The value of a practice depends hugely on context: environment, products, size and people. Knowledge work tends to happen in complex adaptive system – requires an empirical approach (focus on inspect and adapt) rather than a deterministic approach.Often, so called best practices reinforce existing challenges (delays, supplier problems, cost overruns (esp. on basics), incompatible systems, high cost of change, overcustomization/no reuse, not designed with the user in mind) by setting up systems that attempt to control and limit variability rather than accepting the likelihood of change and designing for adaptability in mind.Example cited of Service Canada as a project that delivered great value to users by breaking down barriers in delivery systems so that people could get help for a variety of life events without having to deal with multiple departments.
From http://blog.tastycupcakes.com/2009/06/collaborative-origami/Timing: 15 minsIngredients:Origami instructions for half the participants (http://www.origami-fun.com/support-files/origami-jumping-frog-print.pdf is good!)Blank standard sized printer paper for half the participantsDirections:Pair up participants and provide an instruction sheet (face down) to one person in each pair (the “instructor”), and provide a blank sheet of paper to the other member of the pair (the “folder”). Split the pairs into three groups:Group 1 sits side-by-side,Group 2 sits face-to-face, andGroup 3 sits back-to-back.On “Go!” the person with the instruction sheet flips it over and instructs the other member of the pair how to fold the origami.In Group 1, one person folds, but both can consult the instruction sheet as much as needed.In Group 2, the folder must not see the instruction sheet, but the instructor can watch the folder and provide feedback on progress.In Group 3, the instructor and the folder cannot see each other, but they can talk (over their shoulders) as much as possible.As each group successfully completes the origami item, have them stand up. The facilitator may cut it off after a period of time, because Group 3 may not successfully finish.Learning Points:Collaboration leads to faster results and better quality.Communication barriers on geographically dispersed teams can be disastrous, even if there is unlimited verbal communication.Visual maps are a useful communication tool.
Agile methods are based on the fundamental premise that growth of people &of systems is organic, not linear, and subject to constant change. We are constantly responding to change, in ourselves and our environments – agile methods give us a way to embrace change and thrive within a complex environment in a systematic fashion.What do we mean by Collaborative?Shared goals & purpose, mutual accountability, products/deliverables that require collective effortDifferent from work that is:Connected – same skills, individual outcomesCooperative – same skills, shared resources,different goalsCoordinated – same skills, same high-level goals, different immediate goalsConglomerated – too many people to be a true teamMany different flavours of Agile – Scrum, Lean, XP, DSDM, Open Agile, KanbanMost of Agile is not new – practices are rooted in work from Deming, from Lean as it evolved at Toyota in the 1970s and 80sFocus on delivering highest priority business value as quickly as possible with great quality.
From Esther Derby (http://www.estherderby.com/2009/07/unteams-and-real-teams.html):They have a common goal or purpose.They share an approach to their work. They are jointly accountable for results. If one person finishes his tasks and the rest of the team members don’t the team isn’t successful, and neither is the one who finished his tasks.They are small in size.They have shared history. Teams aren’t teams on the first day. They have to agree to be a team, and then develop enough trust and cohesion to function as a team. Overtime, they learn each others strengths and weaknesses. They learn how to make the best use of everyone’s talents.Finally, teams build their capacity through their work.
“imagining enough of what’s possible to make a start without locking anything down”Don’t make decisions prematurely – managing for complexity and uncertainty requires leaving your options open until they expire.Maximize the amount of work not done – do what is needed to realize the business outcome with quality, no more.
Martie, the Management 3.0 model – six views of management, balancing agility and complexity.Energize people– understand what really motivates peopleNo Door policyEmpower TeamsManage like a gardenerDefine key decision areasDelegate using the 7 levels of authority: Tell/Sell/Consult/Advise/Join/Confirm/DelegateAlign ConstraintsManage the system, not the people:Develop the system, protect the system, direct the systemSet boundaries, communicate a shared goal and tell people to “go!”…and then protect your teamDevelop CompetenceGrow StructureCreate strong communication and feedback loops.Conway’s law “Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of those systems”Parkinson’s law “Work expands to fit the time available for its completion”Environment, Products, Size and People all affect the organization of the system. When any of those variables changes, organizational changes should follow...inspect and adapt! Growing generalizing specialists (or specializing generalists) will foster adaptability.Widen job titles. Grow informal leadership. Manage team boundaries (and try to build your teams as value units).Have no secrets.Software projects are non-linear complex systems, so don’t expect linear change.As a manager, make change desirable and stagnation painful.Levers: change individual practices, mix best practices from previous top performers, learn from others who broadcast best practices (or go looking for them – Positive Deviance!)Create an environment where it’s OK to experiment. And fail. “Leaders can let you fail and not let you be a failure” Gen Stanley McChrystal
Agile methods are based on the fundamental premise that growth of people &of systems is organic, not linear, and subject to constant change. We are constantly responding to change, in ourselves and our environments – agile methods give us a way to embrace change and thrive within a complex environment in a systematic fashion.
Cultivating Collaboration Through Agile Work Ellen Grove Collaborative Management Day June 2011
Sorry – no ‘best’ practices! ‘best practice advice, when it comes to managing IT projects, actually reinforces this circle of project failure.’ firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications/23/
Collaborative Origami Pair up. Decide who is the customer, who is the developer (folder)
Group A: customer and developer sit side-by-side, both can see the instructions
Group B: customer and developer sit face-to-face, only customer can see the instructions
Group C: customer and developer sit back-to-back, only customer can see the instructions
Individuals and interactions over processes and toolsWorking software over comprehensive documentationCustomer collaboration over contract negotiationResponding to change over following a plan Agile work Is a highly collaborativeproject delivery method that has smallfunctional releases which are delivered frequently email@example.com
Better Products & Teams Vision Product Process Capability Teams People firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading self-organization?! http://www.management30.com/illustrations// email@example.com
Build your team’s collaboration muscles… Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org/www.profluence.ca . I tweet as @eegrove Meet Agile practitioners at an Agile Ottawa meeting or Ottawa Scrum Users Group or find your local Agile users group Start with one of these great books: email@example.com
Agile methods are based on the fundamental premise that growth of people & of systems is organic, not linear, and subject to constant change. We are constantly responding to change, in ourselves and our environments – agile methods give us a way to embrace change and thrive within a complex environment in a systematic fashion. MishkinBerteig