Spread Agility Like Rockin’ 1000: Focus on Harmony, Not Frameworks

ALTUĞ BİLGİN ALTINTAŞ
3 min readMar 9, 2024

Before reading this article, please watch this concert and then continue reading. https://youtu.be/Ul8vqaGGnY0?si=l3v5fGkVYhFSSW1D

In today’s dynamic business world, agility reigns supreme. Companies must adapt quickly and efficiently to survive. But how do you spread agility across an entire organization, regardless of size? Often, teams within the service value chain lack proper coordination, hindering agility. True agility is about assigning the right task to the right person or team at the perfect time. But with so many agile methodologies available, how do you achieve this and cultivate agility across the entire organization to maximize efficiency?

The whole

Here’s the key: Forget rigid adherence to specific frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, or SAFe. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal. The solution should fit the problem, not the other way around. Focusing on the right questions instead of a one-size-fits-all approach is more beneficial. There’s no magic bullet, but established principles and practices are essential. To illustrate this, let’s draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring Rockin’ 1000 concerts.

Rockin’ 1000: A Masterclass in Coordinated Performance

Rockin’ 1000 is a unique event where thousands of musicians come together to perform a famous song simultaneously. Imagine the spectacle of 1,000 musicians playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in perfect harmony! This exemplifies the power of diverse groups working in perfect coordination to deliver a unified performance, fueled by the energy of thousands of enthusiastic spectators.

An interesting aspect to note is that these musicians aren’t necessarily organized into small, cross-functional teams, which is a common misconception about agile teams. This observation is crucial for those who believe agile teams must always be structured in this way.

The experts

The Formula for a Rockin' Performance: Expertise and Collaboration

So, what are the ingredients for a successful Rockin' 1000 performance with a multitude of skilled musicians?

  • A strong composition: This translates to effective portfolio-level management within an organization. Just like a well-written song, a clear and strategic plan is essential.
  • Exceptional coordination: This aligns with the concept of agility. The right teams need to make the right moves at the right time, ensuring a seamless performance.
  • Seamless communication across specialties: Think of the conductor leading the Rockin' 1000 musicians. Effective communication is vital for different specialists to work together flawlessly.

In essence, it's about having the right teams or departments take the appropriate actions at the most opportune moments.

The coordination layer

The Coordinator Layer: Beyond Rigid Teams

While Rockin’ 1000 doesn’t rely on classic cross-functional teams, this doesn’t mean such teams are useless. However, as your organization scales, the rigid structure of cross-functional teams might not always be the most effective approach.

The Big Takeaway: It’s All About Harmony

The Rockin’ 1000 concerts perfectly illustrate how work can be scaled effectively. Excellent coordination is paramount for ensuring customers receive the right service. By drawing parallels with this event, we gain a new perspective on spreading agility across an organization. It’s more than just adopting specific agile methodologies. It’s about creating a symphony of coordinated efforts, expertise, and execution that resonates throughout the entire organization. The ultimate goal? Delighting your customers!

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ALTUĞ BİLGİN ALTINTAŞ

Business Agility lover, TDD guy, clean coder, non-stop learner.