Cultura ágil y cultura latina ¿son compatibles?

Al adoptar soluciones creadas en otros contextos se debe tener en cuenta la idiosincrasia de la organización y el país. El contexto como factor crítico para el éxito. Por Damián Buonamico * Podemos encontrar diversos ejemplos en la industria intentando imitar modelos y soluciones, como en el caso de Toyota […]

Al adoptar soluciones creadas en otros contextos se debe tener en cuenta la idiosincrasia de la organización y el país. El contexto como factor crítico para el éxito.

Por Damián Buonamico *

Podemos encontrar diversos ejemplos en la industria intentando imitar modelos y soluciones, como en el caso de Toyota (Lean, Toyota Kata) y el Modelo Spotify, sin lograr los resultados esperados. Esto ocurre cuando se intenta copiar una solución como si fuera seguir una receta sin comprender las diferencias culturales y el contexto en la que esa solución funcionó bien. La cultura japonesa (Toyota) y la sueca (Spotify) son muy distintas a la forma de pensar de los latinoamericanos.

Considero que Agile sí funciona en América Latina, siempre y cuando tengamos en cuenta algunos factores que caracterizan a nuestros países.

  1. Estrategias a corto plazo

En nuestra región el contexto socio económico es volátil. Las estrategias y políticas de los gobiernos cambian con frecuencia, la inflación suele alcanzar niveles elevados y la incertidumbre hace que las inversiones de “largo plazo” sean a 6 meses, cuando en países desarrollados son a 10 años.

Esto provoca incertidumbre sobre el futuro y planificación de muy corto plazo. Resulta poco efectivo planificar a mediano y largo plazo en un contexto cambiante. Así, nuestro cerebro se configura para pensar en el corto plazo.

Implementar la mejora continua (Toyota Kata) y la reducción de desperdicios para optimizar al máximo los procesos son inversiones de largo plazo. En Japón estas prácticas se apoyan en los supuestos de estabilidad. Lleva muchos años de trabajo alcanzar los niveles de mejora y optimización que alcanzó ese país. La cultura japonesa se basa en la confianza entre las personas que se logra cuidando relaciones de muchos años (incluso con proveedores y clientes).

El contexto latinoamericano es diferente, las estrategias se miden en meses más que en años. Las relaciones laborales no son de por vida.

  1. Inversión en calidad más limitada

También como derivado del pensamiento cortoplacista, en América Latina es más difícil la inversión en resultados de alta calidad en el largo plazo.

Muchas veces nos vemos limitados a priorizar resultados visibles en el corto plazo, por sobre soluciones definitivas de alta calidad sostenibles en el tiempo.

La presión de tener los resultados “ya” es muy grande. Un ejemplo común es adquirir “deuda técnica” para cumplir objetivos cercanos y comprometer la calidad en el futuro.

  1. Ahorrar en costos

Siguiendo con la línea del punto anterior, en nuestros países (salvo tal vez en Chile y Costa Rica) experimentamos crisis económicas y recesiones periódicas.

Nuestra mente, por tanto, está programada para reducir gastos y ahorrar en costos, en perjuicio de la calidad y con mayor predisposición a asumir riesgos.

Algunos ejemplos de estas estrategias son: contratar a un perfil Junior en lugar de una persona con experiencia y capacitación. O saturar la capacidad de las personas, teniendo una al límite, en lugar de dos que trabajen tranquilas y puedan atender momentos de picos de demanda sin convertirse en cuellos de botella y aplicar mejoras de procesos cuando hay menos demanda.

Con frecuencia juega en contra pensar que maximizando la utilización de recursos se obtiene mayor rendimiento: si bien se reducen costos, se paga el precio de menor productividad final.

  1. El orgullo

Unos más que otros, los latinos tendemos a cuestionar y desafiar las propuestas. Estamos acostumbrados a criticar más que escuchar nuevas propuestas, aceptar y probarlas. Pensamos que ya sabemos todo, que “eso no va a funcionar”. Nos gusta hacer las cosas a nuestra manera y recibir crédito por ello. A diferencia de lo que podríamos encontrar en una empresa Sueca como Spotify.

Aunque se trate de una generalización, no cabe dudas de que tendremos que lidiar con este tipo de personalidades en nuestro trabajo.

Entonces ¿qué podemos hacer?

La buena noticia es que siendo conscientes de los factores culturales se pueden implementar todos los principios ágiles, haciendo las correspondientes adaptaciones al contexto y teniendo en cuenta cómo se suceden las interacciones y competencias relacionales en cada uno de nuestros países.

Una herramienta sirve para resolver un problema determinado. Para hacer las adaptaciones correspondientes es importante comprender cada herramienta. Por ejemplo, implementar una Daily Stand-up Meeting, sin entender cuál es el propósito y qué problema resuelve, representa un riesgo al fracaso.

Primero, tenemos que preguntarnos: ¿Qué problema intenta resolver esta herramienta? ¿Nosotros tenemos este problema hoy? ¿Esta solución resuelve el problema de manera efectiva para nosotros? Seguidamente, asegurarse que el equipo entiende el propósito y está de acuerdo con el problema y la solución.

Una estrategia efectiva para lograr este acuerdo es permitir que el problema en cuestión se evidencie en el equipo, tener una conversación donde se haga visible el problema y luego proponer la solución. Los latinos somos muy pasionales y ponemos mucho esfuerzo para trabajar en algo cuando estamos de acuerdo con la situación.

Por último, pero no menos importante, es trabajar sobre la cultura organizacional y la cultura del equipo, para lograr un equipo de alto rendimiento. Desarrollar competencias relacionales efectivas y confianza entre los miembros del equipo.

Acostumbrados a vivir con restricciones, en América Latina sabemos ser muy creativos para lograr los resultados independientemente de la situación que nos toque vivir. También somos sumamente capaces y altamente capacitados.

Cuando se tienen en cuenta los factores expuestos en este artículo podemos lograr confianza, colaboración y apertura para implementar cambios. Podremos apalancarnos en todas las características mencionadas a favor de la organización y del alto rendimiento.

*Damián Buonamico es Agile Coach de Kleer

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Cultura ágil y cultura latina ¿son compatibles?

tiempo de lectura: 4 min