Improving Improvements

ImprovementsImproving Improvements

Agility is like a house. Well, actually the house is like an organization, and Agility is making that house mobile. Applying an Agile framework like Scrum to a company creates large changes for the purpose of flexibility and making improvements. 


Now, imagine a house, and think about what it would take to make it moveable. I think there would be a large amount of digging with some heavy lifting on the side. But what if I forgot to make the changes, or what if I put on wheels but I forgot that the point of the wheels was to make the house move? The house probably wouldn’t be going anywhere.


In a similar way, companies add the Scrum framework because they recognize the need to change, but they add the events as much as they can to fit the preexisting structures. It is entirely possible for companies to try Agile frameworks without actually trying to be adaptable. They make the framework adapt to them, they do not adapt to the framework. This is where the mistake occurs.


We as a community need to prioritize improving over the processes that are already in place. 


Companies that do this, like Tesla, are normally at the top of their fields and respected for the innovation they create–it’s because they prioritize change. They make adjustments each work period, and they continue to make the products better. This style of motion completely contradicts the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” but we can’t help but see the effectiveness of constant improvements.


I thought about this in my own life. I’ve asked myself how can I improve, how can I be better? These questions have led to a mindset of never settling for poor days, or bad relationships, or terrible tasting meals that I forgot to take out of the oven. I learn from the past to make the present better. Too often do I wait to improve things in the future when as Emily Dickinson wrote “The future is composed of nows.” 


We as a people should focus on improving. If this were to happen on a larger scale in the nonprofit space, I get chills thinking of the impact that we would have.


What is one way that your organization is focusing on continuous improvement and building on past lessons?