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The Expectation


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I guided quite a few Agile and Lean adoptions as part of my professional career, and I came to realize how one of the major sources of resistance, as well as of failure, are misplaced or unrealistic expectations.

Among these, the most dangerous (and the harder to change) are those about the business and organizational dynamics of software development itself.

Of course, challenging one's expectations is something to be expected (pun intended) from innovative characters, but that's easier said than done, especially when the expectations are our own.

One way of making this process easier is to understand in-depth a particular issue, suggesting alternatives and show evidence that others are in fact benefiting from living with different expectations.

This is exactly the approach that I'll take during this talk to challenge a few expectations such as: predictable financial payoffs, product roadmaps and the impossibiity of goal-oriented social structures in the organization.

I'm hoping that the concepts presented during the talk, along with the direct report of my professional experiences, will give you practical "tools" the you can use to promote change and innovation in yourself and in the environment in which you work.

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The Expectation

  1. 1. The Expectation Andrea Provaglio @andreaprovaglio
  2. 2. What I Do I help IT organizations to find and implement better ways of doing business. I coach teams and individuals who want to improve technically and relationally. In 20+ years in IT, I had clients in three continents and a U.S. work visa for “extraordinary abilities in Sciences”.
  3. 3. One Thing I Learned Change is most effective at the strategic level
  4. 4. And This One Too With Change Come Expectations
  5. 5. When Expectations Fail "Oft expectation fails, and most oft there  Where most it promises."  All's Well That Ends Well, act II, i, 145
  6. 6. Exploring Expectations
  7. 7. Sometimes it’s Simple A beer A beer I Want I Get Result
  8. 8. More Than Meets the Eye Decision Outcome Feedback Decision Rules
  9. 9. Bound to Fail Statement Observed Behavior “We value teamwork” We reward individual competitiveness “We want to do Agile” We expect projects to have predefined time and scope “We don’t have time for self-improvement” We keep taking on more and more work
  10. 10. Below the Surface
  11. 11. Organizational Culture Artifacts Processes, Structures, Behavior, Language, Physical Layout, ... Values, Beliefs Ideals, Aspirations, Goals, Ideologies, Rationalizations Basic Assumptions Unconscious, Taken-for-granted Values and Beliefs Edgar H. Schein
  12. 12. Mental Models Peter Senge Decision Outcome Feedback Decision Rules Mental Models
  13. 13. Double-loop Learning Decision Outcome Feedback Decision Rules Mental Models Chris Argyris
  14. 14. The Whole Picture Decision Outcome Feedback Decision Rules Mental Models Artifacts Values, Beliefs Processes, Structures, Behavior, Language, Physical Layout, ... Ideals, Aspirations, Goals, Ideologies, Rationalizations Basic Assumptions Unconscious, Taken-for-granted Values and Beliefs Senge Argyris Schein
  15. 15. Changing the Peg
  16. 16. Let's Try Something Please consider this scenario: •"We don't have time to improve", but... •We keep taking on more and more work Artifacts are easy to spot, but hard to make sense of
  17. 17. One Step Forward Which of YOUR mental models influenced your understanding?
  18. 18. Defensive Reasoning Widespread in organizations, prevents improvement.
  19. 19. Productive Reasoning Openly share views and develop knowledge about each others' assumptions. Analyze objective data and facts. What can you infer about your theories and your actions?
  20. 20. Pick Your Favorite Model Assumption Belief Artifact Consequence Alternative [ ? ] 100% “resource” allocation Micro- management. Multitasking Poor collective intelligence. Waste. Slack. Dedicated teams. [ ? ] Fixed Price- Time-Scope Stick to the plan. No Validated Learning Poor Innovation. Conflicts Incremental and iterative development [ ? ] Predictable financial payoffs No dynamic re-assessment Poor risk management Real Options, Impact Mapping [ ? ] Mistakes are to be stigmatized Blaming Culture Poor creativity Servant Leadership and please explore it (start here)
  21. 21. Let's Wrap It Up Notice dissonant artifacts in the organization. Self-reflect and reason productively using factual data and inference to surface mental models. Develop knowledge about each other's decision- making process. Beware of unrealistic expectations. Explore better, concrete alternatives to the current mental models, so that expectations have a better chance of success.
  22. 22. Thank You! LinkedIn Twitter Slideshare Also on: @andreaprovaglio