Larry Gelwix has been the head coach of the Highland HS Rugby team in Salt Lake City for 36 years. Along that time he has accumulated a 413-9 win-loss record; the most impressive any sports coach—professional or amateur—has achieved ever. Wouldn't it be fantastic if our projects had a similar success-fail rate? Some aspects of his coaching style are well in tune with some agile-lean values and principles:
• High degree of teamwork: doing collaborative work with all stakeholders within and beyond the project boundaries makes much more likely to achieve team coherence.
• Horizontal leadership: to give room for self-organization, delegation, empowerment of the team to make better decisions, and boost skill improvement amongst team members. This fades away micromanagement and a command-and-control culture.
• Setting goals: short, achievable milestones which are goals on their own right. An incremental-iterative approach to create products foments discipline, increase quality, and motivate customers to provide feedback throughout the creation of the product they want.
• Realizing potential: by trusting and empowering the team we form motivated individuals. And a motivated person is usually more productive and less prone to make mistakes.
This recipe doesn’t ensure project success, but it can help your enterprise become hyperproductive and, as a consequence, successful. As Larry said: “good decisions don’t make life easy, but they do make it easier.”