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Goals vs Systems...
This doesn't seem quite right
I saw this video the other day talking about the concept between goals versus systems. and the person said,
"Goals are for when you want to win something once. Systems are for when you want to win something repeatedly."
And at first I thought, "hrm, well that's an interesting way of thinking about it, and I think that kinda makes sense." and as soon as my brain finished that thought, it dawned on me that there was something I had worked on recently that related to this, and it helped me understand the relationship between goals and systems a little differently.
I had done a little drawing to help articulate a system of work at a basic level with intentionally generic language, and goals were a part of that, but they were only a part of the system to get some outcome accomplished.
How I would talk about goals and system is more like this:
Goals are a part of the system you use to constantly deliver results in the direction you want that's valuable to you and your customer.
The cyclical nature of these value delivery systems is strong. We typically don’t do something just one time, and I think that the quote that I heard really exemplifies that. There may be some cases where we just need to set goals one time, however when it comes to working in teams that are delivering value to customers, they typically are going to be doing a continuum of work around a product or service.
And so, we don’t just need one time goals, but we need a system to help us define goals that we want to achieve and then ways and methods to support delivering those goals that we use over and over, and that help us work in the ways that are meaningful to us in our context.
A question I get pretty often is, “Which framework should I use, Scrum or Kanban?” The first problem with this question is the assumption that any team should just pick a framework and implement it. That’s a whole different post. I think the question they are trying to ask is, “What system should I implement with my team?” and my advice is to think about what’s important to you and the team in terms of your ways of working and delivering value.
This is the approach we are about to use with several teams. We are going to start with understanding their current process: the activities, the roles, the measures, and we are going to talk to the team about what they like and don’t like in that current process. We are going to talk to them about what’s important to them in the way they deliver and what they deliver. We are going to get oriented and get them oriented, and then they can start to explore.
So, it’s not “goals vs systems”, its “goals and systems”.
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