Sooner Safer Happier | Jonathan Smart

Summary of: Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility
By: Jonathan Smart


Embark on a journey that explores the principles of business agility through the acclaimed book ‘Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility’ by Jonathan Smart. In a rapidly changing world, the need for businesses to adapt and deliver value quickly has become paramount. This summary provides you with a deep understanding of the concepts and strategies required to achieve business agility. Delve into the Better Value Sooner Safer Happier (BVSSH) framework and discover how it helps in improving outcomes. The highlights include building psychological safety, focusing on outcomes, practicing agility, and learning from unknown-unknowns. Prepare yourself to break free from traditional approaches and embrace innovative methods that promote success in today’s world.

Nurturing Business Agility

In “Agile-Safe,” Jonathan Smart explains how leaders must prioritize value and outcomes over methodology to achieve business agility. Collaborating with Zsolt Berend, Simon Rohrer, and Myles Ogilvie, Smart highlights patterns and antipatterns that impede or drive modern business value. The book offers a philosophical context for leaders who lack experience in Agile or Lean to embrace either methodology. The authors provide principles for achieving a crucial shift in leadership mindset instead of specific directions. The goal is to nourish patterns of work that promote business agility.

BVSSH Framework for Agile Development

TheBVSSH framework emerged from the success of lean and agile methodologies for software and product development. It focuses on key aspects of project development such as quality, value, efficiency, safety, and human-centricity. Unlike traditional project management frameworks, BVSSH empowers small, cross-functional teams to execute work chunks and deliver valuable outcomes. The framework also provides psychological safety to experiment and remain flexible. BVSSH companies reinvent their product development approach with collective incentives, automation and no rigid hierarchies. This framework is suitable to handle fluid and emergent conditions in modern development contexts.

BVSSH: A New Approach

Your company should support BVSSH outcomes, which focus on added value and outcomes rather than methodology. Avoid the antipattern of starting big projects, learning slowly, and discovering problems after wasting resources. Instead, embrace the BVSSH methodology, which can be implemented through Agile, Lean, Waterfall, or DevOps. Product development brings unknown-unknowns, but analyzing cause and effect can help with known-unknowns. Lean Methodology can improve efficiency, while Agile is best for experimentation and testing hypotheses. Remember that Agile and Lean are not goals themselves but methods to achieve goals.

Agile Mindset

Embrace an agile mindset by matching your work to the context at hand. Avoid the traditional approach of prescribing methods and setting deadlines. Instead, emphasize learning, finishing work, and delivering outcomes. To increase efficiency, remove bottlenecks, dependencies, and weak links. Google found that psychological safety drives high-performing teams, so create an environment where people feel secure to report flaws and incidents. Apply agility to agility by starting with small teams, value slices, and investments. Identify a positive purpose to attract innovators and achieve big through small. Focus on agility, not Agile, by removing old processes that add layers of complexity.

Efficient Work Strategies

Focus on bottlenecks, align values, and emphasize continuous improvement and coaching. Achieve outcomes by giving teams autonomy and offering technical experts equal growth opportunities. High-performing organizations recognize slowing down to go faster.

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