Crisp's Blog

from the Crisp Consultants

Continue reading: Podcast: The SimCorp journey – to and beyond SAFe

Podcast: The SimCorp journey – to and beyond SAFe

A couple of years ago, SimCorp made the leap into Agile using SAFe. In this podcast, we get inside stories to Why they started their journey into Agile The results they have gotten so far Why they now feel ready to make a new leap, inspired by a new Agile vision for the future Participants:

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Continue reading: Comparison of three strategy alignment frameworks – OKRs, Spotify Rhythm and Art of Action Strategy Briefing

Comparison of three strategy alignment frameworks – OKRs, Spotify Rhythm and Art of Action Strategy Briefing

A downloadable version of this article can be found here.

One of the strongest management trends right now in companies striving towards Agile is undoubtedly OKRs, “Objectives and Key Results”.

But how do OKRs stack up against the alternatives when it comes to alignment frameworks? And what are the potential undesirable behaviors that come with them?

That is what I intend to explore in this article.

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Continue reading: The first Product Discovery meetup

The first Product Discovery meetup

This week Crisp hosted its first Product Discovery meetup. We had the privilege to listen to lightning talks by notable experts from the Stockholm Product community: Martin Christensen shared his holistic Product Discovery framework. Johanna Olander presented SVT Play’s outcome based roadmap. Viktor Cessan shared his thoughts on how Product Discovery can happen naturally if

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Continue reading: Hacking Your Product Leader Career

Hacking Your Product Leader Career

Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure to host a webinar with Gibson Biddle, former VP Product at Netflix, titled “Hacking Your Product Leader Career”. During the talk Gibson shared stories from his career and tips on how to have a scientific approach to your career progression. Some key take-aways: Keep it simple. Understand your strengths

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Continue reading: Breaking up the monolith at Discovery and enhancing subscription flexibility in one fell swoop

Breaking up the monolith at Discovery and enhancing subscription flexibility in one fell swoop

No developers were hurt in the making of this interview

Max – Tell me briefly what your team is up to @ Discovery?

I’m one member of a devteam which takes care of external API’s. We build services for streaming TV (OTT), for example user management, authentication, user entitlements and playback services.

We started this effort to enable a more flexible way to assign entitlements to users, for example through affiliates (like cable TV companies and mobile phone operators). Before, you had to be a subscriber at Discovery to be able to view any content. Being a direct subscriber is called the DTC model, ”Direct To Consumer”. But a large part of the business in some markets still comes from the so called “TV Everywhere” model where the customers come in via affiliates.

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Continue reading: A facilitation guide for team start ups and restarts

A facilitation guide for team start ups and restarts

This guide explains the main ingredients necessary for facilitating a team start up and provides you with six example agendas. The guide includes questions to think about when you set up the facilitation and during the meeting.

The components needed for a team start up

  1. Purpose or mission -> why does the team exist?
    • What is the business value?
    • What does success look like?
  2. Understanding who the team members are:
    • Clearly defined membership list -> who is on the team?
    • Make sure that people get to know each other -> who are my team members as people?
    • What are people’s skill sets? What do they know now, what do they want to get better at?
  3. Agree to how to work together
    • What do team members expect from each other
    • What behaviors does the team want to have
    • How to talk to each other?
    • How to split up work?
    • What meetings/sync/feedback is needed

Questions to consider for each area

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Continue reading: Remote creation of an Agile vision

Remote creation of an Agile vision

The story: Our client wanted help creating an Agile vision for the future “post SAFe”. How could we do this given that they work on multiple sites?

Can this be done remotely?  Yes!  During these challenging times, I thought of no better opportunity to share how we approached it.

At Crisp we see every challenge as an opportunity
(image credit: Jirka Matousek, Flickr)

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Continue reading: Remote Working & Meetings – A compilation of tips and advice

Remote Working & Meetings – A compilation of tips and advice

Are you, as many others looking, for advice and tips for remote working and meetings? You’re not alone. At KRY / LIVI, me and Anders Ivarsson, compiled a list of tips and advice on how to make the most of remote collaboration and working from home. We suspect many are looking for similar advice and

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Continue reading: Is Your Work Meeting Productive?

Is Your Work Meeting Productive?

If not, you’re in good company. I’ve written a short summary on how to run a productive meeting. It’s not new. It’s not unique. It’s not revolutionary. But sometimes one feels a calling. Thanks Jimmy for helping out with the closure part. Click below to download a printable version.

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Continue reading: Can my design be used for evil?

Can my design be used for evil?

There has been a lot of talk about ethics in UX circles over the last couple of years. This is a good thing. However, most of it has not been actionable in everyday work. And, to be honest, most ethically problematic products weren’t designed to be unethical. I am quite sure the designers of smart thermostats, easier purchase flows, sharing economy apps and social networks didn’t expect that their work would be used for domestic abuse, unwanted purchases, worker exploitation and skewed world views.  In my experience, UX designers are generally a group of people who believes in the good of their fellow humans which means most of the time they don’t even consider how their designs could be used in unintended ways that might be harmful or dangerous. But maybe we, as a group, should. Maybe we should try to imagine the worst ways our designs could possibly be used as a part of our design process so we can at least try to mitigate the risk of that happening. 

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Continue reading: Interview with Stephen Bungay on Strategy Execution and the gaps of OKR’s

Interview with Stephen Bungay on Strategy Execution and the gaps of OKR’s

Interview with Stephen Bungay on:
– What is the “Art of action” ?
– What is the differences/similarities to OKR’s?
– What organisational capabilities needs to be there, for alignment frameworks to really work?

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Continue reading: En definition av Agilt mindset

En definition av Agilt mindset

Vad är ett Agilt mindset och hur beskriver man det?

Det är en fråga jag fick finna svar på i och med det sista tillfället i Scrum Master programmet Mia Pilebro (agil coach på arbetsförmedlingen) och jag genomförde på Arbetsförmedlingen. Denna artikel beskriver den definition jag landade i, resonemanget bakom samt varför detta är viktigt då man förändrar en organisation mot en Agil kultur och arbetssätt. De definitioner jag hittade när jag sökte svar på frågan kändes inte kompletta, enligt mitt tycke. Efter diskussion med mina kollegor på Crisp, och med Mia, landade jag i en definition som består av ett antal påståenden, hållningar och en intention.

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Continue reading: The Value Responsibility shift – Evolving Beyond the SAFe and LeSS frameworks

The Value Responsibility shift – Evolving Beyond the SAFe and LeSS frameworks

Are you struggling with improving at a fast enough pace? Perhaps you started your Scaled Agile journey by applying SAFe, parts of SAFe, or maybe even LeSS.  What I’ve found is that once companies have started to apply a certain model, which represents one school of thought. they fail (or struggle hard..) to evolve beyond

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Continue reading: How Are You Feeling?

How Are You Feeling?

Did you answer that question by saying: “I’m fine”? Maybe you aren’t fine, and answered that you were happy, sad, or angry? Did you stop to think about what you really mean by that answer? How are you really feeling? Why are you feeling this way and what do you want to do about it?

In his book, “Permission to Feel”, Marc Brackett talks about the importance of Emotional Intelligence and emotional skills. He shows you how you can develop a more varied emotional vocabulary. You learn how to deal with the actual challenges that you face by understanding how you feel. Here are my thoughts on how Brackett’s method will help you develop your emotional skills. By understanding how you feel, you can figure out what you need to do which in turn will influence how you feel, enabling you to create an upward emotional spiral.

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Continue reading: Make OKRs and Forecasts come alive!

Make OKRs and Forecasts come alive!

Rigid detailed long-term plans, where progress is tracked based on consumed budgets, are in agile organizations quickly becoming a fading nostalgic memory of the past. They are replaced by forecasts and non-static roadmaps. Gather regularly in front of these visualizations and you will enable learning, sharing and trigger important conversations, resolve dependencies and invite to acts of servant leadership. Make your OKRs and Forecasts come alive!

In this blog I want to give examples of visualizations with accompanying recurring ceremonies. The visualization and accompanying ceremony enable sharing of progress and ensure that impediments and dependencies continuously are addressed and mitigated. It also turns the forecast into a conversation (as opposed to a fixed estimate captured in a project plan that is treated as a promise).

The core question the involved teams answer is:

“How confident do you feel that you will accomplish the Key Result before the end of this quarter?”

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Continue reading: Övning kring grupputveckling

Övning kring grupputveckling

Mia Pilebro, agil coach på Arbetsförmedlingen, och jag, genomför ett Scrum Master program med deltagare från två av enheterna på arbetsförmedlingens IT-avdelning. Programmet innehåller sex träffar med en tvådagars workshop som inledning, fyra träffar, så kallade Learning Labs, varannan vecka, och till sist en avslutande heldag för gemensam reflektion och sammanfattning av programmet. Under den andra Learning Lab-träffen som vi hade för några veckor sedan jobbade vi kring grupputveckling; hur utvecklas en grupp från det att den bildas initialt tills det att den möjligtvis blivit en högpresterande enhet? Vad är det för mönster som visas i olika faser av gruppens utveckling, dvs vad är det för beteenden vi generellt kan uppmärksamma och hur kan man beskriva vad som tar gruppens fokus och energi? Dessutom tittade vi på hur ledarens agerande behöver förändras utifrån där gruppen befinner sig i sin utvecklingsresa. 

Mia och jag organiserar träffarna med korta teorigenomgångar blandat med gruppövningar för att skapa en bra miljö för lärande och utveckling. Vid detta tillfälle skapade vi en kortlek och spelplan utifrån Susan Wheelans forskning kring grupputveckling, hennes modell ”Integration Model of Group Development” (IMGD), som beskriver fem faser en grupp kan utvecklas genom:

  1. Tillhörighet och trygghet
  2. Opposition och konflikt
  3. Tillit och Struktur
  4. Arbete och produktivitet
  5. Avslut

Då vi endast fokuserade på de fyra första faserna under vår träff innehåller spelplanen inte den sista avslutande fasen. 

Workshopen blev väldigt lyckad med både hög energinivå och ett bra lärande kring ämnet. Jag vill därför beskriva hur vi organiserade delen där gruppen fick arbeta kring grupputveckling med hjälp av kortleken vi skapade, och också dela materialet att använda hos era arbetsplatser. Länk till spelkort och spelplan finns längre ner i denna artikel. 

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Continue reading: Making Sense of Product Discovery: Two Playbooks Anyone Can Use

Making Sense of Product Discovery: Two Playbooks Anyone Can Use

The room was packed. Erin, the Product Manager, had called for an emergency meeting. The product they had just launched wasn’t meeting expectations. Erin stated with a determined voice: “We need to do more Discovery”. The room went quiet.

With confused looks, the team glanced at each other: “What does she really mean?”. “What does she mean by ‘Discovery?’”.

Perhaps this scenario resonates with you. A situation where the term “Discovery” is used, but it’s difficult to discern what it actually entails.

To be fair, the term Product Discovery is ambiguous.

My intention with this article is to try to demystify what Product Discovery is and to give you two Playbooks you can use.

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Continue reading: Förutsättningar för en positiv grupputveckling

Förutsättningar för en positiv grupputveckling

Jag utbildade mig nyligen till handledare för försvarshögskolans koncept Utvecklande Ledarskap (UL); fem mycket inspirerande och lärorika dagar. Förutom ny kunskap har jag dock också med mig upplevelsen kring kraften i grupputveckling när den blir som bäst. Under kursen satt och jobbade vi i kvarteret där vi både hjälpte varandra förstå kursinnehållet men också förberedde och genomförde en del av den normala UL-kursen inför övriga kursdeltagare. Det är fascinerande hur starkt relationerna inom en grupp kan utvecklas, och från det att en tydlig teameffekt kan växa fram, efter så kort tid som några få dagar. 

Det fick mig att fundera på vad det var som hände under kursen som gjorde detta möjligt. Vid reflektionen kring hur utbildningen var strukturerad, den miljö vi befann oss i, handledarnas agerande och vad vi gjorde i kvartetterna, landade jag i att nedanstående fyra aspekter hjälpte oss till att formeras till kraftfullt team under veckan som gick:

  • fokus på att bygga en trygg miljö, 
  • Vi hade väldigt tajta målsättningar att arbeta mot
  • Det fanns möjligheten till frekvent feedback på de resultat vi skapade, samt vi gav varandra löpande feedback på varandras prestationer
  • och vi var en liten och komplett gruppering som skulle lösa uppdraget tillsammans självständigt.
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Continue reading: Working Agreements Mingle

Working Agreements Mingle

Facilitating a workshop or class? Need to come up with working agreements? Are people still shy and quiet and is the tempo still low? Here’s an easy method to get a medium sized group, about 20 people, to come up with and agree to a set of working agreements, while energizing the room and getting people talking to each other.

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Continue reading: Anti-Agile – skapa insikter kring förändringsbehov

Anti-Agile – skapa insikter kring förändringsbehov

Anti-Agile är en av mina favoritövningar att facilitera vid uppdrag hos kund. Använder man denna övningen internt inom en organisation så synliggör man ofta många dysfunktioner som finns inom organisationen; kulturellt, strukturellt och hur man arbetar. Övningen fungerar också väldigt bra som en murbräcka i att bryta tron att allt fungerar så bra som det är, och föreställningen att vi är så agila som vi möjligen kan bli. Det senare är många gånger en utmaning då en stark föreställning om sin egna förträfflighet är ett stort hinder att ta sig över som coach för att få kunder att öppna upp sig för coaching och vägledning i sin arbetssituation. 

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Continue reading: Doug Kirkpatrick, CFO who turned management innovator

Doug Kirkpatrick, CFO who turned management innovator

Interview with Doug Kirkpatrick, startup team member of Morning Star and co-founder of the Morning Star Self-Management Institute. Famous for being built on their principles of self-management, which has led to that Morning Star is today the largest tomato processing in the world. Today Doug has left Morning Star to spread his experience as a speaker, author, and consultant.

In his book, Beyond Empowerment, Doug tells the story of how Morning Star became an example of true empowerment.  He tells us how they went beyond traditional ways of delegating (empowering) and creating a self-managed and truly empowered company. 

I found Morning Star to be an intriguing and fascinating story! I have been following the company for quite a while and recently had the fortune to meet with Doug. During one of our discussions, he shared the fascinating story and his experience as one of Morning Star’s original colleagues.

Doug shares his story from Morning Star

To learn how you can operate a large successful company in a very agile way based on self-management and a few simple but powerful organizational principles, then continue reading.

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Continue reading: Output vs Outcome vs Impact

Output vs Outcome vs Impact

Here is an attempt to establish a definition of Output, Outcome and Impacts! It is based on my interpretation of the work of Jeff Patton, Marty Cagan and Clayton Christensen, with some good input from Gojko Adzic, John Seddon and John Cutler.

How Outputs generate Outcomes that generate Impacts
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Continue reading: Pair Coaching

Pair Coaching

Just like pair programming, there are a lot of benefits to pair coaching. In fact, the positives – two pairs of eyes, direct feedback, observation from two different perspectives – are even stronger motivators for pairing up when coaching! We see a lot of pairing when it comes to teaching classes, and larger facilitations, why not apply the same benefits to coaching as well!

The coaching context

In an individual coaching session, there are a lot of things going on. First, there is the content of the conversation. Then there are the thought processes and emotions within both the coach and the person being coached. As well as the communication and dynamics of the relationship between them. This is already a complex situation that can benefit from an added perspective. Imagine the complexity when we start talking about team or group coaching. 

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Continue reading: Get Awesome Team Focus with this daily routine!

Get Awesome Team Focus with this daily routine!

Tired of the same old boring and ineffective daily meetings with your team? Try this new Awesome Team Focus daily routine! It will help your team use a swarming technique to laser-focus on the stuff that really matters and get it done. As a bonus it will help you start limiting Work In Process without

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Continue reading: Evolutionär förändring

Evolutionär förändring

Inledning

Ser jag tillbaka på mina år som konsult och coach på Crisp har det skett en rätt stor förändring i vilka typer av uppdrag vi får. Många organisationer möter en allt mer föränderlig omvärld med snabbfotade kunder; är de inte nöjda med det utbud som organisationen levererar går det till en konkurrent i stället. Det räcker inte längre med att enskilda team fungerar bättre; hela organisationer behöver förbättras för att nödvändiga effekter skall skapas. 

För att lyckas med förändringsarbetet behöver vi:

  • Utgå från att organisationer är komplexa system vilket kräver en organisk förändring snarare än ett plandrivet och mekaniskt sådan. 
  • Genomför förändringen evolutionärt drivet genom de hinder som teamen upplever, 
  • Successivt forma den struktur och arbetssätt som just den specifika organisationen bäst behöver för att leverera värde. 
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Continue reading: Agile in Public sector and the “Play with the thought” Digitalisation kit

Agile in Public sector and the “Play with the thought” Digitalisation kit

Slides from Agile Islands 2020 – “Agile in Public sector” and the “Play with the thought” Digitalisation kit

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Continue reading: Anti-Agile Personalities – Part 2

Anti-Agile Personalities – Part 2

In my previous blog post I listed personalities on the management side that stood in the way of efficient, modern product development. In this post, I will cover some of the personalities you might find in the actual development teams.

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Continue reading: Efficient, effective and inclusive decision-making – A bold statement, a book and a video

Efficient, effective and inclusive decision-making – A bold statement, a book and a video

I hereby proclaim that; there are ONLY 10 different ways a decision can be made!

At least in a meeting with several participants.

Sorry for starting with this click baity statement. On the other hand – I haven’t been disproven so far. Regardless of if this is true or not, I believe that the art and skill of decision-making is an increasingly important topic. Why do I believe that?

In many organizations, I often encounter the assumption that a decision is either made by one person, or by a group that has discussed a proposal until everyone agrees. If this is actually true, your ability to conduct effective, efficient and inclusive decision-making is sadly limited. A rapidly increasing number of companies go agile, organizing people into a network of autonomous teams, supported by teams of managers and leaders.

Decision-making and ownership are decentralized to those closest to the problems and opportunities. Leadership is no longer manifested in hierarchies of individual accountability, but in interconnected layers of supportive leadership teams. Just as agile teams collaborate to delivering value to users and customers, so must the leadership collaborate when working, meeting and making decisions. A leadership team’s ability to reach a shared understanding through debates and discussions, explore options and then together decide on the best path forward – is crucial. The speed to decision and time to review and evaluate the impact will dictate your whole organization’s ability to quickly respond, learn, adapt and improve.

With this blog I hope to expand your toolbox and inspire you to experiment with a more varied approach to decision-making.

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Continue reading: The top 3 biggest forecasting and planning errors

The top 3 biggest forecasting and planning errors

In my consulting and training engagements I get to see the impact where planned delivery dates are missed. It’s never because people just aren’t trying or working hard enough. This post gives you my top 3 real reasons traditional Agile planning and the dates produced by them fail.

Number One Reason: The Assumed Start Date is Missed

Sounds obvious right. To give an estimated delivery date you add the estimated duration to a starting date. Rarely do I see anyone track or adjust for the eventual start date for any initiative. Often the definition of “started” isn’t clear. 

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Continue reading: Anti-Agile Personalities – Part 1

Anti-Agile Personalities – Part 1

The technology development is going in lightning speed nowadays and almost every company has at least 10 competitors who can offer their customers the same or better experiences or goods. This puts quite a lot of pressure on companies and organisations to be nimble and customer focused which in turn does the same on the people working for them. Certain traits have become more important in employees than before, whether it is management or development teams, such as trust, flexibility, passion, curiosity, ability to collaborate, humility, and innovativeness. It also means that personalities not defined by these traits that still worked very well in traditional, hierarchical organisations actually might be obstructing efficient development in modern organisations.

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