When Agile is Stuck, Scrum is blocked, Planning is Painful, and Implementations Stall, use Angular Execution to break through the chaos. Over the last six months, I have been developing this framework. It has helped me execute more effectively. I hope it helps you as well.

Angular Execution is a framework composed of a triangle representing the work required to solve a problem. The triangle's width represents the required effort and the height equalling the time required to complete the work.

Any complex problem requires effort, and most of the effort required is at the beginning of the project and diminishes the closer it gets to being fully implemented. The type of work also changes as a project nears completion. In the beginning, there is planning, coding, and building proofs of concept, and as this solidifies, the work changes into documenting, implementing, and marketing.

Angular Execution's "Work" component contains four internal triangles representing the required functional areas. Understanding how to manage these areas will help you accelerate execution and break through the chaos. The top component triangle is "Solution," and the foundational triangles are "Problem," "Authority," and "Resources."

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The Problem

Rewarding work is about solving problems and finding solutions. Any solution starts with a problem. Unfortunately, grasping the problem can be difficult. One of the challenges with identifying a "Problem" is the size and scope. Problems can be as enormous as curing cancer or as small as writing an email to reset expectations. Problems can be visible and invisible, known and unknown. The problem frequently hides behind habits and symptoms and can be challenging to define. But, in the end, defining the problem is the first step in solving anything.

Resources

All solutions require resourcing because problems don't magically fix themself. Execution requires time, expertise, and tooling. Having the resources to solve a problem can be as simple as making your life better by automating a repeatable task or as complex as a software feature requiring two different departments. Understanding the resources required to solve the "Problem" allows you to set expectations. For example, if the goal is solving cancer and your only resource is yourself and the internet, you might shrink your problem from all cancer to specific cancer or spend your resources on something else.

Additionally, your "Resources" must have domain knowledge and the ability to solve the problem. If they don't, they are dead weight. In the end, "Resources" are the counterbalance to the "Problem" you are solving.

Authority

To execute, you will need the "Authority" to do so. I have been in many meetings that go back and forth and get nowhere because the person with authority to decide isn't in the room. Knowing the limits of your authority can help because if you don't have the authority to execute something, you will need to find someone who has some. You may not think you have any authority, but you may have more implied authority than you think. For example, if you are a product manager, you have authority over your product direction. However, your authority is limited when you require another team or department. And when you require another team's effort, you need their authority to use their resources.

The Solution

The "Solution" is the ultimate goal. It is what you are trying to achieve. It is the definition of done or when the feature, product, or process can be handed off to the end-user and fully adopted. Then you can sit back and enjoy your hard work. The "Solution" sits on top of the foundation of  "Problem,"  "Authority," and "Resources."

Keep in mind once a Solution is fully adopted or solved, it no longer takes effort. So, for example, the police don't go around enforcing that people drive on the right side of the road.

How do these components interact with each other?

Execution is all about implementing the "Solution," and solutions won't magically happen. That is why the "Solution" sits on top of the "Problem," "Authority," and "Resources." So how do you know if the work is aligned? The key is that the "Solution" is constrained and can only be as big as the smallest foundational triangle. In other words, if the problem isn't understood, the "Solution" will be shortchanged. If the resources are smaller than required, the Solution will shrink. Finally, if you don't have the "Authority" to assign resourcing to solve the problem, the "Solution" will go unsolved.

The above diagram might seem complicated so let's go through it step by step. In this example, even though the work was fully "Resourced" and had management's blessing ("Authority"), the "Problem" wasn't clearly defined.  Since it was the smallest base triangle, it set the maximum impact of the "Solution." That is why they are the same size.  Next, you can see that the "Authority" and "Resources" triangles are larger than the smallest triangle and this represents wasted effort on "Authority" (Career Capital) and "Resources" (Opportunity Cost). Additionally, misalignment of the base triangles leads to a wasted time or "Time Gap." Lastly, the "Solution" will have an "Expectation gap," which leads to frustration, manual work, or missed deadlines.

Keep in mind that this is only one example, but there are other instances where the problem is fully defined, and there is insufficient "Authority" or "Resourcing." Over the next couple of weeks, my posts will dive deeper into Angular Execution.

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