ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 14, 2014November 4, 2016By: Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force and Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Big news from Bangkok. With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaching, the maternal health community spoke with one voice to set the next goal for global maternal mortality: 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. Nearly 100 people from more than 30 countries agreed on this target last week at a meeting in Bangkok, Thaliand, hosted by the World Health Organization, Maternal Health Task Force, UNFPA, USAID and MCHIP.The goal is aligned with those of mortality rates of childhood (ending preventable child deaths) and newborns (ending preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths). It was determined in preparation for the UN-led processes of creating the next set of development goals. Ending preventable maternal mortality, essential to sustainable development, is critical for women and children’s health and families and communities’ well being.Towards this end, the global maternal health community has engaged in numerous technical and country consultations, including the Bangkok meeting. Meeting participants strongly felt that meeting a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 70 by 2030 is within reach. To be achieved, however, progress in many countries needs to be accelerated. To meet the global average target, countries with a high burden of maternal mortality—an MMR of more than 420—need to increase the pace of reduction of maternal deaths and strive for an MMR of no more than140 by 2030. Countries with MMRs already lower than 70 must increase their efforts and target their most vulnerable women.The priority for the next 15 years is to support the work at the national level to improve maternal health and reduce inequalities. We need to keep a close eye on helping all women everywhere gain access to high quality health care across the lifespan.This post was originally published on Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action‘s blog.Share this:
(Related: How improv can help your team do agile)A lot of companies, especially large ones, talk a big game about agile. When I’ve had a chance to peek inside, far too often they’re agile in name only. They do standups and use an agile board to track work, but they haven’t embraced the fact that agile means dealing with uncertainty, constantly challenging yourself to change when you need to, and trusting your teams to make the right call when the moment comes.When a company goes agile, questions like “When will this feature ship?” will be met with answers like “When it’s ready. We’re aiming for late next month,” or even better, “It already shipped, and we ship an improvement to it every day!” That’s a radical change from “Whenever we’re forced to ship it in order to meet our sales teams’ quota for the quarter.” And we managers should be motivating our teams to understand the importance of their effort and trust that our teams care as deeply about that feature (and the impact to our business) as we do.For their part, team members from different disciplines have to work side by side instead of working in isolation, and then “throw it over the wall” to the next team. That means aligning road maps, planning cycles and schedules. It means balanced teams with product managers, designers, engineers, tech writers and quality, which means opening yourself up to new people and understanding the project from different points of view. I’ll jump straight to the punch line: It takes more than agile tooling to make you agile.That’s probably not what you expected to hear from a guy who makes sophisticated collaboration tools. (Or, if you did, congratulations on being a mind reader. Now please get out of my head.)But it’s the truth.And it’s a truth that’s easy to lose sight of because tools are seductive—even sexy—in their own way. Who doesn’t fantasize about a magical tool that will instantly remove bottlenecks in your team’s workflow? A couple of jobs ago, my team started using GreenHopper (now known as JIRA Agile), which made a massive difference in our team’s ability to stay on the same page despite being split across five different locations. So I understand the obsession with tools. But there’s more to it than that.