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Social engineering with in for kanban


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Tribal behavior in the workplace is core to the human condition. This talk explains how an understanding of sociology and social psychology has been used to develop the community for the Kanban Method, embedded into the Kanban Method to leverage human behavior in the workplace and how you can design kanban systems to encourage positive social behavior in the workplace

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

  1. 1. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Social Engineering With / In / For Kanban David J. Anderson Lean Kanban North America San Diego May 2016
  2. 2. Copyright Lean Kanban @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 @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 @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 @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 @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 @lki_dja This can lead to group think errors 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 @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 @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 @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 @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 @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 @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 @lki_dja Why did the Greenland Norse “Collapse”
  15. 15. Copyright Lean Kanban @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 @lki_dja LiberalConservative LowTrustHighTrust Scandinavia Coastal USA United Kingdom India China Netherlands Belgium Germany France Latin America Rest of USA Early Agile Adoption Japan Early Kanban Adoption
  17. 17. Copyright Lean Kanban @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 @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 @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 @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 @lki_dja A truly Agile society is both highly trusting and very liberal
  22. 22. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Review: Definition of the Kanban Method
  23. 23. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Agreement Balance Collaboration Customer Focus Flow Leadership Respect Transparency Understanding The Kanban Values
  24. 24. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja The Kanban Method Service Delivery Principles 1. Understand and focus on your customers’ needs and expectations 2. Manage the work, allow your people self-organize around it 3. Your organization is an ecosystem of interdependent services steered by its policies, reflect regularly on their effectives and improve them
  25. 25. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja The Kanban Method Change Management Principles 1. Start with what you do now  Understanding current processes, as actually practiced  Respecting existing roles, responsibilities & job titles 2. Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change 3. Encourage acts of leadership at all levels
  26. 26. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Kanban Method uses… … uses kanban boards to visualize invisible work, workflow & business risks together with kanban systems which limit work-in-progress Kanban Method delivers… … faster, more predictable service delivery and an adaptive capability that enables you to respond effectively to changes customer demand or your business environment
  27. 27. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja The Kanban Method General Practices 1. Visualize (with a kanban board 看板) 2. Limit work-in-progress (with kanban かんばん) 3. Manage flow 4. Make policies explicit 5. Implement feedback loops 6. Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally (using models & the scientific method)
  28. 28. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja The Kanban Lens Learn to view what you do now as a set of services (that can be improved):  What to look for… • Creative work is service-oriented • Service delivery involves workflow • Workflow involves a series of knowledge discovery activities  What to do… • Map the knowledge discovery workflow • Pay attention to how & why work arrives • Track work flowing through the service
  29. 29. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Implementing Service Delivery Kanban Specific Practices 1. Visualize service delivery workflows 2. Implement virtual kanban systems 3. Manage flow within & across workflows 4. Make your decision framework, risk management policies & boundaries of empowerment explicit 5. Implement the Kanban Cadences 6. Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally (using fitness criteria metrics, and model-driven improvements based upon an understanding of risks, variability, constraints, sources of delay, queuing theory, real option theory, transaction & coordination costs)
  30. 30. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Strategy Review Risk Review Monthly Service Delivery Review Bi-WeeklyQuarterly Kanban Meeting Daily Operations Review Monthly Replenishment/ Commitment Meeting Weekly Delivery Planning Meeting Per delivery cadence change change change change change change change change change info info info info info info info info info change info Kanban Cadences
  31. 31. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Are we doing Kanban or not? It isn’t a question of evaluating practice usage but rather a question of intent … Do you intend to use visualization & kanban systems to drive a focus on sustained fitness for purpose? Do you view your organization as a network of services and seek to improve the balance of capability against demand & customer expectations?
  32. 32. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Kanban Litmus Test 1. Have managers changed their behavior? 2. Has the customer interface changed? 3. Has the customer contract changed? 4. Has the service delivery business model changed? If you can’t answer yes to at least 2 of these questions it is unlikely you’ve switched to Kanban yet! You may have the intent to adopt it through a series of evolutionary steps initially adopting proto-Kanban
  33. 33. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja STATIK (Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban) 1. Understand what makes the service “fit for purpose” 2. Understand sources of dissatisfaction regarding current delivery 3. Analyze sources of and nature of demand 4. Analyze current delivery capability 5. Model the service delivery workflow 6. Identify & define classes of service 7. Design the kanban system 8. Socialize design & negotiate implementation This process tends to be iterative Identify Services. For each service…
  34. 34. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Examples of social engineering WITH Kanban
  35. 35. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 1 - WIP limit smaller than team, forcing collaboration or transparent idleness
  36. 36. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 2 - Aggregated team servicing multiple customers, forcing collaboration in various ways: Agreed capacity allocation Democratic voting Consensus selection Level of trust rises with each style of collaboration
  37. 37. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 3 - Use of avatars for multi-skilled workers, specialists and narrowly skilled on specific rows
  38. 38. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 4 - Manage the work, allow your people to self-organize around it Manage the work, allow your people 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. No “Gemba Walks” Recognition that virtual, intangible environments are different from physical environments
  39. 39. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Examples of social engineering IN (the design of) The Kanban Method
  40. 40. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  41. 41. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Kanban should be like water! Avoid the "rocks" of emotional, psychological and social resistance
  42. 42. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Kanban daily meeting is social System 1 engagement – visual, social, tactile, narrative
  43. 43. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Strategy Review Risk Review Monthly Service Delivery Review Bi-WeeklyQuarterly Kanban Meeting Daily Operations Review Monthly Replenishment/ Commitment Meeting Weekly Delivery Planning Meeting Per delivery cadence change change change change change change change change change info info info info info info info info info change info Replenishment meetings are social Replenishment meetings force social collaboration from multiple stakeholders who have to agree on selections or agree a democratic voting system or a capacity allocation system
  44. 44. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Transparency Balance Collaboration Customer Focus Flow Leadership Understanding Agreement Respect Kanban Values are inherently social Customer focus helps bind teams in a common goal! Leadership (at all levels) indicates a preference for a loosely cohesive social structure Understanding, agreement, collaboration & respect are all inherently social values Transparency indicates a preference for a high social capital, high trust culture with a flatter social hierarchy and greater social mobility
  45. 45. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Examples of social engineering For (the development of) Kanban (as a social group)
  46. 46. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 1 - No Kanbanistas Stamped out before it got much traction Too strong of an identity leads to dogma
  47. 47. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 2 - No roles Again, deliberately weakening the sense of identity
  48. 48. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 3 - No Kanban-but or Kanban-butts Weakening the boundary between in and out Lowering the barrier to entry
  49. 49. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  50. 50. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja - 5 - Social behavior across market adoption lifecycle Enthusiasts Early Adopters Early Majority Late Majority Laggards Rate Of Market Adoption time Moore’s Chasm Little Chasm I want to join your tribe. The earlier I join, the more social status I expect I have no interest in joining your tribe. I want to use your tool Early market is about building community. Everyone is a leader Need separation of events: leadership retreats for early market; LeanKanban conferences for majority market
  51. 51. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Actions all taken to deliberately position the Kanban community as a loosely cohesive social group
  52. 52. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  53. 53. Copyright Lean Kanban @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?...
  54. 54. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  55. 55. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  56. 56. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  57. 57. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  58. 58. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  59. 59. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  60. 60. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  61. 61. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Conclusions
  62. 62. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  63. 63. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban Kanban has broad applicability to social groups with different traits and behaviors
  64. 64. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Social Engineering with/in/for Kanban Kanban can be used as a social engineering tool within an organization
  65. 65. Copyright Lean Kanban @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”
  66. 66. Copyright Lean Kanban @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
  67. 67. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja 2012 Lessons in Agile Management The heavily under-rated book that underpins the Kanban Coaching Masterclass and most of the theory behind the Kanban Method
  68. 68. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja
  69. 69. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja Thank you!
  70. 70. Copyright Lean Kanban @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.”
  71. 71. Copyright Lean Kanban @lki_dja