Fighting Crime with Agility: Lessons in agile transformation from the Dutch Police

On February 4th, at the Business Agility Conference Africa in Johannesburg, Michiel van Gerven shared some of the lessons he learned about agile transformation from working with the Dutch Police.
26 February 2020
Michiel van Gerven
Organize Agile

Key takeaways

  1. Leadership is key. Ecosystems are changed by the top predators, meaning that while teams do the work, leadership creates an environment that makes this possible. Agile transformations that do not take into account the role of leadership and how the organization is governed are doomed to fail.
  2. Design transformations as a series of experiments. Start the transformation with the willing, or those that are in most dire need. Prove the concept, then scale out and up. There are no blueprints. Agile transformations are organic, thus the transformation itself needs to be agile too.
  3. It is not about the framework. Trust your teams to get it right. The National Police has many similar teams that perform the same function in different areas or cities, yet none of them work in exactly the same way. All have tailored their way of working to their specific local circumstances. The same work, vastly different approaches. The same goes for large scaling frameworks, they offer interesting perspectives, but the only scaled framework that is right for your organization, is the framework you have built yourself. Use teams in the trenches to help design the new organization.
  4. Your ecosystem does not end at the front door. Your organization does not operate in a vacuum. In fact, for your organization to be successful, organizations around yours will need to change as well.
  5. Earn a t-shirt.

See the full story in the video below!

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Michiel van Gerven

Transformation Lead