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A + B = X Factor!
The Formula for Improving IT Performance
2
Helping Clients Achieve Outstanding Performance
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME
• Boutique Consulting Firm
• Niche Focus in IT Space
• Specialists in Project Execution, Change
Management, and Project Emergency Response
• Experienced Team with Operational
Backgrounds
• Driven by Customer Satisfaction
3
Today’s Discussion
• An age-old question… Nature vs. Nurture?
• A new approach to team performance
• How to give your teams what they need
• Defining your own formula for success!
4
AN AGE OLD
QUESTION
5
6
We See Nature vs. Nurture at Work Too
Nature Nurture
WHAT DRIVES PERFORMANCE???
7
8
9
Understanding Team Behavior
Dependable
Passionate
Driven
Healthy Dynamics = High Performance
Challenged Dynamics = Poor Performance
10
A NEW
APPROACH
11
Being Able to See Team Dynamics in the Moment!
• David KantorMy “model” informs my preferences for how I like to communicate, behave, and
interact with others!
12
Speaking the Same Language
• David KantorPower Affect Meaning
Action/Productivity
Time-bound
Focus on Completion
“I Do”
“I Want/Need”
Trust & Relationships
Express Emotions
Caring About Others
“I Feel”
“I Care”
Data & Analysis
Purpose & Mission
Ideas & Understanding
“I Think”
“I Wonder”
David Kantor
13
Right Actions at the Right Time
• David KantorMove Bystand Follow
Initiate
Take Action
1st to Share Idea
Oppose
Challenge
Push Back
Vet Concepts
Connect
Unbiased
Big Picture
Support
Carry Ideas Forward
Get Behind
David Kantor
14
Right Environments for Right Outcomes
• David Kantor
Closed Open Random
Formal Leader
Defined Roles
Plan Focus
“Command & Control”
Egalitarian
Process Focuses
All Inclusive
“Collaborative”
No Process or Structure
Autonomy
Individuality
“Creative”
David Kantor
15
GIVING
TEAMS
WHAT
THEY
NEED
16
Two Stories: Giving Teams What They
Need to Perform
1. Kill the Death March
2. Interpreting 2 Languages
17
In project management, a death march is a project that the
participants feel is destined to fail, or that requires a stretch of
unsustainable overwork.
The general feel of the project reflects that of an actual death
march because project members are forced to continue the
project by their superiors against their better judgment.
Wikipedia
Kill the Death March!
Adapt to and leverage the team’s operating system
18
Knowing the Telltale Signs…
• Disengaged
• Demotivated
• High Team Turnover
• “Poison Pill” Culture
• Under-Performing
• No Sense of Purpose
© 1985 Apple
Project was entering third year of an original “six month” timeline
with virtually nothing to show for it
19
Identifying What’s Missing
- Shifting Requirements
- Unclear Benefits
- Changing Prioritization
- Low Executive Support
- Organization Model:
Closed Power
- Team Model:
Open and Random Meaning
Nature (Project DNA) Nurture (Project Environment)
20
Giving the Team What They Need
Closed Gaps in the “DNA” of the Project
Establish
Project
Purpose
Define
Customer
Value
Clarify
Scope
Define
Project
Deliverables
Align on
Timeline
Addressed Project Environment
21
Project Results
System Go-Live: Jan 2018
Project Hand-Off: May 2018
Final Phase Completion: Sept
2018
- Team became self-responsible
and owned their work
- Significantly improved morale
- Real, measurable progress
towards final goal
- Executive satisfaction and
engagement increased
Project Performance Behavior Changes
22
Interpreting 2 Languages
Navigate between different profiles
Anonymous
The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.
23
Are We Even Speaking the Same Language?
Image: TechRadar
24
Common Team Structure
DirectorPower
DeveloperMeaning
Sales ManagerAffect
Project ManagerAll of the above!
25
Thinking/Analyzing Sensing/Doing
It’s in Our DNA… Literally
26
Leadership is often closely associated with action oriented language
Many leaders have been hugely successful in relying upon intuition, which naturally puts them at odds with the
notion of “data driven decisions”.
Being Able to See Our Differences
27
Technical experts are often closely associated with meaning oriented language
For business leaders who are “action oriented”, there can be skepticism that data could out-perform their own intuition.
The notion of “time” to “test”, “model”, “estimate”… can be a trigger point!
Being Able to See Our Differences
28
Knowing the Telltale Signs…
Underperforming Project Team:
Different Communication Styles Lead to Breakdown  Urgent vs. Important
Urgent Important
29
Team and Management Dynamics
Profile:
Open and Random Affect
Finance Team Managers
Profile:
Closed Power and Meaning
Clash!
- Alienation from previous finance leads
- Lack of advocacy from project team
- Issues were not prioritized and closed in a timely manner
30
Incorporating Affect Elements
Ensure that finance team feels their needs are met.
Goal: Change perception of system from hinderance to positive
impact.
- Trim testing procedures list
- Provide advocacy for finance issues
- Drive issues identified in testing to closure
- Assisted in creation of user-friendly documentation
31
Project Results
System Go-Live: Oct 2016
Fewest issues in finance
module, compared to all other
functional areas post go-live
- Improved outlook on new system
- Improved UAT performance from
one of lowest to one of highest
- Active finance participation in
remainder of project activities
Project Performance Behavior Changes
32
YOUR FORMULA
FOR SUCCESS
33
Solving the Equation
Team Nature + Healthy Environment
=
HIGH PERFORMANCE!
34
35
Give Your Organization What It Needs
• Build a team DNA that is balanced in it’s actions &
communication
• Nurture a healthy environment for performance – Empower &
have their backs!
• Be the interpreter  Bridge the communication gap
Practice Mixing Your Own Formula!
36
Thank You for Listening!
Any Questions?
37
Stay in touch!
Nicole Mills Sam Aleksanyan
nmills@abraic.com saleksanyan@abraic.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-mills-33a16952/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/samaleksanyan/
@nicole_r_mills

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A + B = X Factor! The Formula for Improving IT Performance

  • 1. A + B = X Factor! The Formula for Improving IT Performance
  • 2. 2 Helping Clients Achieve Outstanding Performance EVERY. SINGLE. TIME • Boutique Consulting Firm • Niche Focus in IT Space • Specialists in Project Execution, Change Management, and Project Emergency Response • Experienced Team with Operational Backgrounds • Driven by Customer Satisfaction
  • 3. 3 Today’s Discussion • An age-old question… Nature vs. Nurture? • A new approach to team performance • How to give your teams what they need • Defining your own formula for success!
  • 5. 5
  • 6. 6 We See Nature vs. Nurture at Work Too Nature Nurture WHAT DRIVES PERFORMANCE???
  • 7. 7
  • 8. 8
  • 9. 9 Understanding Team Behavior Dependable Passionate Driven Healthy Dynamics = High Performance Challenged Dynamics = Poor Performance
  • 11. 11 Being Able to See Team Dynamics in the Moment! • David KantorMy “model” informs my preferences for how I like to communicate, behave, and interact with others!
  • 12. 12 Speaking the Same Language • David KantorPower Affect Meaning Action/Productivity Time-bound Focus on Completion “I Do” “I Want/Need” Trust & Relationships Express Emotions Caring About Others “I Feel” “I Care” Data & Analysis Purpose & Mission Ideas & Understanding “I Think” “I Wonder” David Kantor
  • 13. 13 Right Actions at the Right Time • David KantorMove Bystand Follow Initiate Take Action 1st to Share Idea Oppose Challenge Push Back Vet Concepts Connect Unbiased Big Picture Support Carry Ideas Forward Get Behind David Kantor
  • 14. 14 Right Environments for Right Outcomes • David Kantor Closed Open Random Formal Leader Defined Roles Plan Focus “Command & Control” Egalitarian Process Focuses All Inclusive “Collaborative” No Process or Structure Autonomy Individuality “Creative” David Kantor
  • 16. 16 Two Stories: Giving Teams What They Need to Perform 1. Kill the Death March 2. Interpreting 2 Languages
  • 17. 17 In project management, a death march is a project that the participants feel is destined to fail, or that requires a stretch of unsustainable overwork. The general feel of the project reflects that of an actual death march because project members are forced to continue the project by their superiors against their better judgment. Wikipedia Kill the Death March! Adapt to and leverage the team’s operating system
  • 18. 18 Knowing the Telltale Signs… • Disengaged • Demotivated • High Team Turnover • “Poison Pill” Culture • Under-Performing • No Sense of Purpose © 1985 Apple Project was entering third year of an original “six month” timeline with virtually nothing to show for it
  • 19. 19 Identifying What’s Missing - Shifting Requirements - Unclear Benefits - Changing Prioritization - Low Executive Support - Organization Model: Closed Power - Team Model: Open and Random Meaning Nature (Project DNA) Nurture (Project Environment)
  • 20. 20 Giving the Team What They Need Closed Gaps in the “DNA” of the Project Establish Project Purpose Define Customer Value Clarify Scope Define Project Deliverables Align on Timeline Addressed Project Environment
  • 21. 21 Project Results System Go-Live: Jan 2018 Project Hand-Off: May 2018 Final Phase Completion: Sept 2018 - Team became self-responsible and owned their work - Significantly improved morale - Real, measurable progress towards final goal - Executive satisfaction and engagement increased Project Performance Behavior Changes
  • 22. 22 Interpreting 2 Languages Navigate between different profiles Anonymous The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.
  • 23. 23 Are We Even Speaking the Same Language? Image: TechRadar
  • 24. 24 Common Team Structure DirectorPower DeveloperMeaning Sales ManagerAffect Project ManagerAll of the above!
  • 26. 26 Leadership is often closely associated with action oriented language Many leaders have been hugely successful in relying upon intuition, which naturally puts them at odds with the notion of “data driven decisions”. Being Able to See Our Differences
  • 27. 27 Technical experts are often closely associated with meaning oriented language For business leaders who are “action oriented”, there can be skepticism that data could out-perform their own intuition. The notion of “time” to “test”, “model”, “estimate”… can be a trigger point! Being Able to See Our Differences
  • 28. 28 Knowing the Telltale Signs… Underperforming Project Team: Different Communication Styles Lead to Breakdown  Urgent vs. Important Urgent Important
  • 29. 29 Team and Management Dynamics Profile: Open and Random Affect Finance Team Managers Profile: Closed Power and Meaning Clash! - Alienation from previous finance leads - Lack of advocacy from project team - Issues were not prioritized and closed in a timely manner
  • 30. 30 Incorporating Affect Elements Ensure that finance team feels their needs are met. Goal: Change perception of system from hinderance to positive impact. - Trim testing procedures list - Provide advocacy for finance issues - Drive issues identified in testing to closure - Assisted in creation of user-friendly documentation
  • 31. 31 Project Results System Go-Live: Oct 2016 Fewest issues in finance module, compared to all other functional areas post go-live - Improved outlook on new system - Improved UAT performance from one of lowest to one of highest - Active finance participation in remainder of project activities Project Performance Behavior Changes
  • 33. 33 Solving the Equation Team Nature + Healthy Environment = HIGH PERFORMANCE!
  • 34. 34
  • 35. 35 Give Your Organization What It Needs • Build a team DNA that is balanced in it’s actions & communication • Nurture a healthy environment for performance – Empower & have their backs! • Be the interpreter  Bridge the communication gap Practice Mixing Your Own Formula!
  • 36. 36 Thank You for Listening! Any Questions?
  • 37. 37 Stay in touch! Nicole Mills Sam Aleksanyan nmills@abraic.com saleksanyan@abraic.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-mills-33a16952/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/samaleksanyan/ @nicole_r_mills