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Agile leadership is a transformative, development-oriented leadership style that creates the conditions required for unleashing knowledge, motivation, initiative, and collaboration across any organization.

Agile management is a natural part of Agile leadership that manages the system, not the people. “Manage the system, not the people” means creating an organizational context (structures and systems) that support both autonomy and alignment so teams can deliver value at a high pace and work together with other teams in order to optimize the business outcome of an entire organization.

Agile Leaders naturally manage the system by adjusting their style according to their context and choosing organizational structures that will support alignment and autonomy.

  • They recognized that teams operate in a larger context and that structures and systems within a given context (such as rewards and information flow and quality) can either promote great teamwork or create obstacles to excellent collaboration. 
  • They align organizational structures with business strategies and goals in ways that support well-functioning and high performing teams that are able to innovate, solve complex problems, and deliver at a high pace. 
  • They focus on empowering networks of teams and developing capabilities so the emphasis is no longer on the skills, characteristics, and traits of a single, all-powerful person with the designation of “leader” or “manager”. Both leadership and management has evolved to be collective endeavors that leads to the betterment of all involved and looks different depending on the context.

When Agile leaders have strong management skills, they become known for influential attributes such as:

  • Initiative
  • Mindful forethought
  • Situational awareness
  • Willingness to grant autonomy 
  • Willingness to grant responsibility 
  • Ability to demonstrate flexibility 
  • Ability to build trust

The Agile Management Flower

In Agile organizations, each leader is responsible for managing one domain, either people, product, technology, or process. This type of 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 interplay between the people, product, technology, and process domains is where the functions of Agile leadership and Agile management coexist. Therefore, to enable Agility within an organization, it’s critical that management practices used within each domain support the Agile principles! 

An Example of Agile Management

An example of an Agile management practice is creating a common view of intent and direction. Practically speaking, this means delegating and clarifying what to do and why, with sufficient feedback loops, together with those who are actually doing the job.

Establishing strong alignment around “what and why” has a two-fold benefit: it decreases the need for top-down command and control, while simultaneously creating conditions for faster decision-making and autonomy. The result is increased speed in the decision-making throughout the organization.

There are some additional patterns and practices that can be used to create an organizational context that helps to manage the system towards high performance in an Agile way:

  • Clear Purpose – Purpose leads to focus, which increases the speed and value delivered by the teams by 100%.
  • Mandate – A clear mandate minimizes bureaucracy, which increases the speed & possible innovation of the team by 100%. 
  • Small and Stable Teams (Brooks Law) – Team size really matters. Teams of 5-7 people who are high performing are 100% faster.
  • T-Shaped – T-shape increases the speed of team deliveries by 100%
  • Employee Engagement – Being in a team gives a sense of belonging and context, which increases employee engagement by 100%.

Learning to manage the system may take some time in the beginning, but it’s worth it. In the end, speed and quality will increase since it allows for a higher level of autonomy, quicker learning, increased engagement, and a more rapid adjustment to reality. 

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Innovation is your top competitive advantage. What are you doing to support your innovative tech talent? It starts with recognizing that innovators and problem solvers are wired to think differently and work differently. 

Imagine you’re lost in a foreign city and don’t know the language or customs. And to make matters worse, you lost your cell phone. Disconcerting, right? This is what the workplace is like for technical and creative people who think differently. A lot of time and energy is spent being lost due to issues which affect everyone, especially the neurodiverse, instead of being productive and innovating.

For example, research has shown that there’s a higher than chance representation of autistic people and people with elevated autistic traits in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. They’re wired to spot complex patterns and relationships, focus on details, and work independently. They also possess strong logic and analytical skills. Orienting themselves to concrete facts instead of context, they analyze information from the physical senses using objective logic and prefer evidenced-based approaches. 

Sometimes these tendencies and preferences lead to workplace challenges. Brains wired to be extra sensitive to external and internal stimuli will lead to those “quirky” behaviors that are often stereotypically associated with people who thrive in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM):

  • Missing social cues
  • Getting carried away with ideas
  • Getting lost in the weeds
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Making awkward small talk
  • Asking countless detailed questions

Such individuals can be easily misinterpreted as “arrogant”, “aloof”, or “not a team player”, which often runs counter to the common notions of what makes a good employee. Moreover, most current work environments are structured as “one-size fits all”, often with positive intent, as though neurodiverse talent simply “turn off” these differences and fit into any work environment. This is, simply, not the case. Neurodiverse brains often have communication and collaboration styles based on logic instead of context and naturally process information “bottoms-up”, starting with the details, instead of “top down”. 

What I’ve seen as an unfortunate consequence of such misinterpretations, assumptions, and differences are three implicit expectations that often sabotage the career of our neurodiverse colleagues and friends:

  • “Mind reading” expectation: The expectation that they can accurately pick up on implicit expectations and unspoken norms, which is not the case. This comes from autism’s Theory of Mind (ToM) deficit.
  • “Focus” expectation: The expectation that they can create and innovate in any environment, which is not the case. This comes from autism’s and ADHD’s Executive Functioning (EF) deficit.
  • “Seeing the forest for the trees” expectation: The expectation that they can “turn off” their brain’s detailed processing style and zoom out to see the forest while ignoring the details of each tree, which is not the case. This is known anecdotally as “bottom-up” processing, and comes from autism’s Weak Central Coherence (WCC) deficit. 

We’d, therefore, benefit from rethinking our HR practices if we want to attract, engage, and retain our creative and innovative talent. The people driving innovation and creativity think and work differently, and these differences need to be destigmatized and normalized because neurodiversity is the new normal

A great place to start is with an increased awareness of their unique strengths, needs, and processing styles, which this blog post attempted to address. The next blog post on this topic will focus on some actionable strategies for leaders, colleagues, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches who want to overcome the three implicit expectations and create a culture where neurodiverse talent can thrive and shine.

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Agile HR is an approach to HR that prioritizes speed, responsiveness, flexibility, and collaboration. As discussed in depth in our free Agile HR Dandy People poster, Agile HR has two facets that are both critical for achieving Organizational Agility: 

  1. Agile for HR – Applying the Agile mindset and evidence-based tools within HR teams and projects
  2. HR for Agile – Evolving people practices to support Agile teams and organizational transformation

Agile for HR

Changes in our environment, legislation, and technologies have outpaced HR’s ability to keep up in many organizations. As a result, HR often feels caught in the weeds of compliance and administration. Many HR practitioners are recognizing the need for new methods and ways for delivering value to the organization are increasingly turning to more Agile ways of working. The result is an HR team that co-creates directly with the internal and external customers to build a great place to work.

HR for Agile

Building an Agile organization requires that HR redesigns people practices in a way that’s congruent to Agile’s more networked, team-based, customer-focused operating model. Traditional HR often paces itself according to annual cycles where individual performance is optimized and rewarded irrespective of impact or outcome, and this needs to change. 

8 Relatable Examples

Below are bite-sized summaries of eight relatable examples of how different organizations went about using Agile ways of working to increase their HR Agility. As you’ll notice, some even blend “Agile for HR and HR for Agile” in clever ways that help increase the agility of the whole organization!

#1 – Using Agility to create a company manifesto

  • A company manifesto, that outlined desired values and behaviors, was co-created by employees and managers using iterative and incremental development that included hundreds of people, where HR played no role. 
  • Prototyping, testing, and validation were used throughout the process, where draft versions were released each sprint for the whole organization to give feedback on. 
  • The manifesto and values were approved after 6 iterations, after which the material, content, videos, storytelling on top of the values and manifesto were created.
  • Although the manifesto took many months, everyone felt they had a voice and played a role in its creation.

#2 – Using “Leadership as a Service” to enable Business Agility to thrive 

  • The traditional role of middle management, where line managers are assigned specific teams to “manage”, got replace by a team of managers offering management and leadership services. 
  • Teams that are stuck or need help can connect with these “Leadership as a service” teams and get the resources or coaching they need. 

#3 – Using Agility to redesign a performance management system

  • An HR team wanted to involve their employees in redesigning a performance management system.
  • Just like scientists who want to create a valuable solution (see the graphic below), they created a prototype and initiated several feedback sessions with managers and executives, after which the second version was created. 
  • The next step was an online demo with employees providing feedback on the most important design principles.
  • Feedback was implemented to create the third version, which became the pilot version and in two real-life units.
  • After the two units had tested the pilot version, the last version was created and adopted step-wise throughout the organization.

#4 – Using Scrum as a learning framework for a leadership development program

(…where the team decides on what they want to learn, sprints, priority, reviews, retrospectives) 

  • The training participants, all managers, created their own learning backlog themselves by asking each other, “what do we need to learn? Why is it important? When can we say we have learnt this?”
  • They prioritized their list of learning content.
  • Each month was a theme that they had decided or prioritized.
  • External trainers came in and trained on the theme.
  • Reviews and retrospectives were held that invited reflection upon what was learned, how it was applied, how can members learn better in the group, which ultimately resulted in evolving learning methods. 
  • Re-prioritization happened throughout the sprint, especially in situations like sudden layoffs, where “Layoffs and employee negotiations” were prioritized new theme. 
  • The result was that managers experienced increased ownership in a learning journey that they prioritized according to their definition of value, where learning was broken into smaller live and virtual events in a self-directed way.

#5 – Using Agile development for an HR/IS project instead of using the waterfall method:

  • Managers and employees were invited to co-create the HR processes together before the system project is even started.
  • Incremental releases of the system were agreed upon, where only parts of the system were released to parts of the organization.
  • The result was a more reliable, less risky implementation with quick adoption because managers and employees helped identify and define the practice to be useful for them.

#6 – Using Scrum as an operating model for HR development work 

  • A small HR team of 5 people agreed to use modified Scrum to develop HR practices. 
  • Three afternoons each week were booked for syncing efforts and team collaboration.
  • The development portfolio was prioritized, where they worked on one or two projects at a time, released them, and then move to the next projects.
  • Bringing value to the users was their shared focus, along with getting things to “done” and collecting feedback and validation before implementing and moving on to develop the next thing. 

#7 Using iterative and incremental development for culture change

  • The implementation of a culture change initiative was co-created by employees and managers and prioritized according to value and effort in partnership with business leaders, as opposed to an executive sponsoring the cascading of a one-size-fits-all culture program throughout the organization 
  • The first unit chosen was according to the biggest impact on revenue and customer NPS
  • Learning from the first implementation was used for planning the “next release” 
  • Managers and employees became active change-agents and catalysts 

#8 – Using DevOps to inspire changes to the recruitment pipeline

  • A Talent Acquisition team wanted to reimagine recruitment as a talent pipeline
  • Using lean principles to optimize the recruitment process and bringing in digital assessments as recruitment steps, the team cut off unsuitable candidates early and only receive CV’s and application letters from the most suitable candidates
  • The result is fewer applications and CVs that are more suitable for the job, which translates into less non-value-adding work by recruiters and less wasted time for applicants

When it comes to Agile HR, what have YOU tried? What has worked or hasn’t worked for your organization?

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“Imagine an organization that’s a fluid network of teams collaborating towards a common goal of delighting customers, where communication flows easily in all directions, and ideas can come from anywhere. What would that be like?”

The question above is an example of what’s known as a framing question. Such questions have many answers that helps to scope and clarify a problem just enough to move the conversation in a positive direction. Given that an organization’s ability to respond rapidly to market changes and emerging opportunities is determined through a series of day-to-day conversations, framing questions can serve as a valuable tool for Agile leaders wanting to achieve business agility.

Ed Morrison from Purdue University spent decades researching and implementing agility models in the social sector based on the transformational power of day-to-day conversations. He observed that every conversation is in response to some question, whether that question is asked explicitly or not, and choosing the right question makes an enormous difference to whether or not agility is achieved.

  • Problem centered questions bog groups down into analysis, where members become paralyzed by the mistaken belief that there is one problem to solve
  • Opportunity-centered questions emotionally engage people, where members see a complex problem to solve with many possibilities

The goal is to use questions to frame conversations so that the people are inspired to work together in new ways.

Questions that inspire and engage are called Framing Questions. Framing questions address potential opportunities and are surprising, rather than obsessing over known or hidden deficits. They frame what the collective wants more of rather than problems to overcome.

The framing questions force us to look at reality a little differently and are often used in Design Thinking and other Innovation models. As Ed Morrison points out, “a good framing question is complex enough that it will require the deeper thinking and engagement of each person in the conversation”.  The most powerful framing questions tap into the collective intelligence of the whole and thereby mobilize organizational brainpower to achieve lasting business agility.  

Framing questions often start with phrases such as:

  • “How MIGHT we?”
  • “What if?”
  • “Imagine if… What would that be like?”
  • “What’s already making us successful, and how can we do more of it?”
  • “When have we seen…, and what might we learn and apply from these moments of success?”
  • “Why can’t we…?”

Some more examples of powerful framing questions that can add vitality to business agility efforts are as follows:

  • “Imagine an organization that’s a fluid network of teams collaborating towards a common goal of delighting customers, where communication flows easily in all directions, and ideas can come from anywhere. What would that be like?”
  • “Imagine an organization where all jobs directly support the mission and values of an organization and all employees understand how their day-to-day activities support the organizational culture. What would that be like?”
  • “Imagine a culture change program driven by employees and managers that focuses on influencing one unit first and uses the learning for the “next release”. What would that be like?”
  • “Imagine a team-based, self-organizing organization. What is the role of line managers/development managers in this new networked team structure?”
  • “Imagine a leadership development program where the participants get to decide and prioritize what they learn. What would that be like?”
  • “Imagine a manager’s handbook created using agile ways of working. What would that be like?”
  • “Imagine if HR only launched small scale initiatives that are piloted within specific teams, job families, or units where feedback is gathered early and often to determine whether the initiative should be expanded or scrapped. What could that be like?”

What are your experience with framing questions to frame conversations so that the people are inspired to work together in new ways? Share in the comments below!

And if you’re interested in reading more about Ed Morisson’s work, visit: https://strategicdoing.net/

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Det är inte alltid lätt att nå fram till alla människor i en organisation, speciellt inte vid förändringar och när man måste kommunicera och samarbeta tvärs över alla delar så som man ofta gör under en agil transformation. Det är dock avgörande att man klarar av det för ett lyckat resultat. Jag tänkte berätta lite om hur vi försöker göra det på Dandy People och vilka verktyg vi tycker är hjälpsamma.

Vad handlar agila transformationer om?

När vi jobbar med agila transformationer så handlar det om – för ca 90% av människorna – en total omorganisering av sin latenta tankemässiga referensram. Den mentala bilden av hur saker och ting fungerar behöver förändras baserat på nya förhållanden, ny kunskap och nya principer. Hur du ser på världen – kan man enkelt säga. Det krävs “nya glasögon” att se på världen med i många fall – för att ta bort tidigare inlärda beteenden och begränsningar för vad som är värdefullt och möjligt.

För att lyckas med att nå fram till människor på ett bra sätt behöver man bli expert på vad som motiverar både oss själva som individer och förstå att alla andra INTE är som vi är, och i andra hand vad som motiverar de vi vill nå fram till. Vi har alla olika grundläggande psykologiska behov och det är olika saker som motiverar oss.

Hur vi på Dandy People jobbar för att förstå vår egen och andras motivation

Redan tidigt när Dandy People startade (före min tid) började Dandy använda en forskningsbaserad svensk metod som heter MyNeeds® för att förstå vår egen motivation och bättre lära känna varandra. Man insåg nyttan av det för att snabbt kunna skapa nya trygga team ute hos kunderna, vilket alla konsulter är i stort behov av som arbetar i team hos kund. Dandy har under årens lopp vid varje rekrytering låtit alla oss nya Dandysar göra en profil, få individuell återkoppling och dela med varandra. Det är tydligt nu, många år senare att vi också har väldigt stor nytta av den här förståelsen ute hos våra kunder. Vi kan lättare förstå vad som motiverar olika personer och grupper och vad de kan ha svårt för, och vad som gör människor otrygga eller omotiverade. Det gör oss mer trygga i att jobba med människor och grupper med olika bakgrund vilket ofta minskar onödiga missförstånd och eventuella konflikter.

Eftersom Dandy också bedriver en nätverksbaserad och självorganiserad organisation (Agil/Teal) utan chefer (vi leder oss själva och varandra kan man säga) är det också viktigt att vi, när behovet ökar, är fler som kan arbeta med MyNeeds® för att skala den här funktionen när vi växer. Därför har jag och flera intresserade kollegor certifierat oss för att kunna nyttja verktyget i vårt arbete hos kunder, och även inom Dandy People.

I och med en certifiering så får vi göra personliga återkopplingar och analys av individers personliga profil, coacha individer och grupper i att bättre bygga en tillvaro som stödjer deras behov, där de kan nyttja sina och andras perspektiv och motivation bättre. De som även tar organisations-certifieringen kan även bygga spelplaner med alla medarbetares motivation, för ett större systemperspektiv, och stötta chefer och medarbetare att se, förstå och kommunicera och agera utifrån detta i sin organisation, grupp och sitt team.

Mångfald är ett viktigt perspektiv att nyttja för de flesta organisatoner

Vi ser ett stort värde av att skapa mångfald inom organisationer där man nyttjar en mångfald av tankar. Företag vill inte ha team som har grupptänkande, det tar dem inte framåt. När vi lyckas med att skapa diversitet i teamen så möjliggörs ofta ett större flow, mer innovation och bättre resultat för organisationen. Här är MyNeeds® ett ypperligt verktyg att nyttja för att titta på spelplanen hur det ser ut just nu och nyttja de olika psykologiska behoven och perspektiven i skapandet av nya team på ett medvetet sätt. Företag som arbetar aktivt med motivation har 20% högre lönsamhet, 40% lägre frånvaro och 70% färre tillbud.

Kort bakgrund till MyNeeds®

MyNeeds® bygger på den senaste forskningen kring motivation, vilket är väldigt viktigt för oss på Dandy People. Edward L. Deci och Richard M. Ryan är två forskare som undersökt hur motivation fungerar och har gjort forskningen utifrån Self Determination Theory – SDT i över 30 år . SDT består av tre psykologiska behov som är underliggande mekanismer för att känna motivation. Dessa är tillhörighet, kompetens och autonomi – vilka vi också ofta berör och pratar om i det vi gör i våra agila transformationer.

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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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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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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!”



“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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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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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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– And why on earth am I even doing this???

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.

This is me trying on my brand new Stockholm Half Marathon t-shirt. Cool, huh?
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Our health is the most important thing we have. Our health is something that we as people, leaders, colleagues, employees and employers should hold as our highest priority. It is not enough to offer a wellness allowance, there must be room for wellness, reflection and recovery during work hours.

My work causes me both stress, anxiety and feelings of not being enough. And how is it right that I need my private time to compensate for that? I believe that my work hours should include everything I need to be able to do my job in the best possible way. For me, this means that I need space between meetings to process what has been said and time to prepare for the next meeting. I need time alone for my thoughts and reflections to be able to work out the best solution to a problem, create a good setup for the next meeting, or think about how to handle a situation.

As a leader, I owe those that follow me to think before I act. I owe them to be prepared for a meeting, to reflect on situations before I make decisions and think trough how I will handle a conflict. I also need space to learn new things, to read about research and new methods of leadership, team and psychological safety. This is important for me to be able to do my job, in the way that I want to do it.

I also need time when the brain can recover and turn off all impressions and thoughts. Where I have the opportunity to connect to my body that carries me through my work day. For me, it is yoga, which I often practice at lunchtime or before I go home. For you it might be a walk in the park, a horse back ride, a run around the nearby lake or to walk your dog. The important thing is that you know exactly what you need to have a sustainable work situation. Regardless, we all need recovery as part of our work day to be able to get through it, and the next day, and the next.


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Agility is about adapting and delivering value. More and more organisations are discovering that they either need to get on the agile train or fall hopelessly behind. 

Many of them turn to frameworks to adapt agile ways of  working. But what they get is another framework that will sit  on top of  the others and cause more confusion and frustration. What they need is to focus on the real problems like organisation, leadership  and culture. I’m going to use SAFe as an example in this text (there are other frameworks trying to solve this out there but I know more about SAFe).

A framework with a clear hierarchical role chart, process arrows, planning cycles and new roles is a way of satisfying the controlling part of an organisation. And it is exactly this part that we need to remove, if we want to be truly agile. To dare go down the agile road you need trust from leaders and in many organisations that is the exact thing they are lacking. So their own fear of losing control drives them to turn to things their recognize, roles and hierarchy, processes and planning, things that are feeding the controlling needs and is satisfying their own fears.

When introducing a framework like SAFe you are forced to focus on roles and planning cycles instead of culture, organisation and leadership. To get the right people in these roles is not an easy task an one that is impossible if there are no people with an agile mindset in the organisation. When people without agile mindset take on these roles what we get is another gant chart and detailed planning that will not adapt to the changing needs of the customer.


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I was so happy this morning when I found this article in my favourite magazine, the Harvard Business Review. As always all articles are based on research and as many times before I see a strong connection to my work with Agile organization, teams and innovation.

In the fresh research done by ADP research Institute 2019 on employee engagement and published in the Harvard Business Review they discovered the power of well functioning teams and trust to engage employees.

The sad state of Employee Engagement in organizations today where the vast majority of employees globally aren’t fully engaged in their work. This research concludes just as many other before that the engagement level generally is alarmingly low in most organizations – only 16% feel fully engaged in their work and 84% are just coming to work to get their pay check.

The researchers also concludes that the share of employees who are fully engaged more than doubles if they are on teams, and not just any teams but well functioning teams.

The power of trust. As noted the share of employees who are fully engaged more than doubles if they are on a team, and it MORE DOUBLES AGAIN if they strongly trust the team leader.

These are the powerful questions asked in the research

  1. I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
  2. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
  3. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
  4. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
  5. My teammates have my back.
  6. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
  7. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
  8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.


ADP research Institute 2019 and published in the Harvard Business Review. Read the article on HBR here >


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This years State of Agile Report from Version One is out!

The report is based on over 1.300 answers 17% Version One customers. New for this year is that cost reduction is primary driver for Agile change and that respondents are clear on that Dev Ops is VERY important as well as investment is vital for success in scaling Agile.

Biggest obstacles for adopting Agile 2019

  • Organizational culture at odds with Agile values
  • Organizational resistance to to change
  • Inadequate management support and sponsorship

Investment is vital for success in scaling Agile

When asked what has been the most valuable in helping to scale Agile practices the top three responses were “Internal Agile coaches”, “Executive sponsorship”, and “Company-provided training”. All three of these point to a commitment to invest in success. In last years survey, Executive sponsorship ranked fifth, and company provided training did not rank in the top 5.

Version one state of agile report

Looking for a shift towards engagement and empowerment as a driver

I personally hope that moving forward transformation to Agile will be the long term strategy for organizations that want to empower their people and reach really high employee engagement and customer happiness – instead of cost reduction. Two sides of the same coin of course, one long term and one short term. To make this happen we need to support the managers to find the way to create safe environments, restructure the system to create flow and connect people with the purpose enabling them to succeed. If this is what you are looking for in your organization we are happy to join forces with you and support you on this journey as partners.

Read the full report on the State of Agile from Version One here >

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We are exposed to an incredible number of impressions in one day. We are met by advertising on the way to work, pictures on instagrams and ads on facebook, emails about fantastic offers and news from all over the world. At work, we are often met by policies, attitudes, expectations of others and performance reviews. Not being able to sort in this and finding your own meaning and purpose can create stress, uncertainty and a feeling of being overwhelmed. The importance of being able to lead yourself, and others, to create a sustainable lifestyle has never been as big as now.


Your values ​​and your why

I see the personal leadership as something that needs to grow when you find your own values ​​and purpose. “Start with why” was founded by Simon Sinek, he says that organizations need to start by establishing why they exist before they can start talking about how and what they do. It is fully applicable to the personal leadership as well,  you need to find your own “WHY” before you know what to do and how.

To find your own WHY, you first need to know your values. What is most important to me? You can do this by listening inwards, by turning off all impressions and expectations from the outside world. To ignore the template that society is trying to put us all into and listen to yourself. There is much talk about meditation and that it is the only way to listen inward, but I think that when you do something that you love, whether it is to meditate, yoga, paint, walk your dog, ride or run, it is your opportunity to hear your inner voice . The one who says what you really like and value. The key is to listen and above all to trust what that voice is saying. Trust yourself, that you know best what is right for you.

Based on your values, the why is easier to find. My WHY statement is:
“I empower myself and the people around me so we can become the best people that we can be”.

Exercise WHY statement

To write your WHY statement, follow these guidelines:

  • Simple and clear
  • Only one sentence
  • Language you use yourself
  • Work both at work and in private
  • Write several until you find the right one

Safety and learning

To feel that your purpose is being fulfilled and developed, our sense of security and learning is important. The human instincts are the same today as they were in the stone-age and our brain is divided into three motivational systems. The model created by Paul Gilbert consists of the red threat system, the blue drive system and the green soothing system.


The challenge

How do I do a retrospective that feels like a live meeting though we are distributed?

I have recently started working with a new team. We are distributed in two locations with a 7-hour time difference. We have not met in person (yet). We use slack for our daily communication, using it both for text communication and audio calls. In the retrospectives we always use video since it’s so much better to get the feeling of being closer to each other.

My team had a history of using the 4L retrospective technique every sprint for a long time. They used slack video call and confluence for documentation during the meeting.

I wanted to do something different, and I wanted the retro to be as much like a live meeting as possible.

The solution

I read about the Speedboat retro and really wanted to try it, but I was not sure how I could make it work with the team being distributed.

I had a vision of us using an online sticky tool and putting our stickies on the picture of the pirate ship.


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We’re so happy to share our Pattern Cards for Successful Agile Change now also in Spanish! Here you can download the 27 pattern cards for free and use them within your organization or with your clients.

Here you can download the Pattern Cards in Spanish for Free (PDF) >

If you like to get inspiration on how to use the cards you can find out more here and also download the the original English version of the pattern cards >


Spanish Agile Pattern Cards

In our breakfast seminar ”Agile change management” the participants each get a deck of Pattern Cards and are asked to choose the pattern that is most challenging for them right now.

Over 100 people have been asked this question. These are the top 3 challenges:

  1. WIP – limit work in progress
  2. Optimize for flow
  3. Minimal bureaucracy

Wip limit pattern card

What is WIP?

WIP is an acronym for Work In Progress and basically means how many different things are being worked on at the same time.

Many agile methods, like Kanban, strives to limit WIP, to reduce the number of concurrent initiatives.

Why should I limit WIP?

When you have many concurrent initiatives, working on many different things at the same time, you might feel effective, but in truth you are not.


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Équipes multidisciplinaires Agile

x-funktional teamLes équipes multidisciplinaires sont des équipes avec toutes les expertises néecessaires pour créer un produit et le mettre en production. Cependant, il ne suffit pas de rassembler un groupe de personnes différentes et de s’attendre à ce qu’elles agissent en équipe. Ce jeu essaie de montrer les conséquences du maintien d’une expertise et d’un rôle unique par les membres d’une équipe.

X-team silos game french

Instructions Préparatifs

Vous avez besoin de 48 morceaux de lego par jeu et par équipe, et ils doivent être dans 4 couleurs différentes, jaune, blanc, rouge et bleu. (more…)

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I just had the pleasure of buying a new apartment that needed some serious love. I liked the place from first glance and I feel in love. So I went for it, how hard can it be to do a complete makeover? =)

Have I executed complete renovations projects before? No. Do I have the time? Not really. Can I afford to involve a complete team of experts and designers and let them handle the whole renovation completely? Not quite. Do I know exactly what I want and need? I wish.

This reminds me of many agile transformation projects. No previous experience. Big gap between expectations and effort level. And many companies have little to no understanding of what they want and need.


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T-shape is about growing skills in people that might not be in within their core expert competence area. When coaching leaders, teams and organizations we’ve noticed that building T-shape is often a game changer that makes a big impact – but it might sometimes be more tricky than you think.

This is one of the 27 patterns for Successful Agile Change that you can download for free here >

When transforming to an Agile organization we often move from expert teams to cross functional teams. Growing t-shape is a way to enable the cross functional team to collaborate better and it helps them to work as a team instead of a group, meaning solving problems together instead of working as a mini-waterfall within the team. This helps the team become high performance and enables them to innovate and create better solutions.

Resistance to sharing competence and what to do about it

My experience is that organizations that have a strong expert culture may have more difficulties to become T-shape. Since you then might also need to change the culture from a hero culture to a team-playing culture, it can take some time. People might also struggle to keep their expert role since it makes them feel safe and perhaps it has also previously been the only way to make a career, get higher pay as well as also informal power. Changes might then be needed in how the structures are set up around roles and responsibilities before you start the coaching around T-shape.

In many organizations who want to enable high performance teams and T-shape, titels and roles are changed to simply “team members”, and instead we talk about competences, which is your T-shape. As a leader, you could support by help showing how the skill and performance of the team is more important than the expertise of individuals by perhaps celebrating as one team instead of highlighting individual performance.

Different leadership styles for developing skills in employees

In the Harvard Business Review I found this article that describes the research done on leaders and how they grow competence. According to their research there are 4 different leadership styles for developing skills in employees.

The different coaching styles of a leader: (more…)

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Free Pattern cards for Agile Change - 5 new

Our popular free Pattern Cards for successful Agile Change are now updated with 5 more patterns, totally 27 cards.

So far over 500 downloads + handouts of 400 physical printed cards and reports from people using them shows they bring value and enable structured conversations in leadership teams no matter what type of organization.

Free Download of the Pattern Cards For Successful Agile Change (PDF) >

– Stable Teams
– Reflection
– T-shaped People
– Distributed Decision Making
– Impediments Removal

Feel free to download and use them. Here you’ll also find examples of how to use them >


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  1. Idag på Valborgsmässoafton är det tradition att bränna upp det gamla och välkomna in det nya!

Det är i den andan jag själv vill se den artikel som Catrin Brodin tillsammans med ett tjugotal av oss som arbetar med förändringsledning har skrivit. Du hittar artikeln här. Vi sätter sökarljuset på vad som fungerar inom förändringsledning och vad som inte gör det – och helst borde ha slängts på valborgsbrasan redan för många år sen! Några konstigheter är det inte: Bristande stöd från ledningen, otydligt syfte och mål samt underskattning av hur stor insats det krävs för att förändra. Dessa fel återkommer lika envist som Valborgsafton självt.

Även i andra länder där det istället heter Walpurgisnacht eller Saint Walburga’s Eve hittar vi dessa problem. Två internationella undersökningar visar att nyckelfaktorerna för framgångsrik förändringsledning inte skiljer sig åt mycket eftersom det är samma utmaningar vi alla behöver hantera. IBM’s egen undersökning här ovan belyser vikten av ledarskap från de som sponsrar en förändring och en vision som delas av de som påverkas av en förändring. PROSCI som släppt sin Executive Summary of Best Practices – 2018 berättar att det nu är tionde undersökningen i rad där aktivt och synligt stöd för förändring från högsta ledningens sida toppar listan av framgångsfaktorer.

Kan en orsakerna bakom att det ändå brister vara att man underskattar komplexiteten i förändring och tror att det från ledningens sida räcker med att visa sitt stöd vid kick-off? Alla ni som använder agil metodik vet att det är ett ständigt utforskande och omprövande vartefter man lär sig nya saker. Kan det vara bra att ha ledningens stöd även längs med denna krokiga väg och inte bara i början? Dela gärna med dig dina tankar här nedan. Kom gärna och diskutera på något av våra gratis frukostseminarium om Agil Förändringsledning.

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Many times while coaching people we want to be able to quickly give people new perspectives, food for thought and bring people together around shared understandings and common goals. Thats why we created these pattern cards for successful Agile transformation, to enable engaging discussions. Please feel free to download and use them you too if you feel they can help you to create valuable dialogues too.

You can also purchase these decks of cards in our Online Shop >

EDIT: Updated Pattern Cards (May 8) with 5 additional patterns

– Stable Teams
– Reflection
– T-shaped People
– Distributed Decision Making
– Impediments Removal

Free Download of the Pattern Cards For Successful Agile Change (PDF) >

The different cards are visualizing patterns that we have seen to be the most important to succeed with Agile transformation and scaling Agile organizations.

patterns for successful Agile change

Suggestion of how to use the pattern cards

You can probably use them in many different ways. Here is how we have used them with leadership teams most of the times.

Group people in smaller groups, 3-5 people. Give them a time box of 10-15 min to prioritize the 5 cards they find would bring the most value to focus on in the next period (3 – 6 months perhaps). (more…)

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When Agile becomes something for the whole organization leadership needs to adapt to support Agile values and principles. Take the opportunity to give energy and grow a leadership that supports an organization fit for the future. Let’s build an Agile Mindset that can change how leaders act in their daily activities, how they lead people and business, form organizations and governance.

Free Download of the English Agile leadership in a Nutshell poster in High resolution (PDF)

French Translation of this poster >

Portuguese Translation of this poster >

Spanish Translation of this poster >

Italian Translation of this poster >

Turkish Translation of this poster >

Buy printed A1 poster >

EDIT 2021: The poster is now updated to ver 1.2 with some improvements and better connection to transformational leadership and theory X and Y.

This poster is for me a way to visualize key concepts for how to lead with an Agile Mindset. At Dandy People we use it in our Agile coaching and training. We hope you as well can have use for it in your work. Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions on this poster.

To Lead in Complexity

The basis for Agile leadership is that we need to have a leadership that works in complexity – that support flexibility, transparency, collaboration and authonomy to enable the “workers” to make smart tactical and operative decisions to reach well defined impact goals. There are several common leadership concepts that support this kind of leadership;

  • Catalyst Leadership
  • Management 3.0
  • Systems Thinking
  • Servant Leadership

Three leadership Styles

In the poster there are three leadership styles visualized;

  • Catalyst Leadership (Best for Agile)
  • Achiever
  • Expert

The infographic contains numerous of illustrations to visualize some of the behaviours of each leadership style. I believe (without perhaps any support from research) that you can change leadership style to become a Catalyst Leader if  you make this decision, practice and work on it. I also believe that the environment we live and act in shapes how we behave and what we might see as good leadership.

Agile Mindset and what it might mean in Reality

When you understand that Agile actually is a way of thinking, a mindset, and not a process ot tools, it usually unlocks the “next level” in your game. But many leaders might find it quite difficult to put the Agile mindset to practice in reality. What does it really mean for governance? How do we build organizations, create good salary models, plan our projects, grow our staffs knowledge, build teams…? I have covered just a tiny part of that in this poster, the list could go on forever I know.

Need Coaching and Training for Agile Leadership?
Coaching Agile Leadership

If you need help to reshape the leadership in your organization to support your Agile journey, let us know and we’ll happily join forces with you to coach and train your managers and every one else who can become leaders. (more…)

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Many Agile teams are struggling to connect user experience and the design process with Agile ways of working and often Scrum. In this Poster (and post) I´m trying to describe the connection, and how you can collaborate in the team to learn more about user needs and solutions to solve real user problems together. I´ve been using this poster for over a year in my combined PO and UX training (Build the Right Product – Innovation through Collaboration & Design Thinking) and in my Agile coaching.

Download the Agile User Experience in a Nutshell in high resolution (PDF) >

Download in Portuguese >

Download in Spanish >

Download in Turkish >

Buy printed A1 poster >

Agile User Experience in a Nutshell Poster

My hope is that this poster might give some guidance in how User Experience can work in an Agile setup in combination with the posters; Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell and Agile in a Nutshell (with a spice of Lean UX).

What does UX mean?

UX stands for User Experience. Basically, the expected and needed user experience of the service or digital product to meet user and business goals. To connect user needs and business goals is basic when working with user experience, it is basic to meet users and understand who they are – and involve and understand stakeholders. Any team can work with UX as long as they get to do this, and have the methods and processes to do it in a structured and effective way. (more…)

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Great news! The Agile in a Nutshell poster is now also available in Russian thanks to Alexey Krivitsky. Thank you so much Alexey for your help 🙂

This poster has already been downloaded almost 20.000 times only in English since October 2016 when I published it for the first time. Here you find all the other languages that it has been translated to, as well as a free Power Point with the graphics.

Here you can Download the Agile in a Nutshell Russian poster for Free (PDF)Russian agile in a nutshell

All other Agile posters in all languages can be found through the Agile Explained Infographic Collection page >

Here you can visit Alexeys blog (scrum.ua) with the Russian poster as well >

Free to download, use and share

The poster and other content 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 (Chinese is coming soon) 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.

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Last blog I wrote about how we coached and supported the management group to identify next steps in their agile transformation. One of the actions was to change the teams to become Feature teams. Teams who have all needed competences to deliver end customer value.  This blog I will describe how I facilitated the Feature team self selection workshop.

Overall agenda for the workshop

Each step of the workshop is described in a few more words under each heading in the blogpost. I described the overall workshop process with a flip chart that you can see below to make the workshop process easy to understand for all participants.

  • Presentation of Self selection boundaries
  • Product Owner present example deliveries from the backlog
  •  All prepare their own “avatar” with skills
  • Collaboration and self selection
  • Each new team validate towards boundaries
  • Each team identify concerns with their team setup
  • Repeat 4-7 until we reach our goal “Good enough for now, Safe enough to try”
  • Short retrospective

Presentation of Self Selection boundaries

We had a few rules to guide them in their self selection and collaboration efforts to identify Feature teams.;

  • Do what is best for the company
  • Go for teams that is close to equal in size, experience and competence
  • We want self managing teams able to deliver on the example backlog items
  • We want teams who learn how to collaborate and share knowledge to develop as a team over time


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I dag kick-startade vi våra frukostföreläsningar hos oss på Dandy People. Det blev fullt hus med gamla och nya vänner. God stämning och frukost, samt mycket spännande diskussioner med högt i tak. Dagens bästa citat stod nog Benny Forsberg för när det var dags för diskussionerna -“Hur många dörrar kan man slå upp på en morgon egentligen :)”. Lika delar igenkänning, provokation, nya inspirerande lösningar och lyckade exempel verkar vara en bra mix 🙂

Jag håller tummarna för att visioner och goda ideér till förändrat arbetsätt och ledarskap fick näring i dag, och att dom kommer att fortsätta att spira på fler håll i framtiden.

Här är beskrivningen av presentationen:

När kunderna kräver bättre digitala tjänster och produkter behöver företagen hitta nya sätt att organisera sig för att snabbare leverera kundnytta. Gör man inte det riskerar man att bli omsprungen av snabbare konkurrenter. För att lyckas med detta krävs medvetenhet hos ledning och ett strategiskt ledningsbeslut.Den här föreläsningen riktar sig till nyfikna ledare som vill möjliggöra kundfokus och innovation.

Mia går igenom trender och nya tankesätt kring hur man organiserar sig och leder arbetet på ett målstyrt sätt för att mobilisera hjärnkraft med korsfunktionella och autonoma team som snabbare kan leverera rätt produkter och tjänster. Mia visar även modeller för hur organisationer kan arbeta strukturerat med innovation och kundfokus för att välja att bli en haj i stället för en snigel samt riktiga exempel på den här typen av transformation från olika typer av branscher.

Är ni intresserade så kan vi också föreläsa internt hos er på er arbetsplats exklusivt med den här presentationen, eller någon annan inom Agil förändringsledning, ledarskap, Lean UX, produktledning, skalat Agilt arbetssätt, Agil upphandling eller annat ämne som passar er. Kontakta oss enklast här >

Tack alla som deltog, och alla Dandys som högg i och hjälpte till!

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Thanks to Mirko Kleiner at Flowdays the Agile in a Nutshell poster has now been translated to German as well! Hope you find it useful, and thank you so much Mirko for your friendship and help with this!

Here you can Download the German poster for Free as a high-resolution PDF >
AGile in a Nutshell German poster

German Agile in a Nutshell poster

All other Agile posters in all languages can be found through the Agile Explained Infographic Collection page >

Free to download, use and share

The poster and other content 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 (Chinese is coming soon) 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.

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Woho! The Agile in a Nutshell poster has now also been translated to Arabic!
Thank you Ayaha Alassaf for your help to make the translation and making it possible to spread it even more 🙂

This poster has already been downloaded almost 20.000 times only in English since October 2016 when I published it for the first time. Here you find all the other languages that it has been translated to, as well as a free Power Point with the graphics.

Free download of the poster in Arabic here >

Arabic Agile in a Nutshell

All other Agile posters in all languages can be found through the Agile Explained Infographic Collection page >


Free to download, use and share

The poster and other content 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 (Chinese is coming soon) 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.

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The updated version 1.1 of the poster “Agile Change Management in a Nutshell” is now available for free download! This poster is the latest addition to the “In a Nutshell” series!

The Agile Change Management in a Nutshell poster is available for free download here >

Free download: Portuguese >
Free download: Spanish >

Buy printed A1 poster >
You are welcome to share this link and print as many posters as you want.

Free Agile Change Management Poster

While many change management methodologies contain proven methods based on substantial experience and research, not enough is done to cater for the highly complex nature of change where you can’t simply “plan-and-execute” and get it right the first time. An iterative approach with rapid feedback and gradual learning is therefore suggested here.

Similarly, lean or agile methods risk being not deep enough if only focusing on basic PDCA. We want to include best practice in defining the problem to be solved together with assessment of the change capability of the people and organization going through the change. To assert that improvement has happened beyond a shadow of a doubt in a high-variation environments, statistical significance between baseline and new performance data should be established.

At Dandy People we have therefore combined the best parts of both approaches into what we label Agile Change Management and condensed it into one poster. At the center is the Agile Change Process which is made up of an outer circle representing a change that is needed. It contains both a people track and a system track as both dimensions are needed for change to happen quickly and ensure return on investment. The inner circle is the iterative discovery of what actually works in terms of bringing people and system to work in a new and improved way. The poster is based on concepts from Lean, Agile, DMAIC and the Standard by ACMP.

Change Management - Mia o Joel

Free to download, use and share


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Det Agila arbetssättet och kraven på snabba leveranser håller på att förändra UX-rollen till att bli produktdesigner, UX-coacher, dom som vågar säga “vi vet inte – ännu”, organisationsdesigners och dom som faktiskt fokusera på det som skapar en bra användarupplevelse. Läsa hela om du vill veta varför…

  1. Användarnytta har blivit ett krav och “affären” har vaknat till liv

Vi vet att användarna vill ha mer än bara snygga och lättanvända gränssnitt som hjälper en att göra det man vill, i dag är det något man kräver och förväntar sig. Det nya är att företagen kräver att produkten också skapar affärs- eller verksamhetsnytta – och förstår att det måste hänga ihop. Att bara bygga antingen lösningar som användarna vill ha räcker inte, det räcker inte heller att vi bygger det affären beställer. Det gör att UXare inte bara behöver förstå sig på användarnas behov och situation, vi behöver också förstå oss på affären och verksamheten och bli balanskonstnärer där emellan för att hjälpa till att innovera på riktigt och skapa nyttiga, användarvänliga OCH affärsmässigt smarta produkter.
-> Därför behöver User Experience Designer blir Produktdesigners. (more…)

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This is a dialogue board, created to facilitate good discussions around business strategy and tactics in a startup. At Dandy People we are using it to start up our consulting business, but it can be used by any type of organisation, or part of an organisation that wants to improve their customer focus, culture, leadership and take action as a team.

Building in Illustrator

At Dandy people we like to build our new business in a way that involves and inspires the people in our organization. To facilitate the discussions we wanted to have on our first mini-conference 2 months after starting up our shop, and after hiring 2 new people, I did this Lean Business Strategy & Tactics Dialogue Board. Off course we had already done som strategy and tactics work already before we started our company, but we felt that we wanted to be transparent and bring our new Dandys onboard with the idea of the company to enable them to feel as involved and motivated as possible. And off course, they are smart and experienced people, so why shouldn’t they be able to help us improve and grow? And I can just say that it worked like a charm 😀

Free download of the board here (as high resolution PDF) >

The Lean Business Dialogue Board

Feel free to use the board if you want, also we would be happy to facilitate the workshops with you and your team if you feel a need for that. Thats kinda what we do at Dandy People 😀

The board consist of 3 areas:

    • Business Strategy
    • Culture and People
    • Tactics


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The Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell poster that I published a few weeks ago has now been downloaded over 1000 times already, and there has been lots of great feedback. It is so great to see how it is being used all over the world. Now it has been translated to Italian as well thanks to the wonderful Angela Maile. Thank you so much Angela!

You can download the Free Italian poster here in high resolution for great print out (PDF) >

Italian Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell

Here is Angelas blog >

Here you find the original Agile PO poster in English as well >

Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell – Free Poster

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Den Agila upphandlingskonferensen Lyckade upphandlingar
Den 21a februari höll vi vår andra konferens, “Lyckade upphandlingar” för att sprida ljus över hur vi kan upphandla Agil utveckling även inom LOU. Förra våren anordnade vi (agilakontrakt.se) en konferens i Köpenhamn och nu var vi i Stockholm. Vi blev ganska precis 50 taggade personer, både jurister, kunder i offentlig sektor, folk från upphandlingsmyndigheten (yes!), leverantörer och konsulter som hade samlats för att bli inspirerade, dela med sig och ta del av erfarenheter och kunskap kring Agil upphandling.

Först vill jag bara säga att anledningen till att jag engagerar mig i den här frågan inte alls är att jag kan upphandling – eller LOU, men däremot har jag lång erfarenhet av hur man med Lean UX och Agil metodik skapar digitala tjänster och produkter som löser riktiga problem, och det är den möjligheten jag vill skapa – speciellt när det gäller stora komplexa lösningar där det verkar omöjligt för många i dag att göra rätt. Jag ser år ut och år in alldeles för många upphandlingar göras i dag i Sverige där man inte ger projektet eller programmet den möjligheten, möjligheten att hitta och förstå vad de verkliga behoven och problemen är och tillsammans lösa dom. Jag har själv blivit drabbad av den typen av projekt, även lyckats vända ett par av dom till att faktiskt få arbeta Agilt och leverera värde. Men det är frustrerande, väldigt frustrerande, och väldigt, väldigt kostsamt och onödigt. (more…)

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Nyckeln till en lyckad upphandling är ett Agilt upphandlingsförfarande som lägger tonvikten på användarcentrerad utveckling och mätbara effektmål. Så går det tyvärr väldigt sällan till i verkligheten, är du intresserad av att veta mer ska du se filmen, och läsa bloggposten.

Jag har som flera av er säkert vet engagerat mig under ca 2,5 år tillsammans med ett par kollegor för att lyfta frågan kring hur en bra upphandling skulle kunna genomföras inom LOU för att ge möjlighet till bättre leveranser som löser riktiga problem och skapar önskad effekt. Framför allt har det här arbetet inneburit att vi har letat upp ett antal lyckade exempel från offentlig sektor där man har upphandlat Agilt och fått lyckade leveranser i tid och på budget. Det har varit svåra exempel att hitta, både på grund av att dom tyvärr är alldeles (på tok) för få, och att man tydligen inte riktigt känner sig trygg i att berätta HUR man gjorde upphandlingen.

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This is a poster I made for a Agile intro class at Hyper Island Digital Business class 2017 where I and my colleague Per Lundholm was last week. The class was as big as 40 people, and covering from a couple of experts to mostly total novelty, which is usually the most difficult type of situation for a teacher or coach. But it went well, maybe not all thanks to the poster 😉 but it sure made it a lot easier for both me and Per as teachers, as well as the students who could follow more easily as well as take notes.

Free poster on Agile in a Nutshell
Agile in a Nutshell poster - Free download

Free Download of the poster on Agile in a Nutshell here (PDF)

EDIT 1: Due to some companies restricted IT policies the poster is now available directly here in the blogpost and not in Dropbox. Thank you for that feedback!

This poster covers both briefly the background to why we work Agile, some history and problems as well as values and principles. It also covers the difference between waterfall development and Agile in two aspects and the most common Agile practice, basic Scrum. Also I added some Lean practices to the mix to add a more advanced level to it.

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Talare och arrangörer av ACPN 2016

Den här posten är tidigare publicerad på Linked In.

Mitt “WHY” är att jag drivs av att möjliggöra förändring och förbättring hos organisationer, team, individer och produkter. Därför blev jag Crispare för snart 5 år sedan. Nu kan jag sedan 2014 även lägga till att jag drivs av att förändra Sverige. I alla fall hur offentlig upphandling inom LOU görs, och hur man beställer komplexa lösningar.

Dåliga upphandlingar har vi nog alla drabbats av, eller kanske även varit inblandade i. Som leverantörer med beställningar gjorda utan kontext eller tydliga mål, i verksamheten med krav på oss att “fånga alla kraven”, på den interna utvecklingsavdelningen med att försöka få ihop ngt fungerande – eller som privatpersoner i vår vardag. Varför kan vi inte applicera ett Agilt arbetssätt tänkte vi för att förbättra även detta? Och så var det lilla “förändringsprojektet” startat 🙂

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Cross functional teams are complete in expertise but not necessarily collaborative. Sometimes team members hold on to their expertise too much and the team does not perform to its potential. This Lego game illuminates the difference when members allow themselves to take on tasks outside their expertise, being so called T-shaped. Play the game to kick-start your change and create collaboration.

This post was first published on the Crisp blog when Mia Kolmodin was a Crisp consultant.

Collected downloads from this post – updated June 2017
X-team Facilitators Instructions as PDF >
The X team silos game poster in PDF >

Playing the game.


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Next week on april 28th, we’re having the worlds first Nordic conference on Agile Procurement in Copenhagen!

The line up with speakers is extremely interesting. We have real cases from from Denmark, Finland and Sweden where Agile Procurement and Agile Contracts has been used with successful results. With a lot of the cases in the public sector. Also, there will be talks about the Agile contracts and time to mingle and talk to speakers after the sessions.

Conference on Agile Procurement
Key Learnings from the upcoming conference on Agile Procurement and Agile Contracting on April 28th, 2016.

We are starting to see a shift here in Sweden where the public sector as well as the private are starting to procure with Agile methods, but the Agile contracts are rarely being used. This makes it difficult to get the benefit from the Agile requirements process and the Agile development. What I believe is needed to change this is to give access to real success cases within the same field, and to get the lawyers to understand and wanting to try the Agile contracts. This is what the conference is all about.

I hope to see some curious Swedish government agencies on the conference getting inspired from the many great success cases from Denmark and Finland. It can be done, and it will change the outcome of so many projects.

Join us in this great event and spread the word of successful procurement and development of big complex projects!

Book your ticket here, we still have seats left!

Read the full Conference description here >

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Att få bygga, skapa, designa och uppfinna har alltid varit något jag älskar att göra. Egentligen spelar det inte så stor roll vad det är, det roliga är att lösa problem, formulera vad jag vill, komma på vad som gör det bra, skissa och se att det växer fram något efter hand som jag inte kunde föreställa mig innan jag påbörjade arbetet.

Till vardags jobbar jag som kanske bekant för en del, med att coacha inom hur man bygger bygga digitala produkter, oftast Lean UX i Agila Team. Kanske är det därför det kliar lite extra i fingrarna i bland att göra väldigt fysiska produkter 🙂

HiFi prototyp efter några månader från The Game Crafter

LoFi prototyp
LoFi prototyp efter några veckor


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På grund av att många försöker få med “allt” I en IT-upphandling, är det endast 40% av det som byggs som gör nytta i digitala tjänster och produkter. Lean UX hjälper oss att bara bygga de 40% i stället för allt.

Att arbeta med Lean UX är ett bra sätt att kunna identifiera vad vi behöver bygga, och prioritera rätt löpande. Men hur funkar det egentligen med Lean UX och Agila team?

Mina nästa kurser inom ämnet under våren 2016: https://crisp.se/kurser/kurstyper/product-discovery-med-lean-ux

Jeff Gothelfs kurs för managers i Lean UX som kommer under våren 2016: https://crisp.se/kurser/kurstyper/lean-ux-in-the-enterprise

Upphandling med Lean UX och Agila kontrakt för upphandling med minskad waste: https://crisp.se/kurser/kurstyper/certifierad-agil-bestallare

Vill du att jag kommer och föreläser på ditt företag, eller hos din kund? Hör av dig!

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I dag har jag varit på UX Open tillsammans med ca 300 andra UXare. Vi har diskuterat och delat med oss av erfarenheter. Det har varit givande och roligt.

Kul häng på UX open :)
Kul häng på UX open 🙂

Den här posten handlar om den workshop som jag och Anette Lovas från Expressen höll med 30 nyfikna personer. Vi gjorde två olika övningar som bygger på metodiken upplevelsebaserat lärande, och syftet var att skapa en förståelse för varför vi behöver arbeta Agilt och med Lean UX. Vi gör övningar för att simulera en situation och möjliggöra en upplevelse som vi sedan diskuterar ikring. Dessa två övningar var Sommarängen, och en övning som vi kallar “Simple, Complicated and Complex”. Här beskriver jag hur dessa övningar fungerar och varför du ska göra dom. Gör det gärna med kunder, utvecklingsteam, ledningsgrupper och chefer, på utbildningar, möten eller workshops. Jag har lånat övningarna av mina Crispkollegor som har kommit på dom.

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Hur något som egentligen är så självklart kan komma som en aha-upplevelse är en gåta – även för mig som jobbar med det dagligen. För ett litet tag sedan höll jag en utbildning i upphandling och kravställning, “Certifierad Agil Beställare”, efter utbildningen sa en av deltagare att den största aha-upplevelsen var insikten att vi ska göra en bra “behovsställan” i stället för kravställan för att lyckas med upphandlingen och inte styra in på detaljerade lösningar. Det var ju så självklart! Att jag inte har sett det förut?

I den stunden myntades ett nytt begrepp – “behovsställan”.

Insikten hade hon fått genom att vi hade gjort övningar i att gemensamt definiera målgrupper med gemensamma behov, och sedan titta på vilka dom behoven var genom att göra user journeys. Insikten att vi definierar befintliga beteenden och hittar problem som utgångspunkt i upphandlingen gjorde stor skillnad i att förstå att en lyckad upphandling måste vara en upphandling som utgår från behov och löser riktiga problem för riktiga användare.

Ett skifte som många behöver göra

Ofta när jag jobbar på produktföretag, oavsett storlek, så ser jag att just detta är är ett skifte som behöver göras. Många företag fokuserar direkt på vad lösningen är genom att beskriva en detaljerad lösning, i stället för att först titta på VARFÖR och för VEM, vad är behovet och vilka problem ska vi lösa? Har vi inte förstått vad problemet är och för vem, så kan vi inte heller hitta den rätta lösningen. Det faktiska utförandet av lösningen bör ligga i teamet, och inte hos beställaren, det är dom som har kunskapen och verktygen att bygga lösningen på rätt sätt, beställaren bör fokusera på att man bygger rätt sak.

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Föreläsning om Agila kontrakt i ALmedalenJust nu packar jag och fixar det sista inför avfärden till Almedalen, mitt första besök på den omtalade politikerveckan. Det ska bli oerhört spännande. Vad ska jag göra där då? Jo, jag och Mattias Skarin, samt Tomer Shalit, som alla brinner för att förbättra världen genom Agil upphandling med Agila kontrakt, ska prata under söndagen på talarplats Hamngatan/Korsgatan kl 10.00 – 11.00, på temat “Skapa effektiv offentlig sektor med Agila kontrakt”. Det här blir en grym avslutning på en vår med många frukostföreläsningar hos olika företag och myndigheter på samma tema, vi lyckades också få till en interpellation i Riksdagen där Statsrådet Ardalan Shekarabi (s) tog beslutet att upphandlingsmyndigheten ska utreda införande av Agila kontrakt. Vi har också haft vår första utbildning på samma tema, “Certifierad Agil Beställare”. Vi har så här långt märkt att ämnet är glödande hett, så mer kommer att komma under hösten. Här kan du läsa mer om utbildningen och anmäla dig >

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Target Group: ScrumMasters, Agile Project Managers, Agile Coaches, and aspiring coaches, Product Owners, Business Analysts, and anyone with the desire to explore the power of facilitation. (Req. at least six months of hands-on agile experience)
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