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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
February 2021 was an amazing month for the evolution of agility. As a celebration of the 20th birthday of the Agile Manifesto, there was a month-long, worldwide, free, virtual festival, started by Scott Seivwright. It was open to anyone to join in as a participant and speaker or to host any kind of virtual event, and it was totally self-managed and co-hosted by ambassadors across the world.
I was honored to be the Swedish ambassador
Together with my team at Dandy People, and particularly Patrik Ekstrand who worked full time on this, we supported people to set up talks and events and promote them to the audience. A really big thank you to all the great speakers and everyone who joined in making new friends, building relations, and shared learnings! We are already looking forward to the 2022 event 🙂
“-With my style of clothing and your company name, we would be a match made in heaven.” That is a paraphrase of my first comment on The Dandy People Instagram, sometime in 2019.
And that’s how my journey began really, because after that I just started reading up on them on their webpage, finding what I thought, a company that encapsulated everything I had thought about and looked for without even knowing it. I barely knew what Agile was back then but when I found out about the Agile Mindset everything fell into place. I instantly felt at home in the Agile world because I already had the Mindset without even knowing there was a name for it.
So, I signed up for everything Dandy People; their webinars, going over their awesome “-In a Nutshell” posters, and some of their courses. And read A LOT of books!
Then I had my first zoom-call with Mia Kolmodin and the week after that, Corona hit – and everything closed down. So we had put it on hold.
The product development process is the end to end process we go through to make sure we build the right thing. As a Product Manager or Product Owner, your job is to lead this process, or parts of it, together with your team.
The process looks the same no matter if you are working in an environment or product with legacy systems or a totally new product. This could be a waterfall, step-by-step process if you are in a slow-paced environment where not much is changing over the time it takes to think, build and ship it, but most often we need it to be more of a fluid process where we can go through it in different ways, with different methods depending on the need. We often want to get from start to end as quickly as possible to not just get quick feedback from stakeholders but also from real users to make sure we build the right thing and solve real customer problems.
The keys to building the right thing lay both in defining the right problems in connection to your business goals and finding the solution to solve the problem. When we work Agile we need to get quick feedback along the way and adapt the solution as we go, and we do that by embedding feedback loops into the process. As you can see above the process the feedback you get in the different parts of the process should help you either move forward or go back to re-iterate your assumption or solution, this is what we call Lean UX and Lean Startup depending on what we are building.
In this chapter we will look at the different parts of the process and what methods can be used to be able to deliver in an Agile way, to get customer feedback, and to involve the stakeholders, team, and customer in a good way along the process.
A couple of things to reflect on:
– Where are you in the process now? – Do you do work in all parts of the process? – Do you, or the teams, often jump directly into planning? – Is someone else doing part of the process, or is no one doing it? – Do you and the team evaluate and optimize what you ship?
This poster with the overview of the product development process can be used for discussing your current ways of working, and as support for anyone to move from traditional ways of working with product development and product management. It can also act as a great support in planning how to work in the team together, and to create a high-level plan when starting some new product development.
So, it is time for a new book in the Dandy Book Club and the next book up is “Humankind: A Hopeful History” by Rutger Bregman.
Books we have read until now
We have just finished reading the current book, “Humanocracy”, and as usual we face the nice task of choosing the next one. So how do we actually select which books to read and discuss, and why have we chosen this next one you might ask?
This is a workshop that I have used a couple of times to enable shared ideas about product development with development teams. It is originally called ”Prune the Product tree”, and part of the book Innovation Games by Luke Hohmann.
Last Friday we used it with the Dandy People team to look at Dandy and what we might need to, and like to focus on and do next, and what fruits we think it might give us.
I love these kinds of workshops and formats that are visual and where we can use metaphors and get creative in our discovery and prioritization together. The full workshop was over 4 hours (and we didn’t finish).
We believe that well functioning Agile leadership teams are one of the most important functions of an Agile organization, but also one that often seems to be underdeveloped in most organization. That’s why we got together after summer and started to sketch on good practices and principles for Agile Leadership Teams.
We have collected some of our best tools and tips for cross-functional leadership teams that want to support the organization and build structures for Agility in this new poster. We are so happy to now finally be able to share the Agile Leadership Team in a Nutshell Poster with you for free!
This is the fifteenth and last posting of our Agile Leadership & Management Series.
Organizations are complex adaptive systems, which means we can not with precision anticipate all possible impacts changing one part of the organization will have on another. And, we cannot anticipate how the organization will evolve in the future and what strategies will emerge. Success, therefore, requires that we make small continuous changes as a natural part of running the business.
Having a clear understanding of how the organization is working from different perspectives is critical when moving from traditional to more Agile structures and ways of working. One way is to look at the organization from different perspectives and they will shed light on what’s holding it back and what can be done to move it forward.
At Dandy People, we have created an organizational analysis model in 9-Dimensions of Organizational Change (TM) that gives a holistic perspective and connects the dots across the organization. This is the best way, we have found so far, to create and sustain a Learning Organization. The model is based on the 6-Boxes Model by Carl Binder.
This is the fourteenth episode of our Agile Leadership & Management Series.
During my years working mainly with team, leadership and organizational development, I have experienced so many organizations lacking skills to both find and use the power that comes out of learning. We just tend to study what we already know, where we already are. But that does not lead us anywhere new. We need to learn from other people and in other areas to move forward.
Continuous learning is one of the keystones to be thriving in whatever environment and/or task you set out for. Learning is at its best when it flows through all levels of the organization, from the individual, to the teams/groups and, all the way out through the different parts of the organization. And many organizations struggle to find ways to set this up to work in a successful way and make it fluent in everyday work. So here are some really great tips and tools to get your learning organization up and running.
Becoming a Learning Organization starts with empowerment, e.g., alignment and autonomy, which creates an environment where game-changing strategies can emerge from people at the operational levels.
So, what are the prerequisites for this to happen?
Check out the graphic below to find the prerequisites to uncover 7 proven strategies for embedding learning into your organization.
This is the thirteenth episode of the Agile Leadership & Management Series.
A core function of Agile leadership’s management work is to develop organizations into what is called learning organizations, a term coined by MIT’s Peter Senge, which are organizations that facilitate the learning of its members and continuously transform themselves. Such organizations possess the capability to survive and thrive in the midst of rapid change and high complexity.
Learning organizations are one of the best ways to create a flexible organization that can handle VUCA in a good way. The idea for a learning organization is that people identify needs so that strategy emerges from the accumulated activities of peoples and teams. It emerges within the overall vision of the organization’s future so innovation and improvements add to the organization’s whole.
This is the twelfth posting in the Agile Leadership & Management Series.
I have worked with many leaders in several different organizations over the years, and have come to learn that often times leaders struggle with finding out which role to play in an Agile organization.
Old school leadership was a lot about managing people to fit into your old way of doing things in your organization. A more modern (and Agile!) approach to leadership is to unleash the power that resides in your organization, by focusing your leadership skills on building structures and systems that enable the people’s skills to deliver high value at the right time. Here I have collected some of my learnings that I hope can help you on your journey.
This is the eleventh episode in the Agile Leadership & Management Series
Agile leadership is a transformative, development-oriented leadership style and it is the natural next-step to traditional leadership styles based for example on command and control or on carrot and stick.
Agile leaders are known for their ability to create the conditions required for unleashing the knowledge, motivation, initiative, and team collaboration needed for achieving organizational goals; and stay healthy as teams and people.
Management is a natural part of leadership because the system (not the people) needs to be managed.
When Agile leaders have strong management skills, they become known for their situational awareness, forethought, initiative, willingness to grant autonomy, responsibility, and ability to demonstrate flexibility and build trust as well.
In Agile organizations, each leader is responsible for managing one domain: either people, product, technology, or process. The interplay between these domains is where the functions of leadership and management coexist. Therefore, to enable Agility within an organization, it’s critical that management practices used within each domain support the Agile principles!
Not many people like being lectured. Not all people like being coached either. But everybody (yes, everybody!) likes games in one form or another. That’s why we’ve created an experienced-based free online game that teaches the basics of an agile way of working.
You can play it yourself or with up to four people, taking the part of a team member in an agile team working on a number of stories in a sprint.
The game introduces:
The look and purpose of a scrum board
How T-shaping improves your chances of succeeding
Why continuous improvements is a good thing in the long run
You can also take the role of a facilitator and play the game to train new agile teams about the basics or let it be the start of a discussion in a more mature team.
After finishing playing, run a retrospective. Follow up the usual “What could have we have done better?” and “What did we do well?” with “How does this compare with real life?” and “Do you work together like this in your teams?” and let the discussions flow.
Playing with people on the same team gets you comparisons to real life (and quite often “why don’t we work more together?”). People from different teams quickly get into comparing ways of working and exchanging ideas. All great stuff, and if you don’t have time to finish the game know that you’ve already won!
In order to create an experienced-based game, we have taken the liberty to simplify some things and we might not follow all the rules of Scrum. But if you are looking for the Scrum Guide you find the 2020 version here.
This is the ninth posting in the Agile Leadership & Management Series
Leaders play an important role in Agile organizations, as they give direction to the organization, manage the structures around the Agile teams, act as sponsors, empower both teams as well as individuals and, perhaps most importantly, foster a culture of psychological safety.
In Agile organizations, a leader is responsible only in one area. Either PEOPLE, PRODUCT, TECHNOLOGY, or PROCESS. The Agile Coaches coach the people in all processes and areas to improve the value and flow continuously. This is the core of an Agile Leadership team, also for the executives.
The Agile Leadership Flower
The cross-functional Agile Leadership Team works together on moving the organization forward while working within each area supporting their people at operational and tactical as well as strategic level.
The Main Mission for the Agile Leadership Team is to improve structures and increase the outcome of the organization.
This is the eighth posting in the Agile Leadership & Management Series.
Making quick and good enough decisions can many times be difficult. Slow decision-making is one of the biggest problems in many organizations today. Therefore, it might be a good idea to find ways to speed up the decision making process. And, this “Decision-Making Canvas” could be something that helps you in your process.
When working in a fast-paced and complex environment, the trick is to make many smaller decisions based on current facts known at this moment in time. If we wait until we have all the facts, and there are no uncertainties, it will often be either too late – or the first facts will have changed.
Print out this canvas, or use it digitally, and use it as a template for making better and quicker decisions together as a team.
This is the seventh post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
The Strategic Leadership Room visualizes what we are doing in the organization, what we think we should be doing, and how things are going. It is a great way to enable a shared understanding and make strategic decisions together on what is needed, and when it is needed.
The Agile Leadership Team needs to facilitate this and invite the right people to make well-informed decisions. When the executives are invited to see what is going on with updates from the teams on both impediments, speed of flow, quality, how the teams are doing – and how the customer experience is, how the delivery of value is going and how the investments are going, they can support new strategic decisions if needed.
This is the sixth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
Research has shown that new teams face significant struggles with coordinating their efforts, are more prone to making mistakes, and are less likely to catch and correct those mistakes in real-time. The reason is that almost none of the conditions required for team effectiveness are in place.
Harvard researchers Ruth Wageman and J. Richard Hackman has used the conditions required for effective teaming to create a 10-minute teaming process that helps new teams get on a strong positive trajectory and overcome the liabilities that could sabotage their success. This process has been shown to radically decrease the number of mistakes made by the team, catch and fix errors in real-time, and create the psychological safety required for everyone to speak up and create a shared understanding of how to accomplish the team purpose.
This is the fifth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
So, now the time has come to look into a number of setups and activities that you can use to help get your Agile Leadership Team up and running and, continuously use for effectiveness and smoothness in their daily work.
This is the fourth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
When forming Agile Leadership Teams we have found some mistakes to be common within many different organizations and through different types of businesses. Here they are compiled in a list to make it easy for you to study before you form your leadership team, and come back to on a regular basis.
This is the third post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
As an Agile Leadership Team, regardless of the four Leadership team hats you find yourself wearing, there are certain conditions that dramatically increase the chances that a group of leaders will develop into an effective team.
This is the second post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
With the Agile Leadership Team Bingo, you can gamify your work with your leadership- and management improvements for yourself and your leadership team. Challenge each other to see how many “BINGO” you can get in a day, week, or month?
Print it out, or use it digitally and bring it to your next leadership team meeting together with scissors and glue and we can guarantee that it will be one of the most fun and engaging leadership team meetings ever 🙂
This is the first post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
Leadership today is a team sport. The emphasis is no longer on the skills, characteristics, and traits of a single, all-powerful person with the designation of “leader”. Leadership has evolved to be a collective endeavor that leads to the betterment of all involved and looks different depending on the context.
Over the summer, the Dandy People team put together an Agile Leadership Team poster. The poster introduces 7 powerful Agile Leadership Principles designed to help leaders create a focus on what will help increase the business outcome of the organization. If the members of an Agile Leadership team agree upon strives to move towards these principles, collaboration and exploration can be enabled and strengthened!
As Leaders, We Always Strive to:
1. Keep a transparent strategy and facilitate a pull-based backlog for teams to self-organize around value – NOT pushing things to the teams, or micromanaging
2. Give a clear direction and share WHY we are doing things to enable new learnings to impact the WHAT – NOT deciding on a solution.
3. Managing structures around the teams so that they can make quick and smart decisions – NOT managing the people.
4. Acts as sponsors by asking “What do you need to succeed?” and actively remove impediments – NOT acting as a steering group and only following up results (or making decisions on the team’s behalf).
5. Empower the people and foster a culture of psychological safety to enable initiative, experimentation, and problem-solving together – NOT stepping in to solve every day, low-risk problems so teams can become increasingly mature.
6. Empower teams and individuals to build the capabilities needed to take responsibility for delivering value continuously – NOT taking the responsibility from them, and not only optimizing for short-term goals.
7. Lead with vision, practice what we preach, and actively encourage a spirit of joy and responsibility – NOT keeping old structures and practices in place that reinforce ineffective behaviors.
This is an interview between Mia Kolmodin and Mattias Skarin on the basics of Agile Procurement and Agile Contracting.
– When should you use Agile procurement? – What are the different steps in an Agile procurement? – How do you Agilize the process? – Are there any successful examples? – What are the most common pitfalls when getting started? – How do you get started?
The founders of agilakontrakt.se
Mia and Mattias are the founders of agilakontrakt.se and on this website they have for about 5 years collected good examples and created tutorials and guides in order to support the agilization of the procurement process in Sweden.
They have also set up several conferences in the Nordics on this topic and hosted a network that meets 4 times a year and shares experiences to grow new capabilities within the public and private market in Agile procurement. Anyone is free to join this network, you find it on the website.
Inspelningen är från DIs HR-dag den 30 september 2020 på Grand Hotel i Stockholm och online.
Här delar Mia Kolmodin på 15 minuter med sig hur Agila metoder kan användas av HR för stötta organisationer att transformera sitt eget arbetssätt, samt stötta organisationen i en Agil transformation för att att leverera rätt värde vid rätt tidpunkt. Mia rör också ämnen som Agilt Ledarskap, Agila Team och Agila tankesätt och ger dig 5 nycklar till en lyckad Agil Evolution.
Each week we meet to discuss a book. We meet for 45 minutes to focus on a chapter. No strict agenda. Those times I didn’t manage to read the chapter, I can listen to those that did that and learn a lot anyway. Sometimes someone brings up a challenge, and then we end up discussing that as well to help each other.
It is nice to have a very casual conversation with other people. We don’t have the same employer, we don’t have the same office, role, or work situation. But we share the same interest in supporting organizations into a mind-shift change. A change where people and teams will have more space to use their skills and creativity to make great things happen. Great things for both companies, society, and the planet that we so urgently need.
To make this change we need to be stronger. Not individually, but together. This strength is within the network, based on connections, relations and the inspiration we get from each other.
The book club is one way to strengthen this network, and I feel a bit richer, wiser, and stronger after each week.
Beginning November we are to start with our fifth book in the Dandy Book Club. This time we will read and discuss “Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People inside them” by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini. https://www.humanocracy.com/ We will start by reading the preface.
Would you like to join us?! Please do by joining our slack-workspace and join the channel “#BookClub” There you will get the Zoom-link to join and all information about time and date. coffeecoaching.slack.com
Ämnet för årets DI HR-konferens är människor och kultur med mycket Agilt fokus.
För att hantera den oväntade situationen har många företag nu snabbt tvingats att digitalisera många av sina arbetssätt, och kanske även att till viss del agilisera sig.
Vi ser ännu tydligare än tidigare hur viktigt det är att inte hålla fast vid långa detaljerade planer, utan att i stället snabbt ställa om och möjliggöra för medarbetare och korsfunktionella team att fatta snabba beslut baserat på nya insikter för att lösa komplexa problem på bästa möjliga sätt.
HR spelar en mycket viktig roll för att möjliggöra en Agil transformation med snabbare leveranser, mer fokus på löpande innovation, teamarbete och strategisk flexibilitet. Med en mer snabbrörlig teambaserad organisation gäller det för HR att bland annat sluta arbeta med långsamma årliga cykler, som HR-hjulet, och i stället leverera förbättringar oftare, att prototypa och bygga in ett lärande i arbetssätten för att förbättra medarbetarupplevelsen och minska ledtider, att hitta nya samarbetsformer och arbeta korsfunktionellt att ställa om från ett individbaserat synsätt till fokus på teamet.
Nycklarna till en lyckad agil transformation, 20 minföreläsning online
Mia går med hjälp av inslag från praktiska case igenom de största strukturella förändringarna som ledning och HR behöver göra för att skapa förutsättningar för en teambaserad och snabbrörlig organisation och möjliggöra en lyckad Agil transformation.
DI HR’s heldagskonferens 2020 direktsänds från Grand Hotel i Stockholm.
På grund av situationen med Corona så livesänds konferensen och Mias föreläsning digitalt. Som besökare kommer du också att ha möjlighet att möta oss på Dandy People digitalt, ställa frågor till Mia och våra andra Agila experter, samt ta del av vårt coaching och utbildningsmaterial kring Agil HR, ledarskap, Business Agility och Agil transformation.
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.
Earlier this spring we got a fun request: to start an Agile Book Club. Such a privilege to be contacted by a competent and passionate agile frontrunner who wants to use the Dandy People Network!
This spring we started an open Slack work space that we named “Coffee Coaching”, to fill the social gap Corona made. We wanted to create a space where we could meet each other as if we were “by the Coffee machine”, offering a space for a small chat with anyone about anything.
But we wanted to see how this could be used for more. Perhaps for an Agile Book club? And it turned out to be so easy! We simply used this space like in the old times, by putting a piece of paper on the Coffee machine, inviting people to join our new slack channel “Agile Book Club”. And the Agile Book Club was born!
Imagine a highway so cramped there is no movement and only a few cars get through every hour. What a waste it is for everyone just sitting in their own cars waiting for everything around them to move so they can get through with their own car.
This is what happens when you have a project organization that depends on the same capacity to move forward and is built on individuals pushing their own thing, not allowing anyone to see the big picture.
A project focused organization treats every new idea and requirement as if it was a big project, and it needs to be big to get a budget and a project manager. What if there was another way? Projects get piled on people and when more and more pile up, since the world is moving faster than the pace we can deliver large projects, the system gets jammed.
To change this you need to look at what capacity you have and instead put things that need to be done in prioritized order. It is that simple.
So turn the focus around and look at the people you have, their capacity, knowledge, and experience and build teams that can perform together. And then stack work on the teams.
It is basically making people work on one thing at a time and helping each other out. No rocket science. The rocket science is to build high-performing teams, for that you need a lot of skills in product development, team development, agile leadership, agile management, HR and work environment to mention a few.
Where we started with our client that needed to shift focus was here, 22 projects stacked on around 120 people and the visualization of it looked like this.
We are so happy to be able to share the Transformational Agile Leadership in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in Spanish! Thank you so much Pablo Lichinsky for your awesome work with the translation 🙂
The same rookie mistake I made on my transformation journey into marathoning is one that I see a lot of organizations make on their Agile journey: not taking the time to find the right shoes. Let me explain.
“Doing” agile is not enough
I thought I had a solid start on my transformation from couch potato to marathoner by focusing first on the routines and habits of runners. I felt like I was a runner because I was DOING the things runners do, like running 5-days a week, eating healthier, and strength training. Many organizations fall into the same trap. They think they’re agile because they’re going through the same motions and copying best practices. But then my mother saw me running out in the neighborhood and pointed out something that changed everything. She gave me the same perspective that I’ve given clients looking to become agile, and it blew my mind.
My goal is to coach myself through a transformation from couch potato to marathoner (well, a half-marathon). It’s been life-changing.
Behavior science is the secret sauce
The barriers and obstacles I experience with “becoming a marathoner” are similar to those experienced by organizations wanting to “become agile”. The secret sauce lies in behavior science. Through this marathoning process, I’ve uncovered my own behavior-based twist of the Deming cycle and Lean Startup and am using them to inspire a Lean Performance Management model for teams and organizations. It’s always fun when personal and professional worlds collide!
The Behavior-Change Cycle
Below is the Behavior-Change Cycle I created for myself inspired by the Deming Cycle and how behavior scientists approach organizational change:
We are so happy to be able to share the Agile User Experience in a Nutshell Poster with you for free also in Spanish! Thank you so much Daniela Palacios Rozas for your awesome work with the translation 🙂
I just took on the most challenging client–MYSELF.
Inspired by friends who are marathoners, I decided to cultivate what I’m calling a Marathon Mindset. I’m coaching myself towards achieving increased flow in the presence of variability. My aspiration is to emerge from this COVID-19 crisis a better person. Through this process, which involves training for an actual marathon, I’m learning that my own barriers and obstacles to “become a marathoner” are similar to those experienced by organizations wanting to “become agile”. This aha moment was unexpected, but transformative as an Agile Coach. I now believe the Marathon Mindset is the Agile Mindset because it simultaneously fosters both stability and agility through continuous and incremental evolution instead of a big bang transformation. Below I share some insights into what I’m learning for the benefit of Agile change agents everywhere.
Vad är VUCA egentligen och vad betyder Agilt för rekrytering? Det och mycket mer diskuterar vi i det senaste avsnittet av Agila HR-podden med Frida Mangen. Jag med som en av gästerna tillsammans med de andra bakom vår senaste poster Agile Recruiting in a Nutshell.
Vi hade mycket spännande diskussioner tillsammans under själva framtagandet av postern, och så även här i studion – och vi är inte alltid helt överens 🙂 Jag delar med mig av lite av mina tankar kring hur man kan arbeta med rekrytering på ett Agilt sätt och hur man kan rekrytera för en Agil organisation.
The recruiting and onboarding process is something that often has to be adapted when organizations “go Agile”. We were curious about what can be done to adapt the process for the people working with recruiting, what it would mean for the candidate, and how and what to look for when hiring for Agility. So we got together as a cross-functional team to look at this with our different perspectives, Frida Mangen, known from the popular pod Agila HR-podden, Thomas Eklöf, and Nils Hallén, both experts on recruiting and authors of books like “Innovative Recruiting (in Swedish), Björn Sandberg Agile HR and transformation expert at Dandy, and myself, to see if we could create a poster as a first step. The work of creating the poster started in October 2019 and was paused a bit during COVID19. Now we are so happy to be able to share it with you after 8 months!
You can think of these principles as a lighthouse. If you are in sight of the light you are on the right path, but if you lose sight of it then you are probably off course.
Learning Dare to experiment! Test new ideas, gather data, learn, and improve! Beware that you still need to treat your candidates equally to sustain a reliable process.
Psychological Safety Human relations before processes and tools. Consider how you can create an environment where the candidate experiences psychological safety. This will help you to assess how the candidate behaves in a normal setting, otherwise, you risk just assess their behavior under stress.
Potential Potential eat experience for breakfast! Potential is critical for your future success. Rather than looking for readiness, i.e. previous experience, look for the right traits, motivators, capabilities, and behaviors.
Creating Value Adopt a dynamic mindset for recruiting. Evolve the way you work with recruitment by continuously improving yourself and your processes.
We all love how Modern Agile supports everyone thinking and acting in ways that support Agility, that is why we created a version of the Modern Agile by Joshua Kerievsky specifically for Agile recruiting.
We asked Paolo Damelio, one of our experienced Agile coaches at Dandy People, to share some of his best tips and tools on how to maintain sustainable and High Performing Teams, now that many of the team members are working from home.
Hi Paolo! What are your thoughts on the situation right now?
This is a challenging time for everyone. For us as individuals, for organizations and for the collaboration inside teams as well as cross-team and cross-organization. And it is a challenge that, I believe, will take us to a place we only could have dreamed of just a few months ago. There is no going back to where we were before.
The need for adaptability and innovation have probably never been bigger, and we need to use the force from our employees. We need to connect the people in our organization using new formats, perhaps being forced into some of them. Also, the distancing has affected all of us, some are suffering more than others. The need for us as human beings to maintain and build trustworthy relationships is being put to test now that we have replaced the small talk by the coffee machine with Zoom meetings.
We are perhaps seeing the world through new eyes, and maybe even reevaluate our business as well? Can we continue as we did before and still survive? Or, are there ways to move us forward and actually help us be better? And, can the use of a Buddy System be the help we need to help us do this?
Adapt and Excel – it´s All About the People
To be able to survive in today’s business climate our focus needs to be on our ability to adapt – and to act fast. But that is not enough. Our organizations have to continue to grow and excel to stay alive, and not standstill.
A prerequisite for us to adapt and move fast is to secure that people are responsible for workflows, decisions, actions, and have the authority to make the rapid changes needed. The type of organization that meets these demands best is a learning organization where it is possible to create endurance and the speed needed in a complex (VUCA) world.