McKinsey has published a post about how to take agile approaches company wide. It seems like a good read, but seems to miss a few fundamental points I find important for experience led companies. This critique is not so much about what is presented, but how I feel the teams should work.

The post seems to imply that there should be a strong product owner who is the whole driver for the project. While I think that is beneficial to have a single point of approvals, whether that is a single person or a group of a few, who can give go-ahead or drive the business targets, the bigger difference to me is in giving the teams clear targets and autonomy.

Having a strong leader runs a risk that it diminishes the motivation and the creative power of the team that is delivering. This does not need to happen, but often does. Thus there should be a culture that focuses on creating (measurable) goals but not telling people exactly what to do. This comes down to intent – what it is that the project or sub-project tries to accomplish with what boundary conditions that one should not cross.

You should not take my word about this, or the above; that is in abstract how Google operates. I should write more about that later.