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3 beliefs we need to let go to
start our agile journey
Antti Kirjavainen @anttiki
Agile EE 2017 Kiev
The purpose of this talk
Give you ideas and concrete
practices to invite people and
organizations
let go of beliefs that
hold them back from embracing
the new paradigm of knowledge
work.
Our beliefs hold us back
3 layers of culture
Practices,
processes, rules
Values (stated)
Assumptions, beliefs
(unconscious)
Source: Schein, Edgar (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership: A
Why beliefs and assumptions are so
strong?
• Most things in a culture are built atop of our
beliefs and assumptions
• Lots of connections with other ideas,
assumptions etc.
• Usually unconscious
• Conflicting ideas and assumptions do not fit
with the ideas and assumptions that are based
on the old unconscious assumption
• The idea with less sticking points has less
change to prevail than the connceted (old) one
10 years ago: Games for Learning
I used to develop and research games
for learning
• In collaboration with science teachers
• For primary school children
• ~12 years ago
• Agora Game Lab, University of Jyväskylä
• Problem: children’s misconceptions about
scientific phenomena
Why are there seasons?
Misconceptions about Science
• Hinder the children’s ability to learn about
scientific phenomena
• The earlier conception has stronger
connections in cognition
• Scientific knowledge is inter-connected, new
knowledge sticks if it fits with the existing
assumptions
• A couple of misguided assumptions can hinder
the child from learning most of related science
(e.g. astronomy and climate theories related to
model of seasonal changes)
BELIEFS ABOUT KNOWLEDGE WORK
THAT HOLD US BACK
Let’s do it like in stand-up shows: clap if
you’ve been there, seen that
BATCH THINKING AND FOCUS ON
RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
So stupid, right?
”Delivering each batch of work has costs, so
it is most efficient to do it all in one big
batch”
Photo CC-2.0-BY-NC by Cameron Grant
Problems with batches or big projects
• Assumption: big batches save money (true,
but…)
• Unconscious tradeoffs:
• Losing the adaptibility to changes
• Risks are discovered and acted on late
• Testing of assumptions is done in the end
• Scope tends to get even bigger – scope creep
• Long time to market
Keeping people 100% utilized on
planned work is efficient
Photo by Walter Parenteau
Problems with 100% utilization
• No capability left to deal with surprises
• Results in low predictability if there is variability
(= surprises)
• Often leads to multitasking
• Task-switching reduces effectiveness
”Using specialists’ time just for what they
are best at is most efficient”
Problems with specialisation
• Loss of information
• The need to ask something competes with the
fact that people are already on their next
assignment
• Leads to multitasking
• Task-switching reduces effectiveness
• Lots of unfinished work, which is potentially
waste
PROCESS ROLL-OUT POSITIVISM
New processes can be rolled out to
organizations and teams
Changes in an organization chart will lead to
similar changes in reality
Problems with rolling out new processes,
org charts
• People do not change anything in their
behaviour
• People do not understand the changed
process in the same way
• Lack of commitment towards change
• Hard to relate a modelled process to everyday
work
Rolling out agile structures and
processes is not helpful
• If you just mandate cross-funtional teams and
Scrum ceremonies, you are not doing much
differently than scientific management thinkers
• Cross-functional teams need to be more than
organizational structure
• The most important aspects of agile
frameworks are principles:
• People over processes and
• Continuous improvement.
Dividing the organization to thinkers and
doers is efficient
Problems with separating thinking and
doing
• People far away from work have hard time
seeing the real problems
• People with most insight on improvement
opportunities are left out of work design
• Lessens commitment on improvement on
”doers”
• Takes meaning out of ”doers” work
CARROT AND STICK
The best and only ways to keep people motivated and committed
But no-one really believes that
anymore, right?
Control by rules, incentives and status
reports is effective
Photo by Dneary
Why command and control is really
command and hope
• People will figure out ways to game any
system
• If you incentivize certains behaviours, people
will do anything to reproduce those behaviours,
even wrecking the company
• Intrinsically motivated people become
demotivated when they are directed to game
the system instead of working for the actual
wanted impacts
”People are weak-willed, lazy and
will cheat if you let them”
The belief that people are lazy and
weak-willed: a self-fulfilling prophecy
• If you do not remove impediments from people
to work towards their intrinsic motivation, they
will become demotivated
• Demotivated people seem lazy and weak-
willed
• If you have lazy and weak-willed people, you
have either recruited them or they have
changed since they arrived in the organization
HOW TO GET RID OF THESE LEGACY
BELIEFS?
Photo CC-2.0-BY by wecometolearn
Problems with using logic to help get rid
of old beliefs
• The old belief has lots of connections with
other ideas, assumptions etc.
• The old belief is usually unconscious
• Conflicting ideas and assumptions do not fit
with the ideas and assumptions that are based
on the old unconscious assumption
• The idea with less sticking points has less
change to prevail than the connceted (old) one
• Arguments against the old belief have less
existing allies in the cognition
1. Experience
Photo CC-2.0-BY by Jim Sneddon
Games for Learning: Experience
• Safe experience
• Distanced from subject matter
• Chance for the child to experiment different
strategies, theories
• Constructed so that strategies based on actual
scientific theories work better
2. Reflection together
Photo CC-2.0-BY-NC by Juska Wendland
Games for Learning: Reflection Together
• Compare experiences from playing the game
• Form a collective opinion on what strategies
worked and why
• Confirmation on individual observations from
group
• Connect the experience to scientific theory (at
this point the experience has provided
connecting points to the children’s cognition)
3. Application
Photo CC-2.0-BY-NC by Juska Wendland
Games for Learning: Application
• Application of ther newly learned theory to
another context
• To reinforce the newly formed theory
• I.e. Another exercise, project work etc.
SAME FOR KNOWLEDGE WORK?
Marshmallow Challenge
Tom Wujec, http://marshmallowchallenge.com/
Marshmallow Challenge
Experience
Reflection
Application
Multitasking Name Game
Image CC-3.0-BY-SA by Henrik Kniberg
Multitasking name game
Experience
Reflection
Application
Ball Flow Game
Karl Scotland, http://availagility.co.uk/ball-flow-game/
Experienc
e
Reflection
Applicatio
Motivation Storytelling
Motivation Storytelling
• Take turns of:
• Pick a motivator that is a strong one for you
• Tell a story about a recent event when that
motivator worked for you to learn or achieve
more
• Find similarities and differences in stories
• Discuss how you could amplify the positive
effects of the motivators described in the
stories
CONCLUSION
Assumptions and beliefs hold us back
Practices,
processes, rules
Values (stated)
Assumptions, beliefs
(unconscious)
How To Facilitate change in beliefs
1.Experience
2.Reflection together
3.Application in real
context - experiment
Links to experiences, games
• Marshmallow Challenge:
http://marshmallowchallenge.com/
• Multitasking name game:
https://www.crisp.se/gratis-material-och-
guider/multitasking-name-game
• Ball Flow Game:
http://availagility.co.uk/ball-flow-game/
• Motivation Storytelling: a blog post coming
up soon on http://www.flowa.fi/
THANK YOU!Antti Kirjavainen
http://www.flowa.fi/
@anttiki
antti@flowa.fi
Are you a scrum master or a team
coach? Would you like more consistent
peer support on further learning and self-
development? Check this out:
http://tiny.cc/sm-community

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3 beliefs you need to let go to start you agile journey – Agile EE 2017

  • 1. 3 beliefs we need to let go to start our agile journey Antti Kirjavainen @anttiki Agile EE 2017 Kiev
  • 2. The purpose of this talk Give you ideas and concrete practices to invite people and organizations let go of beliefs that hold them back from embracing the new paradigm of knowledge work.
  • 3.
  • 5. 3 layers of culture Practices, processes, rules Values (stated) Assumptions, beliefs (unconscious) Source: Schein, Edgar (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership: A
  • 6. Why beliefs and assumptions are so strong? • Most things in a culture are built atop of our beliefs and assumptions • Lots of connections with other ideas, assumptions etc. • Usually unconscious • Conflicting ideas and assumptions do not fit with the ideas and assumptions that are based on the old unconscious assumption • The idea with less sticking points has less change to prevail than the connceted (old) one
  • 7. 10 years ago: Games for Learning
  • 8. I used to develop and research games for learning • In collaboration with science teachers • For primary school children • ~12 years ago • Agora Game Lab, University of Jyväskylä • Problem: children’s misconceptions about scientific phenomena
  • 9. Why are there seasons?
  • 10.
  • 11. Misconceptions about Science • Hinder the children’s ability to learn about scientific phenomena • The earlier conception has stronger connections in cognition • Scientific knowledge is inter-connected, new knowledge sticks if it fits with the existing assumptions • A couple of misguided assumptions can hinder the child from learning most of related science (e.g. astronomy and climate theories related to model of seasonal changes)
  • 12. BELIEFS ABOUT KNOWLEDGE WORK THAT HOLD US BACK
  • 13. Let’s do it like in stand-up shows: clap if you’ve been there, seen that
  • 14. BATCH THINKING AND FOCUS ON RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
  • 16. ”Delivering each batch of work has costs, so it is most efficient to do it all in one big batch” Photo CC-2.0-BY-NC by Cameron Grant
  • 17. Problems with batches or big projects • Assumption: big batches save money (true, but…) • Unconscious tradeoffs: • Losing the adaptibility to changes • Risks are discovered and acted on late • Testing of assumptions is done in the end • Scope tends to get even bigger – scope creep • Long time to market
  • 18. Keeping people 100% utilized on planned work is efficient Photo by Walter Parenteau
  • 19. Problems with 100% utilization • No capability left to deal with surprises • Results in low predictability if there is variability (= surprises) • Often leads to multitasking • Task-switching reduces effectiveness
  • 20. ”Using specialists’ time just for what they are best at is most efficient”
  • 21. Problems with specialisation • Loss of information • The need to ask something competes with the fact that people are already on their next assignment • Leads to multitasking • Task-switching reduces effectiveness • Lots of unfinished work, which is potentially waste
  • 23. New processes can be rolled out to organizations and teams
  • 24. Changes in an organization chart will lead to similar changes in reality
  • 25. Problems with rolling out new processes, org charts • People do not change anything in their behaviour • People do not understand the changed process in the same way • Lack of commitment towards change • Hard to relate a modelled process to everyday work
  • 26.
  • 27. Rolling out agile structures and processes is not helpful • If you just mandate cross-funtional teams and Scrum ceremonies, you are not doing much differently than scientific management thinkers • Cross-functional teams need to be more than organizational structure • The most important aspects of agile frameworks are principles: • People over processes and • Continuous improvement.
  • 28. Dividing the organization to thinkers and doers is efficient
  • 29. Problems with separating thinking and doing • People far away from work have hard time seeing the real problems • People with most insight on improvement opportunities are left out of work design • Lessens commitment on improvement on ”doers” • Takes meaning out of ”doers” work
  • 30. CARROT AND STICK The best and only ways to keep people motivated and committed
  • 31. But no-one really believes that anymore, right?
  • 32. Control by rules, incentives and status reports is effective Photo by Dneary
  • 33. Why command and control is really command and hope • People will figure out ways to game any system • If you incentivize certains behaviours, people will do anything to reproduce those behaviours, even wrecking the company • Intrinsically motivated people become demotivated when they are directed to game the system instead of working for the actual wanted impacts
  • 34. ”People are weak-willed, lazy and will cheat if you let them”
  • 35. The belief that people are lazy and weak-willed: a self-fulfilling prophecy • If you do not remove impediments from people to work towards their intrinsic motivation, they will become demotivated • Demotivated people seem lazy and weak- willed • If you have lazy and weak-willed people, you have either recruited them or they have changed since they arrived in the organization
  • 36. HOW TO GET RID OF THESE LEGACY BELIEFS? Photo CC-2.0-BY by wecometolearn
  • 37. Problems with using logic to help get rid of old beliefs • The old belief has lots of connections with other ideas, assumptions etc. • The old belief is usually unconscious • Conflicting ideas and assumptions do not fit with the ideas and assumptions that are based on the old unconscious assumption • The idea with less sticking points has less change to prevail than the connceted (old) one • Arguments against the old belief have less existing allies in the cognition
  • 39. Games for Learning: Experience • Safe experience • Distanced from subject matter • Chance for the child to experiment different strategies, theories • Constructed so that strategies based on actual scientific theories work better
  • 40. 2. Reflection together Photo CC-2.0-BY-NC by Juska Wendland
  • 41. Games for Learning: Reflection Together • Compare experiences from playing the game • Form a collective opinion on what strategies worked and why • Confirmation on individual observations from group • Connect the experience to scientific theory (at this point the experience has provided connecting points to the children’s cognition)
  • 43. Games for Learning: Application • Application of ther newly learned theory to another context • To reinforce the newly formed theory • I.e. Another exercise, project work etc.
  • 45. Marshmallow Challenge Tom Wujec, http://marshmallowchallenge.com/
  • 47. Multitasking Name Game Image CC-3.0-BY-SA by Henrik Kniberg
  • 48.
  • 50. Ball Flow Game Karl Scotland, http://availagility.co.uk/ball-flow-game/
  • 53. Motivation Storytelling • Take turns of: • Pick a motivator that is a strong one for you • Tell a story about a recent event when that motivator worked for you to learn or achieve more • Find similarities and differences in stories • Discuss how you could amplify the positive effects of the motivators described in the stories
  • 55. Assumptions and beliefs hold us back Practices, processes, rules Values (stated) Assumptions, beliefs (unconscious)
  • 56. How To Facilitate change in beliefs 1.Experience 2.Reflection together 3.Application in real context - experiment
  • 57. Links to experiences, games • Marshmallow Challenge: http://marshmallowchallenge.com/ • Multitasking name game: https://www.crisp.se/gratis-material-och- guider/multitasking-name-game • Ball Flow Game: http://availagility.co.uk/ball-flow-game/ • Motivation Storytelling: a blog post coming up soon on http://www.flowa.fi/
  • 58. THANK YOU!Antti Kirjavainen http://www.flowa.fi/ @anttiki antti@flowa.fi Are you a scrum master or a team coach? Would you like more consistent peer support on further learning and self- development? Check this out: http://tiny.cc/sm-community

Editor's Notes

  1. Team -> Customer: demonstrated in practice how limiting work in progress leads to predictability and adaptability Shared responsibility of quality, decisions Proactively help business people reach their goals The agile dream (Michael Sahota)
  2. Galileo Galilei: earth revolves around the sun VersionOne study: Resistance to change, inability to change company culture If what we belief to be true conflicts with new paradigms, it prevents us to adopt those paradigms
  3. What culture is, and what keeps our cultures If what we belief to be true conflicts with new paradigms, it prevents us to adopt those paradigms Schein, Edgar (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View.
  4. I first worked with the problem of people’s beliefs or misconceptions hindering their learning overten years ago. Agora Game Lab, University of Jyväskylä Learning games in collaboration with science teachers
  5. Axial tilt of Earth
  6. Big batches save time and money Real cost: ability to adapt to changes Risk: batches become even bigger
  7. If some project keeps one graphic designer occupied just 50% time, we need to find him another project or we are throwing money away Tradeoff: adapting to change, handling surprises, predictability, improvement, learning, multitasking and task-switching
  8. So when business analyst has finished requirement spec of one project we need to find him another piece of requirement work Tradeoff cost: transformation of information, collaboration, shared understanding
  9. Btach thinking, 100% utilization 18 minutes Design exercise
  10. 100% utlization
  11. Process roll-out positivism
  12. Process roll-out positivism
  13. If what we belief to be true conflicts with new paradigms, it prevents us to adopt those paradigms Schein, Edgar (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View.