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How NOT to scale agile

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Presentation I gave at the Agile Tour Brussels 2014 about Agile scaling heuristics, or simply, what you should not be doing if you're serious about scaling Agile.

Published in: Leadership & Management

How NOT to scale agile

  1. 1. HOW NOT TO SCALE AGILE a via negativa perspective Tiago Garcez @tcgarcez Agile Tour Brussels 31 October, 2014
  2. 2. DID YOU SAY FRISBEE?
  3. 3. IMPRESSED? I can do this all day… it’s simple
  4. 4. HOW DOES SHE DO THAT?
  5. 5. FL = 1/2 pv2 ACL Fy = Fg + FL Vy = (g + (1/2m)pv2ACL)Tx
  6. 6. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID
  7. 7. DID YOU SAY “LION”?
  8. 8. LION? RUN! heuristic keeping gazelles alive since… always
  9. 9. I say, a lion! Let’s see: Lion escape = f(hunger, speed, pack size, wind, terrain) Expected MaxLionVelocity = 80 km/h Best course of action: start running NNW and then turn South…
  10. 10. I say, a lion! Let’s see: Lion escape = f(hunger, speed, pack size, wind, terrain) Expected MaxLionVelocity = 80 km/h Best course of action: start running NNW and then turn South… I like you… I shall call you “yummy lunch”
  11. 11. Lion? Run! Gazelle Clever Gazelle No Photo Available a proud mother of 6 ! Yummy Lunch
  12. 12. AGILE ORGANIZATIONS catch the frisbee instinctively, before it’s gone
  13. 13. AGILE ORGANIZATIONS catch the frisbee instinctively, before it’s gone
  14. 14. AGILE ORGANIZATIONS catch the frisbee instinctively, before it’s gone
  15. 15. Heuristic: (/hjʊˈrɪstɪk/; Greek: "Εὑρίσκω", "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery that find a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal, but good enough for a given set of goals. source: wikipedia
  16. 16. AGILE MANIFESTO heuristic practices for building complex products
  17. 17. SCALING AGILITY too complex a problem to draw a map before the trip
  18. 18. VIA NEGATIVA understanding the Divine Good by defining what it is not
  19. 19. Nassim N. Taleb The entire idea of via negativa is that omission [avoidance of harm, removal of drugs, corn syrup, cigarettes, gluten, carbs by fasting, gym instructors, tail risks, etc.] does not have side effects and branching chains of unintended consequences -hence robust. But big corporations [evil pharma, pepsi] and consultants cannot make money from removing; they only benefit from adding. “Anti-Fragile” (2012)
  20. 20. SCALING AGILE moving Agile beyond the Team level
  21. 21. SCALING AGILE moving Agile beyond the Team level
  22. 22. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE
  23. 23. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects
  24. 24. PROJECTS ARE FINITE GAMES encourage short-term thinking and competition
  25. 25. PROJECTS BREED POLITICS focus is no longer on value, but on internal expectations
  26. 26. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects
  27. 27. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning
  28. 28. RESOURCE PLANNING like crack to managers who love solving puzzles
  29. 29. GROW TEAMS INSTEAD it’s harder, but ultimately more valuable and sustainable
  30. 30. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning
  31. 31. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency
  32. 32. EFFECTIVENESS > EFFICIENCY the objective is getting the baton around the track
  33. 33. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency
  34. 34. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user
  35. 35. USER > CUSTOMER delighting users is the only true competitive advantage
  36. 36. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user
  37. 37. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence
  38. 38. INVEST IN CRAFTSMANSHIP make sure you can land, before you try to fly
  39. 39. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence
  40. 40. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths
  41. 41. ALIGN CAREERS & CRAFT the “Peter Principle” will kill agility
  42. 42. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths
  43. 43. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths 7. Don’t scale process
  44. 44. CULTURE > PROCESS don’t focus on processes, scale trust and purpose instead
  45. 45. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths 7. Don’t scale process
  46. 46. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths 7. Don’t scale process 8. Don’t scale unless you have to
  47. 47. SCALING IS UNNATURAL maybe there are safer options?
  48. 48. “We found again and again that things get clumsy after 150 people” – Bill Gore (Gore & Associates)
  49. 49. SCALING HEURISTICS VIA NEGATIVA STYLE 1. Stop doing projects 2. Stop doing resource planning 3. Don’t focus on efficiency 4. Never forget the user 5. Don’t scale technical incompetence 6. Stop with traditional management career paths 7. Don’t scale process 8. Don’t scale unless you have to
  50. 50. SO WHAT DOES AGILITY AT SCALE LOOK LIKE?
  51. 51. (insert your drawing here)
  52. 52. (insert your drawing here) just don’t forget what NOT to do!
  53. 53. Tiago Garcez @tcgarcez www.slideshare.net/tgarcez Thank You ! www.agilar.org
  54. 54. REFERENCES • “Joy, Inc.” (Menlo Innovations, CEO Richard Sheridan) • “Anti-Fragile”, Nassim N. Taleb • Ken Rubin, “Economically Sensible Scrum” (SGNOLA Keynote) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcePFHD_p70 • “The Dog and the Frisbee”, Andrew G Haldane (speech 31/08/12) http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/ 2012/speech596.pdf

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