The most painful ones we came across were
- Rules and procedures took priority over quick decisions and a short business value delivery cycle.
- Tactics prevailed over strategy: the IT side always took a reactive approach to value creation. Instead of suggesting solutions to known and clear strategic initiatives proactively, our engineering teams waited for detailed business requirement documentation before doing anything.
- Despite numerous cross-team dependencies, teams preferred to work on their tasks as if they were completely isolated from the rest of the company. This meant that we had a problem with hitting common goals.
- There were no customer or stakeholder feedback loops defined at all.
- Mistakes came at a high cost because our solution quality was unpredictable.
- Stakeholders were seen as “evil bosses” and engineers as “oppressed laborers”, instead of having a healthy cooperative relationship. Because of this, teams wasted time on accusations and excuses, instead of collaborating on looking for the best possible solutions.
For three years, we tried to fix this by applying and experimenting with the Scrum framework and the Kanban method in small isolated engineering team environments. This was our first failure! Together with our Leadership team, we looked over our results and figured out that we needed to change our perspective on the whole transformation process.