Most Valuable Lesson You Learned as an Agile Consultant?


Don’t Get Tied Down by the Statement of Work

Have you ever wondered what the most valuable lesson in Agile consulting is?

Well, the answer is universal, transcending just Agile and striking at the core of consulting itself.

The lesson?

Quite often, the statement of work, in fact, almost always bears no relevance to the problems that the customer actually has.

Always remember that it’s all about the customer’s actual needs. 🎯

Intricacies of the Statement of Work

Here’s a dilemma that often confronts consultants –’ Is it maximising the value I bring to the customer right, or is it delivering a statement of work?’ 🔍

Actually, this is not just a question but a challenge, a conflict that can determine the success or failure of an engagement.

Contractual Obligation

Here’s a hard truth from my time in the trenches of the Agile world: consultants will deliver the statement of work.  📝

So, it all boils down to, ‘Here’s the contract; this is what we’ve been told we have to do, and we need to deliver to that contract.

The catch?

You’ve delivered what they asked for but not what they need, which essentially fails to bring about any systemic, lasting change to the organisation.

Pitfalls of Contractual Rigidity

Consultants may find themselves shackled by contractual limitations, particularly when dealing with larger organisations.  🤷‍♂️

Such organisations with bigger contracts lock you into delivering something that the procurement team in the organisation will hold you to, regardless of whether you’re delivering value to the customer.

Therefore, a consultant aims to deliver enough value that the people you’re working with will happily just tick that box and say, ‘Yes, Martin delivered,’ regardless of what’s in the statement of work.

Power of Flexibility and Adaptability

Here’s something to consider.  Why do I often prefer not to have contracts with clients at all?

Well, it’s quite simple.

I want to be able to dynamically and adaptively figure out what it is they need when we get on the ground and get engaged.  🔄

The Bottom Line: Delivering Genuine Value

So, what’s the most valuable lesson I’ve learned as an Agile consultant?

Undoubtedly, as consultants, we delivered what customers needed at the level they needed and provided them with the value they needed to not worry about what was written in the contract.

Explore Agile Practices Further Through My Courses 📚🌟

If you find this lesson crucial, I invite you to explore it further in one of my comprehensive Agile and Scrum courses.

We delve deep into these complexities to ensure that you can deliver true value as a consultant, irrespective of what a piece of paper says.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

These are the next five classes we have, and you can check out our full public schedule of classes.

Live Virtual Product Backlog Management Skills with Joanna on 14th December 2023
Virtual Traditional
14-15 Dec, 2023
09:00-13:00 CET
2 half-days
Immersive Professional Agile Leadership Essentials with Joanna on 12th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
12 Jan-1 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
8 weekly half-days
Immersive Professional Scrum Product Owner with Martin on 17th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
17 Jan-6 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
8 weekly half-days
Immersive Professional Scrum Master (PSM) with Dan on 17th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
17 Jan-28 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
7 weekly half-days

We can deliver any of our courses as private in-house training over Microsoft Teams & Mural. We also recommend training based on your accountabilities or role, you can go directly to recommended courses for Scrum MastersProduct OwnersDevelopers and Agile Leaders.

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