Shu ha-ri applied to agile leadership


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Agile 2011 presentation focused on competency/maturity of functional and organizational leaders in agile organizations

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  • Shu ha-ri applied to agile leadership

    1. 1. SHU-HA-RIApplied to Agile LeadershipDriving Guiding Your Agile Evolution<br />Bob Galen<br />Director R&D, iContact<br />President & Principal Consultant <br />RGCG, LLC <br /><br />
    2. 2. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />2<br />2<br />Shu Ha RiAikido – first learn, then detach, finally transcend<br />Shu<br />Novice or beginner; narrowly following given practices<br />Ha<br />Journeyman; following, but extending, perfecting, occasionally breaking the rules<br />Mentoring in specific strength area<br />Ri<br />Expert; perfecting to creating your own practices<br />Coaching; mentoring<br />‘Sticky’ practices<br />
    3. 3. 3 Phase, Agile Leadership model<br />Shu – Inexperienced agile leadership<br />Most agile-entry companies; early adopter<br />Youthful enthusiasm; fad<br />Ha – Generally experienced agile leadership<br />Ex: Siemens & Fidelity; vertical pockets of agility<br />Ri – Thought Leadership in agile practices; extreme maturity<br />Ex: SalesForce; across organization<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />3<br />
    4. 4. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />4<br />4<br />Level A LeadershipSHU<br /><ul><li>Read a few books, attended a few workshops; truly only a book-oriented view to agile
    5. 5. Perhaps participated in a sprint or two; but with superficial knowledge and limited results
    6. 6. Youthful enthusiasm of agile, not seeing or understanding the fundamental shift in thinking or the requisite discipline and effort
    7. 7. See’s agile as mostly a ‘speed’ play to get more faster; truly doesn’t ‘get’ the other aspects</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />5<br />5<br />Level A LeadershipSHU<br /><ul><li>Still focused on traditional metrics and command-and-control project delivery dynamics
    8. 8. If pushed, will easily revert to traditional thinking and mindset
    9. 9. Will usually ask traditional questions of the team
    10. 10. Freely skip sprint reviews; behind the scenes feedback</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />6<br />6<br />Level B LeadershipHA<br /><ul><li>More than transient experience on agile teams; real experience delivering solid products
    11. 11. Starting to understand the notion of Servant Leadership; and, as Pollyanna Pixtonspeaks about
    12. 12. knows when to engage (Step In) and
    13. 13. not engage (Step Back) as a leader
    14. 14. Comfortable allowing teams to incrementally fail and/or approach development in ways that are “uncomfortable” for them to observe</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />7<br />7<br />Level B LeadershipHA<br /><ul><li>Continuous learner from an Agile perspective
    15. 15. Moving into other areas for lessons: facilitation, business/personal coaching, requirements analysis, business leadership, etc.
    16. 16. Can attend a retrospective w/o creating an unsafe environment and influencing value-added discussions
    17. 17. Aligned with metrics around core agile interests:
    18. 18. Value
    19. 19. Quality
    20. 20. People</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />8<br />8<br />Level C LeadershipRI<br /><ul><li>Some experience deploying Lean and Six Sigma at an organizational level
    21. 21. Similarly, deployed CMM, TSP/PSP organizationally; understands the dynamics of top-down & bottom-up change
    22. 22. Risk taking; high reward oriented; willing to fail and adept at guiding a Fail Forward posture
    23. 23. Determined to follow through on agile; couldn’t dissuade them from the path as they’ve seen agile successes in previous experience</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />9<br />9<br />Level C LeadershipRI<br /><ul><li>Would have to fire them rather than them throwing away agile
    24. 24. Effective agile coach to coaches; strong sounding boards within the organization
    25. 25. Can attend a team retrospective and add value w/o direct influence
    26. 26. Operate as an internal agile trainer; mentor to other executives
    27. 27. Facilitate truly crucial organizational steps—architectural roundtables, roadmap / strategy roundtables</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />10<br />10<br />Leadership Maturation<br />My contention is that each functional organization in an agile adoption needs at least one Level C individual<br />Per functional organization, for example software development vs. software testing or quality<br />Quite often leadership is “left behind” in the training—having only a superficial understanding of agility<br />And no practical experience!<br />So they’re stuck using their traditional approaches & principles<br />Considering the ‘right’ things<br />Flow, dependencies / decoupling, team skills, collaboration, co-location, technical debt, JIT architecture & design.<br />
    28. 28. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />11<br />11<br />Leadership MaturationStrategies<br />Recruiting these folks<br />Challenge in amplifying agile skills and still have a match for your domain and other needs<br />Bringing in external coaches to serve as these individuals internally while they mentor your staff . <br />Trade-off here is cost and finding the ‘right’ coach<br />Challenge of finding similarity of coaches at-scale<br />Growing them organically from within your organization. <br />Primary trade-off here is time AND getting a parochial view that isn’t offset with broader experience.<br />
    29. 29. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />12<br />12<br />Leadership MaturationStrategies<br />Creating x-team focus or collaboration groups to serve as a sort of “board” to fill these roles. <br />Can be effective. Often done as an adjunct activity.<br />Creating an Agile COE <br />Establish guidelines / guard-rails, checklists, norms for agile ceremonies, tools recommendations, and models. <br />Centralized expertise.<br />Driving internal training <br />
    30. 30. Asking the ‘Right’ Questionsin terms of A, B, or C<br />Don’t ask your traditional (fixed scope, cost, schedule) questions. Instead: <br />Ask defect backlog questions………………..……………………(quality)<br />Ask if the team has failed recently……….…...………(risk taking, trust)<br />Ask collaboration questions…………….….…..…….…(getting it ‘right’)<br />Ask customer interaction questions……..…..…………(getting it ‘right’)<br />Ask velocity questions………………(are you improving, can you plan)<br />Ask burndown (or burnup) questions……………(do you pay attention)<br />Ask about varying scope………………..(are you a healthy agile team)<br />Ask about prioritization and trade-offs………(again, healthy tradeoffs)<br />Ask customer found defect questions…………(customer first, quality)<br />Ask if the team needs your help………………..(vulnerability, maturity)<br />Ask about their last retrospective actions....(continuous improvement)<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />13<br />
    31. 31. What are the ‘Wrong’ QuestionsorPositions?<br />Are we done yet? Are we there yet? Over and over…<br />We can’t de-scope that feature?<br />To heck with a Sprint #0, I want to hear keys typing on Monday morning<br />We can’t re-plan the sprint, let’s work through it; and don’t tell anyone we’re in trouble<br />Are we working hard enough? Is the team committed to the project?<br />Expecting the Iron Triangle to hold (Cost, Scope, Time) without compromise<br />Not trusting the teams’ estimates…or asking for second opinions<br />Or asking over and over until they get the answer they want<br />Quality is assumed free—without the hard work<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />14<br />
    32. 32. Adopting the ‘Right’ Behaviorsin terms of A, B, or C<br />Servant-Leadership <br />Continuous improvement<br />Quality…built-in; Build it right<br />Craftsmanship<br />Customer—value focused<br />Collaborative<br />Co-located; collaborative<br />Team investment (hiring & training)<br />Flow<br />Empowered and committed self-directed teams<br />Innovation & creativity<br />Sustainable pace<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />15<br />
    33. 33. Assessment Dynamics<br />Keep it lightweight and not too serious<br />Reassess often<br />Don’t get “hung up” on colors (R/G/Y)!<br />Who can assess leadership?<br />Agile pilot teams and/or team leaders<br />Scrum Masters, Product Owners<br />Internal or External coaches<br />The key points<br />Gain a landscape view of leadership agile skill competency<br />Know where to go for help; and who needs help<br />Assess your continuous improvement<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />16<br />
    34. 34. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />17<br />17<br />Agile Leadership Evolution WorkshopBreakouts<br />What were (are) your organizational motivations, goals and expectations surrounding the move towards agility? (5 Min)<br /><ul><li>Read-out</li></ul>Lay-out your organizational structure (10 Min)<br /><ul><li>Both the local structure(s) focused on agile (Development, Testing, BA, etc.)
    35. 35. And the more global organizational structures (Marketing, Support, Accounting) </li></ul>Identify your leadership types in each organization or group (5 Min)<br /><ul><li>Level A = Red, Level B = Yellow, and Level C = Green
    36. 36. Look for patterns of strength & weakness</li></li></ul><li>Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />18<br />18<br />Agile Leadership Evolution WorkshopBreakouts<br />Discussion in your group aligned with maturing your leadership organization (15 Min)<br /><ul><li>Explore strategies targeted towards strengths—strengthening & amplification…
    37. 37. Explore strategies targeted towards weaknesses—improving…
    38. 38. Prepare to share some strategies / approaches with the overall group
    39. 39. Read-out</li></ul>Re-align your efforts back to your goals (5 Min)<br /><ul><li>Do you need to change or refine your goals? How?
    40. 40. Read-out</li></li></ul><li>Exit the Workshop With…<br />A list of clear goals for why your organization is “going agile” and what you hope to achieve by leveraging it<br />Contrast before & after states. Any adjustments?<br />A color coded organizational chart that illustrates your ‘levels’ of agile leadership maturity across your organizational<br />A heat map of strength vs. weakness in understanding & competency<br /> A brainstormed list of strategic actions to improve leadership maturity<br />Prioritized for action; focused on functional ‘balance’<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />19<br />
    41. 41. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />20<br />
    42. 42. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />21<br />
    43. 43. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />22<br />
    44. 44. Thank you! What’s Next?<br />I’m going to collect:<br />Patterns of organizational maturity across the attendees<br />Maturation strategies – tied to the patterns<br />Agile goals that are driving adoption across the attendees<br />And then send back out to folks who sign-up for redistribution of results…<br />Please share your email for results…<br />Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />23<br />23<br />
    45. 45. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />24<br />24<br />Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition<br />5 stage model for skills acquisition:<br />Novice – rigid adherence<br />Advanced Beginner – limited situational perception<br />Competent – some perception of actions in relation to goals<br />Proficient – holistic view of situation; prioritizes importance of aspects<br />Expert – transcends reliance on rules; intuitive grasp of situations based on deep understanding<br />New stage – Innovation<br />While a three phase model is simple, you could easily replace it with a Dreyfus derived model…<br />
    46. 46. Copyright © 2011 RGCG, LLC<br />25<br />Scrum Product Ownership – Balancing Value From the Inside Out published by RGCG in 2009. <br />Software Endgames:  Eliminating Defects, Controlling Change, and the Countdown to On-Time Delivery published by Dorset House in 2005. <br />Go to for purchasing / for order info, misc. related presentations, and papers.<br />Bob Galen<br />RGalen Consulting Group, L.L.C.<br />Agile focused training, coaching & consulting<br />PO Box 865, Cary, NC 27512<br />919-272-0719<br /><br /><br />25<br />Contact Info<br />