After a hilarious four years ride I decided it is time for me to leave my comfort zone again and move on. End of October, in about two weeks, my last day as Lean Delivery Agent at zanox has come.
Looking back, the last four years were a big step forward for my personal development, my understanding of Agile, Lean, and studies on company cultures. Back in 2010 I joined the introduction of Scrum in our organization. My highlight there was to see how effective Agile processes make fundamental problems transparent. I also learned how important the right people with the right mindset in the right positions in a company are, and what a fundamental requirement for the success of “Agile” this is.
Fortunately latest in 2012 the organization got such really great people in the tech management, with CTO Christian Rebernik, Director of Engineering Adam Drake, and Director of Lean Delivery and Engineering Marco Melas. Those guys really rock. Together with them I introduced Kanban as change management tool in the tech department, and supported the growth of a mature, self-organizing, flexible, learning organization. I saw teams developing, focusing on meaningful work, striving for excellence, while a truly “Agile”, people and collaboration driven, management kept their backs free. I saw the successes in trimming down an overgrown, massively complex, 13 years old, legacy-burdened platform, resulting from an unhealthy need to push out more and more features at any cost, to a state of the art, maintainable and sustainable system. Together with about 60 people we successfully fought through a massively challenging key project that bound resources (people, money, time) for about four years – while keeping a sustainable pace. And the most impressive thing: we grew with the challenge of this not very popular kind of special beast, and many good habits we developed stuck even after the project ended.
Together with the Lean Delivery team we run a lot of experiments on processes, tools, habits, meetings, reportings, to find out what works and what doesn’t in our culture and our context. We hacked the culture, coached people and teams and challenged nearly every process and requirement to find out what really matters. That was extremely valuable. Always striving for evolution instead of revolution, to lower the “negative impact” of the J Curve, applying Kanban thinking.
I met a lot of great people and found friends. Besides all the challenges the company was and is facing it turned into a really great place to work. So I’m looking back with some tears in my eyes, and proud of the way we walked together. However, my feelings say time has come to face another challenge, another workplace that waits for being turned into greatness. This time even on larger scale. And I’m sure this will be a big chance for me to grow and learn even more.