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“Mental Models for Agile Adoption” from ALE2011

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Our mental models help shape our behaviour and define our approach to solving problems, carrying out tasks and form the structure of logical reasoning. One view suggests mental models can be constructed from perception, imagination, or the comprehension of discourse. What are mental ingredients to support Agile adoption within learning organisations? How to we amplify what enhances adoption and break down barriers that inhibit it. We would like to explore ideas how mental models are at the very heart of success of organisational change and individual transformation.

Published in: Business, Technology

“Mental Models for Agile Adoption” from ALE2011

  1. 1. Mental Models For Agile Adoption@jocranford & @barryoreilly
  2. 2. A little story about an “Agile” team …
  3. 3. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!”
  4. 4. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!” But … ZERO POINTS L
  5. 5. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!” But … ZERO POINTS L “This Agile thing just isn’t working!”
  6. 6. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!” But … ZERO POINTS L “This Agile thing just isn’t working!” “I could do those tasks far more quickly on my own”
  7. 7. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!” But … ZERO POINTS L “This Agile thing just isn’t working!” “I could do those tasks far more quickly on my own” “Do those automated tests really help? I spend half my time trying to keep the build green …”
  8. 8. “Agile teams are hyperproductive! I want a piece of that!” But … ZERO POINTS L “This Agile thing just isn’t working!” “I could do those tasks far more quickly on my own” “Do those automated tests really help? I spend half my time trying to keep the build green …” “Can we not just go back to estimates in hours?”
  9. 9. “We do want to be Agile though –we’ll keep doing iterations and stand ups…”
  10. 10. Sound familiar?
  11. 11. Why are we like this?
  12. 12. Blame our Mental Models
  13. 13. Our minds substitute manydetails for simple concepts
  14. 14. We make Leaps of Abstraction
  15. 15. Implicit mental models remain untested
  16. 16. Mental Modelsguide our actions
  17. 17. We try to keep our Governing Variables within acceptable limits
  18. 18. Governing variables driveAction Strategies
  19. 19. Actions have consequences –both intended, and unintended
  20. 20. Agile is counterintuitiveit requires changing our Governing Variables
  21. 21. Aim for perfect requirements before you start to minimise change later
  22. 22. Aim for perfect requirements before you start to minimise change laterWrite the requirements just before we build it to allow changes later
  23. 23. Do all the related development tasks together so they take less time
  24. 24. Do all the related development tasks together so they take less timeDevelop and complete a small piece at a time so we can deliver working software and get faster feedback
  25. 25. Have lots of projects on the go at one timeso that we are making progress on lots of things
  26. 26. Have lots of projects on the go at one timeso that we are making progress on lots of things Have fewer projects on the go at one time so that they are completed sooner
  27. 27. Developing is mostly typing [code]so people work faster individually
  28. 28. Developing is mostly typing [code] so people work faster individuallyDeveloping is mostly problem solving so two heads are better than one
  29. 29. How Mental Models Affect people when they start to adopt agile
  30. 30. Argyris & SchönTheory in Action
  31. 31. Espoused theories Vs. Theories-in-use[what they say] [mental models]
  32. 32. Model 1 - Governing Variables!  Control the situation to achieve your objectives!  “win, do not lose”!  Suppress negative feelings!  Suppress emotions
  33. 33. Model 1Unilateral Control Model Closed to Learning
  34. 34. Skilled Incompetence
  35. 35. Learning as“the detection and correction of error”where an error is a mismatch betweenwhat was intended and what was produced.
  36. 36. Single loop learningthe ‘decision rules’ imposed by our mental models
  37. 37. Single Loop LearningMental Models Action Strategies Results(Why We Do) (What We Do) (What We Get)
  38. 38. Double loop learning - requires changing the values andMental Models that govern theory-in-use
  39. 39. Single Vs. Double Loop LearningMental Models Action Strategies Results(Why We Do) (What We Do) (What We Get)
  40. 40. Model 2 - Change defensive routines
  41. 41. Model 1 - Governing Variables!  Control the situation to achieve your objectives!  “win, do not lose”!  Suppress negative feelings!  Suppress emotions
  42. 42. Model 2 - Governing Variables!  Everyone is in control!  “win, win”!  Feelings expressed!  Rational analysis
  43. 43. Model 1 vs. Model 2!  Not a replacement for one another!  Clearly articulating a position!  Emphasis on enquiry!  Test assumptions
  44. 44. How do we move past Model 1?
  45. 45. Tools and techniques
  46. 46. Create the right environment
  47. 47. "Regardless of what we discover,we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job he or she could, given what was known at the time, his or her skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand."
  48. 48. Left hand and right hand columns
  49. 49. Right Hand (what was said)Details of the conversationDetails of the conversationas you imagine it may happen
  50. 50. Left Hand (what was thought) Right Hand (what was said)How you felt but didn’t say Details of the conversation Details of the conversation as you imagine it may happen
  51. 51. Left Hand (what was thought) Right Hand (what was said) Barry: How is that presentation preparation going? Jo: It’s going ok Barry: Can we do a showcase tomorrow? Jo: That’s a bit soon – next week? Barry: That’s fine. I’ll set something up for next week
  52. 52. Left Hand (what was thought) Right Hand (what was said)She hasn’t shown me anything, Barry: How is thatI’m nervous she is wasting presentation preparation going?time? Jo: It’s going ok Barry: Can we do a showcaseShe hasn’t done anything at all! tomorrow? Jo: That’s a bit soon – next week?I knew it, I should have done Barry: That’s fine. I’ll setit myself. Jo is useless! something up for next week
  53. 53. Reflection as a tool!  What has really led me to think and feel this way?!  What was your intention?!  What were you trying to accomplish?!  Did you achieve the results you intended?!  How might your comments have contributed to the difficulties?!  Why didnt you say what was in your left-hand column?
  54. 54. Reflection as a tool!  What assumptions are you making about the other person or people?!  What were the costs of operating this way!  What were the payoffs?!  What prevented you from acting differently?!  How can I use my left-hand column as a resource to improve our communications?
  55. 55. How the conversation would go….Barry: How is that presentation preparation going?Jo: It’s going okBarry: I’m a bit nervous about the presentation asI’ve still not seen what you’ve doneJo: I know I’m sorry.. It’s just that I’ve been doing alot of research and not put words downBarry: Maybe we can pair on it tomorrow and get itdone!
  56. 56. Building the capability1 on 1sClosing the Feedback LoopSharing Left Hand Columns
  57. 57. Mental ModelsSurfacing your Mental Models - being awareof themTesting assumptionsEffectively inquire into other personsMental Model
  58. 58. Thanks@jocranford & @barryoreilly

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