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Write a film. Share the workload with someone.

Read the article back to yourself and delete the word “Cambodia” and write in “__________.”

1 The twenty letters comprising the published message became SOFΛGCM (for “Sold Out, Full Access Contingent Management”).

Source: Jeff Sutherland.

Chapter 9

The Personal Trainer: How Agility Strategy Fosters Entrepreneurship

We must start to learn how to talk the language of our entrepreneurs. Our companies are filled with knowledge workers, people whose values are valuing always and building customer relationships. We have to learn how to talk the language of our knowledge workers. We have to do things like track the pulse, foster entrepreneurship, and develop a company where knowledge workers operate at organic levels of agility.

By responding to the macro environment, an agile company can stay focused on customer needs. Having a strategy is often confused with being strategic. The true nature of a strategy is just one step closer to the customer than you were yesterday. An agile organization learns from the customer in real time, constantly responds to the customer forces, and produces in the present a product that customers still want.

More and more people are taking agile approaches to restructuring companies. Since value is no longer defined only in the acquisition of physical goods, traditional product-oriented financial planning is no longer valid. That is, there is often a time lag between the time when you start collecting value (for example, revenues) and when you collect it (in cash). The time lag is what you have to deal with in the new economy.

As a consequence, product delivery must be shifted dramatically to enhance agility. Otherwise, it is impossible to be agile in a certain traditional system that has long lead time, long payback, reduced flexibility, and long cycle time. Critical enablers today include mobilizing time and tapping the talents of your entire enterprise.

The generic strategy models I have preached throughout this book are geared toward achieving these enablers of agility. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a higher level view of how to apply these models to develop a Personal Trainer enterprise.

Benefits of Agility

Figure 9-1 illustrates a company that does not understand the importance of creating a more agile enterprise.

Figure 9 Meet Joe, the least balanced worker on Earth. CEO Johnson thinks Joe’s 45-hour work week is an excellent performance because he spends most of it in an “agile” position while tethered to many orifices and antennas with lots of incoming and outgoing wires, via which you and I construct what would be an optimal IT and knowledge interaction for him. Since Joe is reaching out to specialists in the many departments and functions of his company, there is a steady leakage of information from all of the tentacles in the tech and func groups into the rest of the company. Once you wonder whether your company is scared of Joe for a moment. How could all those specialized knowledge types and departments not be worried about such leakage? What about the fact that Joe is working more? Isn’t Joe taking more work from them?

If all that were to happen, a Personal Trainer might still follow the in-box approach, but at least the risk of hoarding or leakage of project resources, time, or “soft process” work would be greatly reduced, which is what the old approaches have done. Tasks would be given to individuals who could put them on their in-box. An in-box is a personal software tool that keeps track of “to do” to eliminate time-dumping mistakes common to overload in the old days.

How counterintuitive, though, that going agile would start with reducing even the idea of projects. Eeesh! Wait a minute! It’s true. It’s the way to go. Most “projects” are really a series of tasks worth doing; now the company can make the tasks simple, track each person’s progress, and deliver products instead of work. Since much work doesn’t get done, create sprints to blast through this onslaught of tasks to do.

Going Projectless

First and most importantly, there is no such thing as a “project” anymore. I think you will find, once your head quits spinning and gets past the big word “project,” that the Personal Trainer concept helps you get rid of project-focused thinking. When I say “project,” I think “sheer waste” and at the top of this tower is the guy who makes all the decisions that started the project to begin with, because they seem to come from above; so they are perceived as headquarters directives. They are assigned by that guy at the top whom we now call the Vice President of Management.

Everything Is a Task to Do

The new ones are tasks to do, with everyone responsible for completion of the task and measured via performance by cycle time and what TPM/IT MSP/Ernie calls measurability. There is no project. The measurement is merely the task itself transmitted from worker to worker through wireless synchronization and then production of products and solution selling. No “sprint” is work. A sprint is merely for measurement purposes and then more product development. Therefore “hire the person,” not the “project.” Getting such tasks on workers’ (employees’) nets automatically would make even managers money. More on this later.

Then there is partial control over how workers manage everything via Work Flow. Now that knowledge workers finally have Work Flow, they can decide to complete everything by tomorrow. Since so much work doesn’t get done in this today-now-everything way, work cannot pile up like it used to in a fixed time, regularized, days-required way that started the project to begin with. Anyone get the idea?

A better version of this would be the task complete form, which is like the little pink memo that is common in many companies. The task complete form is a behavioral measurement system and a modern version of the old time study report. The most important difference is that this new one is on a task to do level and is sent both to the worker and back to higher management. Everyone gets to view progress. Therefore, this idea of task complete form replaces the “project done” report of the old in past days. The reports will now be so accurate, real time will be a must. Today’s crazy vice president would know whether production was smooth or he will get fired quickly, as has happened often in a past!

Tasks as Products

I finally got rid of projects, which is a pipe dream in most companies—we are all guilty of believing in them for far too long. Projects are about “design” or engineering, construction, and direction of appropriate “resources” and then “execution” of those directions. Let’s review our new system. In this agile world, the notion of a project immediately is replaced by tasks that have to be completed sequentially.

Imagine a task as a real 3D product. Just like there are many products, there would be tasks galore in this agile world. The customer would be in the center of the transaction and the production of products to make the customer happy always. How? Did you seriously think we might do something about that nasty customer debacle when a customer has to create a relationship in the old days? Your customer ain’t here anymore. We do customer-sorry-ism. Why not? What are you worried about? It’s a pricing model also. Don’t think that way. You are thinking of the past here, end users aren’t involved anymore. They might be part of the new kaizen team that ensures the Process Pillar is accurate. You are what it means to be instant now or instantaneous.

No More Project-Tracking Object “Old”

Projects cannot be tracked in their real state anymore. What IT/MSP system will help you with that old-model project scheduling? There are designated workers for a “task,” designed for the customers in its own level of vertical navigation as outlined in Figure 9-2. But these tasks comprise specific action items that you need in order to create the product, a series of customer-satisfying action items. Since there is still the shotgun approach at the corporate level, which means management wants all projects to be done now, the old flattened organization will once again receive a big brush sup, who will order them to complete everything ASAP. Sure. Then what happens? Let’s use our newly improved management tool: monitor task progress and have all of the teams do sprints to adjust, plan, or expand such a task in such a Way Out of A, to SMART or similar time standards to get this company up on all fours again, shuffle the detail management duties as necessary and all will be right with the world.

Figure 9-2 Tracks tasks that constitute specific action items that you need in order to create the product and are assigned to workers.

Remember that if certain projects cannot be completed, this is a good thing. That is, if a project is to be inverted and the sequential steps must be performed with a “must have” order and the workers keep hacking away at the center of a circle, then changes could only come from the light blue outside box.

Another benefit of this new arrangement is that it helps management become more adept and coordinated at instilling accountability into the company. At our annual planning meeting, there is no longer a project to approve. Now that the task is clear and

Write a formal article in English about any of these topics:

Culture, language and food.

Nightlife and how to protect yourself from accidents.

Things that you and your friends can do together in your spare time.

A suitable topic could:

– find examples and photos to support your claims.

– give instructions, e.g. offering fun activities.

The format:

It is supposed to be a formal essay, so, use argumentative language (in order to say in your writing, why you have made a certain statement or have added an adjective). In your writing you can also use modal verbs to give more weight to the vocabulary.

Use a minimum of four (4) structural features from ‘vocabulary + grammar’:

phrase, clause, adverb, adjective, noun, preposition, conjunctions, interjection, verb, word groups, ‘connector’, preamble, footnote, referencing.

Make sure you comply with the KUOWA guidelines.

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