What is the primary challenge in switching over to Kanplexity?

What is the primary challenge in switching over to Kanplexity?

A lot of it has to do with assumptions.

People assume that adopting agile means that you need to hire or train:

  • Scrum Masters.
  • Product Owners.
  • Process coaches.

And so forth.

People in roles that didn’t exist 25 years ago.

Adopting Kanplexity.

If you have product owners, scrum masters, or project managers in your environment that’s great, they will grasp the agile capabilities development element of kanplexity right away, but if you don’t, that’s okay too.

You already have people who get things done.

You already have people who know how to do the work, have the skills necessary to perform the work, and have the capability to manage workflow from end to end.

You don’t need to hire people to execute on kanplexity and grow your agile capabilities.


All kanplexity asks is for product development teams to work closely with their leadership teams.

In a traditional organization, those will be managers and senior managers rather than agile leaders, but all that is required for managers to transform into agile leaders is the adoption of more agile leadership behaviours and less of the command-and-control traditional behaviours.

Kanplexity brings problem solvers, product developers, and leaders together to solve complex problems and build complex solutions.

In a traditional command-and-control environment, managers traditionally instruct ‘workers’ in what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. In agile environments, it’s more of a collaborative and cocreative approach to solving problems and building solutions.

The people who do the work are best positioned to understand the constraints of the environment, the significance of the challenges they face, and how to best approach the problem and begin to develop a solution.

Managers and leaders can work closely with those teams to identify potential impediments and actively help remove those roadblocks. Actively work with the team to overcome challenges and make effective decisions in alignment with the team’s goals and objectives.

Simple transition to make.

We own the change collectively and don’t require external accountabilities, personnel, or contractors to help us make that change.

Optimizing the flow of value.

Kanplexity showcases the Kanban Guide to help teams optimize the flow of value throughout the value stream. A pull-based system of work that flows from conception to customer effectively and efficiently.

Traditional environments are a push-based system where managers assign work and place cost and time constraints for the delivery of that work. Again, a simple change, but a significant change that leads to greater productive output and increased customer satisfaction through improved value delivery.


Navigating Complexity

Kanplexity also provides guidance through the cynefin framework, a sense-making framework for navigating complexity, so that teams know what to do given the circumstances they encounter.

  • If chaos is present, do this.
  • If complexity is present, do that.
  • If it is complicated, do these things.

And so forth.

Simple work is transporting 1,000 bricks from point A to point B. We know how to do it well, we have the confidence of having done it a million times before, and we know who is best positioned to execute the task.

Complicated work is building a bridge. It’s hard but with skilled professionals, we understand the math and we understand the challenges associated with building a bridge. We have the confidence of having built many bridges, so we know how long it will take, how much it will cost, and what teams of development teams are best positioned to do the work.

Complex work is when we bring the experts into the room, and we still can’t know the answer.

The problem has never been solved before and the solution has never been built before so we have no guarantees that any of the options we select will work. We have no guarantee that our efforts will produce the outcome we want or need.

So, cynefin is a powerful framework for helping you assess what your best next move would be, given the circumstances you encounter. A compass that can guide you back onto firm ground in times of uncertainty, volatility, complexity, and ambiguity.

It provides guidance that transforms managers into leaders that actively guide teams through complexity. Actively guide them to the outcomes that matter most to customers and the organization.

So, kanplexity is a framework to help you grow agile capabilities as a team. A combination of managers, product developers, and organizational change agents who work together to solve complex problems and build complex solutions.

About John Coleman

John Coleman has deep experience and expertise working with executives, #leadership teams and product development teams to achieve increased #organizationalagility and create environments where creativity and collaboration produce high-performance teams.

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