As one of Opencast’s scrum coaches, I’m writing about “The Dirty Dozen, getting your scrum teams ready for the airfield”.
My first engagements with lean and agile came from aircraft engineering, where there was an extreme focus on safety above absolutely everything else. User needs, product value and the bottom line simply had to take a back seat to ensure that the people carrying out the work left the hangar at the end of the day in the same condition that they first arrived in.
For this reason, the perspective of decision making, organising and continuous improvement had a much more savage (but more effective) dynamic, which made adapting to an office-based environment pretty tough. It turns out that when people aren’t always in imminent danger, businesses can (and usually will) place operational requirements above the human factors that go into delivering them. It’s harder to fix the human aspects of delivering work than it is to put your head down and do the work, so when there’s work to be done, it’s a great excuse for not fixing the interactions.
Agile in software, without explicitly stating this as an intention, does take some of that human focus and human value back, but, in the spirit of kaizen, there’s always more that can be done.