The Lead-Squad Protocol

How to successfully drive initiatives, objectives or opportunities that require several squads (or teams) to succeed? How to do this in a way that respects the agile mindset without falling into the command-and-control trap? Today, this problem is more complex than it seems. We’ve designed and built our squads for self-organization and autonomy in the

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Continue reading: Driving Change in a VUCA world

Driving Change in a VUCA world

If the acronym VUCA hasn’t made sense so far, then in these pandemic Covid-19 times it surely must. The acronym stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. So when people refer to a VUCA world, they refer to a world where you cannot possibly foresee everything ahead of time (if anything, really). This is true to the whole world – the planet Earth, but also to the world, or context if you like, in which you and your organization operate. 

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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Continue reading: Agile 2019

Agile 2019

Agile 2019 in a nutshell: Jam packed with inspiring, informative talks! I tried to sum up my experience when I came home from DC a couple of weeks ago, but there were just too many good things to say! So I’ll leave you with the graphic above with some of the highlights, and I’ll share what I’ve actually followed up on since I’ve been back.

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Continue reading: The Product Roadmap Agility Checklist

The Product Roadmap Agility Checklist

I see many versions of product roadmaps in my work. Unfortunately very few pass this agility test. Does your product roadmap pass the Product Roadmap Agility checklist?

Download the checklist here.

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Continue reading: How self driving car company AID builds its organisation using Agile – interview with the CEO

How self driving car company AID builds its organisation using Agile – interview with the CEO

How do you grow, innovate, and deliver – at the same time? AID (Audi’s unit for self-driving cars) uses Agile to build its organisation at the same pace as their product. We interviewed their CEO Karlheinz Wurm on why they have chosen to do so. We also sneaked in a question – how is it

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Continue reading: What is Agile marketing – new article

What is Agile marketing – new article

Consumer behaviors are transforming and the speed of IT development is accellerating.  Launching new products is becoming ever easier. This means new challenges – and new opportunities – for marketing departments.  The companies that learn to master Agile marketing, in a faster changing world, stands a better chance of building long-lasting relationships with their customers.

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Continue reading: The CTO Questions: 10 questions that help you gauge the current state of your tech operations

The CTO Questions: 10 questions that help you gauge the current state of your tech operations

Ever heard this conversation play out? Manager 1: “We should adopt scaling framework Y.” Manager 2: “But scaling framework Y doesn’t have a recipe for baking cookies. So we need to do X.” Manager 3: “Whut? You’re both wrong. We have Agile teams. We’re good!” In fact, each statement above can be wrong. So the

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Continue reading: Bootstrapping a Working Agreement for the Agile Team

Bootstrapping a Working Agreement for the Agile Team

I suspect that running a session with a team to help them bootstrap a Working Agreement, is the single most common workshop I’ve been facilitating the last couple of years. And I’ve learned a lot of what works for me (and what doesn’t work). In my experience, this approach works equally well for the agile team, the department management group and the steering board team. This blog is me documenting how I ended up facilitating these sessions.

For me, a Working Agreement captures the expectations we have on each other within the team when we collaborate and communicate. I’ve seen teams call it “Code of Conduct” or “Ways of Working”. I call it Working Agreement. You call it whatever makes sense for you.

Running a Working Agreement workshop as early as possible is crucial for setting the team up for success. Preferably it’s done during the team’s two-day kick-off offsite, or at least within the first few weeks as a planned structured workshop.

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Continue reading: Agile Everywhere – slides from my keynote at Lean Forum

Agile Everywhere – slides from my keynote at Lean Forum

Here are the slides from my keynote “Agile Everywhere” at Lean Forum, Gothenburg.

Great conference, great atmosphere! Very inspiring to hang out with a bunch of super-experienced practitioners. I love conferences where it’s clear that everyone is there to learn and spread knowledge. It’s funny though, in lean circles like this I’m often known as the Agile Guy, while in agile circles I’m often known as the Lean Guy 🙂

Here are some sample pics.

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Continue reading: Are you curious? Seminar with Joshua Kerievsky, creator of Modern Agile

Are you curious? Seminar with Joshua Kerievsky, creator of Modern Agile

On September the 19th 2018, Joshua Kerivesky, creator of Modern Agile, gave this talk “Are you curious?” at Crisp Stockholm. This is the video recording from that evening. The seminar is 60 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. About the talk: ARE YOU CURIOUS? Learning is key to improving. Yet without curiosity, learning stagnates.

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Continue reading: Confessions of a Change Agent – my keynote from Agile Rock, Kiev

Confessions of a Change Agent – my keynote from Agile Rock, Kiev

Here is the flipchart from my talk “Confessions of a Change Agent” at Agile Rock conference in Kiev. Click for a zoomed in version.

Confessions of a Change Agent

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Continue reading: Slides from KTH agile intro

Slides from KTH agile intro

Here are the slides from my agile intro at KTH last week. Hope you enjoyed it!

Some sample pics:

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Continue reading: Building Great Release Train Engineers – a talk with Mattias & Yuval

Building Great Release Train Engineers – a talk with Mattias & Yuval

In the scaled Agile framework, one key role is the Release Train Engineer (RTE). But who should I look for to fill this role? What are the first few process improvements experienced RTE’s typically do? Yuval Yeret (AgileSparks) and Mattias Skarin (Crisp) took the time to discuss the traits of a good RTE.

What are the traits of a good RTE?

Yuval: The easy answer to this question is that you are looking for a Scrum master for a team of teams. Going beyond that, when it comes to specific traits, you are looking for someone who cares about process and improvements, someone who has the ability to orchestrate things. But at the same time, someone who also knows when to step back and let the teams organize themselves. A good RTE is a great communicator and can see and understand what is happening.

Mattias: Firstly, a good RTE should be a people person, someone you’d like to talk to and bounce ideas with. Someone who builds trust and energy with their presence. In essence, a good RTE is the Uber Scrum master across teams. Secondly, a good RTE is systematic and makes sure the process events are run and planned in advance. Thirdly, a good RTE should be a good problem solver.

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Continue reading: Slides from Agile Islands 2018 -“Decision making under uncertainty”

Slides from Agile Islands 2018 -“Decision making under uncertainty”

Åland has one of the coolest visions out there – build an Agile society. They also arrange Agile Islands, a small conference but with sharp content. This year I had the pleasure to speak, so I decided to shed some light on “Decision making under uncertainty”, which is a fascinating subject. Here are the slides. Cheres

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Continue reading: Agile in Marketing

Agile in Marketing

What happens when you use Agile in marketing? Zalando have been using Lean and Agile tools inside marketing for some time. That makes up an unique and interesting case study, from a company pushing the boundaries. Here’s an interview with Julia Kummel, sharing their experiences from the journey: psst: Do you want to learn how

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