Organizational Agility

Exploring the economics of decision making in SAFe® through gamification

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Economic thinking and principles

In the popular Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprises (SAFe) we strive to “apply a comprehensive economic framework” through Principle #1: Take an Economic View. Certainly, part of how we deliver on this framework is through the natural decentralized decision making process that occurs when real Agile teams hypothesize their way through optimizing batch sizes, building quality in, and relentlessly improving. Breaking down work into slices of working software/deliverables/efforts that are potentially shippable (i.e. features) each iteration.

I believe that the dominant paradigm for managing product development is fundamentally wrong. Not just a little wrong, but wrong to its very core. It is as wrong as we were in manufacturing, before the Japanese unlocked the secret of lean manufacturing. I believe that a new paradigm is emerging, one that challenges the current orthodoxy of product development.

Reinertsen, Donald G.. The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development (p. 1). Celeritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

At scale, we apply the same core thinking to how we invest in Epics and Features. Run experiments.

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Learning from the deep ocean of failure

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Well it’s Friday! Thank God! I get to go home to my family today!

Let’s talk about and share our failures. Not all of them, we don’t have that much time. BUT, everybody’s doing it! The ocean of failure is deep. I do more than my share to keep in full.

Yeah, I know some people never fail and will never admit it when they do. They will also likely not improve at a fast enough rate to stay competitive. My wife has helped me see this in myself over the past fifteen years. She is an amazing partner and mother to my four kids.

I’ll go first of course. The key here is to learn and improve. You don’t need to get personal, just enough to learn. And remember, praise in public, and critique in private. Let’s practice…

Recently I missed an important meeting because I didn’t pay enough attention to the time zone change (during my near constant travels). I feel horrible about it. It was an epic failure too. I was at the Verizon store transferring my phone service (crap — another story). I was distracted and thought I had two hours till the meeting. I completely bombed and forgot about the time change and dissed my VIP attendee.

Since then, I have improved and organized my various accounts and calendars to avoid this in the future. I also apologized profusely to my victim and offered repentance.

See that wasn’t so hard. I was lying. That was really, really hard. But we must learn in a world that shuns constructive feedback.

Now, how do you approach building this valuable pattern of openness, improvement, and empathy into and entire organization? Professional sports teams do it. Why are many enterprises stuck in perfection and failure is damaging to a career?

It all starts with individuals and interactions. At the tip of the spear we can begin to shape and build new behaviors. These new behaviors can be replicated in your team. Your team of teams (ART!), your division, group, and organization.

Start with a 1:1 working agreement with one of your coworkers to provide each other with completely transparent (a SAFe core value) feedback in the form of constructive criticism on a regular cadence. Choose someone that you interact with regularly. Agree to be respectful and honest. Create improvement items. Agree to keep your interactions completely discrete.

Grow from there to sharing your experience and growth with others on your team or organization. From there you can influence others to learn how to take criticism and feedback in a positive way.

All change isn’t the same | CIO

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Change is change, right? Not exactly. The interaction of speed and predictability make your leadership role more important than ever. Read on to find out how change is changing and how you can help your team flourish in its face.

Source: All change isn’t the same | CIO

How do you know if your Consultant/Coach has an Agile mindset? | LinkedIn

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Interesting topic. What do you do with “Agile” coaches who are incapable of displaying the values of Agile?

Source: How do you know if your Consultant/Coach has an Agile mindset? | LinkedIn

DevOps, Automation, Batch Size, Swarming – Formula1 videos

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There are a few Formula1 videos around the web that we use to teach about the economics of batch sizes, particularly in the SAFe, where the teachings of Don Reinertsen are embedded in the body of knowledge. I found this new video on LinkedIn today and thought I would share them with the community.

Remember, we are trying to reduce the transaction cost of a batch. In these videos the older pit stop people, process and tooling resulted in a much higher transaction cost compared to the modern pit stop with automated tools and swarming. This can be done through automation, architecture, tools, kaizen of process, and through new ways of thinking and working, and even new ways of feeling. We must pay particular attention to the relationship between tools, people, and process as optimizing one without tuning the others may not improve anything (systems thinking).

Don Reinertsen, Principles of Product Development Flow
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Cliffs Notes: Principles of Product Development Flow – Reinertsen

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A coach shared this with me and I thought is was pretty good stuff. Here ye go in PDF format. Not from Cliff, but…