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Who shall be the voice of the Rethinking Agile audio book?

We are currently in the process of bringing Rethinking Agile to the audio world. We have already pre-selected three possible voices and want your help by selecting the final one. Please listen to the samples below and select one of the speakers in the form and send us what you think! If you would like to be notified when the Rethinking Agile audio book is published, please leave us your e-mail address. This is optional. Thank you for your help!

Are Flight Levels the Shu, Ha or Ri of agility – or is that the wrong question?

I have often thought about what Shu-Ha-Ri means in terms of agility. I also often hear that Flight Levels are a Ri thing. I’m not so sure about that, so I try to put my thoughts into words.

Shu-Ha-Ri is a cool thing and I can well imagine that it works in many areas when it comes to learning something completely new. But I’m not sure if agility and/or Flight Levels are something completely new.

If a highly paid manager is unable to establish the required agility of his company in the market, then in my view he is not at the Shu level of agility, but at the Shu level of management.  There can be no Ri manager who acts at the Shu level of agile management when the market demands agility. That would be just like a Michelin star chef (Ri) not being able to cook rice dishes (Shu). If a star chef cannot cook rice, he is most likely not a star chef.

Yes, if you introduce Flight Levels as a thinking model in your organization, you will have to think. And that’s a good thing! The highest maxim of the Flight Levels is: “Thinking is explicitly allowed”. It is strongly desired that managers turn on their brains and – yes – also contribute their experience. They are not idiots, but smart people, which is why they run companies. I find it really disturbing when poster and framework agilists dictate to managers what they have to do to become agile. But I find it even more disturbing when experienced managers let themselves be dictated. Poster and framework agility is convenient. If it doesn’t work, managers can blame the method. Consultants, on the other hand, can say: “Of course it doesn’t work. You didn’t do it like the book says.”

With the Flight Levels we take a different path. We believe in the ability and responsibility of managers and even consultants. The Flight Levels model can help to get an overview of what needs to be done at which levels in an organization to achieve what you want to achieve. But the Flight Levels are not a recipe to follow – they “only” help to make the right decisions. The people involved have to think and make decisions themselves. When Flight Levels are applied in organizations, we often hear: “Now we finally see clearly where the problem lies and what we have to do”. And that’s really awesome!

Unfortunately, I am not smart enough to come up with the ultimate recipe for how every organization in every industry and of every size should work best. I also can’t imagine that such a recipe exists. Hopefully in every organization there are experts who know how to manage a company (aka managers). I am always very humble and honored when I see that managers use Flight Levels as a tool to make their daily work more effective.

Rethinking Agile – Ebook

It happened after all – there is an electronic version of the book Rethinking Agile. We have long resisted publishing an ebook because we believe that the print version is simply unbeatable. Rethinking Agile is a fully illustrated book that lives from the beautiful illustrations of Matthias Seifert and the excellent layout by Mario Simon-Horr. Especially the layout gets completely lost in an ebook. But the number of requests for an ebook didn’t decrease – we even had a ready-made answer in our ticketing system – and that’s why we thought, “Whatever, let’s do it”. The offer:

Kindle-Version on Amazon in many different countries (US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN) for about €9,99

Leanpub:

As an introductory bonus, there’s also a coupon that allows you to receive the Leanpub Bundle for only $19.99. The coupon is valid until 15 September 2019. A very good offer!

In the next weeks we will publish the German version as an Ebook. Many thanks to Marina Grosser, who produced the ebook and of course to Dolores Omann, who coordinated the text!

Agile at Scale – Reality is complex, don’t expect simple solutions

I really liked the episode “Agile at Scale – Reality is complex, don’t expect simple solutions” of the bol.com Techlab Podcast. Peter Brouwers discusses with Jorien Brangert and Hessel de Gelder about their 10-year journey to make the company agile. At the start there were seven Scrum teams and today 150 teams work with each other in an agil way. A challenge not to be neglected is the coordination of the agile teams but also the area of tension between alignment and autonomy. This episode also tells you how the Flight Levels at bol.com help to address these challenges. So, listen in!