Four Principles, Four Cultures, One Mirror


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Israel Gat's presentation in Agile Roots

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Four Principles, Four Cultures, One Mirror

  1. 1. Four Principles, Four Cultures, One Mirror <ul><li>Israel Gat </li></ul><ul><li>Agile Roots </li></ul><ul><li>Salt Lake City, UT </li></ul><ul><li>June 16, 2009 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Timeless Principles Intrinsic Obstacles
  3. 3. Obstacles Experienced in my Agile Journey <ul><li>Individuals and interactions </li></ul><ul><li>over processes and tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-crossing the chasm between customer and vendor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “Sausage Syndrome” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Obstacles Experienced in my Agile Journey <ul><li>Working software </li></ul><ul><li>over comprehensive documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>License revenues versus service revenues: up to a 1:4 ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The economics of replacing enterprise software in mature markets </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Obstacles Experienced in my Agile Journey <ul><li>Customer collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>over contract negotiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you “codify” Agile principles in contracts based on mutual worst case assumptions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical debt </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Obstacles Experienced in my Agile Journey <ul><li>Responding to change </li></ul><ul><li>over following a plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The market development myth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The primary vehicle by which things happen </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. A Worrisome Perspective <ul><li>“ I estimate that 75% of those organizations using Scrum will not succeed in getting the benefits that they hope for from it… The intention of Scrum is to make [their dysfunctions] transparent so the organization can fix them. Unfortunately, many organizations change Scrum to accommodate the inadequacies or dysfunctions instead of solving them.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[AgileCollab Interview with Ken Schwaber, February 19, 2009] </li></ul></ul>Remember This Figure
  8. 8. <ul><li>By rolling out Agile, you create a systemic duality and possibly a conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture = “how we do things around here in order to succeed” [Schneider, 1994] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Agile Manifesto=“how we do software in order to succeed” </li></ul></ul>Hypothesis: Cultural Duality
  9. 9. Cultural Considerations
  10. 10. Taxonomy of Core Cultures 8 Actuality Impersonal Possibility Personal <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>Family/Athletic team </li></ul><ul><li>Nurse </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><li>Military </li></ul><ul><li>Surgeon </li></ul><ul><li>Competence </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>University </li></ul><ul><li>Research scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivation </li></ul><ul><li>Self-actualization </li></ul><ul><li>Religious institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Minister, priest, rabbi </li></ul>Source [Schneider, 1994]
  11. 11. Culture to an Organization is like Character to an Individual <ul><li>“ Individuals and corporate personality are constituted in much the same way. Both are living forces characterized by energy and direction… Each corporation has a psychic center, too, which consists of the beliefs, values, mission, attitudes and objectives that determine its-long term direction and short-term goals” </li></ul><ul><li>[Harmon & Jacobs, 1985] </li></ul>9
  12. 12. Agile Rollout Strategies
  13. 13. Rollout Strategy #1 <ul><ul><li>Build on strengths of the current culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“… culture is singularly persistent… changing [organizational] behavior works only if it can be based on the existing ‘culture.’” [Drucker, 1991] </li></ul></ul></ul>9
  14. 14. Rollout Strategy #1 <ul><ul><li>Build on strengths of the current culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“… culture is singularly persistent… changing [organizational] behavior works only if it can be based on the existing ‘culture.’” [Drucker, 1991] </li></ul></ul></ul>9 There is always a Duck…
  15. 15. Rollout Strategy #2 <ul><ul><li>Move toward an adjacent culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ A decade is a short period of time in which to expect to institutionalize cultural changes within a large organization.” [Denison, 1990] </li></ul></ul></ul>9
  16. 16. Rollout Strategy #3 <ul><ul><li>Move toward an opposite culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unlikely to succeed within a formed culture even if you are the company founder... </li></ul></ul></ul>9
  17. 17. Schwaber’s 75% Failure Rate <ul><li>For any culture: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One cultural identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two adjacent cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One opposite culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>¾=75% </li></ul>
  18. 18. Scaling and Culture
  19. 19. Scale Up <ul><li>Likely to be least disruptive up to a point – you will probably stay within the culture in which you already demonstrated success </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, you are likely to be able to use the same Agile infrastructure </li></ul>
  20. 20. Scale Out <ul><li>In this era you are likely to be adding local culture(s) into the mix – Bangalore, Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paolo, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The various variants of Distributed Agile might not be optimal, but their use is inevitable in an era characterized by off-shoring and outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Key to success is minimizing implementation variances against the Manifesto principles </li></ul>
  21. 21. Scale “Diagonally” <ul><li>Leveraging Agile success in R&D to drive change in downstream functions is an effective strategy… </li></ul><ul><li>… as long as you are mindful of the cultural boundaries you are crossing </li></ul><ul><li>Typical border crossing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R&D  Marketing  Sales  Finance </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Limit on Scaling <ul><li>You can’t effectively scale up, scale out or scale diagonally beyond the joint infrastructure that serves constituencies which are affected by Agile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The data the culture pays attention to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process by which decisions are made </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Example from BMC Software Circa 2006: Diagonal Scaling, Multiple Constituencies, Joint Manual Tools “ xi” release Marketing Release Train “ uber” release 60-90 days 60-90 days 60-90 days 60-90 days R&D Release Train Engineering & Product Management Driven Frequency Market Driven Frequency “ beta” release “ maintenance” release Collaborative Asynchronous R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 GTM Processes
  24. 24. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Fairest Organization of Them All?
  25. 25. Using Your Mirror <ul><li>Look at the organizational mirror to determine your core culture </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever your current culture might be, it is easier to build on its strengths than to try to change it </li></ul><ul><li>No single culture is right for Agile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Note: this is different from a culture being a good fit for a certain endeavor) </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Behavioral Changes through Tools <ul><li>Good Agile tools are likely to induce behavioral changes (in good time) without necessitating a big cultural push </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The data dimension: Single source of truth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process dimension: Natural and automatic – like the response to an exciting video game </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Principles for Applying Timeless Principles
  28. 28. Know Thyself <ul><li>Subtleties of culture </li></ul><ul><li>over </li></ul><ul><li>the fine points of </li></ul><ul><li>one Agile method versus another </li></ul>
  29. 29. Be True to Thyself <ul><li>Build on the strengths of </li></ul><ul><li>your culture </li></ul><ul><li>versus </li></ul><ul><li>trying to quickly change it </li></ul>
  30. 30. Behavioral Changes Through Tools <ul><li>Joint Agile infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>over </li></ul><ul><li>explicit cultural change pushes </li></ul>
  31. 31. Other Cultures are Part of your Mirror <ul><li>“ The essence of organizational health is Cultural Balance, a condition in which the tendency toward excess that characterizes any ‘pure’ organizational culture is mitigated by the opposing tendencies of the other cultures” </li></ul><ul><li>[Harrison, 1987] </li></ul>
  32. 32. Continuing our Dialog Israel Gat [email_address]