Inspect & adapt in practice
As a real ‘Foody’ I love to spend hours in the kitchen and experimenting. I also watch a lot of TV shows and documentaries about food. The other day I was watching an episode on Michelin star Chef and this one was about Richard van Oostenbrugge. He recently received his first Michelin star in his own restaurant ‘212’ in Amsterdam.
While watching, it suddenly struck me that Chef Richard and his team were actually working quite in an Agile way. ‘We take a dish and try to improve this again and again, instead of starting some new every time’. For me, this is a great example of ‘Inspect’ and ‘Adapt’. Continuously and in small steps improve your product until it is perfect and worth a Michelin star. If you have dinner in restaurant ‘212’ you can look from all tables straight into the kitchen. All the food is prepared right in front of you. For me a perfect example of ‘Transparency’.
So, what about some of the Scrum values like courage, focus, commitment, respect, and openness in a restaurant kitchen? Without courage, there will never evolve a new Michelin star-worthy dish. It takes a lot of commitment to put in the needed work hours day in day out. You need a sharp focus on quality, preparation methods and ingredients to get and keep your Michelin stars. All team members in the kitchen, from the dishwasher to the chef have a lot of respect for each other and they all need each other to deliver the perfect dish. And finally, there is lots of quick feedback amongst the team members, a sure sign of openness.
I like the extreme focus of a Michelin-star restaurant on the end product and seeing all teams work closely together. For the perfect end result and best customer experience, you also need the ‘black brigade’ and to be perfectly aligned. All in all, I think a Michelin star restaurant (and a lot of other restaurants) are a perfect example of an Agile mindset. Next time you go out to a nice restaurant put on your Agile glasses and see what elements of their way of working you can use in your team or organization.