Continuous improvement explained. Why football coach Michel Preud’homme would be a great agile project manager

By September 25, 2013blog
michel preudhomme

Still a big challenge?

Belgian football team Club Brugge KV has had numerous coaches during the last years. Last week they hired Michel Preud’homme to be their new coach. He watched the first game after his appointment in the tribune, as he didn’t had a chance to exercise with the team. The match was against the big rival RSC Anderlecht. Club Brugge won the game with 4-0 and humiliated the opponent

A few days after the game Preud’homme gave his first press conference as a coach. When one of the journalists asked him if he thought there was still a big challenge in coaching a team that just played such a brilliant game, he answered:

“If you don’t want to improve constantly, you stop being good.”

(In Dutch: Als je niet altijd beter wil worden, stop je met goed te zijn.)

Continuous improvement

This one-liner perfectly summarizes what lean and agile are all about. It’s not about finding the perfect approach, writing it down, and applying it until the end of time. The “perfect approach” just doesn’t exist. Even if you would find it, it would be outdated one day after you write it down.

Lean and agile are about continuous improvement (or kaizen in lean terminology). It’s about establishing a culture where everyone (top down and bottom up) constantly tries to do things better than before. It’s about being a learning organization. It’s not because your team just won an important game that they will win the next game with the same players and the same strategy.

Watch the report of the press conference (in Dutch)

(photo by Sammy Six CC BY 2.0)

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