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In this episode our founder Mia Kolmodin talks to Dmytro Yarmak. Listen to him tell the story of transitioning from an Agile Coach to an officer in the UA army and how he applies the same fundamentals and methods in his new role.

Dmytro describes how guiding principles like providing clarity and information, creating psychological safe environments in the teams, raising the right competencies and the ability to delegate, the ukranian army has learned to innovate and find new ways forward in this difficult and demanding situation.

Dmytro will also host a live seminar on October 5th where he will share more about his story.

Sign up here
Free Webinar – How an Agile Coach Applies Leadership as an Officer in UA Army

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I detta avsnitt av Dandy Conversations pratar jag med Staffan Nöteberg som berätta om sina böcker, vad Monostasking är och hur du kan använda det i ditt dagliga arbete för bättre kontroll över det du vill göra och öka ditt fokus på dagens uppgifter.

Hör honom också berätta kort om den gratis frukostföreläsning han kommer hålla hos oss den 22 september i Stockholm. Är du intresserad av att bli mer produktiv och mer stressfri vardag så ska du definitivt komma på föreläsningen.

Anmäl dig här:

Gratis Frukostföreläsning – Monotasking – Från prokrastinering till produktivitet

Se också våra kommande utbildningar i Monotasking:

Monotasking – Från prokrastinering till produktivitet / 1 dag På plats – Stockholm 25 Oktober

Monotasking – From procrastination to productivity / 2 Halfdays Online in English – 15 & 17 November

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In this episode of Dandy Conversations our founder and CEO Mia Kolmodin met up with the Trainer and Facilitator of LEGO Serious Play Per Kristiansen to talk about serious games (or serious play as they call it at Lego) that we love using as a safe way for exploring complex strategy and play out different scenarios.

Per tells the story how it all got started at LEGO when their CEO needed a better way to work with strategy and they created Lego Serious Play. Per was part of the internal research team that discovered that using lego bricks for simulation and learning was just as useful for adults as it is for children. He tells a fascinating story of how they first failed, but later discovered how to make it work and developed it to the metod that it is today, and how it has now expanded from being an internal method within Lego to a global phenomena that it is today.

If you are interested in learning how to facilitate the Lego Serious Play Method Per travels all around the world to facilitate Lego Serious Play trainings and we are really happy to welcome him to Dandy People and Stockholm soon again.

Check out our upcoming training with Lego Serious Play:

Foundation Training in design and facilitating workshops with the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology (New dates to come)

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In this episode of Dandy Conversations our founder and CEO Mia Kolmodin met up with the founder and CEO of Adventures with Agile (AWA) Simon Powers to talk about the values and purposes that drives their companies. It is a close and warm conversation about changing mindsets, making people flourish and become their best and how we can support our customers to meet their goals and visions.

Check out our upcoming trainings with AWA:

Agile Team Coach, Certification (ICP-ACC) – Online (Several dates)

Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF) – Online (Several dates)

Enterprise Agile Coach Bootcamp with Certifications (ICP-ENT & ICP-CAT) 7-11 November, Stockholm

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We are so happy to be able to share the Monotasking in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in Turkish! Thank you so much Ender Yüksel for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE: Here you can download it for free in high resolution >

monotasking poster TURKISH

Free to download, use and share

The posters is published under Creative Commons License, so please use it and share it as you like. If you are interested in doing a translation to any other languages please let me know and I will help you with the file and publish it here in the blog as well.

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Here you find all the other Free Agile in a Nutshell-posters in the series that are now translated to 14 languages and downloaded over 70.000 times world wide

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Technology is an enabler and accelerator for today’s modern product organizations. Companies and organizations often rally around agile working methods and creating effective teams. At the same time, the technology is paradoxically forgotten or taken for granted. It is often when technology poses an obstacle or when the technical debt has grown above the surface that technology issues come up on the agenda.

So the question is, how can we bring in technology development as an equally obvious part of product development? How do we ensure that features and technical enablers mutually contribute to great products? How do we ensure that the technology together with agile working methods solves bottlenecks and enables value flow?

This is where the poster Agile Architecture in a Nutshell comes in.

Download the poster as a High-Res PDF here

Buy a printed A1 version here


The poster is intended as a cheat sheet of condensed wisdom based on experience from digital product organizations. It can be printed and set up in the corridor and be a support in the dialogue between PM, PO, agile coaches, scrum masters, architects, tech leads and developers.

The poster helps to have a dialogue about complex questions such as: What is agile architecture and what is it good for, how do we accomplish technical transition through continuous improvements, how do we take bigger technical leaps, what can we do instead of reorganizing, how should we think when layering the architecture, what is the architect’s role in the DevOps journey, how do you achieve governance in an agile way, how do you get the teams to build in the right way, how should we visualize the architecture, what competence requirements should are important when we hire an architect, what tools does an architect need etc.

Solutions to questions like these differ, of course, depending on the company, industry, history and current challenges. But the poster can be used as a guide in the discussion with engaging illustrations, models and concepts that contribute to the dialogue. All to contribute to working agile with the architecture, which in turn contributes to even more awesome products reaching the market faster.

What is Agile Architecture?

There are plenty of definitions of architecture. There are also plenty of theoretical discussions when architects discuss. At the same time as the architectural work is something very concrete – a work of removing obstacles and creating new opportunities with the help of technology. An attempt to define agile architecture is therefore: “flexible structure that is created just in time to enable value flow”.

It may be wishful thinking, but what is needed is a “flexible structure” that helps the teams today and tomorrow, where it is easy to adapt the architecture to new product requirements, new forms of collaboration and to add new or remove old technology. It leads the thought to loosely coupled architecture that is layered, component-based or broken down into microservices.

“That is created just in time” where long-term and intentional design is balanced with emergent architecture. If the architecture is planned too far in advance, plans and target architectures are out of date before they are used, and vice versa, if the architecture is not planned in advance, the teams create hacks and workarounds. It’s about putting your ear to the rail and finding a sweet spot between the two. Something that must take place in close collaboration with product owners, flow managers and teams.

Architect to enable Value flow

Architecture is fundamentally about continuously creating and improving the flow of value to the customer through products using technology.

Central to achieving this is a constant tug-of-war between the drive to create business value and counter-forces in the form of technical constraints. Business value – the ability to constantly improve time to market, eliminate bottlenecks and improve product quality through technology. Limitations in the form of technical debt and lock-ins created by Conway’s Law which, in a simplified way, means that the teams build the architecture they need, which is often an obstacle when products, teams and ways of working change.

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Den här postern skapades för att ge ett stöd för organisationer och team kring vad ett välfungerande team är. För att en organisation ska få värdet av Agil team, eller team i allmänhet, så är det bra att känna till vad som gör dom välfungerande och högpresterande.

I en Agil organisation är det teamet som levererar värde och det är i team vi organiserar oss kring värdefulla leveranser. Genom att skapa en miljö som är gynnsam för team och som möjliggör både autonomitet och alignment så kan teamen bli högpresterande och leverera värde själva – och med andra team i hög takt. Detta optimerar värdet av organisationen – och det gör att människor känner sig fantastiska.

Ladda ner postern Agila team i ett nötskal gratis

Ladda ner postern genom länken nedan, eller genom att klicka på postern. Du får då ner den i PDF-format och kan skriva ut den i vilken storlek du vill. Se villkor längst ner här på sidan.

Ladda ner postern Agila team i ett nötskal (PDF) >

Några grunder för att få retur på investeringen av Agila team

När vi pratar om Agila team så menar vi högpresterande och välfungerande team. Team som kan utforska det okända, innovera, lösa komplexa problem och som levererar i jämn, ofta hög, takt. För att bygga den här typen av team så finns det några mönster att använda sig av. Team som delar mål och behöver varandra är i sig ett mönster som enligt forskning ökar engagemang och medarbetarnöjdhet.

Några värdefulla mönster för Agila team

Tydligt syfte
Syfte ger fokus, vilket ökar takten och värde- leveransen från teamet med 100%.

Mandat
Ett tydligt mandat minimerar byråkratin, vilket ökar takten och möjlig innovation från teamet med 100%.

Små och stabila team – “Brooks Law” 
Teamstorlek spelar verkligen roll. Team på 5-7 personer som är högpresterande är 100% snabbare.

T-formade kompetenser
T-form av teammdlemmarnas kompetens ökar leveranstakten med 100%.

Medarbetarengagemang
Att vara i ett team ger en känsla av samhörighet och kontext, vilket ökar medarbetarens engagemang med 100%.

Alla tillhör ett team

Teamet är grunden i en Agil organisation och alla individer tillhör ett team (inte en grupp), även de utanför tech, IT eller utvecklingsorganisationen.

Utvecklingsteam
Utvecklar, förvaltar och levererar produkter eller tjänster till externa eller interna kunder.

Ledarskapsteam
Agerar som supporterande ledare med ett growth mindset för flera team och stöttar
teamen i att ta snabba & bra beslut själva.

Supportteam
Vissa team agerar support för andra team för att ge bästa möjliga autonomitet och inriktning.
Tex genom att utbilda, vara mentorer eller bygga stödsystem. Ofta fasas dessa ut över tid när övriga team har fått den förmågan som support teamet bidrog med.

Dessa tre typer av team är i grunden vad i stort sett alla team skulle bestå av om de var Agila, men kanske med andra namn på utveckligsteam om de levererar en annan typ av tjänst till sina kunder, tex ett vårdteam på ett sjukhem. Men mönsterna för välfungerande högpresterande Agila team är densamma.

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What do you usually say is the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t? Those who succeed always tries something new when “failing” using the learnings, and they always take smaller steps moving in their wanted direction to get to their next goal on the way.

With that in mind we designed this canvas as part of a training we created some time ago, the Dandy People Agile Power Up program. The main purpose of the improvement canvas is to give support to teams to continuously improve. What is great about it is that it works in any context, on BIG stuff or a bit smaller, and for any team or group, or individual.

During our training program that lasts over 10 weeks the participants gets to use it as an exercise in smaller groups to get familiar with how to use it and the thinking behind it, but also bring it in in to their day to day work. Many says it really helps them to focus and do real improvements step by step. Some also realize they have never really thought about change and improvement as a step by step process before and thet this canvas helped them to focus on finding the next small steps to take in the right direction, instead of trying to go big and reach that full, often too complex, goal directly.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Download the improvement canvas for free (PDF) >

The four different areas

Challenge / Current state

First you start by understanding your current situation and defining what the challenge is.This is a great thing to do together to get a shared view of how it is today and what you think could improve. Write it in the canvas.

Definition of awesome

Then you want to take a look at and define what it would look like if it was just awesome, if everything was like you would like it to be. Define it together as well and put it too into the canvas. Getting a shared picture of this is crucial for enabling you to get there together.

Next wanted state

What would a next target state look like as a step in the right direction? What would have changed then? Also look at the time frame, when would you like it to be achieved? This should then be something you can evaluate to see if you have reached this next wanted state or not – and if not come up with new next steps or experiments to do. Or if you have reached your next wanted state, is it like your definition of awesome, or do you want to continue to moe closer to it? If so, set your new next wanted state and continue once again.

First steps

What are the actions you can take to move closer to your next wanted state? Evaluate if you are moving towards your next wanted state when possible and adjust your actions if needed, and define more when needed.

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Guest Blog Post by Staffan Nöteberg

Concentrating on one task at a time increases our ability to be productive. To do so, we must be exceptional at focusing, which requires a suitable environment. We must create favorable conditions that encourage us to focus – that is, monotasking by design.

What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions monotasking? You may think of a Stroop test. Color names such as red, blue, and green are presented in font colors that differ from the meaning of the word. For example, RED is written in green font. When the facilitator prompts you to say the color of the font (green), the brain typically reads the text: “RED.” 

6 different areas for productivity

To become great monotaskers, we must zoom out. How do we create a work environment that does not tempt the brain to switch back and forth between tasks? I considered this while conducting research for my book on monotasking and I found six different areas that set the stage for productivity:

Cut Down on Tasks to Do: Our brain makes us think that we’re unusually busy right now, but will have plenty of time in a few weeks. However, a few weeks later, our calendars are full again. This inconsistency prompts us to take on too many tasks. Furthermore, the long to-do list cries for attention and disturbs our current task.

Focus on One Task Now: It’s difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time. When we think we are multitasking, we are actually continuously task switching. Research shows that this slows us down, causes more mistakes, and makes us forget good ideas. We even get angrier.

Never Procrastinate: We know exactly which task to start with when we enter the office in the morning. But first, we have to get a cup of coffee. And why not browse the web before beginning? We also need to answer a few emails before starting that first task. And on, and on, and on.

Progress Incrementally: By slicing off small, viable deliverables from that big task, we receive feedback earlier. Then, the problem description may evolve as we learn, resulting in more valuable deliverables. Slicing in this way may seem difficult for some types of tasks. However, there are techniques to support our creativity.

Simplify Cooperation: When stakeholders, colleagues, and suppliers have the wrong expectations, they interrupt us more. Smooth collaboration is key for our productivity. Monotasking is based on an abundance mentality, transparent prioritization, and the right to change our plans when we discover that we will not achieve what we said we would.

Recharge Creative Thinking: It’s hard for us to be creative when we do not come to work as our best selves. Research shows that sleep, exercise, and eating habits affect our ability to focus, perhaps more than we like to think.

Take the next step and become more productive!

We have both a free seminar and two diffrent trainings coming up. These events are fun and engaging. We will learn about concrete methods and the research behind them. Each session includes both theory and experiential learning. The exercises we do together will lead us to new insights.

Free Breakfast Seminar (in Swedish) – Stockholm September 20


1 Full Day Training On Site (in Swedish) – Stockholm October 25


2 Half Days Training Online (in English) – November 15 & 17


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Agile transformation is an exploratory work. It’s a change that takes place step by step to constantly improve products, architecture, organization and ways of working. In addition, all parameters are interconnected and affect each other.

The most important success factor in establishing agile on a larger scale, outside a team or a release train, is C-level support to influence the entire system. By the system is meant the total system in the form of organization, technology and people. Even if agile transformation is a gradual change, it will sooner or later impact the whole company, and the executives need to be prepared to make appropriate decisions. Exploratory change can also create confusion and uncertainty among employees, which makes it extra important that decision-makers are confident and supportive. 

A C-level executive (CEO, CIO, CPO, CHRO, CFO, CMO etc) is a decision-maker, inspirer and leader of the system in its entirety, and regarded as the “real” change leader. This means that agile coaches, scrum masters, product owners and change leaders should be viewed as catalysts and enablers for change. They are the messengers and doers, based on the direction set by the executives. Managers, other decision makers and teams make decisions in line with this direction. 

Success factors for agile transformation, based on what the C-level executives should focus on

  • Create a common vision and direction
  • Communicate the change
  • Lead through others
  • Create passion and psychological safety
  • Make the necessary decisions

Create a common vision and direction

The C-level executive needs to set a vision and direction for change. What to achieve and why. This should preferably be measurable and produced in co-creation, but the C-level executive needs to own the change. 

If it’s a change that affects several organizations, then it’s the managerial level above that sets the objectives, ultimately the CEO if it affects the whole company. Alternatively, the heads of the organizations need to agree on common objectives and avoid conflicting goals. Otherwise there will be conflicts on operational level, with fights about resources, and the development teams being stuck between priorities. .

Tools & methods: Company Bets, Objectives and Key Results (OKR), vision story, message analysis, time machine, storytelling, metaphors

Examples of areas to improve: time-to-market, value flow, number of releases per year, technical modernization (to achieve increased flow, reduced costs, higher quality, security etc)

Communicate the change

Communicate “What” and “Why”

The C-level executive needs to convey the message of “what” to achieve and “why” at conferences, in newsletters and communicate in daily conversations with the same message. They also need to communicate progress and that the change is important. 

Executives should have a monthly schedule for the agile transformation. The monthly schedule can include: general meetings, release train meetings, product meetings, strategy days, team visits, visits to scrum meetings, etc. – all to show their support.

Tools & methods : Ask Me Anything (AMA), Big Room Planning (BRP), Management by Walking Around (MBWA), conversations one person at a time, what & why presentation, video, newsletter

Communicate agile values

At the core of an agile transformation are the agile values. The C-level executive needs to constantly refer to the importance of following the values. For example: Asking questions about what we can do today, to improve a little for tomorrow. The importance of delegating and that decisions should be made where the expertise is. The C-level executive should specify which agile values are most important for this particular change. 

Celebrate success

When the change is moving towards the objectives of the change, it’s important to celebrate. This is something that executives needs to encourage and sometimes invite to larger celebrations for the organization.

Create passion and psychological safety

Passion for change.

Change, at its best, leads to commitment and passion. Employees who have been waiting for the change, finally see that something is happening. Agile coaches help to create a safe and inspiring environment with the desire to experiment, where it’s okay to make mistakes.

Executives need to support this and pep, inspire and be a transformative leader who is transparent with his or her own change. It’s a great advantage if the personal change is in line with the organization’s. It can be, for example, to become a more servant leader, to delegate more, to ask more compared to giving orders. “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Tools & methods: Positive psychology, storytelling

Psychological safety

Change can also lead to turbulence and resistance. Agile coaches need to know that there is support for the change, to be able to deal with the storm when it comes. Managers need to be prepared to have challenging conversations and guide employees. Executives need to coach and guide managers, especially those who are reluctant to change. If there are strong opponents to the change, there may be a need for staff changes. 

Tools & methods: Active listening, Non-violent Communication (NVC), coaching

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Imagine ten architects in a room. 

The first thing they would discuss is: “What is architecture?”, and they would use all the time they have at their disposal. 

If no one comes into the room and yells at them that they have to create a target architecture, a guiding principle or anything that helps the teams solve a technical obstacle that stops all delivery in the release train, they will continue the discussion. 

The first architect will say that there are standards and you should not reinvent the wheel. 

The second architect would state that there are several standards and which one should you comply with? 

The first architect would argue that ANSI is the one and only, that states that it’s all about organizing a system, its components and how they relate to each other and the environment. 

The second architect would say that ISO is the preferred choice because it focuses more on the properties of the architecture’s elements, relationships and principles of its design and evolution.

At this time, the third architect would state that there are thought leaders out there like Gartner.

The fourth architect would interrupt and refer to the Zachman Framework from the 80s and that there are some really good nuggets there. 

“Domain-driven architecture”, the fifth architect says and then the argument is in full bloom.

“Event-driven architecture”. “Pipelines.” “Pace-layered”. “Togaf”. “Components”. “Microservices.”

Until the sixth architect, the veteran who will retire in six months, says: “OSI Model. If it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it”

The room all goes quiet until the seventh architect, the newly educated with fresh ideas from the outside world says: “SAFe” and all other architects say “No!” while he raises his arm and says with a fragile voice “They describe much more about architecture than you think”, and all other architects stare at him with a blank expression, some of them raising their eyebrows. 

“Anyway”, says the eight architect, “architecture is easier to understand if we use metaphors. Architecture is like a garden. If you don’t take care of it, it will grow freely and become chaotic. Entropy is a natural law that takes over”.

The seventh architect, still trying to understand why everyone didn’t appreciate SAFe, says: “it’s more like a runway where the code can land. You cannot build the runway while you are landing”

“That metaphor is lame”, says the ninth architect, “its better with train tracks that the train travels on. It’s a parable everyone understands.”

“Or the road railing that you have to stay within on the highway” says the first architect. “Otherwise you collide. Not everyone lands planes or is a train driver. On the other hand, many have driven a car and can relate.”

“No, it’s more like a pop song” says the second. “You have three chords that you can combine so that everyone can sing and dance along.”

“More like jazz where you can improvise once you have experience and have all the theory”, says the third.

“Or a classical ensemble where everyone plays an important part, and it’s only when all is combined that you hear sweet music”, says the fourth while the fifth, sixth and seventh nod in agreement. 

At this time the tenth architect, who has been quiet until now, would clear his voice and say: “Architecture is like love”, and all other nine architects turn their attention to him and listen.

“No one can define it, but everyone knows how it feels. Emotions flow, you walk on light clouds, nothing is impossible, no obstacles are in the way and you can conquer the world!”

“Yes!”

“Awesome!”

“There you have it!”

All architects give their acclamations and raise from their chairs and start clapping and dancing with stiff movements. 

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I’m well aware that people often see me as quite a fearless person. I often get comments like “but you are never afraid of anything”. But as all people I have had lots of struggles every day to overcome my own fears, to prove to myself I can do something I thought I couldn’t. And just as probably most people I have tried and failed a lot. One of my mantras I usually say to myself, and others around me is that it will solve itself somehow just as long as we stick to our values and believe in ourself and each other. As Dandy People now has turned 5 years old and we have grown to over 20 people I’m writing this post aiming to tell a bit of the story behind Dandy People and share some of my own personal fears, beliefs and our struggles and successes as a team along the way. None of this will be any silver bullets, but I hope you might find it valuable and perhaps inspiring.

The Dandy Team
The Dandy team on our spring conference 2022 celebrating turning 5 years together.

Building a learning organization where fast and shared learning is a key strategy

Curiosity is one of our most important characteristics as humans and we should always find new ways to explore and increase the pace of our own learning. I have always been very curious and loved learning new things just as long as no one is forcing me. My own strategy to learn new things has often been to work together with people with other skill sets to learn from them, and with them, while testing and building stuff together. This has been one of my core beliefs of how to deliver value and a foundation that has shaped how we want to work and run Dandy. In Dandy we always see learning as part of our job. This means we shape our assignments to work two and two as often as possible, or in teams. Many times we have shared a “1 FTE” (yes, our customers sometimes call it that) assignment on two people, and we always look for assignments for a team. The reason for this is both that we have a much bigger success rate on tough assignments by doing that, and also that we get to learn from each other on the job and we will live as we preach.. 

This belief around learning has also from the start made us prioritize having quite a big financial space for each individual to put time and money on learning new skills outside of work. Everyone is responsible for their own learning but of course we support each other. By doing this and always striving to deliver valuable training and learning sessions for others we make sure we are always at the front line and we will always be learning, making us ready for any new challenge that might occur within Dandy or at our customers.

Starting up my own business – getting over the fear of hiring people

But if we go back to the very beginning, before we started Dandy People, one of the biggest fears I had was to hire people and to be the one responsible for the wellbeing and financial security of other people outside of my own family. This was holding me back for years to move beyond having my own consultancy with only me, myself and I. This was the first obstacle I had to manage and get over when starting Dandy People. Before this I had been running my own company and doing Agile coaching, pretty much the same as we do today in Dandy, but under the umbrella of another consultancy. At that time I had way too much to do and had to say no to helping more and more customers which made me want to find another solution. I felt a huge need to build my own team to help the customers I had and others like them to bridge the gap between business and IT and by that building organizations that could deliver customer centric solutions. I was just getting more and more customers and I really struggled to find the time to help them in a good way as a one woman band. So knowing what I wanted to do in my company wasn’t a struggle at all. Just continuing with what I did, but together with a team of great people. I also knew I wanted to start a_real_company with people who shared my vision, not an umbrella company where everyone follows their own vision, and not just a group of friends who only share the space and occasionally meet and socialize. I often find it just as valuable to know what you don’t want as what you do want, especially when it comes to business.

After looking around for about a year for someone to start my company with, I realized that the people I enjoyed working with all had their own ideas and visions of companies they wanted to start, and none of those was inline with mine. So I would have to go alone… this could easily have been the end of this dream, since I was pretty sure I would never manage it alone. I would work myself to death then. But it happened so that when we came home to Sweden after celebrating Christmas abroad, we got a phone call at the airport that my husband’s company just got sold, meaning he would get out of running a full time business in just a couple of months! This was amazing news both because it meant we as a family would get a small amount of money from his business that we could invest and he would be available to help me with my dream. The choice was easy. He became my business partner. Just a few months after that, in April 2017, we officially started Dandy People and we had an address downtown for our office where we could set up seminars and meetups to meet customers and candidates for employment. After just another few months, after summer we were already a small team of people that could take on customer assignments and collaborate on business development, just as I was longing for. We have never had any problems paying salaries, not even during Covid (but more on that later) and I have never regretted taking on the role as an employer. I am so happy it didn’t stop me from taking the step to grow my business.

Sharing is caring – and it may just be what you need to build a strong brand

You might have seen or used the infographic posters with our logo on. Most of them have my face on them since I am the creator and designer of them. The story started before I started Dandy People and was one of the kicks in the butt I needed to make the decision to start my own company. I created the first Agile in a Nutshell poster just to be able to give something visual that captured the most important things for the class at Hyper Island that I was going to run a half day short training for together with my colleague Per. We had a lot of experience based exercises as always, and was going to do some theory using a whiteboard. But I felt something more was needed to help them remember afterwards, so I decided just the day before to do a one pager with the key topics. After the training I published it as a PDF for download on our blog just if anyone else would be interested in using it. And it happened a LOT of people were interested in that. A few weeks later I was in Paris on a weekend with Mathias and suddenly I realized I had over hundreds of comments on the share of the blogpost on LinkedIn and many friend requests. My first thought was of course that something was wrong with LinkedIn, but it wasn’t. It just exploded due to people really liked the poster. Sharing valuable content for free has been a great business model and so we have continued to do so. When we create new posters we usually set them free on our Dandy blog within days up to 6 months, and also other content such as canvases, coaching models and serious games.

Some of the posters in the series.

Today I have lost control over how many downloads of the infographic posters we have, and also how many posters we have shared. But a few years ago it was close to 350.000 downloads (totally free with no email signups or nothing). People within the Agile community are translating the posters for free to their language to be able to use them better and we also share those translated posters to everyone, so today we can offer our infographics on Agile topics for free in 15 languages to anyone interested, making the Dandy brand really strong. If you would ask most management consultancies they would probably say this is a no can do for them and any business. I’d say it is exactly the right thing to do if you want to be part of the growing Agile community and if you don’t want to spend huge amounts on useless brand campaigns. Of course it might take some bravery (some would probably call it stupidity), design skills and that you feel fairly safe you know your stuff to make it work. But testing and see how it goes can take you a long way.

Building a company with a strong brand and still minimizing known risks

As I wanted to build a_real_company having an office was important to me and something I wouldn’t negotiate with. Many small business owners already then had their offices at home, but for me it would mean a huge benefit to have a good address downtown in the city to meet with customers and I was sure it would also be easier to attract employees. But we know that statistics say most startups don’t make it due to high costs linked to long contracts, and office space is just exactly that. Meaning getting our own space with a long contract was a big no-no, and that’s why we chose a shared office space instead. We picked one with the best address, a short leasing contract of just one month, where we could have our own room, with good big spaces to run seminars and training, and where we could have our dog 🙂 Those were the key principles and worked out well. We have been able to stay there for 5 years, moving into bigger and more rooms when needed, and now when we have outgrown it, we can easily get our very own space. The move to our very own space is just weeks away now and it feels just like moving out from your parents. We are (almost) grownups finally!

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In this episode I met with Per Kristiansen to talk about serious games (or serious play as they call it at Lego) that we love using as a safe way for exploring complex strategy and play out different scenarios. Per tells the story how it all got started at LEGO when their CEO needed a better way to work with strategy and they created Lego Serious Play. Per was part of the internal research team that discovered that using lego bricks for simulation and learning was just as useful for adults as it is for children. He tells a fascinating story of how they first failed, but later discovered how to make it work and developed it to the metod that it is today, and how it has now expanded from being an internal method within Lego to a global phenomena that it is today.

The conversation starts with us sharing our purposes and values behind our two companies, Trivium and Dandy People, and it happens to be a perfect match 🙂

If you are interested in learning how to facilitate the Lego Serious Play Method Per travels all around the world to facilitate Lego Serious Play trainings and we are really happy to welcome him to Dandy People and Stockholm too

Read more and sign up for the 4 day Lego Serious Play Certification Course in Stockholm here

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In this blog post, we present a case study using the model designed to leverage the processing strengths and mobilize the brainpower of today’s entire (organizational) collective, which we’re currently calling the Grow/Plow Coaching Model. We have previously published a post on the Grow/Plow model that you can find here if you havent read it.

The Grow/Plow Coaching Model

As you can see on the graphic below, GROW and PLOW naturally overlap at the O and W. PLOW supplements GROW so bottom-up thinking could be integrated into a single coaching model we’re calling the Grow/Plow Coaching Model:

The GROW/PLOW Coaching Model for leveraging top-down and bottom-up processing styles
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In this episode of Dandy Conversations I met up with the founder and CEO of Adventures with Agile (AWA) Simon Powers to talk about the values and purposes that drives their companies. We talk about how our work aims to changing mindsets, making people flourish and become their best and how we can support our customers to meet their goals and visions.

I first came to talk to Simon many years back when I first created the Agile in a Nutshell with the Agile Onion which is a creation by Simon, at least in the form that we have it in the poster with the arrow and the descriptions. I contacted him then to see if he was ok with me putting it in the poster – and he was 🙂

Today we both run successful Agile coaching agencies built on the same mindset, to collaborate and use the power of the network to help as many as possible get value from Agile.

The reason we recorded this video was to share our collaboration as companies more openly with the world. AWA have been running their fabulous Agile Coaching trainings with us at Dandy as their partner for Sweden for a few years already, and we are really happy for the collaboration since we know they deliver trainings in the same way we at Dandy do, with Training from Back of the Room and with trainers who themselves work with – and are experts within what they teach others. So no boring theory sessions, instead engaging, fun, deep insights and hands on learning.

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The following was translated and adapted from the original post in Swedish by Jenny Persson.

We work together at Dandy to create and adapt trainings for our customers’ needs. We often sit together to generate ideas. These sessions, like the one we just had, are unbelievably fun. This time, we had read an article that inspired us to create this game. Namely: https://www.creativehackers.co/posts/the-subtle-art-of-fucking-up

Hence the game was called “Biggest Fuck Ups Game” 🙂

Download the gameboard and play Biggest Fuck Ups Game yourself >

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När vi på Dandy jobbar med att anpassa utbildningar till våra kunders behov så sitter vi alltid och idégenererar tillsammans. Vi har otroligt roligt under dessa sessioner, precis som vi hade nu. Den här gången hade vi läst en artikel som vi inspirerades mycket från i framtagandet av ett nytt spel vi gjorde igår. Nämligen denna: https://www.creativehackers.co/posts/the-subtle-art-of-fucking-up

Därav fick spelet heta “Biggest fuck ups game” 🙂

Ladda ner spelplanen och spela Biggest Fuck Ups Game själva >

Artikeln triggade oss, eftersom vi alla vet hur det känns när vi fuckar upp saker. Vi har alla gjort det! Vi ville göra ett allvarligt ämne som psykologisk trygghet lite kul också. Beroende på miljön vi befinner oss i när vi misslyckas, så får det oss att känna olika saker. Befinner vi oss i en psykologiskt trygg miljö så kan vi lära oss av det. Befinner vi oss i en otrygg miljö så blir instinkten att hitta någon att skylla på eller försöka gömma sig på något sätt, i vart fall så uteblir lärandet. Miljön är alltså avgörande och genom den kan “Backward law” träda in, vilket innebär att rädslan för att misslyckas blir en självuppfyllande profetia, och hur bra blir vi då på våra jobb?

Det här är ett känsligt och ett viktigt ämne för många organisationer. Grunden för om folk presterar bra på jobbet eller inte, ligger i om man har psykologiskt trygghet på jobbet eller inte, och det saknas i många av dagens organisationer. Många TROR att de har psykologisk trygghet, men det visar sig när man börjar mäta att den inte är så hög, och är det någon mätning där det INTE bara duger att ligga ok i en mätning så är det i den här. Det får stora konsekvenser för organisationen i avsaknad av motivation, lärande, självförtroende, innovation, trygg konfliktlösning, och antal ständiga förbättringar som görs har forskning visat.

Vad är psykologisk trygghet?

Vad är då psykologiskt trygghet? Det är när man kan prata om misstag man gjort utan att bli dömd, utan att känna att någon tittar snett på en, för om du inte vill se inkompetent eller negativ ut i en otrygg miljö så låter du ofta bli att dela idéer du har, du ställer inte frågor, du berättar inte för någon om dina svagheter, visar inte dina misstag, du gör så lite som möjligt faktiskt, för då kan du inte göra något fel. Psykologisk trygghet handlar inte om att ha det mysigt och gott där alla har konsensus, tvärtom, det handlar om att höja din röst och ta diskussioner där du ser andra saker, även om det är obekvämt och jobbigt. Eller föreställ dig bara skillnaden att komma till ett jobb där folk förutsätter att du kan ditt jobb, jämfört med att folk kräver att du ska bevisa din kunskap hela tiden. Hur lätt är det då att känna sig psykologiskt trygg?

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Collaboration, innovation, and high performance rarely come from teams that haven’t had the time or the chance to get to know each other, build a strong foundation of common values, and a psychologically safe environment.

No matter if it is a development team, a leadership team, or an operation team, as humans we all need to go through this process to make the magic happen. And when the team works remotely, this is even more important and it can take even longer.

The “Remote Team Culture Canvas” is a way to facilitate and speed up this process by filling up together the canvas, using it as a common ground for healthy -and fun- discussions.

Download the Team Canvas for free in high resolution (PDF) >

Remote team canvas
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We are so happy to be able to share the Agile HR in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in simplified Chinese! Thank you so much, Paulino Kok and his team at agilizing.com for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE: Here you can download it for free in high resolution in Chinese>

hr for agile in a nutshell Simplified Chinese

Interested in the English poster? : Here you can download it for free in high resolution in English >

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We are so happy to be able to share the Agile Recruiting in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in traditional Chinese! Thank you so much, Paulino Kok and his team at agilizing.com for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE: Here you can download it for free in high resolution in Chinese>

recruting in a nutshell Traditional Chinese

Interested in the English poster? : Here you can download it for free in high resolution in English >

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We are so happy to be able to share the Agile Recruiting in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in simplified Chinese! Thank you so much, Paulino Kok and his team at agilizing.com for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE: Here you can download it for free in high resolution in Chinese>

Recruiting in a nutshell Simplified Chinese

Interested in the English poster? : Here you can download it for free in high resolution in English >

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Since we like to have fun and laugh here at Dandy People we did an Agile Advent Calendar last year full of Agile inspired Dad Jokes, so if you missed it we have the wrap up for you here.

December 1

Cycle time is a measure of the elapsed time when work starts on a product or feature until it’s ready for delivery. Cycle time tells how long (in calendar time) it takes to complete the product, also including non value adding time (waiting time).

Thanks to our Dandys Rachael Gibb for the idea, and to Mia Kolmodin for the modelling 👏
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I detta avsnittet så pratar 4 av våra kollegor om Tillitsbaserat Ledarskap, om vad det är, hur det hänger ihop med Agilt Ledarskap, vad det är i praktiken samt om vår meetup vi ska ha den 25/1 2022 som handlar om just Tillitsbaserat Ledarskap.

Anmäl dig till vår Meetup om tillitsbaserat ledarskap och ledning där vi tillsammans undersöker kopplingen till Agilt >

Om du vill läsa vårt blogginlägg om vår enkätundersökning gällande just Tillitsbaserat Ledarskap hittar du det materialet här >

Glöm inte att prenumerera på vår YouTube-kanal där du kan hitta massa intressanta videos.

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We are so happy to be able to share the Agile HR in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in Polish! Thank you so much, Anna Senften for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

Download the Agile HR in a Nutshell in Polish for free here (PDF) >

Read the original post about the poster and download this poster in English here >

Free to download, use and share

The posters are published under Creative Commons License, so please use it and share it as you like. If you are interested in doing a translation to any other languages please let me know and I will help you with the file and publish it here in the blog as well.

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En teambaserad organisation är ett ekosystem av team. Dessa kort är tänkta att användas för att kartlägga nuläget för respektive team i organisationen och sätta mål för vilka typer av team man skulle vilja ha och därigenom identifiera vad som håller teamen tillbaka från att ta sig dit.

Den här modifierade versionen av team topologier bygger på det fantastiska arbetet från teamtopologies.com som är skapat utifrån ett DevOps-perspektiv. De tillägg och justeringar vi har gjort på ursprungsmodellen syftar till att möjliggöra en tydligare produkt-ledd organisation där agila ledningsteam utifrån Agile Management Areas är en viktig del och justering för kundcentrerade produktteam där ofta även marknad och tech möts i gemensamma team, i stället för enbart stream aligned vilket är mer vanligt på en IT / Infrastrukturavdelning.

Conway’s Law är ett begrepp som pekar på att system ofta speglar organisationen som bygger dem, dvs för att justera de teamen man i nuläget har som ofta är av typen komponent-team och röra sig mot ett ekosystem som bygger på produktteam behöver man göra en omvänd Conway’s Law design. Då utgår man från vilka förmågor man skulle vilja att organisationen, och teamen har, kanske vill man att teamen har förmåga att ansvara för en optimal upplevelse direkt till slutanvändare utan mellanhänder. Äger produktutvecklings-processen end-to-end. Tar ansvar för det de bygger över tid och ser till att det skapar verksamhets och affärsnytta på både kort- och lång sikt – det vill säga vara ett Produktteam. Viktigt är att betona att man alltid behöver en mix av team i alla organisationer, enbart produkt-team är inte eftersträvansvärt, utan vanligt är att man har plattformsteam samt även enabling team, vad man dock vill gå ifrån är komplicerat subsystem-team (komponentteam), samt ha team med både produkt, plattform och enabling uppdrag.

Utifrån det målet kan man sedan identifiera vilka typer av team man har i nuläget, samt vilka typer av team man behöver för att steg för steg förändra den tekniska arkitekturen och förmågan i organisationen för att möjliggöra mer autonoma produktteam på sikt.

Alla team behöver även få tydligt definierade mål som de kan arbeta mot. Dessa mål ser olika ut beroende på vilket typ av team de är, men målet brukar var att ha uppdrag för teamen som spänner över ca 6 – 12 månader som gör att de själva kan se om de bidrar med värde och stöttar dom i att göra löpande prioriteringar.

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I det här avsnittet pratar vi med Magnus Sedlacek, Agile Leader på Ada Beat om hur de använde Buddy Systemet för att bygga en lärande organisation hos dem på Ada Beat. Avsnittet är på engelska.

Du kan även läsa blogginlägget till denna video här: https://dandypeople.com/blog/the-budd…

Glöm inte att prenumerera på vår YouTube-kanal där du kan hitta massa intressanta videos.

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Vi är som bekant nyfikna av naturen på Dandy People. Efter sommaren 2021 var vi specifikt nyfikna på att lära oss mer om vilka utmaningar, problem och möjligheter som finns för medarbetare inom offentlig sektor – och så klart om det kanske skulle vara så att Agila arbetssätt och tankesätt skulle kunna vara möjliggörare.

Därför höll vi en designsprint en hel vecka i början av Augusti för att lära oss mer om tillitsbaserat ledarskap och ledning (styrning) och hur de som arbetar i offentlig sektor upplever sin situation.

Denna rapport bygger på svar från en enkät som lades ut på LinkedIn i samband med designsprinten i vecka 32 och 33, 2021. Enkäten har varit öppen för vem som helst att svara på. I slutet av presentationen har vi samlat alla originalbilder från enkäten med alla svar. Vi har dock inte tagit med den frågan där de svarande anger sin organisation och roll.

Hämta och titta på rapporten gratis som högupplöst PDF från Dropbox >


Vår analys och slutsats utifrån denna enkät

Det finns mycket stor förbättringspotential i att prioritera att hitta stödjande arbetssätt för tillitsbaserad ledning och ledarskap inom Svensk offentlig sektor i dag då hela 66% anger att det aldrig, eller bara ibland är prioriterat på deras arbetsplats.

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Många av dagens arbetsuppgifter är komplexa och vi möter kontinuerligt nya utmaningar och problem att hantera. Det är en blandning av att hantera frågor som ingen har svaret på och som vi behöver utforska och att ta till sig nya kunskaper för att kunna lösa uppgiften. Planer och förutsättningar förändras kontinuerligt och för att lösa våra uppdrag behöver vi ofta jobba tillsammans med kollegor med annan kompetens för att få fler perspektiv och förslag på lösningar vilket också ökar den kognitiva lasten på varje individ och teamet och även kan upplevas som hotfullt för individen. 

Hanteringen av denna komplexa värld påverkar chefens roll som förflyttas från att styra medarbetare i att utföra uppgifter till att istället styra systemet där medarbetarna löser komplexa uppgifter. Chefens uppgift är att skapa en lärande organisation där individer har förutsättningar att lyckas med sitt uppdrag och samtidigt strävar efter att nå satta affärsmål. För mig är detta kärnan i Agilt ledarskap.

Konflikter och osämja på arbetet har oftast sin grund i att någon känner sig hotad och använder ett flyktbeteende. När hjärnan går i hotläge får vi svårt att koncentrera oss på annat och vår analytiska och kreativa förmåga släcks ner. Detta motverkar samarbete och de konversationer vi behöver för att ta oss mot målet. Jag brukar använda SCARF-modellen (Neurovetenskapen har tagit fram SCARF-modellen som beskriver fem domäner som alla triggar hot – eller belöningssystemen på samma sätt som fysiskt hot) för att förstå mer om vad som händer, eller inte händer, i teamet och vad jag kan göra för att skapa bättre förutsättningar för en lärande organisation. 

De 5 domänerna är:

  1. Status (engelska Status) handlar om relativ betydelse för andra
  2. Förutsägbarhet (engelska Certainty) handlar om att kunna förutse framtiden
  3. Autonomi (engelska Autonomy) ger en känsla av kontroll över skeenden
  4. Samhörighet (engelska Relatedness) ger en känsla av trygghet med andra – att de är vänner snarare än fiender
  5. Rättvisa (engelska Fairness) är en uppfattning om rättvisa utbyten människor emellan

Jag delar med mig av några av de verktyg som jag använder i mitt agila ledarskap för att skapa en lärande organisation med utgångsläge från SCARF-modellen.

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HOW TO RUN THE WORKSHOP

Strategy is only as good as its ability to enable your product people to make smart decisions. It must evolve to remain fit for purpose. For those of you who want to make sure your product strategy serves your people, a collaborative approach helps you recognise and prioritise the most crucial gaps to work on.

The last post shares the product strategy health check template. Here’s one way you could work with it to align your POs, PMs, CPOs or whoever is in your product org chart. Co-creation is key to a shared commitment and conviction. Start with asking your product people to identify areas where they want more context. You can enable them a little better, each time, even if the official strategy is still in progress.

Treat it like a Kata, returning monthly or quarterly (but no less frequently) to prioritise the next biggest gap you want to close. A strategy isn’t grown in one night, so this is something that you can make more robust over time, piece by piece. Each time, gather product people to add what they know, then dot vote on which field they most need more data on to make informed decisions. Then split into pairs or small groups, choose one, and work on making it clearer before you next meet. This way, your strategy evolves over time, can gradually be strengthened, and benefits from collective effort. Don’t forget to remove old, irrelevant info as you go too. 

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There are many ways businesses can organize to grow and deliver value, but not all of them are equally effective. Melissa Perri, the author of The Build Trap, acknowledges four primary organizational patterns that take very different approaches to achieve growth and value delivery, we have added a fifth pattern that is very common too, the budget-led organization.

Budget-Led Organizations

Budget-led organizations focus on long term planning and mitigate the risk of people working on the wrong thing by having everyone hand in their plans on an often yearly basis and having them reviewed and committed to. This is often a time consuming process, not only to plan, but also to follow up on how all parts of the organization are doing compared to the plan. Important metrics are often deviation from plan as well as obsession over if the work is maintenance or innovation (opex or capex). This type of internal focus gives the organization a locked focus. No matter if the target moves away, the structures are set up to make sure you stick to the obsolete plan. It does not allow new insights to impact what gets delivered and the organization cannot have customer focus nor compete on a fast moving market. Most times people in the organization spend most of their time trying to find ways to game the system to be able to have any success at all.

Sales-Led Organizations

Sales-led organizations work closely with clients to define the product roadmap, taking all of their requests, and sometimes customizing things especially for them. The challenge, however, is when it comes to scaling. Organizations with 50 to 100 customers or more cannot build everything uniquely to match the needs of each customer unless they want to become a bespoke agency. Most products delivered by sales-led organizations suffer from debts in all possible ways; product, usability and tech.

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In this episode of The Agile Weather Report we talk with Magnus Sedlacek about how they used the Buddy System at Ada Beat to create a flexible learning organisation.

If you want to read the blog post that gives you a bit more insight you find it here

Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube-channel so you don’t miss any of our other videos. If you want to go straight to the other Agile Weather Report videos, you can find them here.

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All product companies likely have a document titled Product Strategy, but do they have a real product strategy? Perhaps you’re in charge of the product strategy and want to test and strengthen it. Perhaps you’re a Product Manager feeling the consequences of a strategy that isn’t fulfilling its promise. Do you see any of these symptoms in your product company? 

  • Direct solutions coming from senior stakeholders, without space for product discovery
  • Teams and stakeholders feeling the costs of context switching, working on very different initiatives, and spread thin
  • Teams caught by surprises, needing to help other teams working on very different initiatives
  • Senior product stakeholders unhappy with PM decisions closer to the work, even if the PMs are technically making decisions that fit within the strategy
  • Slick presentations promising upcoming, unvalidated features, rather than focus on opportunities

Alignment is crucial. You can get alignment by directly reviewing decisions, Or, you can share the appropriate information and decision making framework so that others can make smart decisions without the direct oversight. To scale, product leaders can no longer rely on personally approving plans. A leader’s role is to enable their colleagues to make decisions themselves. Especially in the days of hybrid workspaces, it’s all about the flow of information. Your strategy plays a huge role in that information flow. 

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It has been a pleasure working with a company like Unilever, eager to learn and curious to try new things. Of course it has been frustrating and hard sometimes as well, when there have been hindrances in the organisation, and some people have been busy working in their old inefficient way. But change takes time, and being an Agile Coach means you are to hold your client’s hand and help the client to find its own way forward on the path of going Agile.

When we had our first contact with Unilever, most people didn’t have a clue what Agile was, maybe some had some friends working with IT talking about Agile, but that was about it. Now, we hear that people are eager to get on the track of Agile, there is a pull of learning and practising Agile everywhere in the organisation! We got curious about what the main drivers of the Agile journey, the members of team Mountaineers: David Scholander, Jacob Jensen and Emma Lindroos, would say. We asked them some questions. 

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Photo cred Ada Beat

When starting up a new organization we can design it based on guiding principles to enable more Agility and a learning organization. We then might want to keep it flat, without unwanted hierarchies, perhaps even without managers. We also want to enable people to collaborate when needed without both chaos and silos, enable decisions to be made where the work is done, and empower everyone to engage in the development of the organization as well as growing the business.

This was the case for the tech company Ada Beat. In the search for a way to do that they decided to use the Buddy System as a structured approach to enable Agility and build a Learning Organization, and they asked me to support them with this. Read more about what a Buddy system is at the end of the post.

Case: Buddy System at a Tech Company

We asked our friends at Ada Beat´ to write a small case study on why they wanted to grow a Buddy System.

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We are so happy to be able to share the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in simplified Chinese! Thank you so much, Paulino Kok and his team at agilizing.com for your awesome work with the translation 🙂

Free download of the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell in Simplified Chinese in high resolution (PDF) >

Read the original post about the poster and download the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell poster in English here >

Free to download, use and share

The posters are published under Creative Commons License, so please use it and share it as you like. If you are interested in doing a translation to any other languages please let me know and I will help you with the file and publish it here in the blog as well.

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MAINSTREAM MODELS MAY NOT BE CUTTING IT

Mainstream coaching models don’t fully account for the unique processing styles that are prevalent in the systemic thinkers that organizations rely upon for creativity and innovation. As a result, we’re not tapping into and releasing the remarkable creative and innovative potential of today’s talent in roles involving creative knowledge work. Moreover, research suggests that many of these systemic thinkers often have attributes of ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, or other atypical ways of thinking. Given that everyone falls somewhere on the ADD, ADHD, and Asperger’s spectrum, we posit that unleashing creativity and innovation in today’s workplace requires a coaching model that accounts for multiple processing styles. We all think differently, and we need a coaching model that fits everyone.

In this blog post, we present a model designed to leverage the processing strengths and mobilize the brainpower of today’s entire (organizational) collective, which we’re currently calling the Grow/Plow Coaching Model.

POPULAR COACHING MODELS

All the mainstream coaching models we’ve come across are variants of the popular GROW model, which involves establishing a Goal, examining current Reality, exploring Options, and determining what Will happen next: 

The GROW Coaching Model

Such approaches presuppose that the coachee’s processing style prefers to start with concepts, such as goals or the big-picture aspirations often discussed while coaching, before diving into the details. This processing style is known as top-down processing and accounts for how most people think. Top-down thinking is driven by cognition where the brain applies what it knows from experience and what it expects to perceive and “fills in the blanks”. 

SYSTEMIC THINKERS THINK DIFFERENTLY

Systemic thinkers, on the other hand, often have neurobiological and cognitive attributes that result in a bottom-up processing style that prefers details before concepts. A bombardment of sensory information comes in and their brain takes in these details before moving into conceptualization. This processing style is often connected to what’s known as the Weak Central Coherence deficit. In our experience, such thinkers prefer using problem-solving approaches to coaching that welcome the sensory details underpinning the need for change early in the process where the desired future state can be emergent and shaped by data rather than presupposed at the onset. 

THE “PLOW” PROCESS

We took the basic steps involved in problem-solving to create an acronym we call PLOW. The PLOW process involves defining the Problem (i.e., state the problem as clearly as possible and be specific about the situation, behavior, circumstances, and timing that make it a problem); Learning as much as possible about the problem (which includes gathering data like facts, feelings, and opinions); exploring Options; and determining what Will happen next:

The PLOW Process, which can be thought of as a generalized 4-step problem solving model
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In this episode of The Agile Weather Report we talk about the future of Agile Teams in this new Remote and Co-located world.

Den här inspelningen är på Svenska. This episod is in Swedish.

If you want to watch the Pilot Episode you can find it here

Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube-channel so you don’t miss any of our other videos.

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In this poster, I have collected some organizational design patterns from Agile product organizations at scale. The highlighted questions might serve as an entry point to different topics, such as design principles for the organization, strategy for growing teams and individuals, how to enable autonomy and alignment and how to design the leadership teams to support and grow an awesome product organization that delivers products customers love.

Download the Product Organizational Design Patterns poster in high-resolution as PDF >

Buy printed A1 poster >

You can also download it in:

German >

Highlighted questions to reflect over in this poster

  • How do we measure success?
  • What are our guiding principles?
  • Are we optimizing for flow?
  • Are we optimizing for value?
  • What is the capability we need to scale?
  • How do we enable flow of information?
  • What is the Minimum Valuable Bureaucracy
  • What roles do we need in our leadership team?
  • How do we grow teams & individuals?
  • What type of teams do we need?
  • How do we enable both autonomy & alignment?
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“On the Cover” is a great exercise to define the vision for a product, service, company… you name it!

Use it with your team to define your vision. If you create one each you can then share your thoughts with each other. It might just be valuable to see if you are aligned with eachother on the big picture, but you can also create one picture together and build on what you all shared and find the next level together.

If you are far away from each other on important topics, talk about why and what that means. It is valuable to get a shared vision to be able to know if we are doing the right things and to engage the team.

Free High-Resolution Download of the “On the Cover Poster” (PDF) >

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Ever wondered what the business impact would be of delivering continuously in small batches instead of everything in a big bang? Watch this video and reflect if you could benefit from delivering in an Agile way.

This video is produced as a part of our custom-made training materials in Dandy People Academy.

Visit our digital learning platform here: https://www.agileonlinetrainings.com/

Our total learning offer here: https://dandypeople.com/training/

See more videos on our Youtube channel >

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Bild från MyNewsdesk

I dag stod det klart att Karin Hagren är vinnaren av Stora Ingenjörspriset i Ledarskap. Vi vill gratulera Karin till detta fina ledarskapspris och samtidigt passa på att välkomna Karin till Dandy People! Karin är i dag Agile Director på King och kommer att börja som Agil Enterprise Coach hos oss på Dandy People i Augusti. Vi ser med tillförsikt fram emot att få lära av Karin och jobba tillsammans hos våra fantastiska kunder.

Utdrag ur pressmeddelandet på My Newsdesk

“Det känns jättestort att vinna! Jag brinner för ledarskap och har gjort det i hela mitt yrkesliv, så det känns fantastiskt att bli nominerad av mina medarbetare och sedan vinna, det känns helt grymt! Det är genom ledarskap man får saker att hända och det handlar om att få alla att vilja vara med och lyckas tillsammans”, säger Karin om att motta priset.

Juryns motivering
Mottagaren av priset utövar ett ledarskap som visar vägen och möjligheter och är utforskande och sökande istället för dikterande och styrande. Vinnaren är en nyfiken ledare med stor erfarenhet av arbete i internationell kontext. Hon är både strukturerad och pragmatisk samtidigt som hon är en kulturbärare av rang. Vinnaren har skapat en miljö för aktivt lärande och visar stor öppenhet för förändring. Hon leder geografiskt utspridda personer och team, drar dagligen nytta av sin ingenjörsbakgrund och har fokus inställt på det agila arbetssättet.

Läs hela pressmeddelandet på Mynewsdesk här >

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When working in Agile teams, we want the teams to do usability testing to get quick feedback. This is the most efficient way to make sure we are building the right thing. The Test Canvas can be used to speed up the feedback process and enable more people to learn how to do it and join the process.

This canvas is created based on UX professionals practices and guide anyone through the process in a safe way as well as minimize the time to define and conduct usability testing on a continuous basis – it is perfect for building and scaling the UX capability in many product teams.

Download the test canvas for free as a high-resolution PDF >

Usability testing is qualitative as opposed to a quantitative method

The purpose of usability testing is to observe users and how they solve common user tasks in a prototype or existing service to see if the solution is working well. We want them to talk out loud so we can understand how they think when they use it.  We want to be able to ask them questions so we can better understand their mental models and experience. Since it is a qualitative test where we listen to and look at how users behave and how our service performed it is usually enough to test with 5-8 people. Once you realize nothing new “big” is coming from the tests you know you have reached the limit for what is needed now. But once you have fixed those issues you might test again on new people. You find more information about this in the canvas.

Usability testing can be done on anyone and any user type

Usability testing can be done on anyone and any user type. A user interview on the other hand is something else, that is when we need to learn if the solution solves a specific problem. In that case, we need to validate that on the target group and perhaps someone who is like our users and a specific persona. Often we then need to interview or observe 20 people instead of only 5-8.

Usability testing can be scary at the beginning

Meeting with customers and doing usability testing, in the beginning, can be intimidating. A good way to get started is by creating a safe-to-fail environment by practicing with people you know. Remember, if the team can test on real users once in a while and get valuable feedback, it is so much better than never getting to meet with any users and never getting any validation on what they do. It is also a lot better than only having experts outside of the team, or even worse outside of the organization.

Good methods for usability testing

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We have just finished reading “Humankind” By Rutger Bregman in our Book Club so now we have decided to continue down the sociology path for a bit since every member in the Book Club really enjoyed Humankind.

So the new book in the Dandy Book Club will be “Dare to Lead” by Bréne Brown

Dare to Lead is also a very important book in the times we are in now, where we need to lead ourselves in a complex and ever-changing world. Where we don´t know what tomorrow will bring.
The book will challenge us to lean into courage, put ourselves out there in the leadership role and be brave. Leadership isn’t about a role or a title, it’s about caring for yourself and your colleagues so anyone can lead and be a leader.

So far the Book Club has been there for us to read, reflect and learn from the books we have been reading. But this book inspires me to take a step further, to actually use the Book Club to do differently. I can do something different by using the Book Club for the purpose of trying something new for each week, inspired by the book. Maybe that will lead others to do the same. If you are one of those, or if you are just curious about how the Book Club works, please join us. We start by reading the prologue and the first chat about April 12, 4 pm CET.  Join the Slack Channel here!

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