even more important, empowered through the experience. [10] [11] [12] This for me is priceless, and something I hope to inspire in others too.

So, in summary, why is Agile a great solution to solving a complex problem, I asked myself. And this led to me the following points:

🚀 Facilitates transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

🚀 Changes in organisations mentality from ‘me’ to ‘we.’

🚀 Boosts creativity, innovation, and accountability.

🚀 Increases productivity and product quality.

🚀 Encourages a structured approach to solving complex problems.

Seeing how other people respond to this when it clicks is what inspires me to keep going, because it reminds me that I am not the only person who sees the value in it all.

Interested to learn more?

Get in touch today and let’s work together on your journey to success!

Pragmatic Shift is a Scrum Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile Coaching consultancy that specialises in delivering Scrum.Org certified scrum courses, and helping organisations increase their business agility and product development success through agile consulting and coaching.

We firmly believe that a shift to agile is a pragmatic shift. A natural evolution from traditional project management and product management. A proven, reliable, and resilient framework for addressing compelling problems and developing complex solutions.

Over a decade’s worth of experience as an agile practitioner, agile consultant, agile coach, and scrum trainer informs our pragmatic approach to change. Agile dogma has no value in the context of product development or organisational change.

Instead, we look to start where you are, work with what you have, and make meaningful interventions that align with the objectives you are trying to achieve.

Progress over perfection.

If this sounds like a pragmatic solution to you, visit the following pages for more information.

Scrum Training:

Agile Consulting: Coming Soon!

Agile Coaching:

#scrum #scrumtraining #agilescrumtraining #scrumorg #scrumcourses #scrumcertification #agile #agilecoach #agileconsultant #agilecoaching #agileconsulting #agiletransformation #agileadoption #scrumcoach #scrumworkshop #scrumskills #scrumtips #scrummaster #productowner #agileleader #scrumdeveloper #developer #projectmanagement #agileprojectmanagement #productdevelopment #agileproductdevelopment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: