Principles of the Mercurial Perspective
1. Treat Humans Like Humans
Become a human-centered organization.
This means that you should work to treat customers and employees with the respect that should be entitled to a living, breathing, and thinking being. Let the teams self-organize as much as makes sense and is possible. They don’t need to be micromanaged. Respect them enough to let them make some choices.
This doesn’t mean don’t argue or avoid conflict. Conflict can be good for the creative and learning processes. This means argue as respectfully as possible. Avoid accusations and name-calling.
2. Engage in Constant and Shared Learning
Become a learning organization.
Always learn more and be willing to share that knowledge with others to help them learn. Be respectful of those who don’t know or understand something.
This doesn’t mean to offer unsolicited knowledge to everyone. This can create bad conflict. This means that your knowledge can become a guiding path for someone else, but you also have to respect that some learning comes from making mistakes.
3. Continuously Work to Improve Based on Past Results
Become a better organization.
Try to do better than you did before by looking at how you did things in the past. Examine your own motivations for why you do the things you do in the way that you do them. Align your actions to the best path forward.
This doesn’t mean everything has to change. Sometimes the best way is the way you have always done things. This just means you have to prove it.
4. Strive to be Transparent in Your Thoughts, Actions, and Statuses
Become a trusted organization.
From the ground up, work to make transparency an important value. Tell people when things are going wrong or you need help. Make it clear there are problems, it will make them more likely to believe you when thing are going well.
This doesn’t mean just transparency with work or project statuses. This means transparency in the underlying motivations for why the work or project needs to be completed.
5. Unite the Organization Under Shared Motivations
Become one organization with one common goal.
Work to increase collaboration with walled-off organizational silos, but also work to increase communication within your group. You should also work to limit silo creation as much as possible.
This doesn’t mean that two groups who have nothing to do with each other should talk every day. It means they should have access to enough information about those groups to understand what they do in case collaboration is needed.
6. Embrace the idea that From Quality Comes Customer Satisfaction
Become a quality producing organization.
Having superb quality is impressive. Customer satisfaction will rise, and potential customers will want to work with you. People become proud of making a quality product.
This doesn’t mean endless lectures and rude accusations when a bad product is produced and sent to a customer. This means you learn from your mistakes and try harder the next time. Reoccurring issues may mean a process needs to be changed or you have the wrong people doing them.
7. Limit Bureaucracy by Simplifying and Streamlining Your Processes
Become a more streamlined organization.
There is little need for filling out proper forms full of useless information or seeking just the right person to approve a non-vital process. No department needs its own specialized request process to perform requested work. The bureaucracy that does exist should be centralized and made easy to navigate.
This doesn’t mean an approval process or form intake system shouldn’t exist. The processes that exist should take into consideration the ease of finding and understanding the proper process. It should follow one single organizational standard so that everyone can understand the process.
8. Do Not Limit Options for the Sake of Agility
Become a more Agile organization.
Not everyone works well on a colocated team. Not every business is located in an area with an abundance of talent to fill all of their needs. Sometimes having a dedicated meeting at the same time and the same place every day doesn’t work for everyone.
This doesn’t mean do whatever you want when you want. This means that you should do what works best for your organization and the people within it. It may be that colocation is becoming a hindrance due to the large size of your teams/groups, or you can’t find the talent you need in your area. Just because an Agile framework says you should do something one way and one way only, doesn’t mean it is the best way to do things for you.
9. Expect Change and Adapt in the Most Efficient and Knowledge-Driven Method
Become a mercurial organization.
Be flexible, be ready to change and adapt at all times. Be open-minded and ready to have your mind changed. Accept when you are wrong and work to be more open to change.
This doesn’t mean you have to change. This means you should change with a purpose and with a goal. Change in a direction with clear intent and valid information to back up the rationale of the change.
More information: The Mercurial Perspective