Is it easy to get a crash course in football by Pele or Maradona for a week and produce a world cup winning football team?
Answer is NO. Then why do lots of people in the corporate world think of hiring scrum trainers & expert developers to train their team for a week and then expect their team to be undergo a transformation at a magical scale?
German football team made it a point to transform their team and it took them a lots of years before they were able to reach the pinnacle. A quick side by side comparison of what is causing agile transformation to fail.
Football: Someone was there owning this entire transformation, the German football association spent a lot of time identifying talent in their teens and groomed them.
Office: In the corporate world switching jobs every few years have become common, but there is no passing on of the context, resulting in the new person taking charge, starting from all over again, as well as frustrating existing good performers who have to rebuild the perception.
Football: Players expecting state of the art training facilities, fitness programs and new shoes are not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Office: Computers have become so cheap compared to the salaries, yet the policy of providing the best tools and good work environment are archaic.
Coach vs Management
Football: Coaches are given their due powers to help the team achieve the goal. It is very easy for anyone to comment on how professionals should play their game, there would be no use adhering to the metrics if the team cannot win. Winning is the only measure for management.
Office: Often coaches are seen as part of the management or management tries to heavily influence coaching which results in a team which will work either for metrics or to please higher ups without the actual result that it had aimed for.
Football: Just the ability to kick the ball does not make a footballer. Training will be introduced to increase physical strength & stamina, better mental wellness, injury prevention, tactics and strategy. A heavy investment is made in the training facilities.
Office: In the software industry a generation is about 2-3 years. Computer science degrees are nowhere near what is state of the art in the industry. At many places the on boarding process is either very shallow or not up to date with the recent developments, leaving people to learn most of the things hard way. Given too many things to learn and the information overload, this results in inefficient learning and application of knowledge on the job. We need to prepare people to find answers that are not available on Google.
Football: Rookies don’t learn by watching greats from the bench, instead they play along with the veterans. Every sports team makes sure to have the right composition with a mix of rookies, emerging players and veterans. That is how they sustain a winning team.
Office: Architects and Leads often do not code or not part of the team every day, this means that most of the time the team just looks up to for advice or waits for reviews. There should be a good mix of people at all experience level so that there are enough people to try new things, enough people who have mastered few things and enough people who challenge change.
Above all – Persistence
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net