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"Applying systems thinking to Scrum"


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Systems are all around us. We exist as a part of one or more systems and interact with multiple systems every day. At the same time, we also come across a lot of collections. How can we differentiate between a collection and a system, how do we identify a system and why is it imperative for us to understand the systems around us?

Systems Thinking has been said to be one of the most important management competencies of the 21st century. When it comes to transformation in the way of working, the stakes are high. This session helps you in taking the first step towards becoming ‘System-Wise’. We shall see the basics of system thinking and how its application to scrum can create a positive impact.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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"Applying systems thinking to Scrum"

  1. 1. Applying Systems Thinking In Scrum Ranan Bhattacharya Co-Author: Prince Kumar Mishra 1st – 3rd December, 2017 | Westin, Hyderabad, INDIA
  2. 2. Royal Dutch Shell plc Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 100 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit Disclaimer statement This announcement contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘will’’, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘risks’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘should’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this Report, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for the Group’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserve estimates; (f) loss of market and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including potential litigation and regulatory effects arising from recategorisation of reserves; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, project delay or advancement, approvals and cost estimates; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this presentation are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this document, 1st December 2017. Neither Royal Dutch Shell nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this document. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. We use certain terms in this presentation, such as “oil in place" that the SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575 and disclosure in our Forms 6-K file No, 1-32575, available on the SEC website You can also obtain these forms from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330. Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this presentation belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual
  3. 3. A system must be managed. It will not manage itself. Left to themselves, components become selfish, competitive. We can not afford the destructive effect of competition.” ―W. Edwards Deming
  4. 4. Next 45 minutes…. What is a System?A Collection or System?B How to identify a System?C System DiversityD System ThinkingE What plagues an Agile TransformationF
  5. 5. What is a System?
  6. 6. Collection or a System? Build an Agile Organization and NOT a bunch of Agile teams
  7. 7. How to identify a System? Inter- connection Inter- dependent Parts Purpose Whole is more than Parts Parts attempt to stabilize by giving feedbacks
  8. 8. Structure (Capabilityto understand) Complicated Simplifytomakethe modelunderstandable Simple Ordered Complex Chaotic Behaviour (Capability to predict) System is a way of looking at the World
  9. 9. What is System Thinking? System Archetypes System Structure
  10. 10. System in context
  11. 11. A System must be thought considering Tightly coupled Everything may influence everything. Multi dynamics Changes may occur at many scales and levels. Counterintuitive Cause and effect may be distant in time and/or space. Policy resistant Obvious solutions to problems fail or actually worsen the situation. Non-linear Long term behaviour is often different from short term behaviour.
  12. 12. Examples of Non System Thinking "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. “I think that the world market for computers is may be of five machines”. Thomas Watson, president at IBM. 1943 “TV is not going to be in the market for more than six months. People will be bored of looking at the same box all nights” Darryl F. Zanuck. General Manager at 20th Century Fox. 1946 "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876. “There is no reason to think that people wants to have a computer at home” Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment. 1977
  13. 13. System Thinking Tools
  14. 14. Basic processes • Reinforcing process (the engines of growth and feedback): Positive feedback Successive changes add to the previous changes and keep the change going in the same direction • Balancing process (stabilizing, goal seeking): Accounts for the constancy in the system. They continually try to keep the system at a desired level of performance.
  15. 15. System Archetypes
  16. 16. What plagues Agile Transformation We are doing Agile, so don’t need to take decisions HR, Finance, Purchase….. are not Agile!! I can’t deploy your code as that’s 10th in my priority list Your request for Workflow change will be discussed in monthly CRB meeting We are Agile!! The Customer is NOT 
  17. 17. Pitfalls
  18. 18. How to break the Juggernaut Take a Systemic view Look out for Leverage Points Identify the System Archetype Look at Organization as a system Revisit the System structure Change the Reward systems
  19. 19. Ranan Bhattacharya Senior Agile Coach 9980936123 Thank You