Update Your Wetware


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Despite the fact that we have left behind us the industrial revolution era, the majority of IT projects today are managed with a mindset and with practices that are more appropriate for repetitive labor work, rather than the kind of knowledge work that's so typical and our industry.

This cultural shift is, in fact, one of the biggest challenges for the industry itself and for many managers and teams (assuming there is a team).

In this session we are going to talk about the major cultural changes in managing knowledge-based projects, such as the strategies and mental models required to deal with a high level of uncertainty. We'll also see why the focus, on this kind of work, shifts to the team rather than the single individuals, why the team is the basic unit of work and which skills are required from the project leaders to work in this kind of ecosystem.

Of course, we'll also talk about practical approaches and techniques that we immediately apply when leading knowledge-based projects.

Published in: Business, Technology

Update Your Wetware

  1. 1. Update Your Wetware 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. Ephemeralization
  4. 4. “Do more and more with less and less until you can do everything with nothing” -- Richard Buckminster Fuller
  5. 5. For instance...
  6. 6. “Do more and more with less and less until you can do everything with nothing”
  7. 7. “Do more and more with less and less until you can do everything with nothing”
  8. 8. “Do more and more with less and less until you can do everything with nothing”
  9. 9. How much does it take to modify this keyboard layout?
  10. 10. And this?
  11. 11. Moving Targets For us, change is generally easier compared to physical goods. Users rightly ask for it, in response to changing conditions in their world.
  12. 12. Asymmetrical Payoffs "When we make much more money from success than we lose from failure, then we should be willing to invest in opportunities that have considerably less than a 50 percent chance of success." -- Donald G. Reinertsen
  13. 13. Misplaced Expectations Things will not change Predictable financial payoffs
  14. 14. Uncertainty
  15. 15. Interconnected World In 2012, CERN LHCb antimatter experiment in Geneva was slowed down by Thailand floods.
  16. 16. Forecasts NOAA Gianfranco Which one do you trust more? and why?
  17. 17. Another Question for You Why do we forecast the weather, but we estimate the time and cost for developing a new, ephemeral product? Hint: use rolling forecasts instead (Siemens does)
  18. 18. Predictability vs. Adaptability
  19. 19. A Roadmap? Nah.
  20. 20. A Roadmap Gives Options Even better with real-time status updates.
  21. 21. Using Impact Maps Validate hypothesis with fail- fast, fail-safe experiments
  22. 22. Knowledge
  23. 23. Knowledge Workers Workers whose main capital is knowledge. What differentiates knowledge work [...] is its primary task of "non-routine" problem solving that requires a combination of convergent, divergent, and creative thinking.
  24. 24. The Team is our Basic Unit of Work Hint: refrain from micro-managing individuals
  25. 25. Knowledge Work Organizations Knowledge Work
  26. 26. Knowledge Work Organizations Knowledge Work Visualization Feedback Measuring Queues Limiting WIP Measuring what really matters Organizational Culture Roles Collaboration Self-organizationLearning Soft Skills Deep Dialogue
  27. 27. A Knowledge Work Leader... Facilitates deep understanding Values diversity Fosters an healthy ecosystem Protects Is a steward of organization’s resources for the greater good Encourages trust and learning
  28. 28. Heroes, Dictators, Prima Donnas and Masters of Puppets Don’t Belong Here ...?? !
  29. 29. Personal Responsibility is an Essential Quality Hint: Christopher Avery's Responsibility Process
  30. 30. Wetware Update
  31. 31. Our Dear Old Inefficiencies Time Cost Scope ...? and BTW, where is your “WHY”?
  32. 32. A Different Model Options Vision Rolling forecasts Moving targets
  33. 33. In Short... Challenge your expectations Leverage Uncertainty, cultivate Vision Understand and foster social units of work Measure what really matters
  34. 34. “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” -- Michelangelo Buonarroti
  35. 35. Thank You! LinkedIn Twitter Slideshare Also on: http://andreaprovaglio.com http://beyondagile.com
  36. 36. References •Donald G. Reinertsen:“The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development” - ISBN 1935401009 •Gerald Weinberg:“The Secrets of Consulting” - ISBN 0932633013 •Goiko Adzic:“Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects” - ISBN 0955683645 •http://impactmapping.org •The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/23/ cern_storage_disk_shortage/ •http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_worker
  37. 37. Images • http://www.imagozone.com/filme/The-Lord-of-the-Rings-The-Return-of-the-King/LOTR---The-Return-of-the-King-115 • http://krisrants.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/colourful-mind-mapping/ • http://nmla.org/images/nmreads/authors/weinberg-gerald/weinberg-gerald-LARGE.jpg • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z6B6BweyR5Q/UEfHJzeVKZI/AAAAAAAAC7E/l36gImxliSo/s1600/Love+Song+of+R.+Buckminster+Fuller +5.jpg • http://www.wallpaperfull.com/stockimage/michelangelo-buonarroti-interior-of-the-sistine-chapel.jpg • http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/live-WKP-042012-20.jpg • http://www.amoderndad.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/bookshelf.jpg • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Addizionatrice_Dalton.jpg • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FzTmWd4OKRs/TblTWnlkDfI/AAAAAAAAAHY/p8sGR6i6t0U/s1600/VintageOld %2BMapandCompassTheLongGoodbye.png • http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1150/881564886_33ea4f3e7e_o.jpg • http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/3vinyl0703.jpg • http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/images/dscn0702.jpg • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/NOAA-M.jpg • http://www.hughjohnson.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/printed.Tuscan-farmer.-Curvers-retouched.jpg • http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/insight/files/2013/07/LHCb-Credit-CERN.jpg • http://q2learning.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/moving-target.jpg • http://britishgirlinparis.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/rodin_thethinker.jpg • http://www.usalavoce.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/quelo.jpg • http://cdn2.tnwcdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/03/LeaningBack.jpg • http://www.livewellmagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sad-depressed-man.jpg • http://aubreydaniels.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/personal-responsibility1.jpg