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The Golden Circle Theory?
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Why thinking of Agile this way leads to disaster can be explained by the ‘Golden Circle Theory. The Theory of: WHY, HOW and WHAT :
Agile methods like SCRUM, Kanban, XP, Safe and LeSS are only methodologies: a system of methods.
Stricktly applying rules, following best practices and pointing out procedures is completely usesless when you do not understand “WHY” you apply them and “HOW” it is needed to achieve succes.
By not understanding and agreeing “WHY” you practise a methodology, you are skipping the single most important foundation of collaboration: PURPOSE.
Not having a clear common goal leads to groups of people working alongside each other, just hoping to achieve a successful outcome (WHAT).
WHY, HOW and WHAT get mixed up so often that the essence – PURPOSE – gets lost
Cargo Cult: The How
Have you ever worked on a project where the emphasis was on how things were done? Lists of rules and procedures to comply with?
In these projects deviations are perceived as fault or problems and need to be addressed with improved rules and procedures.
If you did, you ended up in a “Cargo Cult” project (Cargo cult, wikipedia).
In Cargo Cult it is believed that if you model your project to other successful projects, you will achieve the same results.
Cargo Cults have made the HOW to the WHY and WHAT.
Market Cult: The What
Clan Cult: The Why
Have you ever worked somewhere, where you can sense the drive and purpose? Even though walls are not decorated with achievements, there are no lengthy workshops on customer focus and there no complaining about lack of vision or strategy, during coffee machine whisper?
If you did, you have been part of a “Clan Cult” project and if you have this experience, consider yourself lucky!
In Clan Cults there is a strong set of shared believes and values that drive collaboration, innovation and sense of purpose. Clan Cults are like a caring family.
By agreeing and understanding WHY a project has value and should be done , Clan cultures have a clear understanding on WHAT and can make use of HOW to achieve it.
A true shared believe, is the true binding factor, that elevates collaboration into extraordinary achievements.
THE WHY in AGILE
If you have been able to bear with me till now, you already have understood that the point to make is that true AGILITY is about WHY.
The inception of AGILE started with a MANIFESTO. The MANIFESTO is the core foundation of a shared believe of what us just and right when working together.
Successful Agile has to starts with truly believing in its principles.
This believe is the drive that practicing an Agile methodology is helping to adhere.