Understanding the concept of ‘Every Ounce of Value’ means recognising a core truth. Value is created by the people at the bottom. As the value creators, the people in the trenches and on the ground are who create the products, speak to the consumers and are best placed to make quick decisions.
The goals of any Agile business need to empower this group, becoming enablers of their value. In this way, you’ll see two clear groups emerge. Those who create the value and those who are there to support and empower. While companies are often inundated with staff who do not fit these categories, meant for compliance or process or keeping others in line – we believe that anyone outside of the two value definitions simply has no value in an Agile organization.
In order for this system to work, traditional hierarchies and business environments need to be revisited, and in some cases burned to the ground. Historically, systems and processes were put into place to feed the very top. The reporting and transparency in an old-fashioned business ecosystem was all upwards facing. This was intended so that the people at the top of the food chain could understand and consume, and then enforce top down decision making. The people at the very bottom simply followed the process, and so found themselves stuck if their situation in practice deviated in any way.
This now has to change. Turning the traditional hierarchy on its head, an Agile organization looks to push decision making further and further down the business chain. When successful, value creators feel empowered to make smart choices and quick changes, eliminating the levels of process and bureaucracy to get answers and put movement into place. With this structure, they not only get involved in tactical planning, but can focus on individual interactions, and get away from the stifling nature of top-down process altogether.
All Agile businesses should be investing in environments to optimize for the people at the very bottom, trusting and empowering every ounce of value at its source.