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Social engineering with in for kanban

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An understanding of sociology and social psychology was the differentiator for Agile software development methods. This talk looks at how Kanban can be used for social engineering to improve innovation and trust, and how an understanding of sociology was used to design the Kanban Method and shape the community that advocates it.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Social engineering with in for kanban

  1. 1. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Training and Consulting Social Engineering With / In / For Kanban David J. Anderson Oredev Malmo, Sweden
  2. 2. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Sociology is the innovation in Agile development methods Agile assumes a high trust environment Elements of high trust include  Tacit knowledge, collaboration, transparency  Lack of negotiation, contracts, audit, arbitration & reconciliation  Flat, simple org structures  Broad, loosely defined job titles and roles  Empowerment, leadership, tolerance of failure
  3. 3. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Tribes Great Boss, Dead Boss -- Ray Immelman In 2005 this book changed how I see the world and how I understood the world of work
  4. 4. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja All warm-blooded vertebrate animals form social groups for survival and mutual advantage Flocks… Herds… packs… tribes. We are inherently social and cannot get away from it. The social nature of our species governs our behavior.
  5. 5. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja A need to belong ranks 3rd in Mazlov’s hierarchy of needs after physiological and safety concerns. We inherently want to belong to social groups.
  6. 6. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja The need to belong and conform often overrides logic or the values and beliefs of the individual. Individuals often behave against their better judgment for fear of repercussions for their social status…
  7. 7. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja This leads to group think errors and can result in riots ethnic cleansing war crimes and generally acts out of character for the individual such as criminal behavior vandalism petty crime drug taking and substance abuse
  8. 8. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social behavior is governed by our limbic brain What Daniel Kahneman called “System 1” Our amygdala – in evolutionary terms a very old part of our brains Most importantly its function cannot be switched off or over- ridden by logical argument
  9. 9. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Logical behavior is governed by our frontal cortex System 2 our logical inference engine – our frontal cortex incapable of overcoming the instinct of the limbic system in any cognitive dissonance or disagreement between the older and newer systems in our brain
  10. 10. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Immelman’s great insight is that we should recognized people in the workplace behave in an inherently tribal manner Once we recognize this, it is something we can potentially harness and control (or at least manipulate in a positive manner)
  11. 11. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social group cohesion Strong/tight Clear definition of in and out clear and strict social hierarchy formalized membership formalized progress up the social hierarchy loyalty strong sense of belonging drive for conformity lack of innovation leadership only from the top excommunication for transgressing social norms and conventions intolerance conservative lack of risk taking New members welcomed only if they conform and follow the set path to membership.
  12. 12. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social group cohesion Weak/Loose fuzzy definition of in and out ambiguous social hierarchy even if one or more leaders are clearly recognized informal membership social status determined by peers with no set evaluation criteria …and no formal path to achieving increased status lack of loyalty weaker sense of belonging tolerance of experimentation innovation liberal risk taking failure tolerant leadership from any level New members readily accepted even with unconventional ideas, beliefs or behaviors.
  13. 13. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Highly cohesive social groups can represent attractive homes for the lost, e.g. cults. Highly cohesive social groups tend to be brittle and lack resilience and robustness in the face or environmental change
  14. 14. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Story of the Greenland Norse
  15. 15. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja So if Agile requires a high trust culture, does a high level of social capital predict Agile adoption?
  16. 16. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja LiberalConservative LowTrustHighTrust Scandinavia Coastal USA United Kingdom India China Holland Belgium Germany France Latin America Rest of USA Early Agile Adoption Japan Early Kanban Adoption
  17. 17. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja The key to Agile adoption lies in the social cohesion of society, not its social capital. Liberal societies are more likely to adopt it. Early Agile Adoption
  18. 18. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Liberal societies exhibit "anti-fragility" as they are tolerant of innovation, and more likely to adopt, adapt or exapt a concept from outside when placed under stress.
  19. 19. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Kanban's start with what you do now approach made it appealing to a much wider audience. Conservative, low trust cultures can still use Kanban by simply making current policies explicit. The act of making policies explicit and providing transparency through visualization automatically moves the culture up and to the right
  20. 20. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja or the inherent empowerment provided by making policies explicit. Early Kanban Adoption Some Kanban adoptions fail because the culture is resistant to transparency
  21. 21. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja A truly Agile society is both highly trusting and very liberal
  22. 22. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Examples of social engineering WITH Kanban
  23. 23. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 1 - WIP limit smaller than team, forcing collaboration or transparent idleness
  24. 24. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 2 - Aggregated team servicing multiple customers, forcing collaboration in various ways: Level of trust rises with each style of collaboration. Agreed capacity allocation Democratic voting Consensus selection
  25. 25. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 3 - Use of avatars for multi-skilled workers, specialists and narrowly skilled on specific rows
  26. 26. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 4 - Manage the work, allow workers to self-organize around it Manage the work, allow workers to self-organize around it Map workflow as states of the work based on activities to generate new knowledge no value stream mapping, describing handoffs between individuals
  27. 27. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Examples of social engineering IN (the design of) Kanban
  28. 28. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Start with what you do now No one gets a new role or job title Deliberately chosen to avoid psychological and sociological effects of identity change
  29. 29. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Kanban should be like water! Avoid the "rocks" of emotional, psychological and social resistance
  30. 30. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Kanban daily meeting is social System 1 engagement – visual, social, tactile, narrative
  31. 31. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Examples of social engineering For (the development of) Kanban (as a social group)
  32. 32. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 1 - No Kanbanistas Stamped out before it got much traction Too strong of an identity leads to dogma
  33. 33. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 2 - No roles Again, deliberately weakening the sense of identity
  34. 34. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 3 - No Kanban-but or Kanban-butts Weakening the boundary between in and out Lowering the barrier to entry
  35. 35. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja - 4 - Long resistance to certifications. No role-based certification Weakens the boundary between in and out Weakens the sense of identity for the group Weakens the formalization of the social structure
  36. 36. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Actions all taken to deliberately position the Kanban community as a loosely cohesive social group
  37. 37. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Not without consequences... Lack of loyalty  members of the community tend to come and go Reduced demand to get involved amongst enthusiast and early adopter market segments Lost sheep often don't find a strong enough home in Kanbanland Need to replenish the community with new blood  expensive to keep generating new members and leaders as others drift off
  38. 38. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Developing and maintaining a loosely cohesive social group is more expensive in time, energy and money, than developing a highly cohesive group. So Why Do it?...
  39. 39. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Advantage #1: Develops New Leaders Klaus Leopold Mike Burrows Karl Scotland Patrick Steyaert Alexei Zheglov Dimitar Bakardzhiev Rodrigo Yoshima every winner and nominee of/for the Brickell Key Award… a long list of new leaders have emerged from Kanbanland In Scandinavia, Mattias Skarin, Christoph Achouiantz, Hakan Forss, Marcus Hammerberg & Joakim Sunden have all provided leadership in the Kanban community
  40. 40. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Advantage #2: Continual Innovation In 10 years Kanban has evolved, expanded and been refined. It takes over an hour on stage to list the innovations and developments in Kanban since 2005. The latest significant changes include Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) and Discovery Kanban Lean Kanban conferences continue to hold a reputation for consistently innovative content and participants who are experimental and push boundaries and tackle new challenges
  41. 41. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Advantage #3: Thoughtfulness There isn't any dogma in a community trained to think and develop its ideas from first principles and values. The key was in defining membership through alignment with explicitly espoused values and explicitly defined principles and showing tolerance of new ideas and practices so long as they are shown to be aligned with values and principles. Examples such as Hakan Forss challenging the depth of kanban assessment demonstrate a willingness from the community to eat its own sacred cows
  42. 42. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Rejections & Resignations Where the Kanban community has rejected individuals and their ideas – and some of these have been quite public and the individuals made a terrible fuss about it – there has been a clearly demonstrable lack of alignment with Kanban values and principles
  43. 43. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Disadvantages #1: People like, want and need highly cohesive social groups They need that sense of belonging. They want a clearly defined social structure and path to climb it. So growing the Kanban community is challenging
  44. 44. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Disadvantage #2: Retards the Training Market Individuals often drive the training market by selecting training with a personal, emotional, psychological and social benefit for themselves. Training related to membership and status within a highly cohesive social group is therefore more attractive
  45. 45. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Disadvantage #3: Avoiding Dogma is Costly Dogma – the following of socially normal practices without thought or hindrance to the utility of application, ethnics or morals of their use …is actually easy, lazy behavior. Thinking uses energy and acting on thoughts may require courage. People prefer to join groups and hide behind the excuse of social conformity
  46. 46. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Conclusions
  47. 47. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja We are inherently social! Our tendency to let social behavior override our better judgment or ability to think logically is a human trait that managers must accept and adapt for
  48. 48. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc. dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Enterprise Services Planning 6 Planning Activities ESP activities  schedule and sequence work  forecast delivery dates and expected outcomes  allocate capacity  manage dependencies  understand and manage risk  ensure sufficient liquidity to react to unfolding events ESP is about balancing demand with capacity to deliver, keeping in mind the dependencies and risks
  49. 49. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban Kanban has broad applicability to social groups with different traits and behaviors
  50. 50. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban Kanban can be used as a social engineering tool within an organization
  51. 51. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban An understanding that we as a species are inherently social has been used explicitly to define the Kanban Method – a “humane approach to change”
  52. 52. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban The same understanding was used strategically for almost a decade to lead, shape and steer the development of the Kanban community as a loosely cohesive social group accepting both the benefits and consequences of that decision
  53. 53. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja
  54. 54. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja Thank you!
  55. 55. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja About David Anderson is an innovator in management of 21st Century businesses that employ creative people who “think for a living” . He leads a training, consulting, publishing and event planning business dedicated to developing, promoting and implementing new management thinking & methods… He has 30+ years experience in the high technology industry starting with computer games in the early 1980’s. He has led software organizations delivering superior productivity and quality using innovative methods at large companies such as Sprint and Motorola. David defined Enterprise Services Planning and originated Kanban Method an adaptive approach to improved service delivery. His latest book, published in June 2012, is, Lessons in Agile Management – On the Road to Kanban. David is Chairman & CEO of Lean Kanban Inc., a business operating globally, dedicated to providing quality training & events to bring Kanban and Enterprise Services Planning to businesses who employ those who must “think for a living.”
  56. 56. Copyright Lean Kanban Inc.dja@leankanban.com @lki_dja

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