SEVEN PRINCIPLES 5-7: EXECUTE AND LEAD


Principle 5: Drive execution in short operational sprints

As experienced managers know very well: writing a plan is easy compared to executing it. 

In traditional management

the time horizon for such plans is mid to longer range, like 2 to 3 years, 

In view of acceleration such time horizon misses the point. Today, most business plans are already off the mark 3 months after their creation. By the way, most people get lost in longer range plans anyway 

Agile management takes a different approach

Focused on achieving the principle goal of revenue, agile operational plans are designed as operational sprints with a time horizon of 3 months – like many other activities in business have today. However, very agile businesses even use faster, like weekly, sprints.


Principle 6: Respond to change after each sprint

At the end of each operational sprint time has come to critically review what we have achieved and design the plan for the next sprint, challenging our operational plan with brutal honesty and no excuses or  “yes but”. 

Traditionally

we perform such reviews in our annual business plan and consider such review more an academic exercise, with many tables and graphs. 

For agile business management 

this approach is too slow, and adds little value to a business agility.
Instead, we cope with acceleration  by re-focusing operational plans after each sprint, eliminating all unnecessary initiatives and re-focusing on the constraints for the next sprint.

Optimal agility

  • For optimal agility, each Revenue generating unit performs such re-focusing like a heartbeat, by continuously going through planning, executing and checking for refocus again and again
  • When this cycle spins in all Revenue generating units the business is truly agile.


Principle 7: Lead the change

This principe calls managers to personally lead the change

To add a second management system – even if it is complementary to traditional methodologies – is not a piece of cake. It requires deep behaviour change. 

Traditionally, management

delegates such change projects to staff and arranges training on the subject.

That approach guarantees failure – and wastes time, resources and money. 

Three rules for success 

  • One, let everyone understand and consistently repeat the message, that the goal of this transformation is sustainable business success in our accelerated times. 
  • Rule 2: don´t even think of delegating this change. You must lead by personal example and engagement. Apply the seven principles yourself, as a shining example. and lead and help others to follow your example.
  • Rule 3: Be patient – but consistent. Managers who successfully lead such change report that it took them 1 ½ to 2 years to achieve it.