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.Continue reading
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.
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.
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.Continue reading
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.
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 withoutContinue reading
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.
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.
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.Continue reading
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.
Design studios are useful for helping a group of people converge on an idea. This post provides a PDF presentation for facilitating a design studio workshop, including an additional optional section for refining ideas when the desired result is to generate multiple ideas. The general pattern is:
- Generate ideas
- Get feedback
- Refine and converge the ideas
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.
Agile, and Agile methods, like Scrum and Kanban, have had tremendous success over the past few decades, but still, most organizations are not getting the value and expected outcomes from their Agile initiatives. A big reason is that people often confuse Agile methods, or applying the methods in one department, with agility, which means having the ability to adopt these methods and deliver value to both the business and customers. Having that organizational ability is the essence of Business Agility. You can also refer to it as scaling Agile to the whole organization.
As co-organizer of the yearly Agile People Sweden conference, we have recognized that this is a current challenge for most organizations today, and hence the Business Agility is the theme for this year´s conference.
I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Kari Kelly from Atypical Workplace LLC. It resulted in 6 tips for how your organization can create value through Business Agility.Continue reading
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 itContinue reading
Hi there, it’s been a while since you last heard from me, I know. I have to admit it, I’ve been feeling lost for some time now. Since our company adopted Agile, I haven’t felt at home. People around me started thinking, took initiatives, started to talk about building a “culture”. I felt lost asContinue reading
Det är tekniskt och finansiellt möjligt att inom några få år kunna ta bort CO2 från atmosfären och lagra i marken “negativt utsläpp” med så kallad bio-CCS i Sverige.
Det enda som hindrar är lite lagar och regler.
Two years ago I created a simple role-play card game called Game of Structure. After trying it out a couple of times it has been sitting idle, and what fun is that? So now I am making it available with this post.
The game is Creative Commons Attribution 4.0, so you may use it freely as long as you honor it’s origin. If there is enough interest I may go ahead and create a physical card deck based on this game.
What type of game is this?
The idea is to offer an experience of how a single hierarchy of fixed power roles can generate some common patterns of stuck attention, conversation and challenge that we frequently see in organizations. Often we spend a lot of time managing those conversations without seeing that some of them may emerge just from the power structure itself as a design choice. If we can experience that this may be the case we can talk about it and consider redesigning those structures rather than having to fix these challenges directly.
This game helps you see and experience some of the load of this extra complexity. Have fun!
Disclaimer – The game is fun as it is but I invite you to be a little careful when drawing conclusions from it – there may be some fallacies and traps! If you want to dive down this perhaps sensitive and deeper rabbit hole, read on through the second part of this blog post.Continue reading
In my prior blog, I shared that the Product Canvas is a tool anchoring a shared understanding of your product. Part 1 of the canvas provides contextual and strategic information. Part 2 summarizes the key compositional element of your product requirements using the 7 Product Dimensions.
In this blog post I want to share a powerful tool, the Leadership Health Check. It will help you become stronger as a management team and reveal improvement opportunities for how you, as a team of active servant leaders, better can enable the agile teams you support.
But first, let’s take it from the beginning.
One of my favourite exercises in my toolbox as an agile coach is something I learned during my years at Spotify; the Squad Health Check. It’s a retrospectives format, a self-evaluation workshop, in which the teams express how they feel they’re doing on wide variety of topics such as collaboration, value of what is delivered, ability to influence, received organizational support, etc. The result generates insights and commitment to actions of improvement for both the team and the supporting leadership. I love it because I believe it’s a great tool for strengthening autonomy, culture and continuous learning.
More than a year ago, a colleague at Spotify Georgiana Laura Levinta and I created a health check for the leadership of our Tribe (Tribe is a semi-autonomous department at Spotify encapsulating 4-8 teams and with a dedicated set of leaders and managers). Geo and I were inspired by the Squad Health Check, but the goal with this adoptation was to help the Tribe’s managers perform a self-evaluation of their ability to provide active supportive leadership to the squads within the tribe, and to generate a discussion on how they can improve as a team to be able to provide even better support.
Since then, I have together with my current client Casumo, adopted this for their context, culture and beliefs. We’ve run it several times with great success and value, both with the company’s leadership team but also on cluster level (semi-autonomous department). I believe the Team Health Check and the Leadership Health Check both are tremendously powerful; hence I want to unleash them to the wider agile community, hoping that more organizations will find them valuable and useful. Or at least be inspired by them, and then try something totally different.
I’m blown away of the popularity of the Jimmy Cards I created a few years ago. The massive amount of feedback and appreciative comments inspired me to compile two additional decks. The goal of the original red is to help new teams gel. The new black deck is aimed to challenge mature teams that have worked together for some time. The new blue deck will help the leadership team collaborate more effectively. And now, finally, the labour is done and the physical cards have actually been printed and are available to buy!
What is your product?
If you ask your product development team members, product managers or owners, colleagues in finance, service or operations, marketing, sales, compliance, and all the other departments and teams that make up your organization, would they agree?
It might surprise you to realize that for many organizations, not everyone has clarity around something so fundamental. I’ve developed a Product Canvas to address this issue. The canvas also helps product managers or owners proactively steer their products.
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.Continue reading
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 theContinue reading
I guess you, like the most of us, have a problem breaking work down to small but still valuable pieces and that your MVP (minimal viable product) is more or less the same as the project scope. If you recognize yourself in this than keep reading.
In this post, I will use an example to show how you can:
- Write a small microservice with a REST API in Java, using the Dropwizard framework
- Containerize the application using Google JIB
- Deploy the application to AWS using Ansible
- With a robust, clustered and self-healing setup
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.