About the IKEA Starter Kit, Spotify and Frameworks

The IKEA kitchen starter kit is a wonderful invention: I need it when I move out of my parents’ house and set up the first apartment of my own. In this case, it can really save my day: I can use my kitchen even if I didn’t have a plan for it before.

However, if you really approach it without any prior knowledge of your own (this was the case for me), then the start will still be bumpy. But it still helps.

But what the starter kit can’t prevent is that I have no desire and/or talent and sooner or later end up with frozen pizza.

If I keep at it, I’ll hit the limits and have to get additional tools, pots, etc.

How does the starter kit fit with agile frameworks

I think that’s a wonderful metaphor for frameworks.

When a team introduces Scrum, it is a good idea to do it “by the book” in the first step – because only then Scrum can fulfill its function and uncover dysfunctions in the current work, i.e. create pain.

Analogously, however, the framework also becomes too rigid at some point, offering few options for further development. The best example of this is Spotify: the start with Scrum, a solid implementation of agile practices and agile mindset – and then the organization was ready to dare further experiments and evolve the principles and practices.

No blueprint to copy

Henrik Kniberg has published a snapshot of this evolution, and he never tires of emphasizing that it is just that: a snapshot, not a fixed structure, nor a blueprint that can function unchanged outside the Spotify environment.

Start, Learn, Question

What are for me the most important lessons for a start with agile working

  • Start by adopting lessons learned, with the starter kit as with agile practices
  • Develop further and acquire a deeper insight into contexts. It sounds simple, but it’s quite tricky: you need to understand a system in order to make sense of it
  • Last but not least: you have to constantly question what was good enough yesterday.

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On Key

The VSM Quick Guide: the model

The introduction to the series on Jon Walker’s VSM quick guide. It describes the simplified VSM vocabulary as used in the rest of the steps.