Category Archives: Behavioral Science

ALI in partnership with Agile Beer presents: LeSS – A Descaling Framework

A great opportunity to present to two Ireland meetups, at once:
Agile Lean Ireland and Agile Beer.  More than 150 people joined, with many great questions.

Synopsis:
Although LeSS is a scaling framework, in reality it requires organizational de-scaling.  It is also, organizational design framework that helps to address core elements of organizational design: HR policies, finance/budgeting, vendor management, site strategies – areas that are not too comfortable for many companies to address.

System and Lean thinking drive understanding of LeSS.
LeSS is not about: ‘best practices’, maturity metrics, RAGs, KPIs, tools, and operating models.

LeSS 3 adoption principles are:
1. Deep and Narrow (not broad and shallow)
2. Top – Bottom + Bottom – Up.
3. By Volunteering only


05/05 – LESS TALKS: Dave Snowden: Answering Tough Questions (Q&A)



A great talk today (this is round 2), with Dave Snowden (round 1  was on 04/20), who took on some provocative and pretty powerful questions.  All points that Dave made were strong.
Here is one that resonated really strong (the quote in blue below is semi-transcribed/paraphrased, starting from about 4 min 20 sec in the video recording below):
…SAFe is perfect for big consultancy firms…
With big consultancies, when the ratio between a principal and a doer (partner and consultant)  is up to about  from 1:5 to 1:10 – apprentice model.
With ratio of above 1:15 – it becomes an industrial model (you have to “feed” a lot of people), when you get more structured processes and recipes.
This is why big consultancies want high utilization and long-term projects, [using] Six Sigma, BPR, SAP…etc.
What they like is a massive roll out, with lots of people, over a long period of time.
What they DONT like, are small improvements in the present.
…So you [if you are a client company] are better off working with small consultancies, not big consultancies….“.
Author’s note: This is how a client-company can become a subject to “triple taxation“. Avoid this.

Questions submitted prior the webinar (The list does not include questions that were asked on air, real-time)


Dave’s Bio:
David Snowden divides his time between two roles: founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at the University of Wales. His work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, organisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects, and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.

 

04/20 – LESS TALKS: Dave Snowden: Rewilding Agile

David Snowden divides his time between two roles: founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at the University of Wales. His work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, organisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects, and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.


Materials to Download

Additional resources from Dave:
Very salient spots in the recording:
Snippets from Dave’s talk:
  • You must understand the difference between Correlation vs. Causation, in order to understand eco-systemic dynamics
  • Cookie-cutting approaches don’t work. Forced homogeneity does not work.
  • Fallacy about SAFe and Spotify
  • Consultancies, are a part of revenue-generating schema, when it comes to installing large frameworks
  • When millions are spent on SAFe installations, nobody will admit of failures. People that make decisions about installing SAFe are long gone before responsibility for actions needs to be taken. People that think that it could work, ignore it for the most part and just do things that matter most
  • Ask Spotify, why NOT to use Spotify “model”
  • Beware of snake oil versioning of management: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, etc
  • Forecasting of COVID impact on big consultancies
  • You dont scale a complex system, by aggregation or imitation but by decomposition and recombination
Synopsis

Agile started off as an inspirational set of statements and values that inspired a generation of software design. But slowly and steadily that original inspiration has become a set of structured methods, certificates for turning up at a course and a series of method wars which have most recently degenerated to court action. How do we rediscover the original inspiration of the Agile Manifesto and in a very real sense return Agile to the wild. Is it time to move away from the large scale expensive frameworks into a multi-methods, multi-tools ecosystem and to create a new professional practice? In the current crisis agility is not enough …


 

Next virtual LeSS Training:

April 15-17: Certified LeSS Basics (CLB) Course | Virtual

Another engaging and highly interactive Certified LeSS Basics (CLB) virtual class is complete.   People attended from many corners of the map: NY, NJ, FL, MO, IL, NC, Peru, Bangladesh.  The students engaged in a highly interactive collaboration, with questions and exercises, using Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) technique, exploring the following topics: Agile Big-Bangs, Internal Contracts, Local Optimization, Product Definition, Fake Projects/Programs/Portfolios, Scrum Master Role, Fooling with Tooling.
Note: the below graphics are not conclusive decisions or ‘best practices’. They are just an example of brainstorming, based on each teams members’ experience.
System Modelling: Agile Big-Bangs
System Modelling: Local Optimization
System Modelling: Internal Contracts
System Modelling: Product Definition
System Modelling: Fake Pro-jects/grams
System Modelling: Scrum Master Role

Engaging and Being Engaged as a Professional Coach – Candid Advice for Coaches & Clients

Key Takeaways

  • There are things that coaches need to do prior to engaging with a client company
  • Coaches need to know about challenges they might be facing while trying to engage with a company
  • There are some practical things coaches and companies can do to set up the engagement for success
  • Things that hiring companies need to know about a coaching profession
  • Advice for hiring companies to not shut doors (intentionally or unintentionally) in front of experienced coaches, without opening up flood gates for charlatans, cheer-leaders, and ‘best-practices” experts

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, where you feel that you have so much great value to bring to your potential client, that you are so much better than anyone else they may have considered for the role so far …. yet, a client is hesitant to bring you in? Why?…

Read more on InfoQ

April 09-10: Certified LeSS Basics (CLB) Course | Virtual

Another engaging and highly interactive Certified LeSS Basics (CLB) virtual class is complete.   People attended from many corners of the map: UK, USA, Canada, Argentina, Spain, Kuwait, Australia.  The students engaged in a highly interactive collaboration, with questions and exercises, using Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) technique, exploring the following topics: Agile Big-Bangs, Internal Contracts, Local Optimization, Product Definition, Fake Projects/Programs/Portfolios, Scrum Master Role, Fooling with Tooling.
Note: the below graphics are not conclusive decisions or ‘best practices’. They are just an example of brainstorming, based on each teams members’ experience.

System Modelling: Agile Big-Bangs
System Modelling:  Internal Contracts
System Modelling: Local Optimization
System Modelling:  Product Definition
System Modelling: Scrum Master Role
System Modelling: Fooling With Tooling
System Modelling: Fake Projects, Programs, Portfolios

More Kodak Moments

Next Training Series:

04/07 – LESS TALKS: Irony With Fake LeSS (is_Scrum) Adoption, with Dr. Wolfgang Richter, CLT

Dr. Wolfgang Richter is the founder and CEO of JIPP.IT GmbH (https://www.jipp.it/), an Agile Change Agency. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Certified LeSS Trainer (CLT) and Coach and works with Scrum and Agile Methods since 1998. He and his team specializes in improving processes and structures by using agile methods and principles. Agile Transformations is one of the main activities. Scrum and LeSS are his preferred approaches for internal and customer driven projects.


This is going to be a fun story. Lots of IRONY.
When an organization hits Large-Scale Scrum, it is most likely to begin with a fake adoption. Scaling per sé is not easy. And it is not recommended. However, large enterprises rarely have a choice. So what can be done to handle the burden of scaling? Which pitfalls can be observed regularly? What is against all odds likely to succeed?


03/30 – LESS TALKS: Virtual Collaboration & Facilitation Lab – Part 2

One of the most powerful techniques to understand organizational design and dynamics is to model them, with your colleagues, in front of a white board. Not according to ‘best practices and cook books 😉 but based deep system thinking and shared understanding, by all participants.

But what if you cannot get together in front of a white board???

Miro Board In combination with Zoom (shared session & team rooms), will give you an opportunity to collaborate on-line – together by diverging into teams and converging in a large group. Lets try this together!

Since Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) is NOT a ‘methodology’ or ‘set of tools’ but an organizational design framework, system modelling is its critical part. But even if it was not for LeSS, understanding the way your system (e.g. enterprise) behaves could be very powerful.

Please, note, once you learn this stuff, you will not be able to ‘unlearn’ it and your knowledge could be viewed by others, as dangerous 😉 (and frustrating to you).

In this session, we will try bringing real life system modelling conversations (please, see examples of images from past LeSS training below to gain understanding) into a virtual session.

Examples of real-life CLDs:


03/03 – LESS TALKS: “What is Your Product?”, with Ellen Gottesdiener

To be product-aligned and customer-focused, everyone in your product development ecosystem needs to agree on the answer to the question, “What is Your Product?” Many organizations don’t have clarity on what their product or products are. Ambiguity and disagreement on the answer contribute to slow response to changing customer and market needs and less than satisfying product outcomes. It thwarts your efforts to scale agile product development and causes a plethora of organizational and communication woes.Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) rightly states that this question—and the imperative to answer it—is one of your most important decisions for successful product development. A clear answer to “What is Your Product” powers all aspects of product development, including product management roles, team organization, and product activities. The implications are vast and deep, especially in large enterprises. Product definition is one of the paramount steps in LeSS adoption. Depending on how a product is defined (how widely) an organization may consider simple LeSS or LeSS Huge. Based on the ladder, team structure and alignment is defined, product owner team is created, etc. Product definition has a significant impact on LeSS organisational design.Based on ongoing work with a variety of organizations, Ellen shares techniques for enabling product development leaders and communities to define their product using a cohesive set of product definition principles. In this keynote, Ellen will share why this question is so vital to your product success and ways she’s helped organizations co-discover the answer to the question, “What is Your Product?”

Whether your organization’s product or products are a primary source of revenue or are essential for your business operations, you will learn techniques that help instill product-thinking and shared understanding.

Ellen Gottesdiener’s Bio

Ellen is a Product Coach and CEO of EBG Consulting focused on helping product and development communities produce valuable outcomes through product agility. Ellen is known in the agile community as an instigator and innovator for collaborative practices for agile product discovery and using skilled facilitation to enable healthy teamwork and strong organizations. She is the author of three books on product discovery and requirements, frequent speaker, and works with clients globally. In her spare time, she is Producer of Boston’s Agile Product Open community and Director of Agile Alliance’s Agile Product Management initiative. You can connect digitally via:
https://ebgconsulting.com/blog/
https://twitter.com/ellengott
https://ebgconsulting.com/newsletter.php
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellengottesdiener