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Agile Toronto 2016: What do you mean when you say "leadership"?

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The word leadership can trick us into believing that we are talking about the same thing when are actually not. This presentation explores different leadership accountabilities and how they might manifest in different roles. I also describe different patterns of how this might play out using a couple specific examples from ThoughtWorks and Spotify.

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Agile Toronto 2016: What do you mean when you say "leadership"?

  1. 1. What do you mean when you say “leadership”? Jason Yip Agile Coach, Spotify jyip@spotify.com, @jchyip
  2. 2. Begin TL;DR
  3. 3. When people say “leadership”, they are typically oversimplifying a multifaceted set of problems we are dealing with in product delivery.
  4. 4. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management This is closer to what we’re dealing with.
  5. 5. End TL;DR
  6. 6. When you hear or say “leadership” it is unlikely that everyone means the same thing.
  7. 7. I’m glad we all agree what “leadership” means and can now have a meaningful discussion.
  8. 8. If we don’t even mean the same thing by “leadership”, it’s difficult to help each other become effective at it.
  9. 9. Let’s be more thoughtful about how we talk about “leadership”. https://flic.kr/p/67troU
  10. 10. “Leadership” is multifaceted.
  11. 11. “Leadership” is multifaceted because we are solving more than one type of problem.
  12. 12. Groups of people trying to achieve collective outcomes encounter 3 basic problems:
  13. 13. Problem 1: We need to determine the right things to do. https://flic.kr/p/5LYgFW
  14. 14. Problem 2: We need to agree on those things to do. (or at least accept) https://flic.kr/p/aCsLj
  15. 15. Problem 3: We need to coordinate ourselves to do those things. https://flic.kr/p/fxh1Kk
  16. 16. The better we are at addressing these problems, the more successful we are likely to be.
  17. 17. Conversely, there are multiple paths to failure.
  18. 18. - Right direction - Everyone aligned - Can’t coordinate Can’t deliver
  19. 19. - Right direction - Not aligned - Everyone coordinated Everyone working on multiple, unaligned things. Can’t deliver.
  20. 20. - Wrong direction - Everyone aligned - Everyone coordinated Can deliver... the wrong thing. Can’t achieve desired outcomes.
  21. 21. Direction: Determining the correct thing to do Leadership: Influencing people to align with a direction Management: Coordinating people and resources
  22. 22. Direction, not necessarily “director” Leadership, not necessarily “leader” Management, not necessarily “manager”
  23. 23. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management Let’s get more specific to product delivery.
  24. 24. Product Direction covers the discovery and determination of product strategies and roadmaps that will work.
  25. 25. Product Direction activities
  26. 26. Product Leadership covers the communication and inspiring of others to connect with the product strategy.
  27. 27. Product Leadership activities Story telling Involvement https://flic.kr/p/aR1iPM
  28. 28. Product Management covers the coordination of people and resources to facilitate product delivery.
  29. 29. AKA “project management”, though I prefer “delivery management” (no end point)
  30. 30. Product Management activities Stand-ups, planning, kanban boards, lots of meetings etc. https://flic.kr/p/7RL28b
  31. 31. Product vs Design → Business outcome vs customer experience (NOTE: there are feedback loops)
  32. 32. Design Direction covers the discovery and determination of the target customer experience.
  33. 33. Design Direction activities Design Sprints Collaborative Design
  34. 34. Design Leadership covers the communication of, and inspiring others to connect with, the target customer experience.
  35. 35. Design Leadership activities Story telling Involvement https://flic.kr/p/aR1iPM
  36. 36. Design Management covers the coordination of people and resources to engage in various design and UX activities.
  37. 37. https://flic.kr/p/7RL28b Design Management activities Stand-ups, planning, kanban boards, lots of meetings etc.
  38. 38. Technology Direction covers the discovery and determination of technical strategy and roadmap.
  39. 39. Technology Direction activities Technical strategy Technical roadmap https://flic.kr/p/5Q5SS8
  40. 40. Technology Leadership covers the communication and inspiring of people (mainly developers) to connect with technical strategy.
  41. 41. Technology Leadership activities Story telling Involvement https://flic.kr/p/aR1iPM
  42. 42. Technology Management covers the coordination of people and resources to engage in various technical design activities.
  43. 43. https://flic.kr/p/7RL28b Technology Management activities Stand-ups, planning, ad-hoc design sessions, etc. https://flic.kr/p/7RL28b
  44. 44. People Direction covers the discovery and determination of an individual’s career aspirations and growth.
  45. 45. People Leadership covers inspiring and sustaining of motivation for individuals to grow.
  46. 46. People Direction and Leadership activities Job Crafting One-on-ones
  47. 47. People Management covers all the administrative activities associated with “direct reports”.
  48. 48. People Management activities Help navigate organisational policies Approve expenses https://flic.kr/p/7bT6dT https://flic.kr/p/8Gi1ta
  49. 49. We could use some examples right about now...
  50. 50. ThoughtWorks custom application development
  51. 51. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management ThoughtWorks emphasis - Technology and Design NOTE: simplified Expectation of self-sufficiencyClients...
  52. 52. Spotify product delivery
  53. 53. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management Spotify emphasis - Direction, Leadership, People NOTE: simplified Autonomy...
  54. 54. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management What do you emphasise?
  55. 55. Begin TL;DR
  56. 56. When people say “leadership”, they are typically oversimplifying a multifaceted set of problems we are dealing with in product delivery.
  57. 57. Product Direction Design Direction Technology Direction People Direction Product Leadership Design Leadership Technology Leadership People Leadership Product Management Design Management Technology Management People Management This is closer to what we’re dealing with.
  58. 58. End TL;DR
  59. 59. First encountered Extreme Programming in 1999 Buildmaster → Principal Consultant 2001 - 2015 Agile Coach since February 2015 Jason Yip @jchyip https://jchyip.blogspot.com https://medium.com/@jchyip jyip@spotify.com, jchyip@gmail.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonyip

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