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Community-Driven Change - AgileDC (Agile Washington DC)


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Many organizations flatten management structure when they transform to agile. It soon becomes obvious that important activities done by managers are still needed. A community can fill these gaps. They can provide morale, governance, learning, and mentorship, recruiting and hiring, mutual support, coordination, sharing, innovation and more!

Unfortunately few companies manage to create a strong community. Even fewer empower that community to fill these gaps. This means they are missing the ultimate benefit of community: a strong, empowered community can transform the organization itself!

Join Shahin and Shawn in this interactive session to explore communities in organizations. Examine the benefits of building great communities. Learn how to spark the community, and how to support it as it evolves. Hear stories of communities empowered to improve the organization. Learn how to make a community into a driver of positive change.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Community-Driven Change - AgileDC (Agile Washington DC)

  1. 1. Community-Driven Change Shahin Sheidaei and Shawn Button Agile DC - 2017-10-16
  2. 2. We LOVE to develop and be part of communities Book Clubs
  3. 3. “A community is a small or large social unit… who have something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity.” - Wikipedia
  4. 4. “A community is a social unit that comes together through self-selection, and self-organizes to satisfy shared needs.” - Shahin and Shawn
  5. 5. Group Network Community Team
  6. 6. Let’s Build One!
  7. 7. Why Do We Need Communities?
  8. 8. Need for Communities
  9. 9. How To Start A Community?
  10. 10. How To Start A Community Individual ● Find people with shared interests, and schedule a meeting! ● Find the early adopters in particular ● Start conversations in the hallway ● Expect to have to sell it ● If you can’t sell it, bribe them! (buy lunch or coffee) ● Keep it informal; Make it fun ● Get some quick wins to demonstrate that it works ● Do it on your own time (lunches, after hours) ● Once you have the community started it’s easier to get leadership support Manager / Leader ● Be clear with what you hope to get from communities ● Communicate the importance and your support for people’s involvement ● Include communities as part of incentives ● Realize that involvement in a community means people will have less time for their “regular” work. Organization ● Don’t introduce hierarchy! See if you can provide what is missing with a community first!
  11. 11. How to Start a Community? #NEED
  12. 12. How To Support The Community?
  13. 13. As a Community Catalyst ● Create inter-community connections ● Promote communities How To Support The Community? As a Community Initiator / Member ● Bring in your whole self ● Be open to letting the community evolve - don’t try to push your agenda ● Help shape it or evolve it for better ● Keep it simple and informal ● Try for quick wins As a Manager/Leader ● Communicate value of communities ● Highlight success stories ● Acknowledge & appreciate community leaders ● Create a safe environment where people are free to question and propose alternatives ● Let it live, no interventions ● Do not ask for outcomes/outputs ● Make time for your people to participate As an Organization ● Build an environment that allows communities to grow and flourish ● Help with Logistics - meeting spaces, funding, Tooling, Communications etc. ● Create “slack” time ● Help shape it or evolve it for better ● Intra-community building promotion ● Helping with external communities. Host meetups, sponsor conferences ● Avoid solving problems with hierarchies that could be solved with communities
  14. 14. How A Community Evolves?
  15. 15. Signs Of Evolution ● Decline in participation ● Reduced collaborative activities and input from community ● Change of Focus ○ Discussions about mainly a different topic than original one ● Irrelevant discussions - turns into a complaint session ● People not motivated to tackle new issues
  16. 16. Help it Evolve Into Another Community ● Facilitate the evolution! Find out if people want to satisfy a different need. ● Let others lead the evolution! ● Be part of the new!
  17. 17. Letting The Community Go
  18. 18. Signs Of End of Life ● Decline in participation ● Reduced collaborative activities and input from community ● Change of Focus ○ Discussions about mainly a different topic than original one ● Irrelevant discussions - turns into a complaint session ● People not motivated to tackle new issues
  19. 19. Let it Go Every good thing comes to an end. ● Have a positive end of life event. A Community wake! ● Thank members, guests, leaders, managers and anyone involved. ● Share learnings on building communities ○ Encourage others to do so ○ Offer help to others to become the next community initiator
  20. 20. Lifecycle of a Community
  21. 21. Community and Change
  22. 22. Organizations & Agile Hierarchies are traditionally organized around disciplines. It’s better to organize around the value stream (i.e. work). Teams are cross-functional. But people in the same role in different teams have less interaction with each other. A community will fill the gap! This (theoretically) allows easy governance and transfer of information within that discipline.
  23. 23. Organizations & Change Transformations are not easily accepted in organizations. People will be more bought in to the change if they feel included. “People don't resist change. They resist being changed.” - Peter Senge A community leading the transformation means the people doing the changing are the same ones decided what needs to change!
  24. 24. Communities And the Growth of Agile Salt Lake City Agile Roundtable London Xtreme Tuesdays Club Your Company? The C2 Wiki
  25. 25. ● Its definition is vague, meaning it’s Flexible! ● It can take Many Forms and Types ● It is relatively Easy to Start ● People with autonomy are More Motivated ● There is usually Little Resistance for it ● It Addresses Many Different Needs ● It should Evolve to meet other needs ● It naturally Dies Down when the need is met Communities & Change
  26. 26. Find Us Here Shahin Sheidaei @sheidaei /in/sheidaei Shawn Button @shawnbut /in/shawnbutton
  27. 27. “Community Scrabble” - “Community Party” - William White on Unsplash “Starting Blocks” - Braden Collum on Unsplash “Pizza” - Carissa Gan on Unsplash “Beer” - Quentin Dr on Unsplash “Subway” - Adelin Preda on Unsplash “Cafe” - Seemi Samuel on Unsplash “Working at Table” - Climate KIC on Unsplash “Coffee Table” - Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash Photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash Photo by Hidde Rensink on Unsplash Photo by Christian Søgaard Moen on Unsplash Photo by Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash Photo by Foto Garage AG on Unsplash Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash “Bee” by Kelsey Krajewski on Unsplash Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash “Stove org chart” -,_1914.jpg Image Credits