Target's Approach to Agile Featured in MIT Sloan Management Review
Target was recently featured as an agile and product leader in MIT Sloan Management Review, the flagship publication of MIT’s business school. With that backdrop, writing this post from the perspective of an enterprise agile coach brings about a mix of emotion, a bit of commentary and a simple observation.
On the one hand, I want to scream from the hills near and mountain tops far away that, as an agile organization, “We’ve made it! We
On the other hand, there is absolutely more work to do as we fully embrace change, cultivate a culture of learning and try to seamlessly work across product/portfolio stacks– continually modernizing internal systems and unlocking real value for our guests via cross-enterprise strategic initiatives. Unlike a new feature or capability that has successfully met all acceptance criteria and ultimately reaches its intended user in a “Done. Done!” production state, we are never done. Sometimes the teacher. Always the student.
When I became a full-fledged REDcard carrying Target Team Member back in mid-2014, almost right away and to this day there was one trait of Target’s culture that stood out to me above all others– Collaboration. Target was and is naturally collaborative at its core—almost hyper-collaborative. I’m not sure why this is, but it just is. It also seems fitting that “Customer Collaboration” along with “Individuals and Interactions” are two of the four agile values in the Agile Manifesto. Sure, there are downsides at times to having this as a trait. But paired with the right mix of complementary talent, methods, frameworks and mindset, collaboration became the innate competitive advantage that other organizations only dream about obtaining someday.
Steve Harty is an Enterprise Agile Coach with the Agile & Engineering Enablement team. In this role he helps guide teams through agile and product management practices.