Agile Transformation - Taking cue from Organizational theories


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This presentation explores the background of Organizational Behavior theories in Agile Scrum practices. Specifically the relevance of organic structure, formation of high performance teams, facets of organizational culture have been explored in this presentation

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Agile Transformation - Taking cue from Organizational theories

  1. 1. Agile Methodology and Organizational theories in Global Development Context An overview S R V Subrahmaniam 14-Dec-2013
  2. 2. Agenda – Do the Agile Scrum norms and practices have a basis in Organizational Behaviour theory? Organization structure High Performance teams Organizational culture Discussion Slide 2
  3. 3. Key Parameters in defining structure Work specialization Departmentalization – grouping of jobs together Span of Control – number of reportees to manager Decision making (Centralized or de-centralized) Formalization – with rules and regulations Slide 3 Team formation
  4. 4. Strategy drives the structure Structural options Innovation  Adaptability & Flexibility  Dynamic nature of tasks  High uncertainty in Operating environment  Standard & predictable output  Accountability  Stable external environment Cost Minimization & Tight control Slide 4
  5. 5. Mechanistic Vs Organic structures Source: Slide 5
  6. 6. Mechanistic structure Decision making by superiors Strong department affinity Elaborate procedures and SOPs Repetitive tasks Quantitative focus for productivity measurement Low interdependancies Stable external environment Maximum standardization Increased efficiency Economies of Scale Slide 6
  7. 7. Nature of Organic Structures Learning Mindset Differentiated products and services Dominant values Blue – Trust, Participation and commitment Small scale setups Reliance on informal interpersonal communication Crossfunctional teams Communication flows in all directions Seamless transfer of information Knowledge spread all over Nonroutine technology Open and participative Outcome based measurement Future Orientation Frequent innovation Management through values & objectives Slide 7 Locus of the work is around teams Horizontal structures Decision making by teams High Technology and skill obsolescence Proactive and opportunistic
  8. 8. Organic Structures – Typical Characteristics Large network of authority, control, and communication Problem solving is encouraged by all employees Employees are more goal oriented with end customer focus The Digital Workplace; disintermediation = eliminating the middleman. Speed of Responsiveness to environmental changes or organizational crises or shifting customer expectations Slide 8
  9. 9. Moving towards team culture Workgroups Teams  Share Information  Collective performance  Neutral (sometimes negative)  Positive  Individual  Individual and mutual  Random and varied  Complementary Goal Synergy Accountability Skills Source: Comparing Work groups and Work Teams, Page 303, Organizational Behaviour, Robbins, Judge and Vohra, Pearson publishers Slide 9
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  11. 11. Agenda Organization structure High Performance teams Organizational culture Discussion Slide 11
  12. 12. Self-Managed work teams Overview Teams are typically 10-15 members in number, performing highly related or inter-dependent functions taking responsibility for the outcomes  Take-over the tasks done, previously by the supervisors – planning and scheduling work, task allocation, operational decision making & problem resolution  Higher levels of job satisfaction  Peer evaluation  Possible conflicts and power struggles  May have high turn-over rates CON PRO Source: Self Managed work teams, Page 304, Organizational Behaviour, Robbins, Judge and Vohra, Pearson publishers, Slide 12
  13. 13. Team effectiveness Skills Task allocation Diversity Size ( 5 to 9 members) Common goal Composition Process Conflict Management Abilities Social loafing Context Overall structure Performance and reward systems Reference: Team Effectiveness Model, Page 306, Organizational Behaviour, Robbins, Judge and Vohra, Pearson publishers Slide 13
  14. 14. 5 Characteristics of Effective Teams Ref: Prof. Karl Smith, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, in his book "Teamwork and Project Management" Positive Interdependence Individual and Group Accountability Promotive Interaction Teamwork Skills Group Processing  "The team focuses on a common goal or single product“  In Scrum, the Sprint objective and ultimately the Product backlog  "Each person takes responsibility for both her or his own work and the overall work of the team“  Individual ownership of tasks and scrum team ownership of Sprint Objective  "The members do real work, usually face to face"  Co-location at Scrum Pit  "Each member has the skills for and practices effective communication (especially careful listening), decision making, problem solving, conflict management, and leadership“  Core trait of the Scrum team  "The team periodically reflects on how well the team is working, celebrates the things that are going well, and corrects the things that aren't"  Sprint Retrospective Slide 14 Reference:
  15. 15. Implications for Scrum teams Full-time roles  Co-location  High Cohesion  Less coupling  Slide 15
  16. 16. Re-skilling and competency building Training areas Technical Expertise - Domain Technology Test Automation Configuration Management - Environment Management Tooling Problem solving - Implementation of ALM tools - Tools for configuration management, static code analysis, white box testing, test automation etc., - Project planning and scheduling - Problem identification and evaluation of alternatives - Work scoping, constraint and risk management Building Technical Competence Slide 16 Inter-personal skills - Communication and Presentation skills - Team work - Negotiation skills Building self-organized teams
  17. 17. Reworking performance evaluation criteria Innovation orientation Task accomplishment Joint Responsibility Technical expertise Mix of group performance and individual performance Slide 17
  18. 18. Social Loafing - Social loafing is a widely researched phenomenon that suggests people exert less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. - Masking individual nonperformance under superior group performance - This can be undermined by making team members individually and jointly responsible for team goals Slide 18
  19. 19. Agenda Organization structure High Performance teams Organizational culture Discussion Slide 19
  20. 20. Dimensions of organizational culture Innovation and risk taking Attention to detail Growth orientation Culture Outcome Orientation People Orientation Team Orientation Agile related Neutral Slide 20
  21. 21. The Last word.. from Scrumalliance Source: The State of Scrum: Benchmarks and Guidelines, Scrumalliance Slide 21
  22. 22. Agenda Organization structure High Performance teams Organizational culture Discussion Slide 22
  23. 23. S R V Subrahmaniam, PMP, ACP, CSM Siemens Limited