Too often we hear such comment when talking about Lean, Scrum and other “agile methodologies” applied in some not-small-organisation. But why they failed?
It’s not a secret that organizations too often simply look for “recipes”:
People copy the most visible, obvious, and frequently least important practices.” – Jeffrey Pfeffer & Robert Sutton, Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense (2006)
I my opinion this is extremely obvious: as human beings we first see the “visible thing”, that is the practices. And often forgot to learn its fundamentals: principles and values. When the former are easy to see - they are tangible - the latter are often remote and need time to learn how to see it.
Using the iceberg metaphor we can effortlessly understand that it’s easy to see the pick of the iceberg, quite more difficult to dip in cold water to see principles and understand the values.
So, it’s quite obvious that when approaching any agile methodologies an organisation ask first for “tools” and “instructions” on how to use it. But, unfortunately, merely using tools is a path to failure.
As coaches is our task to make people to “plunge” and discover the inner principles and values.