People Think Being Agile Is About Speed When It Is More Than That

by | Jun 24, 2021

The biggest misconception about doing an agile transformation is that it is all about speed. Increasing the number of releases to the customer is a by-product, not a goal. However, it is more than that, and I have non-technical proof.

There are plenty of articles on how disciplines outside of software delivery go through agile transformations to keep up and surpass the competition. However, recently I am going through firsthand how something that was never thought to be an agile environment has transformed without really knowing it has.

Before I go into what is currently going on, I need to provide some history. I have a genetic disorder called Crouzon’s Syndrome. It is a disorder that impacts facial growth and could have additional issues. The primary surgery to rectify it is called a Lefort 3 displacement. Basically, they are moving the midface up a distance to align everything. There are two ways they can do it. One is to do the total displacement in one shot, the surgery I had almost 40 years ago or have a gradual displacement over time (the surgery my eldest has just gone through)

While going through the prep for my son’s surgery, we were presented with this option, and after some thought, we decided to go through the second option. Here are the reasons why:

  • Although option 1 does it all in one shot, it is a more extended surgery.

  • Everything is set one time.

  • Due to how bones grow, there is a high probability of a second surgery because there would be some recession. (I needed a second surgery)

  • There are metal plates and screws needed to hold things together.

  • The jaw wired shut 5 to 6 weeks, causing the ability to eat as before after delayed by a month or two while re-engaging muscles for chewing due to dormancy.

The second option provided the following

  • There is a “halo” used to gradually pull the bones forward

  • There are no metal plates or screws needed to hold everything in place

  • Over the subsequent weeks, there are weekly adjustments done to ensure everything lines up as expected

  • Faster recovery time 3 over 6 months

This past week the team noticed that things were not moving in the direction they wanted and made minor adjustments to get things back on track. In the end, we have already seen dramatic improvements, and it is going as we all like.

So speed here is not always the right way. The speed of my surgery didn’t meet all the expectations and required additional work to get it right. While it is slower to reach the end result with my son, the weekly adjustments are allowing us to get it right the first time. All this due to a different approach that fits with everyone’s expectations and enhancing value for everyone.

The value that is achieved:

  • No expected rework. Low probability of a second surgery

  • Back to everyday life in a few months, not half a year

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