THE SHORTCUTS TO SCALING
AGILITY…
(That won’t get you there)
Ram Ramalingam
My father’s name is Ramalingam Sumaithangi Sivarama Iyer
Ram Ramalingam
In the next 40 mins…
1. The shortcuts
2.How not to be led into one
3. Joseph Henrich -The twist in the tale
4.Some tools t...
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…
Quick,
Rewarding
Familiar
Tough,
Boring
Counter-intuitive
Some cognitive science
 Loss aversion
 Prospect theory
 Endowment effect
 Attribute substitution
 Hindsight bias / av...
Loss aversion
 You are offered a gamble on the
toss of a coin
 If the coin showsTails you lose Rs. 100
 If the coin sho...
Loss aversion
 Being too invested in the work already done
 At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to
become mor...
Attribute substitution
 Subjects asked two questions
among many others:
 "How happy are you with your life in
general?”
...
Attribute substitution - Framing
Framing Treatment A Treatment B
Positive "Saves 200 lives” "A 33% chance of saving all
60...
Attribute substitution
 Assuming that past experience is superior to end-
user empathy
 Business people and developers m...
Some typical anti-paths / anti-patterns
• It says working
product. Mine does!
Management
• Selfish-organization
Philosophy...
It says working product. Mine does !
 Anti-path:
 I am happy to accept change. But we will need a fool-proof
change cont...
Freeze, I am Ma Baker…
 Anti-path:
 But then I am delivering data to a system
 But then my team doesn’t have a product ...
Self-organizationish
 Agile Path
 The best architectures, requirements, and designs
emerge from self-organizing teams
 ...
Two roads again diverged in a yellow wood…
Quick,
Rewarding
Familiar
Tough,
Boring
Counter-intuitive
The culture thing
“You like potato and I like potahto
You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto....
Joseph Henrich
 WEIRD studies
 Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic
 Culture-Gene co-evolution
 Ultimat...
Ultimatum game & Dictator game
 UG: Give a pair of subjects a sum
of real money for a one-shot
interaction
 Player 1 (pr...
 UG:
 Measure of self-interest and tolerance to
unfairness
 DG
 Undiluted measure of fairness
 Observations
 WEIRD c...
Altruistic punishments the norm?
Altruistic Punishment in
Humans -
Fehr and Gächter
(2002)
Herrmann,Thoni and G
ächter (20...
Framing: Mueller-Lyer ilusion
Joseph Henrich
So what do we do?
1. Read minds
2. Use available tools responsibly
Cultural nuances
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Power Distance Index
The degree to which the less powerful members of a society
accept and expect that power is distribute...
Power Distance Index
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Individualism
Vs.Collectivism
 The degree to which
individuals are
integrated into groups”
 In individualistic societies...
Individualism
Vs.Collectivism
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Uncertainty Avoidance
 Society's tolerance for
uncertainty and ambiguity”
 Extent to which members of a
society attempt ...
Uncertainty Avoidance
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Masculinity
 The distribution of emotional
roles between the genders
 Masculine cultures' values are
competitiveness, as...
Masculinity
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Pragmatism (vs. Normative)
 How people relate to the fact
that so much that happens
around us cannot be explained
 In so...
Pragmatism
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
India Bel China Germany Greece Norway Philippines Poland Russia Swe...
Indulgence vs Restraint (IVR)
 Indulgence stands for a society that
allows relatively free gratification of
basic and nat...
Indulgence vs. Restraint (IVR)
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
IVR
IVR
Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
Are we ready for it?
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
PDI
IDV
UAI
MAS
PRA
IVR
Ideal
India
Source: http://geert-hofst...
Self-organizationish
 Agile Path
 The best architectures, requirements, and designs
emerge from self-organizing teams
 ...
It says working product. Mine does !
 Anti-path:
 I am happy to accept change. But we will need a fool-proof
change cont...
WVS - distribution
 There is still hope
 World values survey
Source:Worldvaluessurvey.org
WVS – relation to economy
Source:Worldvaluessurvey.org
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I— I took the one les...
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  • Welcome. This is a talk about Agile – some secrect shortcuts to Agile – some ideas from Cognitive science and anthropology that could impact the way we practice AgilityWhy this talk for me:The idea for this talk started when I was having a friendly banter with a well known author/Agilist – who said of my former organization, that they are making a basic mistake in Agility – the PM role!Why should you listen:This is what I looked like before I learnt all this. Then now I became like thisMy name is Ram Ramalingam – My father’s name is Ramalingam SumaithangiSivaramaIyer
  • The path to Agility, like everything else in life, you would have come to realize has a fork along the way..There is always an easy way out – What makes us take the easy way. The cognitive biases…
  • Will do a brief intro into cognitive science, as that is not the main idea behind this talk. Cognitive science: This road-forkis a metaphor to congnitive science as well – as described by Daniel KahnemanSystem 1 & 2 – the two roads divergingLeads to Congitive biases<8 min>
  • <Explain>
  • Some of the ways in which this cognitive bias creeps into our lives:<15 min>
  • Now, let us take a couple of anti-patterns, that involves taking a shortcut to Agility – and see why our cognitive biases cause it to happen
  • So why is this an Anti-path – well, probably because the story isn’t very user-centric. Its too systemic.
  • Is it all happy path with Agile? Or is the ideal path to Agility that we know becoming the Quick, rewarding, Familiar path?<25 min>
  • Why does it matter?If the assumptions behind what motivates people, what makes them more creative is different, then should the paths that lead to better software be the same?Are we teaching a swimmer to be a body builder or releasing a domesticated tiger in the wild? (survival of 33-50%)
  • Case in point is research done by Hencrich et al, in the last decade for Univ of Br Col.Disclaimer:Game theory is not a good enough predictor of real-worldbehaviourAxelrod’s simulations are fairly good estimators of evolutionarily stable strategies in Prisoners Dilemma
  •  pair of anonymous subjects with a sum of real money for a one‐shot interaction.If subjects are motivated purely by self‐interest, responders should always accept any positive offer; knowing this, a self‐interested proposer should offer the smallest non‐zero amount
  • In the ealier research, reputation was key to driving co-operation. Is even that always true? What if the society celebrates free-riders and punishes co-operation?
  • Professor X<35 mins>
  • Otheralternatives - Trompenaars andHampden-Turner'sSevenDimensions of Culture
  • The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups". In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights
  • The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups". In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights
  • society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity". It reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty
  • The distribution of emotional roles between the genders". Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life.
  • The distribution of emotional roles between the genders". Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life.
  • That said. All is not lost – for those of us passionate about a world that is truly seeking Autonomy, Mastery and Connectedness - future doensnt have to be that bleak
  • <45 mins>
  • Agile shortcuts conf

    1. 1. THE SHORTCUTS TO SCALING AGILITY… (That won’t get you there) Ram Ramalingam
    2. 2. My father’s name is Ramalingam Sumaithangi Sivarama Iyer Ram Ramalingam
    3. 3. In the next 40 mins… 1. The shortcuts 2.How not to be led into one 3. Joseph Henrich -The twist in the tale 4.Some tools to manage the twist – understanding culture Disclaimer 1. This is an exploratory talk 2.Not a completely researched field 3. There might be more questions than answers 4. Bit of a roller-coaster ride 5. A lot of terms I use may have a XP-tone when I talk Agile – but, really, isnt XP the real agile ? 6.“All models are wrong. Some models are useful” – GEP Box.
    4. 4. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood… Quick, Rewarding Familiar Tough, Boring Counter-intuitive
    5. 5. Some cognitive science  Loss aversion  Prospect theory  Endowment effect  Attribute substitution  Hindsight bias / availability heuristic  Framing
    6. 6. Loss aversion  You are offered a gamble on the toss of a coin  If the coin showsTails you lose Rs. 100  If the coin shows Heads you gain $150  Would you take the bet? Source: Daniel Kahneman Most people don’t – people are more aversive to A Loss than a gain by the same amount
    7. 7. Loss aversion  Being too invested in the work already done  At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.  Value is often perceived as what’s available in house than what customer really needs  Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.  Throwaway code is anathema  Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.  Working software is the primary measure of progress  Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential
    8. 8. Attribute substitution  Subjects asked two questions among many others:  "How happy are you with your life in general?”  "How many dates did you have last month?"  In this order, the correlation between the two questions was negligible. If the dating question was asked first, however, the correlation was .66
    9. 9. Attribute substitution - Framing Framing Treatment A Treatment B Positive "Saves 200 lives” "A 33% chance of saving all 600 people, 66% possibility of saving no one.” Negative "400 people will die” "A 33% chance that no people will die, 66% probability that all 600 will die.”
    10. 10. Attribute substitution  Assuming that past experience is superior to end- user empathy  Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.  Reliance on experts and specialization over cross- functional teams  Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.  The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.  Comprehensive documentation leads to less errors  The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
    11. 11. Some typical anti-paths / anti-patterns • It says working product. Mine does! Management • Selfish-organization Philosophy • Freeze! I am Ma Baker.. Practices
    12. 12. It says working product. Mine does !  Anti-path:  I am happy to accept change. But we will need a fool-proof change control board and the customer has to pay for it  The customer doesn’t understand how good this feature/product is  Agile Path take you must…  Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage  Play games, visualize future etc. and help the team have a good dialogue/vision to negotiate better Management
    13. 13. Freeze, I am Ma Baker…  Anti-path:  But then I am delivering data to a system  But then my team doesn’t have a product owner  But we need some architecture, surely?  Agile Path take you must…  Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software (Valuable to users!)  Keep goals visible – product mapping - etc As an MIS I want data from the old source To continue to reach me when am retired So that I can rest in peace? Philosophy
    14. 14. Self-organizationish  Agile Path  The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams  Anti-path  As a PM, I want productivity metrics, so that I can be sure the team is not slacking away  We are completely self-organized within theTesting, DB, Dev and UI teams Practices
    15. 15. Two roads again diverged in a yellow wood… Quick, Rewarding Familiar Tough, Boring Counter-intuitive
    16. 16. The culture thing “You like potato and I like potahto You like tomato and I like tomahto Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto. Let's call the whole thing off.” - Louis Armstrong
    17. 17. Joseph Henrich  WEIRD studies  Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic  Culture-Gene co-evolution  Ultimatum game & Dictator game  Altruistic punishment vs Anti-social punishment  Framing - Mueller - Lyer illusion
    18. 18. Ultimatum game & Dictator game  UG: Give a pair of subjects a sum of real money for a one-shot interaction  Player 1 (proposer) offers a sum to Player 2  Player 2 can agree/disagree  Dictator Game  Player 1 (proposer) offers a sum to Player 2  Player 2 has no choice  It was observed
    19. 19.  UG:  Measure of self-interest and tolerance to unfairness  DG  Undiluted measure of fairness  Observations  WEIRD consistently extreme  Surprisingly some cultures rejected offers that were not only too low, but too high Ultimatum game & Dictator game Joseph Henrich - Fairness andCooperation in E conomic Decision Making
    20. 20. Altruistic punishments the norm? Altruistic Punishment in Humans - Fehr and Gächter (2002) Herrmann,Thoni and G ächter (2008) > Strange behavior of anti-social punishments
    21. 21. Framing: Mueller-Lyer ilusion Joseph Henrich
    22. 22. So what do we do? 1. Read minds 2. Use available tools responsibly
    23. 23. Cultural nuances Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    24. 24. Power Distance Index The degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally - http://geert-hofstede.com/ Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    25. 25. Power Distance Index Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    26. 26. Individualism Vs.Collectivism  The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups”  In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    27. 27. Individualism Vs.Collectivism Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    28. 28. Uncertainty Avoidance  Society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity”  Extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    29. 29. Uncertainty Avoidance Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    30. 30. Masculinity  The distribution of emotional roles between the genders  Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power  Whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    31. 31. Masculinity Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    32. 32. Pragmatism (vs. Normative)  How people relate to the fact that so much that happens around us cannot be explained  In societies with a normative orientation most people have a strong desire to explain as much as possible  With a pragmatic orientation, most people don’t have a need to explain everything, as they believe that it is impossible to understand fully the complexity of life Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    33. 33. Pragmatism 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% India Bel China Germany Greece Norway Philippines Poland Russia Sweden UK PRA PRA Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    34. 34. Indulgence vs Restraint (IVR)  Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun.  Societies with a low score in this dimension have a tendency to cynicism and pessimism  Restraint stands for a society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms. Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    35. 35. Indulgence vs. Restraint (IVR) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% IVR IVR Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    36. 36. Are we ready for it? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% PDI IDV UAI MAS PRA IVR Ideal India Source: http://geert-hofstede.com/
    37. 37. Self-organizationish  Agile Path  The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams  Anti-path  As a PM, I want productivity metrics, so that I can be sure the team is not slacking away  We are completely self-organized within theTesting, DB, Dev and UI teams Practices
    38. 38. It says working product. Mine does !  Anti-path:  I am happy to accept change. But we will need a fool-proof change control board and the customer has to pay for it  The customer doesn’t understand how good this feature/product is  Agile Path take you must…  Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage  Play games, visualize future etc. Management Agile value embrace you must
    39. 39. WVS - distribution  There is still hope  World values survey Source:Worldvaluessurvey.org
    40. 40. WVS – relation to economy Source:Worldvaluessurvey.org
    41. 41. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference - Robert Frost

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