Agile teams - Value Focused; Values-driven


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From a presentation I gave at Agile on the Beach 2012.

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  • Many of things discussed has roots in Knowledge Management and ancient philosophy, beliefs and faiths. It is not new, but are generally ignored due to the strong influence of Taylorism especially in western contexts. This is an overview of things that work, that will need adoption in your context and are simple guidelines showing you how to do things.
  • Agile revolution of the previous decade. Chief revolutionary Kent Beck In the name of effectiveness, many good techniques were burnt on the stake Acknowledgement: Picture is CD Cover of “In My African Dream”
  • No individual, team or organisation lives in isolation Sets of internalised rules supported by values Has tacit influence Rules will be contested Shape understanding of social meaning + order Provides a framework for performance Shapes of rights + duties Political authority Economic opportunities
  • “ But what does it mean to be truly agile? Every two to four weeks teams produce a potentially shippable increment: a version of software that a customer or internal development partner could use and provide feedback on. Each of these increments is a step toward reaching the overall goals of a release. Truly agile teams maintain their software in a state of constant release readiness by ensuring they do not build up significant technical debt. Examples of technical debt include untested software, open or deferred defects, or product features that cannot be tested in an automated fashion. Agile teams maintain a consistently low level of open defects, test features completely as they are developed, and develop automated tests that have high code coverage levels (>70%) that can be executed with little effort. “ - Jim Sartain
  • From the work of Dorothy Leonard. Read “Wellsprings of Knowledge”
  • You are not here to produce software, you are here to provide value to the business Also refer to Dave Nicolette ( ) “ The goal is delivery effectiveness” Some still preach the Agile Manifesto, Some show you methods that will work
  • Use of an online system provides automated measurement. It is important not to neglect having a BIG VISIBLE BOARD
  • Challenging institutional lines of thought. Lean thinking Investing early in the infrastructure to obtain the savings later on Simple innovations, Blood transfusions in WWII (The exact dates are disputed by scholars. The date is approximate)
  • Eclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 971-931 BC
  • From the work of Dorothy Leonard
  • Acknowledgement: From the Penquin Classic edition of “The Republic”
  • “ In this management approach the job of leaders and managers is not so much to get the results, but to create the underlying system and develop people so that results can be achieved.” Mike Rother – Totota Kata
  • Agile teams - Value Focused; Values-driven

    1. 1. Agile Teams Value Focused, Values Driven Schalk W. Cronjé ysb33r @ @ysb33rAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    2. 2. "The revolution has eaten its children I see the river of dreams run dry." - Johnny Clegg : In My African DreamAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    3. 3. Scotts Model interpret Societal Institutions innovate invent, error negotiate diffuse, impose Organisational Fields invent, negotiate diffuse, impose Organisations invent, sanction negotiate behaviour diffuse, impose Actors Limitations of cognitive / social rationality (groups/individuals) Selective perceptionAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    4. 4. Marshall Model 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    5. 5. Marshall Model ----------- thrive ---- ile teams ----- ------- Ag / isolation Agile teams in ress under du 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    6. 6. Signature Skills ● Three parts – Preferred Task – Preferred Cognitive Approach – Preferred Technology ● This may affect how/what you measure! ● Combat with – Appropriate team composition – Reviews / quality measuresAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    7. 7. Agile Teams Understand That Fundamentally: ● Increased revenue ● Reduction in costs ● Faster response times ● Less reworkAgile is the continuous delivering of valueto stakeholders ● Customers ● Users ● Developers & Testers ● Governments & Legislators ● Societal InstitutionsAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    8. 8. Consistency ● Mintzberg: Strategy as a pattern of consistent behaviour of time – NOT exact behaviour ● Chaotic systems show consistent behaviour – NOT repeating behaviourAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    9. 9. Agile Teams Understand Accuracy: Accuracy is to precision as engineering is to mathematics Be accurate enough to get there, but no more accurateAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    10. 10. Agile Teams Take An: Economic View ● It helps to quantify the effects of multiple interacting variables ● It helps us to understand that the customer is not the only judge of value ● By using an economic framework it can allow us to maximise value, including – cycle time – product cost – development expense ● It helps to communicate with non-technical decision makersAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    11. 11. Therefore In Agile Teams, Delivery Is Based On: Business Value Increments ● Focus is on value ● Only “done” when the increment is delivered end-to-end ● No burning down of tasks ! (false economy) ● Each increment must have at least one metric of the value it will deliverAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    12. 12. "A pilot who sees from afar will not make his boat a wreck." - Amen-em-apt (Egyptian philosopher, ~700BC)AOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    13. 13. Therefore Agile Teams: Visualise ● Honesty! ● Makes it transparent to everyone that is going on ● Visual cue for bottlenecks ● Manual board and easy-to-use online systemAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    14. 14. Agile Teams Also: Measure Cycle Time ● Measure average time in system of each BVI ● Less time is spent on estimating future delivery times ● Better predictability ● Historic data automatically takes into account any disruptions such as – Operational issues – Days off sick AvgTimeInSystem x NoOfBVIs Time = --------------------------------- ConcurrencyAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    15. 15. Historic Data vs EstimationAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    16. 16. "Do the difficult whilst it is easy" - Sun Tzu, The Art of War (~ 512 BC)AOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    17. 17. Therefore Agile Teams Will: Combat “tyranny of the urgent” ● Investment in value-adding activities – Test-driven development – Continuous integration – Continuous deployment ● Unobtrusive process data capturingAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    18. 18. "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." - Eclesiastes 4:9-10; KJV Translation (Origins ~ 971-931 BC)AOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    19. 19. Therefore Agile Teams Work As: Groups ● Pairing up / Teaming up with different skills to work on same feature – Feature teams are not a new concept – Reduces mind-set trap, creative abrasion ● Could be perceived to have higher person cost per feature – Instead of distributing the person cost over multiple queues, the cost is combined into a single queue – Can actually lead to reduced cycle time.AOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    20. 20. Core Rigidities ● Limited problem-solving ● Inability to innovate with new methods/tools ● Limited experimentation ● Screening out external knowledgeAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    21. 21. Core Capabilities EXTERNAL Absorbing technical knowledge from the outside PRESENT FUTURE Shared-problem solving Experimenting and prototyping Implementing new technical processes and tools INTERNALAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    22. 22. "The measure of difference between the two in terms of true pleasure is that the philosopher king lives seven hundred and twenty-nine times more pleasantly than the tyrant king" - Plato: The Republic (~ 380 BC)AOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    23. 23. Agile Teams Prefer: Servant - Leadership ● Leadership over management ● Managers add value, not interruptions ● Egalitarian team workAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé
    24. 24. Thank youAOTB 2012 © Schalk W. Cronjé