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© aragost ag 2001-2021
Agility is
Inefficient
Klaus Bucka-Lassen
goto; meetup
Swiss Tech Updates
Trifork
February 2nd, 2021
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Goal
• «Fake Agility»
• Provoke Discussion
© aragost ag 2001-2021
DOING
THINGS
RIGHT
DOING
THE
RIGHT
THINGS
EFFECTIVENESS EFFICIENCY
*
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Where is the
Customer?
• = looking inwards, optimizing
existing processes, automate
• = looking outwards,
observe the market, pivot, innovate
EFFECTIVENESS
EFFICIENCY
© aragost ag 2001-2021
[ * ]
Success
«DOING THE
RIGHT
THINGS
RIGHT»
EFFECTIVENESS
EFFICIENCY
“It’s more important to
do the right thing than
to do things right”
— Peter Drucker
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Strategy
EFFECTIVENESS
EFFICIENCY
“There is nothing quite so useless as
doing with great efficiency something
that should not be done at all”
— Peter Drucker
© aragost ag 2001-2021
“If the ladder is not
leaning against the
right wall, every step
we take just gets us the
wrong place faster”
—Stephen R. Covey
“We're lost, but we're
making good time.”
—Yogi Berra
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Efficient?
Effective?
Faster! Plug the hole!
© aragost ag 2001-2021
THREE
EXAMPLES
© aragost ag 2001-2021
© aragost ag 2001-2021
+ 9085 branches
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Bankrupt
Because of
Efficiency
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Blockbuster
“Neither RedBox nor Netflix
are even on the radar screen
in terms of competition”
“DVDs are a melting glacier…Yes,
it’s melting, but it’s a slow melt.”
Jim Keyes, CEO
2008
2010
“We’re strategically better
positioned than almost
anybody out there. Never in
my wildest dreams would I
have aimed this high.”
Kevin Lewis
Head of Digital Strategy
© aragost ag 2001-2021
© aragost ag 2001-2021
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Forbes, 2007
© aragost ag 2001-2021
“… Nokia's problem was that it had a
completely inflexible global platform and the
processes that went with it. Nokia was like a
very large ship that took forever to change
direction. Nokia could only do as well as they
could forecast trends and the market
environment 18 months out. This is
completely different than how Samsung
operates.
The iPhone and touch screen devices were a
big disruption in the market. Nokia was a
really efficient machine, but efficient at
producing the wrong type of product. Their
internal structure and way of operating made
it very hard to respond to the iPhone …”

“Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did”
comment from a former employee
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Steve Balmer
on the iPhone
2007
*
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Matthias
Müller
on Tesla
2017
*
“The Future of the Automobile Industry”, Passau, 2017
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Volkswagen
vs. Tesla
… just saying
© aragost ag 2001-2021
A well-known big management consulting
company confirmed that this telco has a
problem and needs to save money true
to the motto “A penny saved is a penny
earned”.
Their recommendation is that the company
does this by “implementing agile”.
Our conversations with
them proved difficult!
© aragost ag 2001-2021
4
Warning
Signs
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Cost Cutting
(rather than continuous funding)
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Company
Run by
Economists
(rather than product people)
© aragost ag 2001-2021
High Degree of
Specialization
(I over T-shapedness)
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Utilization
Maximization
(not even being efficient)
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Summary
• Agility is also about efficiency, but effectiveness is
more important, and must come first
• The more complex your context, the more important
is effectiveness (and therefore agility)
• Be aware (!) when people in your vicinity primarily
speak to efficiency (or even worse to maximization of
utilization)
• Scrum is awesome. It will make you more efficient,
but even more so increase effectiveness (if you do it
right)!
© aragost ag 2001-2021
References
• «Great Companies Obsess Over
Productivity, Not Efficiency» [Harvard
Business Review, 2017]
• «Die Manager versuchen, an der
Effizienzschraube zu drehen»
[Tagesanzeiger, 26. August 2017]
• «The Phoenix Project» [Book, G.Kim, 2013]
• «The Goal» [Book, E.M.Goldrath, 1984]
© aragost ag 2001-2021
Agility is
Inefficient
Thank you for
your attention
Klaus Bucka-Lassen
aragost ag
Zürich, Switzerland
www.aragost.com
Agile Trainer, Coach & Consultant
Speaker at Agile Conferences
Did you enjoy this presentation? Drop me a note, comment on LinkedIn and tag
me, join me for a Scrum Course (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Scrum@Scale),
or hire me as a Coach to help you and your organization become more agile

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Agility is inefficient

  • 1. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Agility is Inefficient Klaus Bucka-Lassen goto; meetup Swiss Tech Updates Trifork February 2nd, 2021
  • 2. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Goal • «Fake Agility» • Provoke Discussion
  • 3. © aragost ag 2001-2021 DOING THINGS RIGHT DOING THE RIGHT THINGS EFFECTIVENESS EFFICIENCY *
  • 4. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Where is the Customer? • = looking inwards, optimizing existing processes, automate • = looking outwards, observe the market, pivot, innovate EFFECTIVENESS EFFICIENCY
  • 5. © aragost ag 2001-2021 [ * ] Success «DOING THE RIGHT THINGS RIGHT» EFFECTIVENESS EFFICIENCY “It’s more important to do the right thing than to do things right” — Peter Drucker
  • 6. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Strategy EFFECTIVENESS EFFICIENCY “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all” — Peter Drucker
  • 7. © aragost ag 2001-2021 “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us the wrong place faster” —Stephen R. Covey “We're lost, but we're making good time.” —Yogi Berra
  • 8. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Efficient? Effective? Faster! Plug the hole!
  • 9. © aragost ag 2001-2021 THREE EXAMPLES
  • 10. © aragost ag 2001-2021
  • 11. © aragost ag 2001-2021 + 9085 branches
  • 12. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Bankrupt Because of Efficiency
  • 13. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Blockbuster “Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition” “DVDs are a melting glacier…Yes, it’s melting, but it’s a slow melt.” Jim Keyes, CEO 2008 2010 “We’re strategically better positioned than almost anybody out there. Never in my wildest dreams would I have aimed this high.” Kevin Lewis Head of Digital Strategy
  • 14. © aragost ag 2001-2021
  • 15. © aragost ag 2001-2021
  • 16. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Forbes, 2007
  • 17. © aragost ag 2001-2021 “… Nokia's problem was that it had a completely inflexible global platform and the processes that went with it. Nokia was like a very large ship that took forever to change direction. Nokia could only do as well as they could forecast trends and the market environment 18 months out. This is completely different than how Samsung operates. The iPhone and touch screen devices were a big disruption in the market. Nokia was a really efficient machine, but efficient at producing the wrong type of product. Their internal structure and way of operating made it very hard to respond to the iPhone …”  “Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did” comment from a former employee
  • 18. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Steve Balmer on the iPhone 2007 *
  • 19. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Matthias Müller on Tesla 2017 * “The Future of the Automobile Industry”, Passau, 2017
  • 20. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Volkswagen vs. Tesla … just saying
  • 21. © aragost ag 2001-2021 A well-known big management consulting company confirmed that this telco has a problem and needs to save money true to the motto “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Their recommendation is that the company does this by “implementing agile”. Our conversations with them proved difficult!
  • 22. © aragost ag 2001-2021 4 Warning Signs
  • 23. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Cost Cutting (rather than continuous funding)
  • 24. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Company Run by Economists (rather than product people)
  • 25. © aragost ag 2001-2021 High Degree of Specialization (I over T-shapedness)
  • 26. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Utilization Maximization (not even being efficient)
  • 27. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Summary • Agility is also about efficiency, but effectiveness is more important, and must come first • The more complex your context, the more important is effectiveness (and therefore agility) • Be aware (!) when people in your vicinity primarily speak to efficiency (or even worse to maximization of utilization) • Scrum is awesome. It will make you more efficient, but even more so increase effectiveness (if you do it right)!
  • 28. © aragost ag 2001-2021 References • «Great Companies Obsess Over Productivity, Not Efficiency» [Harvard Business Review, 2017] • «Die Manager versuchen, an der Effizienzschraube zu drehen» [Tagesanzeiger, 26. August 2017] • «The Phoenix Project» [Book, G.Kim, 2013] • «The Goal» [Book, E.M.Goldrath, 1984]
  • 29. © aragost ag 2001-2021 Agility is Inefficient Thank you for your attention Klaus Bucka-Lassen aragost ag Zürich, Switzerland www.aragost.com Agile Trainer, Coach & Consultant Speaker at Agile Conferences Did you enjoy this presentation? Drop me a note, comment on LinkedIn and tag me, join me for a Scrum Course (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Scrum@Scale), or hire me as a Coach to help you and your organization become more agile