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Run the Experiment!


Remembering a venture into the Agile software development "pairing" concept.

January 2018

After the holiday break, we found ourselves rested but in need of new focus.  So naturally, we scheduled a meeting.  The agenda was simple; bring your best ideas.  After absorbing some of the wisdom inside Richard Sheridan’s "Joy, Inc.", my excitement had peaked for new possibilities.  After all, the first quarter of each year is a great time to recapture momentum.

Our small team procures, delivers & maintains over 1.5 thousand assets, in 5 locations thousands of miles away from our offices, to accomplish work in 36 different countries.  We aren’t procurement or supply chain professionals, this is just one of our additional jobs.  It’s a challenge that demands innovation & quick study to overcome typical constraints.  Without creative collaboration, we get nowhere.

In our 90-minute session the team isolated several opportunities:
·Re-vamp “paperless” procedures
·Institute efficient lifecycle replacement alerts
·Enact equipment repair & trade-in programs

With every idea, another teammate engaged with the issue in a natural blend of their talents.  The atmosphere was electric!  There was no prompting for pairing.  In fact, other teammates knew nothing conceptually about it, it only existed in my mind from reading Mr. Sheridan’s book.  The team’s re-energized connections melted away the “Lone Ranger” seclusion that often erodes productivity.

Pairing may not always be the intuitive choice, however, it focused our priorities & created a myriad of opportunities.  Their "pairing" partnerships spared $8,000 in maintenance, earned $8,500 on trade-ins & new procedures saved 4,500 company hours inside one quarter.

While not monumental, these results have deepened our relationships while adding depth to understanding our business function.  The pairing approach has helped us work in our strength “sweet” spots & encouraged delegating our weaknesses.  It’s been an experience that’s broken down some of the barriers of bureaucracy that conspire against efficiency.

If we let go to let others go we’re creating the conditions for unlocking our potential to serve one another.  We don’t work at a place like MenloInnovations & I’m certainly not Richard Sheridan.  Changing the organizational structure may not be possible but we can do a whole lot for how it feels to work there & you can too!

When we have the courage to run the experiments we learn more faster.  Pair your way to success!

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