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BOSSA nova: Beyond Agile – Preparing for Digitalisation


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The challenges companies face today in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world call for agile throughout the organisation. There are 2 challenges: companies in general are trying to survive intense disruption, and companies with successful software departments are trying to expand agile methods to the whole organisation, including the board and the legal structure of the enterprise. Both the VUCA challenge and the pressure to implement agile beyond IT demand guidelines for implementing company-wide agility.

We discovered this called for guidance in beyond budgeting, open space, sociocracy and agile. Design thinking, lean start-up, human systems dynamics and Cynefin provide additional insights.

Talking with various experts about how to address the challenges companies face, we got answers from within that expert's framework. For example:

A beyond budgeting expert said, "Stop fixing the budget annually, because otherwise you won't have the flexibility to react to frequent market changes."
An open space expert said, "You need to make space for what you don't know and can't control, for totally new things to emerge. If people can follow their passion, you will be able to implement company-wide agility, otherwise people will just do what they are asked."
A sociocracy expert said, "You first need to resolve the power structure, because as long as you have a hierarchy defined as top-down you will not become agile."
An agile expert said, "You need to start inspecting and adapting by using regular retrospectives in order to react flexibly, otherwise you will neither be able to learn from the market nor from within your company."

All of these perspectives are true, but each perspective was always from within the discipline. We synthesised the approach into a wider perspective dubbed BOSSA nova: B = beyond budgeting, OS = open space, S = sociocracy, A = agile.

The synthesis leads to a new organogram that reflects all the sources of guidance to a value centre. The new organogram focuses board/CEO, inspiration and resource and legal considerations on the value centre. The value centre is thereby free to focus on the customer.

We discuss how to use Cynefin-type probes that enable everyone to apply this new strategy for implementing company-wide agility in their own organisation.

Published in: Business
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BOSSA nova: Beyond Agile – Preparing for Digitalisation

  1. 1. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com11 Jutta Eckstein, @juttaeckstein BOSSA nova: Beyond Agile – Preparing for Digitalisation
  2. 2. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com22 #agilebossanova
  3. 3. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com3 WHAT? CHALLENGES
  4. 4. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com4 PRINCIPLES & VALUES
  5. 5. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com5 Values for Company-wide Agility? Self-Organization Transparency Constant Customer Focus Continuous Learning
  6. 6. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com6
  7. 7. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com7
  8. 8. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com8 Beyond Budgeting  Beyond command & control – Toward a management model that is more empowered and adaptive  Separate the 3 budget purposes – (relative) targets – (rolling) forecast – (dynamic) resource allocation
  9. 9. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com9 Open Space  Self-organization – Everyone is invited to suggest and work on any idea  Passion bound by responsibility – Self-responsible for learning and helping others learn – Passion follows the overall strategy  Empowerment – Anything can happen inspired by anyone
  10. 10. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com10 Sociocracy  Equivalence – Shared decision-making by consent – Feedback embedded in the structure: double linking
  11. 11. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com11 Agile  Continuous learning through feedback: – Rapidly, regularly, and frequently – On needs, product, technology, process, quality, …
  12. 12. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com12
  13. 13. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com13 INVITATION TO PROBE
  14. 14. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com14
  15. 15. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com15 Is Trust Cheaper?  Background: – Traditional travel expense procedures are burdensome and assume people can’t be trusted.  Hypothesis: – Such procedures cost more than they save and are demoralizing.  Experiment: – Pre-survey and audit. Try for three months in a few units with other units as controls. Post-survey and audit.
  16. 16. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com16 Failures are Opportunities
  17. 17. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com17
  18. 18. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com18
  19. 19. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com19 BOSSA nova for Company-wide Agility  Never stop… – …trying – …learning – …changing
  20. 20. ©2012-2018 by JEckstein.com20 Many Thanks! Jutta Eckstein, @JuttaEckstein PicturesbyKatjaGloggengießer #agilebossanova