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How To Lead Agile Organizations Through Complexity by Daniel Walsh nuCognitive

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This is a talk about how to lead Agile organizations through complex situations. It begins with an invitation to think about Agile as a collection of heuristics and introduces the Cynefin framework as a powerful sense-making tool for selecting heuristics.The talk concludes with a set of recommendations for heuristics that work well for complex situations, like leading Agile transformations.

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How To Lead Agile Organizations Through Complexity by Daniel Walsh nuCognitive

  1. 1. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 1@danielwalsh How To Lead Agile Organizations Through Complexity Daniel Walsh Agile Austin Leadership SIG 2018
  2. 2. 2 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 What is a heuristic? @danielwalsh
  3. 3. What is a heuristic? Rule of thumb 3 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 le pif (the nose) 目の測定 (measuring with the eye) Educated guess SWAG Order of magnitude First cut Engineering judgement Guiding principles Faustregel (the fist) Ha пальцами (by the fingers) Quick and dirty Guesstimate @danielwalsh
  4. 4. 4 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 @danielwalsh
  5. 5. What is a Heuristic? A heuristic is anything that provides a plausible aid or direction in the solution of a problem* • reduces the search time for problem solving • does not guarantee a solution to a problem • can offer conflicting advice • acceptance depends on the immediate context instead of an absolute standard Example engineering heuristics: • Solve problems by successive approximations (trial and error) • Divide the problem into its constituent parts (divide and conquer) • Do what worked last time (yesterday’s weather) 5 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 *Reference: Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method. 2003. @danielwalsh
  6. 6. 6 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Everything in Agile is heuristic Two to four week iterations Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Definition of Done Daily Standup Responding to change over following a plan Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams Velocity tracking User stories State of the Art (SOTA) LeSS SAFe DAD Nexus Scrum at Scale Kanban Scrum XP @danielwalsh
  7. 7. Heuristics produce accurate decisions by exploiting the structures of information in the environments in which they are applied* 7 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 *Reference: Gigerenzer & Todd. Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. 2000. @danielwalsh
  8. 8. Heuristics are dependent on immediate context instead of absolute truth* 8 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 *Reference: Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method. 2003. @danielwalsh
  9. 9. 9 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 @danielwalsh
  10. 10. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar201810 The future of Agile is one where practitioners understand not only how, but also why Agile methods and practices work across different contexts. @danielwalsh
  11. 11. The nature of the system determines the way we can know things, how we make decisions, and how we act. -David Snowden 11 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Cynefin Framework kuh-nev-in The Cynefin framework is first about situational awareness, followed by contextually appropriate action. @danielwalsh
  12. 12. 12 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 ?Disorder? Chaotic Complex ObviousComplicated @danielwalsh
  13. 13. 13 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Disorder Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic foldorcliff @danielwalsh
  14. 14. The Cynefin Framework 14 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic DisorderDisorder The Cynefin Framework by Cognitive Edge.. Constraints Cause and Effect Relationship Decision-making How to respond @danielwalsh
  15. 15. The Obvious Domain Direct Cause-Effect Relationship 15 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. Disorder best practice Obvious Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom sense-categorize-respond Standards Checklists Best-Known Methods @danielwalsh
  16. 16. The Complicated Domain Indirect Cause-Effect Relationship 16 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. best practice Obvious Complicated good practice Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled sense-analyze-respond sense-categorize-respond Communities of Practice Experts Better-Known Methods @danielwalsh
  17. 17. The Complex Domain Interconnected Cause-Effect Relationship 17 best practice Obvious Complicated good practice Complex emergent practice Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled Enabling constraints Loosely coupled probe-sense-respond sense-analyze-respond sense-categorize-respond Pattern Recognition Parallel Learning Adaptive, Resilient Methods Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. @danielwalsh
  18. 18. The Chaotic Domain Unknowable Cause-Effect Relationship 18 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. Disorder best practice Obvious Complicated good practice Complex emergent practice Chaotic novel practice Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled Enabling constraints Loosely coupled No constraints Not coupled act-sense-respond probe-sense-respond sense-analyze-respond sense-categorize-respond Radical Innovation Crisis Management Stabilizing Methods @danielwalsh
  19. 19. The Disordered Domain Indeterminate Cause-Effect Relationship 19 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 The Cynefin Framework by D Snowden - Cognitive Edge. Used with permission. Disorder best practice Obvious Complicated good practice Complex emergent practice Chaotic novel practice Rigid constraints No degrees of freedom Governing constraints Tightly coupled Enabling constraints Loosely coupled No constraints Not coupled act-sense-respond probe-sense-respond sense-analyze-respond sense-categorize-respond Discuss perspectives Partition Diagnostic Methods probe – sense – respond exploratory practice @danielwalsh
  20. 20. Cynefin Framework | Older Version* 20 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 *Reference: Complex Acts of Knowing by Dave Snowden Disorder Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Known Knowns Known Unknown Unknown Unknowns Unknowable @danielwalsh
  21. 21. 21 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Nature is adroit in creating objects whose only excuse for being seems to be to thwart someone’s effort to put them into a category. -Billy Vaughn Koen *Reference: Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method. 2003. @danielwalshCC BY-SA 3.0 Platypus by TwoWings
  22. 22. 22 @danielwalsh Complex Disorder Complicated Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018
  23. 23. 23 @danielwalsh “…a jumbo jet is complicated but a mayonnaise is complex.” – Paul Cilliers Reference: https://www.theoryculturesociety.org/oliver-human-on-paul-cilliers/ CC BY-SA 2.0 by jules:stonesoup CC BY-SA 3.0 by Alex Beltyukov Disorder Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018
  24. 24. Mathematics of Dots* 24 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 *Source: The Mathematics of Dots by Max Boisot Events as Dots Effect Patterns Connecting Dots Cause Links @danielwalsh Hindsight Does Not Lead To Foresight # of Dots # of Links # of Possible Patterns 4 6 64 10 45 ~35,000,000,000 n L=n(n-1)/2 P=2L
  25. 25. Cynefin Metaphors | Games 25 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Disorder Coin Toss BlackjackTexas Hold’em Poker Food Fight Calvinball* Reference: http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Calvinball @danielwalsh
  26. 26. Cynefin Metaphors | Movement 26 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Disorder Police Roadblock Traffic LightRoundabout Brownian Motion @danielwalsh
  27. 27. Agile in Context | Software Development 27 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Disorder Unit Test Regression Testing User Testing Canary Deployments* Chaos Monkey ChAP***Reference: http://principlesofchaos.org/ **Reference: The Netflix Simian Army post on Medium, 2011 https://medium.com/netflix-techblog/chap-chaos-automation-platform-53e6d528371f @danielwalsh
  28. 28. Estimates 28 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Disorder Not Needed #KnowEstimates#NoEstimates Trust Gut #Guesstimates @danielwalsh
  29. 29. Prioritization 29 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Obvious ComplicatedComplex Chaotic Disorder Take the best1 Weighted-shortest Job First2 Multiple small bets 1/N First-fit Pattern Match3 1 Reference: Gigerenzer & Todd. Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. 2000. 2 Reference: Reinertsen, Don. The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. 2009. 3 Reference: Klein, Gary. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. 1998. @danielwalsh
  30. 30. 30 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 @danielwalsh Complex Disorder Complicated Bet Hypothesis
  31. 31. 31 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 Work With Small Objects Disintermediation Avoid Premature Convergence Three Heuristics Three Methods Leading Agile Organizations Through Complexity Simple rules Probes Grow from smaller systems that work
  32. 32. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar201832
  33. 33. 33 Copyright © 2017 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Nov2017 A kōan (公案) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke the "great doubt" and test a student's progress *Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dan @danielwalsh
  34. 34. 34 Copyright © 2017 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Nov2017 Isn’t that an interesting heuristic. -Billy Vaughn Koen *Reference: Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method. 2003. @danielwalsh
  35. 35. References Koen, Billy Vaughn. Discussion of the Method: Conducting the Engineer's Approach to Problem Solving. 2003. Gigerenzer & Todd. Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. 2000. Snowden & Boone. “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review, 2007. Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. 2008. Mitchell , Melanie. Complexity: A Guided Tour. 2011. Reinertsen, Don. The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. 2009. Schwaber & Sutherland. The Scrum Guide™. 2016. Klein, Gary. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. 1998. 35 Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 @danielwalsh
  36. 36. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar201836 The future of Agile is one where practitioners understand not only how, but also why Agile methods and practices work across different contexts. Q&A @danielwalsh
  37. 37. Copyright © 2018 nuCognitive LLC. All rights reserved. SOTA|Walsh;Mar2018 How To Lead Agile Organizations Through Complexity Thank You! 37@danielwalsh daniel.walsh@nuCognitive.com Let’s connect on https://www.meetup.com/Cynefin-and-Complexity http://bit.ly/walshslides

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