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Unlocking Team Productivity with Collaboration

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This is an update to my slide deck for my Agile 2017 submission as well as workshops I will be holding in 2017.

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Unlocking Team Productivity with Collaboration

  1. 1. Unlocking Team Productivity with Collaboration Paul Boos
  2. 2. Agenda • Learn the rules and execute the Power of 13 Collaboration Game through several 'scenarios’ • Compare and debrief the results • Discuss and post the highlights of learning • Compare experience to various models used to describe team dynamics and communication • What promotes or impedes collaboration? • What can you do to improve collaboration? • Describe possible extensions and how this game has been used by the facilitator/co-facilitators
  3. 3. Collaboration: Power of 13 Simulation This game was created at Agile Games 2014 by – Jamie Gaull Robert Smith Peter Barzdines Bobby Zhakov Paul Boos
  4. 4. Power of 13 :: Basic Mechanics Played in 3 week iterations (Sprints), game flow is – 13 Work days • Daily stand-up: – review work completed last 24 hours, Product Owner puts a tick mark on a scratch pad for each one (1st day has no work completed) – Scrum Master turns over a card in the suit to track the day • Everyone rolls their 3 dice once = 13 work completed ≠ 13 (no work completed) Iteration Goal: Amount of work completed = # on development team rolling Planning: new rules Work day: stand-up & roll to complete work Review/Retro: total work you got done short instructor debrief {
  5. 5. Valid Rolls for Completing Work
  6. 6. Power of 13 :: Iteration 1 Planning This round simulates team working independently on work assigned to them • Each developer is responsible for completing one piece of work from the backlog • If a dice roll has a sum total of exactly ‘13’, team member states “my card is DONE.”(Record at stand-up.) • If you hit the iteration goal on that day, the Product Owner should put a check mark above the tick. • The developer stops work (stops rolling) when they complete their piece of work. • If all work is completed and there are days remaining, the Scrum Master just counts down the cards, reinforcing days going by.
  7. 7. Power of 13 :: Iteration 2 Planning This round simulates team members still working independently, but each person pulls from the task board • The team is still responsible for completing as much work as equal to development team members. • If a dice roll has a sum total of exactly ‘13’, team member states “my card is DONE.”(Record at stand-up.) • If you hit the iteration goal on that day, the Product Owner should put a check mark above the tick. • The developer continues to work (by continuing to roll) when a piece of work is completed. HOW MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL WE GET DONE?
  8. 8. Power of 13 :: Iteration 3 Planning This round simulates collaborative pairing to complete work • The team is still responsible for completing as much work as equal to development team members. • Team members pair (or create triads for odd numbered teams); each 13 you get on EXACTLY 3 dice in each pair is completed work. (It is possible to get two in a pair) • All other procedures remain the same. (recording, continuing to work, etc.) HOW MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL WE GET DONE?
  9. 9. Power of 13 :: Iteration 4 Planning This round simulates an entire group working collaboratively to complete work • The team is still responsible for completing as much work as equal to development team members. • Team members roll their dice and combine them into a pool; each 13 you get on EXACTLY 3 dice from the pool is completed work. • All other procedures remain the same. (recording, continuing to work, etc.) HOW MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL WE GET DONE?
  10. 10. Collaboration: Power of 13 Simulation Debrief For the next 3 minutes, write down learning points or observations you had from playing the game. Write one item per sticky. Then over the next 5 minutes discuss at your table to find the common learning points or observations people feel were seen. We’ll share these. Part 1
  11. 11. Collaboration: Power of 13 Simulation Debrief What did you notice happening? What did the dice/rolls represent? How did the effectiveness change in each round? How does or does not this correlate with how real work happens? How did the coordination in the last round feel? What did allowing a person to continue work simulate? Part 2
  12. 12. Let’s Look at Some Models Important to Understanding Group Dynamics Remember: All models are wrong and some are useful!
  13. 13. Group Communications Patterns Linear Hub & Spoke Network
  14. 14. Network Pattern: as Nodes Grow, Maintaining the Network Itself Grows Communications Paths = N(N-1)/2 where N = number of people (as nodes in the graph). Realistically, this limits the amount of productive two-way communication. How so..?
  15. 15. Some Interesting Data… Based on - log(N) = 0.093 + 3.389 log(CR) (1) (r2=0.764, t34=10.35, p<0.001) This equation places an upper limit of how many people we can regularly communicate and maintain stable relationships (aka social grooming) based on neocortex size. 150 Based on – Tribal Reciprocity; the limit on the number of people that will give with an expectation they will receive in kind. 50 Based on – The lower limit of short term memory limit for bits of information used in judgement; we can retain only about 7±2 items in memory. This limits the number of people with which we can have deep communication. 5 Evolutionary Psychology Cultural Anthropology Cognitive Psychology
  16. 16. Team Performance Predictors ENERGY “…when someone announces a new discovery in the same group, excitement and energy skyrocket as all the members start talking to one another at once.” ENGAGEMENT “all members of a team have relatively equal and reasonably high energy with all other members, engagement is extremely strong. Teams that have clusters of members who engage in high-energy communication while other members do not participate don’t perform as well.” EXPLORATION “…seek more outside connections…”
  17. 17. Communications Patterns Predict Successful Teams Successful Teams: 1. Everyone on the team talks and listens in roughly equal measure, keeping contributions short and sweet. 2. Members face one another, and their conversations and gestures are energetic. 3. Members connect directly with one another—not just with the team leader. 4. Members carry on back-channel or side conversations within the team. 5. Members periodically break, go exploring outside the team, and bring information back.
  18. 18. Sociometric Measurement of Team Communications
  19. 19. Information Transfer Occurs Both Explicitly and Tacitly Tacit transfer builds trust Explicit transfer creates artifacts Focusing = (Heads-Down) Work Collaborating = f( [WorkF]) Learning = Building Knowledge with Explicit Thinking Socializing = Building Trust + Building Knowledge Implicitly Σ n 1 Nonaka Model
  20. 20. The Johari Window Known to Self Unknown to Self KnowntoOthersUnknowntoOthers OPEN AREA BLIND AREA HIDDEN AREA UNKNOWN AREA
  21. 21. The Johari Window Known to Self Unknown to Self KnowntoOthersUnknowntoOthers FEEDBACK DISCLOSURE SHARED DISCOVERY OPEN AREA BLIND AREA HIDDEN AREA UNKNOWN AREA
  22. 22. The Johari Window Known to Self Unknown to Self KnowntoOthersUnknowntoOthers TELL ASK FEEDBACK DISCLOSURE SHARED DISCOVERY OPEN AREA BLIND AREA HIDDEN AREA UNKNOWN AREA
  23. 23. The Johari Window Known to Self Unknown to Self KnowntoOthersUnknowntoOthers TELL ASK FEEDBACK DISCLOSURE SHARED DISCOVERY OPEN AREA BLIND AREA HIDDEN AREA UNKNOWN AREA Anyone have a 4? I have a 4!
  24. 24. More Data “82% of white collar workers feel they need to partner with others throughout the workday to get work done” Knowledge Work = Social Achievement
  25. 25. Tuckman Stages of Group Development FocusonWork Relationship/Trust Forming Storming Norming Performing
  26. 26. That was interesting, what should we do with it...? We’re going to look at this from 3 different viewpoints: • Team Member • Manager • Influencer
  27. 27. Team Member Need to directly achieve goals through social achievement • Tuckman explains effectivness of team • Nonaka explains how knowledge transfer in different ways aids in creativity (innovation) • Luft uses the Johari Window to show how increasing the open area increases shared understanding and trust
  28. 28. Improving Teamwork • Increasing the Open Area increases trust – Disclose information about yourself willingly – Request feedback to receive it – Establish working agreements and project charters (explicit transfer) to help establish the metaphors, shared understanding, and casualness that is acceptable (tacit transfer) • And as we saw, increasing trust, increases work focus  productivity Only focusing on the goal misses the need for also having the good relationships needed to produce.
  29. 29. As a Team Forms, Only Explicit Info Is Known
  30. 30. Next is Storming; People Still Share Explicitly
  31. 31. On to Norming; Establish Patterns for Sharing
  32. 32. Performing; People Share Informally, Frequently, and Comfortably
  33. 33. The Manager Has a need to accomplish goals through others AND is only indirectly involved in the social achievement • Often set the initial goal(s) and environment in Forming • During the remaining stages, they usually only involve themselves when ‘needed’
  34. 34. Support Teamwork • Model the behavior needed to increase the Open Area – Disclose what help teams can get from you (and under what circumstances) – Disclose pertinent vulnerabilities – Ask for and graciously acknowledge feedback (do this more than asking for info) • Taken together these increase trust because you aren’t just about them achieving goals, but you are showing you have both interest and empathy Building good relationships with teams gives them license to set the behaviors they need to produce.
  35. 35. Influencer Has no direct interest (or authority) in the social achievement • During Forming, often sets expectations for performance needs tangential to the first order team goal • Often may be a trigger for deepening lack of focus during Storming • Usually consulted when a team attempts to Norm • Often ignored (at peril) if a team is Performing (Individual or External Stakeholder Group)
  36. 36. Encourage Partnerships Building good relationships with the teams allows you to influence their behaviors for meeting your goals. Increasing the Open Area increases trust • Disclose tangential goals and help you can give for achieving these (and under what circumstances) • Establish working agreements/protocols on interactions (explicit) to help establish the metaphors, shared understanding, and casualness that is acceptable (tacit) • Ask for and graciously acknowledge feedback; particularly on interventions you attempt to improve the team’s effectiveness for your goals Increases trust because you aren’t just interested in them achieving your tangential goals, but you are showing you want to allow the team its success as well
  37. 37. EXERCISE: Forcefield Analysis – What Promotes & Impedes Collaboration • At your table, create a list of behaviors that promote collaboration. – What forces are at play that help people to want to collaborate? • Create a list of behaviors that impede collaboration. – What forces are at work that hinder people from wanting to collaborate? • Timebox of 5 min • Assign a weight to each item from 1(lightest) - 5 (heaviest) in each column • Timebox of 2 min • Elect a spokesperson.
  38. 38. Promotes Impedes Collaboration – Forcefield Analysis
  39. 39. Debrief
  40. 40. EXERCISE: Improving Collaboration • Staying in your table group, examine the list of items that help and hinder. • Create a list of techniques or practices that a team can use to amp up their effectiveness or overcome a hindrance. • Timebox of 5 min • Elect a spokesperson.
  41. 41. Debrief
  42. 42. A Few Techniques I Consider • Team Chartering (Launches) w/Team Working Agreements • Coaching Alliances • Open-Ended Questions • Empathetic Feedback • Retrospectives/Other Ceremonies as Facilitated Meetings • Delegation of Authority (Delegation Boards) • Pair/Mob Programming (Pairing in general as well)
  43. 43. Paul M. Boos http://paulmboos.com paul.boos@excella.com @paul_boos 703-307-4322 (mobile) Games for Agility, Learning, and Engagement (GALE) Agile Brambles http://agilebrambles.org Agile Dialogues http://agiledialogues.org
  44. 44. Questions
  45. 45. Resources Luft, Joseph; Ingham, Harrison (1955). "The Johari window, a graphic model of interpersonal awareness". Proceedings of the western training laboratory in group development (Los Angeles: UCLA) Tuckman, Bruce (1965). "Developmental sequence in small groups". Psychological Bulletin 63 Pentland, Alex "Sandy”(2012). “The New Science of Building Great Teams”. Harvard Business Review, April 2012 Nonaka, Ikujiro; Hirotaka Takeuchi (1995). The Knowledge-Creating Company (2008) “Inside Innovation,” Business Week, April 28, 2008 Steelcase WorkSpace Futures (2010). How The Workplace Can Improve Collaboration, June 2010 Whitepaper on Supporting Collaboration Spradley, Jonothan; McCurdy, David W. (2012). Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Pearson Education Miller, George A. (1956). The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information, Psychologicial Review 63 Dunbar, Robin I. M. (1992). “Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in humans”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 16 Issue 04, December 1993

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