Etikettarkiv: Agile

Bob Emiliani on Scientific Management and Toyota Management

Bob Emiliani

Bob Emiliani is a professor of Lean Management. Here is his post on the historical parallels between Scientific Management 100 years ago and Toyota Management today.

People flocked to Scientific Management to become consultants. They would then install something similar in appearance to Scientific Management. Soon an efficiency movement was born, which installed dilutions of Scientific Management.

Similarly people became aware of Toyota’s Production System (TPS) in the 1970s. Interestingly, most studied the technical aspects of TPS, but not the human aspects. Soon a small army of consultants started to sell TPS tools. TPS is seen as a production system. Yet, TPS was Toyota’s management system. In 1988, the term Lean production was introduced. This resulted in a huge army of consultants and the Lean movement was born, which implemented dilutions of TPS.

Business leaders are devoted to finding the latest tools that help them achieve short-term gains. Consultants are more than happy to help, regardless of whether the movement is called Lean, Agile, or something else.

Here are Bob Emiliani’s recent blog posts.

 

 

Organizing in between and beyond

This is the first post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here.

The last chapter in Science, Order, and Creativity by David Bohm and F. David Peat is about ”the order between and beyond”.1 Bohm and Peat write that most attempts to find order, say a new theory, involve searching for a position between two theories.2 Physics faced this situation at the end of the 19th century when it was discovered that Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory didn’t accord with Newton’s classical mechanics. At first physicists tried to make the theories fit together in an order ”between.”3 It wasn’t until Einstein developed his theories of relativity that an order ”beyond” was discovered. Today, there’s a search for an order ”beyond” Einstein’s theories of relativity and quantum mechanics.

My point is that there’s a similar need to search for an order ”beyond” our traditional ways of organizing work. Many different approaches have been developed over the years. They all have different names — e.g., Lean, Agile, Holacracy, etc — and are often accompanied with a whole industry offering tools, training, consulting, certification, and other products and services. The problem, as I see it, is that most of these approaches are examples of what I would call organizing ”in between.”

A recent example is the attempt to combine Agile with Sociocracy. This is said to be ”a way to create alignment between Agile ecosystems and the business needs of strong leadership and a clear hierarchy.”4 Well, maybe? I have questioned the assumptions here. Neither Agile, nor Sociocracy, can be said to be totally satisfying. And I don’t think that the solution lies in combining strong hierarchical leadership with sociocratic participatory policy decision-making. This is, in my view, an example of organizing ”in between.” What is necessary is to move to an organizing ”beyond,” which transcends, in this case, the compromise between strong hierarchical leadership and sociocratic decision making on policies.

I don’t know how the organizing ”beyond” looks like. What I do know is that it will contain both leadership and decision making, yet move ”beyond” the limits of both. My search for better ways of working together continues.

Here is the next post in the series. Here are all posts.

Notes:
1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), pp. 275–314.
2 Ibid., p. 308.
3 Ibid..
4 Pieter van der Meché, Jens Coldewey, Hendrik Esser, and Anders Ivarsson (contributor), Decision Making Systems Matter (The Agile Alliance, 2016), p. 1 (accessed 2016-07-20).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts
Is sociocracy agile?

Is sociocracy agile?

Decision Making Systems Matter is an interesting article by Pieter van der Meché, Jens Coldewey, and Hendrik Esser, with Anders Ivarsson as additional contributor. The article is funded by the Agile Alliance and is a Supporting Agile Adoption publication. The authors describe how combining ”Agile with ideas from Sociocracy provides … a way to create alignment between Agile ecosystems and the business needs of strong leadership and a clear hierarchy”.1 The article gives excellent insights into sociocracy and is well worth reading! Pieter van der Meché has over 20 years of experience in sociocracy.2

Pictures from the article (from left to right): Pieter van der Meché, Jens Coldewey, and Hendrik Esser.

The assumptions in the article are 1) that ”a clear hierarchy and strong leadership” are required to achieve ”speed and control (coordination)” and 2) that ”policies … ensure alignment”.3 My question is whether ”strong hierarchical leadership and strong participatory [policy] decision making”4 contributes to agility? It’s possible, of course, that agreements on policies — which are defined as ”general agreements on the what, when, how and who”5 — can increase the speed. But a strong focus on policies can also become rigid. It’s as if sociocracy, for the sake of control, values policies and following a plan — the ”what, when, how, and who” — over responding to change.6

While a sociocratic organization certainly values individuals and interactions, it’s also policy-driven, which easily leads to a focus on process-discipline.7 Sociocratic leadership is furthermore ”conductor-like”.8 The idea is that you as the leader should coordinate (control) your team like ”a conductor of an orchestra”.9 It’s self-evident that you as a strong hierarchical leader value control over participation. What if the team can coordinate itself? (Here is an example of collaborative leadership in a conductorless orchestra.) And what if the challenge isn’t primarily to ensure ”alignment throughout the hierarchy”10 but to nurture collaboration throughout the organization?11

So, is sociocracy agile? I’d say no. It depends, of course, on what you mean by agile. My impression is that sociocracy values policies and control over people and collaboration. While there is value in the latter, sociocracy values the first more.12And, yes, decision making systems matter! But why limit participatory decision making to policy decisions only?13 It’s as if sociocracy doesn’t take the full consequences of participatory decision making.

Notes:
1 Pieter van der Meché, Jens Coldewey, Hendrik Esser, and Anders Ivarsson (contributor), Decision Making Systems Matter (The Agile Alliance, 2016), p. 1 (accessed 2016-07-20).
2 Ibid., p. 14.
3 Ibid., p. 7.
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..
6 Agile values ”responding to change over following a plan”. See the Agile Manifesto. There are similarities between sociocratic policies (what, when, how and who) and plans.
7 Agile also values ”Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. See the Agile Manifesto. The focus on policies easily leads to a focus on process-discipline, i.e., define the policies and processes (albeit in a participatory way!) and make sure people follow them.
8 Pieter van der Meché, Jens Coldewey, Hendrik Esser, and Anders Ivarsson (contributor), Decision Making Systems Matter (The Agile Alliance, 2016), p. 8 (accessed 2016-07-20).
9 Ibid..
10 Ibid., p. 10.
11 It’s an Agile principle that business people and development teams must work together daily. See the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto.
12 This is a paraphrase of the Agile Manifesto. The crucial question here is which values are given precedence over others.
13 Elections of people to roles and responsibilities are allocations of resources and thus policy decisions. See The three principles in Sociocracy, Wikipedia (accessed 2016-08-02).

Updates:
2016-07-24: Pictures of authors added. Questions added. Text and notes updated.
2016-07-26: Questions updated. Text updated. Related post added.
2016-08-01: Middle section split into two parts.
2016-08-02: Note added. Minor changes in the text.

Related posts:
Principles for collaborative leadership
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Agile software development in the 1970s

Here is Dee Hock’s own story of the development of VISA’s first electronic authorization system (BASE 1) which was launched in 1973.

We were determined that the needs of our members and cardholders would be served, not the needs of technology or vendors. That required internal responsibility. We decided to become our own prime contractor, farming out selected tasks to a variety of software developers, then coordinating and implementing results.1

Swiftly, self-organization emerged. An entire wall became a pin board with every remaining day calendared across the top. Someone grabbed an unwashed coffee cup and suspended it on a long piece of string pinned to the current date. Every element of work to be done was listed on scraps of paper with the required completion date and name of the person who had accepted the work. Anyone could revise the elements, adding tasks or revising dates, providing they coordinated with others affected.2

Each day, the cup and string moved inexorably ahead. Every day, every scrap of paper that fell behind the grimy string would find an eager group of volunteers to undertake the work required to remove it. To be able to get one’s own work done and help another became a sought-after privilege.3

Leaders spontaneously emerged and reemerged, none in control, but all in order. Ingenuity exploded. People astonished themselves at what they could accomplish and were amazed at the suppressed talents emerging in others. Position became meaningless. Power over others became meaningless.4

A few who could not adjust to the diversity, complexity, and uncertainty wandered away. Dozens volunteered to take their place. No one articulated what was happening. No one recorded it. No one measured it. But everyone felt it, understood it, and loved it. The dirty string was never replaced and no one washed the cup. “The Dirty Coffee Cup System” became legendary—a metaphor within the company for years to come. The BASE 1 system came up on time, under budget, and exceeded all operating objectives.5

Notes:
1 Dee Hock, One From Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization, (Berrett-Koehler, 2005), p. 172.
2 Ibid., p.173.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid., p. 174.

Related posts:
Dee Hock in his own words
Dee Hock on control
Dee Hock on rules

What if control is inappropriate?

My conclusion after having read Brian Robertson’s new book on Holacracy and Gerard Endenburg’s first book on Sociocracy is that neither Holacracy nor Sociocracy replace Command & Control (C&C). Both use C&C within limits.

This triggered feedback from Holacracy people that the Lead Link Role doesn’t manage day-to-day work and doesn’t manage others, but that there is definitely control in Holacracy. All Roles ”have the authority to control and regulate” their own Domains (Holacracy Constitution v4.1, 1.4 Authority Over Domains). There is definitely control in Sociocracy too.

My follow-up question is: What if control in itself is inappropriate?

Here is an interesting article on The ”Command and Control” Military Gets Agile by Daniel Mezick, which contains references to writers within the military who challenge control themselves. Key points are that complex situations cannot be controlled, and control is in fact an emergent property, not an option to be selected. Here are a few quotes:

The word “control” is inappropriate … because it sends the wrong message. It implies that complex situations can be controlled, with the implication that there is the possibility of an engineering type solution. … But this is a dangerous oversimplification. The best that one can do is to create a set of conditions that improves the probability that a desirable (rather than an undesirable) outcome will occur and to change the conditions when what is expected is not occurring. Control is in fact an emergent property, not an option to be selected. … The argument that … commanders in the military or… management in industry do not have control creates cognitive dissonance. Nevertheless, this is undoubtedly the case. The widespread belief that we have control is merely an illusion, and a dangerous one at that. The literature on complex adaptive systems explains why the notion of control as a verb is misguided.1

…any Complex Adaptive System…cannot be controlled or ruled: a CAS will simply find ways of working around the rules if the context in which it formed remains viable. … The basis of these … systems of working … are based upon very simple trusts — not rules …
Essentially, the tension is … between trusts and rules.
2

Attempts to control complex systems … tend to be pointless at best or destructive at worst.3

And here are quotes from some non-military references:

For life, where freedom of choice in acting exists, control and prediction is impossible, attempts to control are destructive to life and lead to chaos. If we examine the causes of our failing institutions, it is easy to show that attempts to control them, violating normal processes of life, makes them fail.4

We talk and write about leaders and managers being in control of organizations. In the reality of our experience, however, no one can control the interplay of intentions, because they cannot control what everyone else in every other organization is choosing and doing. Consequently, no one can choose or be in control of what happens.5

For nearly three centuries we have worked diligently to structure society in accordance with that concept, believing that with ever more reductionist scientific knowledge, ever more specialization, ever more technology, ever more efficiency, ever more linear education, ever more rules and regulations, ever more hierarchal command and control, we could learn to engineer organizations in which we could pull a lever at one place, get a precise result at another, and know with certainty which lever to pull or for which result. Never mind that human beings must be made to behave as cogs and wheels in the process.6

Notes:
1 David S. Alberts, The International C2 Journal | Vol 1, No 1, 2007, pp. 15—16.
2 Simon Reay Atkinson & James Moffat, The Agile Organization: From Informal Networks to Complex Effects and Agility, pp. 5—6, 7.
3 Stanley McChrystal, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, (Penguin, 2015), p. 68.
4 Norm Hirst, Towards a Science of Life as Creative Organisms, (Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 4, nos. 1-2, 2008), p. 93.
5 Ralph Stacey, Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change / Gervase R. Bushe & Robert J. Marshak, editors, (Berett-Koehler, 2015), p. 153.
6 Dee Hock, One From Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization, (Berrett-Koehler, 2005), p. 37

Related posts:
The big misconception in sociocracy
Dee Hock on control
Harrison Owen on control
Fritz Perls on control
The phenomenology of sociocracy
Traditional vs. Sociocratic vs. Holacratic Command & Control
Holacracy vs. Sociocracy
Book Review: Holacracy by Brian Robertson
Book Review: Sociocracy by Gerard Endenburg
The phenomenology of sociocracy
Machines are allonomic, living organisms are autonomic
Autognomics: Radical Self-Knowing
Self-organization is the real operating system
Emergence is simply what life does
Empowerment is a red herring
Pre-conditions for self-organization
What if the organization is a living system?
Carl Rogers on person-centered leadership

Scrum vs. Sociocracy

Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing software projects. Sociocracy is a method for equivalent, effective, and transparent self-governance in organizations. They are surprisingly coherent and complementary. Sociocracy’s focus is on the governance of the whole organization, while Scrum’s focus is on the project management. Here’s a comparison between them:

  • Scrum is built on an empirical process control model. Sociocracy is too.
  • Scrum has a Scrum Master. Sociocracy has a Facilitator.
  • Scrum has Scrum teams. Sociocracy has Circles.
  • Scrum keeps everything about a project visible to everyone. Transparency is important to Sociocracy too.
  • Scrum makes obstacle removal an objective. Sociocracy too.
  • Scrum has daily Scrum meetings. Sociocracy has not.
  • Sociocracy has double links between teams. Scrum has not.
  • Scrum is different. Sociocracy is too.
  • Scrum requires courage. Sociocracy too!

Scrum can learn from Sociocracy how to turn a whole organization dynamic and agile. What can Sociocracy learn from Scrum?

Related posts:
Sociocracy requires a new mindset
Sociocratic principles can be implemented in many ways
Sociocracy is a method, and still it isn’t
Implementing sociocracy without sociocracy
Sociocracy as practiced by the G/wi
Policies vs. agreements
Scaling sociocracy is all about the context
Unspoken sociocratic principles
Cultural dimensions of sociocracy
A prerequisite for sociocracy is a socios
Holacracy vs. sociocracy
The phenomenology of sociocracy
Are Holacracy and sociocracy Teal?
The big misconception in sociocracy
Is Sociocracy an empty method?

Related posts in Swedish:
Holakrati, holokrati och sociokrati
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 1)?
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 2)?
Sociokrati är som permakultur, fast för människor
Sociokrati är som en skogsträdgård
Kurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod, som sociokrati bygger på
En historisk tillbakablick på kväkarnas beslutsmetod
Sociokratibok: Idag publiceras boken
Några tankar om sociokrati
Min gästblogg på #skolvåren: Att organisera oss rätt

Hur få en organisation att bli agil?

En fråga som jag funderar över är hur vi på ett bättre sätt kan arbeta tillsammans. Med bättre menar jag ett mer människovänligt sätt. Och med människovänligt menar jag ett sätt som ger den enskilde individen möjlighet att fullt ut ”komma till sin rätt”. Detta är inte enbart en fråga om respekt för den enskilda individen. Jag är övertygad om att om människorna i en organisation mår bra så mår också organisationen bra. Ja, jag är t.o.m. övertygad om att våra organisationer skulle kunna fungera mycket bättre än vad de gör idag om vi övergick från det traditionellt hierarkiska sättet att leda våra organisationer, där ”chefen bestämmer”, till ett där alla medarbetare har möjlighet att vara med och påverka. Med tiden har jag blivit övertygad om att om vi på allvar vill förbättra effektiviteten i våra organisationer så behöver vi släppa våra medarbetare fria. Det talas mycket om processorientering, lean, agile, osv. – men detta är, som jag ser det, ytterst en fråga om frihet. Och därför är detta en fråga om djup demokrati, eller mer specifikt, sociokrati.

Jag blev intresserad när jag första gången hörde talas om sociokrati förra året. Sociokrati bygger på att alla medarbetare ges möjlighet att säga ”nej” till beslut som berör dem.  Det är inte bara det att en medarbetare har möjlighet att säga ”nej”, utan det är t.o.m. så att ett ”nejvälkomnas. Det gör det nämligen möjligt att fatta bättre beslut! Det säger sig självt att detta på ett dramatiskt sätt förändrar dynamiken i en organisation. Det skapar delaktighet och engagemang, men kräver också mod. Om du som medarbetare inte är van vid att bli lyssnad på så kan det till en början kännas ovant att göra sin röst hörd. Min övertygelse är däremot att alla människor, utan undantag, vill bli lyssnade på.

Nästa avgörande innovation inom sociokrati är att kopplingen mellan arbetsgrupper, sk. kretsar, består av två personer, sk. dubbla länkar. Den ena personen har ansvar för att representera den ena gruppen i den andra, och vice versa. Detta gör att informationsflödet mellan arbetsgrupperna är dubbelriktad. I en traditionell hierarkisk organisation går ”ordergivningen” uppifrån-och-ner. I en sociokratiskt styrd organisation ser dynamiken helt annorlunda ut. De dubbla länkarna och möjligheten att säga ”nej” till dåliga beslut gör att feedback är inbyggd i organisationsstrukturen. Det om något gör organisationen dynamisk, flexibel och lättrörlig/agil. Och därmed effektiv.

Det talas mycket om ”agile” nu för tiden. Om du är intresserad av hur man kan få en hel organisation att bli agil bör du ta dig en titt på sociokrati! Mer information om sociokrati finns på sociokrati.se.

Scrum’s big brother

John Buck writes in Dynamic Governance (Sociocracy) is Scrum’s Big Brother that agile principles are parallel to many sociocratic principles and patterns. Both agile and sociocracy reminds me of Dee Hock. He was way ahead of his time in contemplating what biology, chaos and complexity theory could teach us in business. See Dee Hock in his own words.

Related links:
Meet Scrum’s Big Brother, Dynamic Governance by Dan LeFebvre & John Buck (slideshare, pdf)

Three faces of power

I am convinced that we need to change existing power structures in order to achieve organizational democracy. An example are the struggles we see with scaling agile software development to the whole organization. This is ultimately a question of changing the power distribution.

Kenneth E. Boulding defines the three faces of power as:

  1. Threat Power – “Do something I want or I’ll do something you don’t want
  2. Exchange Power – “Give me something I want and I’ll give you something you want
  3. Integrative Power – “I’m going to do what I believe is right, something authentic, and we will end up closer

Great results happen when

Great results happen when:

  1. People know why they are doing their work.
  2. Organizations focus on outcomes and impacts rather than features.
  3. Teams decide what to do next based on immediate and direct feedback from the use of their work.
  4. Everyone cares.

Notes: This is from a workshop in London in February 2013 with ”thought leaders” such as Gojko Adzic, Mary Poppendieck, Jeff Patton, Ingrid Domingues, and others.

 

Scaling Agile @ Spotify

Henrik Kniberg and Anders Ivarsson have written an interesting paper on Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds. The organizational setup of the teams is very interesting. Since I’m currently reading We the People by John Buck and Sharon Villines on dynamic self-governance, I’m wondering if the structure of Chapters & Guilds could have been replaced by a doubly linked circle organization instead? It’s just a thought for the time being. I’m not sure what the pros and cons would have been? Instinctively, I don’t like matrix organizations. It adds an extra dimension of complication which I think should be avoided. Double linking seems to be a more straightforward approach. But again, I don’t really know (yet).

Dynamic Self-Governance

Here is a short video clip on Dynamic Self-Governance for Businesses. Dynamic Self-Governance, or Sociocracy, is a practical way to run a company or organization. It builds upon the core values of transparency, consent, and equal value. It gives everyone an informed voice transforming the organization to become more:

  • Decentralized
  • Empowering
  • Resilient
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Adaptive

This is really a way to turn a whole organization Agile. It would be an interesting experiment to combine Dynamic Self-Governance with Agile software development. If you have experience of it, please let me know! I am very interested.

The anatomy of the agile organization is circular

Janne Korhonen has written a post on the anatomy of the agile enterprise. His message is that the future of governance is circular. I fully agree. What he does is to describe the dynamic governance structure which is based on the circle organization. I think he is absolutely right because the circular shape is central not only to sociocracy, but also to Large Group Methods such as Open Space Technology and The Circle Way, just to mention a few. I think this is what the shift in management thinking really is about – a movement from pyramids to circles. Do not let the simplicity of this metaphor fool you. We are talking about a fundamental shift in perspectives – from hierarchical pyramids to egalitarian circles, from centralized leadership in the top to distributed leadership everywhere. The circular form is absolutely necessary because it enables us to move towards whole-organizational agility. It is simply not possible to be agile in a pyramid. Only circles can do the job.

Related posts:
Sociocracy requires a new mindset
Scrum vs. Sociocracy
Sociocratic principles can be implemented in many ways
Sociocracy is a method, and still it isn’t
Implementing sociocracy without sociocracy
Sociocracy as practiced by the G/wi
Policies vs. agreements
Scaling sociocracy is all about the context
Unspoken sociocratic principles
Cultural dimensions of sociocracy
A prerequisite for sociocracy is a socios

Related posts in Swedish:
Holakrati, holokrati och sociokrati
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 1)?
Hur införa sociokrati i en organisation (del 2)?
Sociokrati är som permakultur, fast för människor
Sociokrati är som en skogsträdgård
Kurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod, som bygger på att nå enighet kring beslut
En historisk tillbakablick på kväkarnas beslutsmetod
Sociokratibok: Idag publiceras boken
Några tankar om sociokrati
Min gästblogg på #skolvåren: Att organisera oss rätt

Holakrati, holokrati och sociokrati


Carl Blomberg, som driver bloggen Agil HR, twittrade häromdagen om Holacracy at Adscale Laboratories: Agile for the Entire Organization. Det väckte min uppmärksamhet och fick mig att titta närmare på holakrati (eng holacracy). Jag googlade och hittade en introduktion till holakrati skriven av upphovsmannen Brian Robertson själv. Man kan säga att holakrati är ett sätt att strukturera och leda en organisation. Regelverket finns beskrivet i Holakrati-konstitutionen. Det som gör mig intresserad är att jag i holakratin ser ett möjligt sätt att tillämpa ett agilt synsätt på en hel organisation.

Det som däremot gör mig tveksam är att holakrati är så regelstyrt. Det finns en gräns, anser jag, för hur långt man kan gå i att styra människor med regler. Jag noterar också att Holacracy® är ett registrerat amerikanskt varumärke som ägs av företaget HolacracyOne. Jag tycker att holakrati som ord är alldelses för likt holokrati (med ”o”), som betyder universell demokrati. Dessutom har företaget lämnat in en patentansökan på ”metoden att strukturera och styra ett företag” (patentansökan nr US2009006113). Patentansökan innehåller 19 patentkrav. Patentet har inte har beviljats. Syftet med varumärket och patentansökan sägs vara att man vill kvalitetssäkra utbildning och konsultjänster i holakrati, men det handlar naturligtvis också om att man vill kunna sälja certifiering och  licenser till användare av metoden.

Det faktum att holakrati är varumärkesskyddat i USA fick mig att söka vidare. Det jag har förstått är att holakrati till stor del bygger på sociokrati, som utvecklades av holländaren Gerard Endenburg under 1970-talet. Det kan också vara skälet till att holakrati-patentet inte har beviljats. Nyhetsvärdet och uppfinningshöjden i holakrati är helt enkelt för låg jämfört med sociokrati.

Relaterade inlägg:
Sociokrati är som permakultur, fast för människor
Sociokrati är som en skogsträdgård
Kurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod, som sociokrati bygger på
En historisk tillbakablick på kväkarnas beslutsmetod
Sociokratibok: Idag publiceras boken
Några tankar om sociokrati
Min gästblogg på #skolvåren: Att organisera oss rätt

Relaterade inlägg på engelska:
Sociocracy requires a new mindset
Scrum vs. Sociocracy
Sociocratic principles can be implemented in many ways
Sociocracy is a method, and still it isn’t
Implementing sociocracy without sociocracy
Sociocracy as practiced by the G/wi
Policies vs. agreements
Scaling sociocracy is all about the context
Unspoken sociocratic principles
Cultural dimensions of sociocracy
A prerequisite for sociocracy is a socios
Book Review: Holacracy by Brian Robertson
Book Review: Sociocracy by Gerard Endenburg
Holacracy vs. Sociocracy
The big misconception in sociocracy

Mjukvaruutveckling är ett samarbetsspel

Tommy Bryntse har gått en tvådagarskurs i Advanced Agile. Syftet med kursen var att ge djupare förståelse i ämnet. Lärare var Alistair Cockburn. Det är intressant läsning.

En metafor som användes under kursen är att se på mjukvarutuvecklings som ett samarbetsspel. Spelet har två mål (skeppa fungerande mjukvara, förbered nästa steg) och tre drag (uppfinna, bestämma och kommunicera). Eftersom det är ett samarbetsspel är samarbete det viktigaste. Under samarbetet byggs tyst kunskap upp vlket gör det störande att ta bort, lägga till eller byta ut spelare. Om teamet är större eller geografiskt utspritt behövs mer infrastruktur. Allt som hindrar informationsflödet sänker farten. Allt detta kan tyckas självklart, men tål att betonas.

Tommy tar upp fler matnyttiga tankar i sin artikel, t ex kring färdighetsnivåer och mjukvaru-hantverket. Läs den.

I’m not an agilist, I’m a human being

Jurgen Appelo says in his latest blog I Don’t Care About Agile that he will use any cool words that can help him ”to be happy while learning new things and creating value in a network with other people”. That’s a pretty cool goal. My interpretation then is that Jurgen is more of an optimist than an agilist. What am I then? I tried with ”I’m not an agilist, I’m a humanist”, but when I checked with Wikipedia I realized that being a humanist can mean many things, some of which I’m not. For example I’m not a scholar in the Humanities.

What caught my eyes though was humanistic psychology which ”adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and human potential”. I like that. However, I cannot say that I’m a humanistic psychologist either, because I’m not a psychologist.

What I ended up with is this: I’m not an agilist, I’m a human being. My goal is to find out how we can turn human potential into reality in our businesses. Agile software development is a step in that direction. The Stoos Network is another.  No Fear – The Community a third. I’m sure there are others too.

The management view of agile

Craig Smith refers to a series of articles by Steve Denning and asks in his article The Management View of Agile whether agile adoption is being stifled by traditional management because they are unaware or more because they are unwilling? Or is it maybe, as Chris Goldsbury puts it, because they are ”…unconvinced, undecided, unsure of the benefits…”? To convince yourself you need to try, and to try you need courage.

Behövs nya principer för Agile?

I ett tidigare inlägg har jag tagit upp frågan vad som kommer efter Scrum och undrat om det finns anledning att uppdatera principerna för Agile? David Joyce menar att det inte behövs något nytt manifest för Agil systemutveckling, men listar i Agile for Executives några ytterligare principer som han använder för att utmana tänkandet hos chefer:

  • Gör framsteg med bristfällig information
  • Fostra en förtroendefull (företags)kultur
  • Utveckla förmågan att svara på händelseutvecklingen
  • Hantera pågående arbete som en belastning istället för en tillgång
  • Svara snabbare med ökad förutsägbarhet och förbättrade ledtider
  • Kunskapsarbete är förgängligt
  • Skapa återkopplingar som ökar anpassnings- och utvecklingsförmågan
  • Anamma en hantverksetik och åstadkom kvalitet genom yrkesstolthet

 

 

Does Agile Change Management Thinking?

David Joyce asks wheher Agile, Lean, and Kanban change management thinking? The answer is no, not really! Lack of management understanding has actually hindered Agile to become as successful as it could have been. For some reason management doesn’t seem to get it. People have told David that “managers still want us to be seen as busy all the time”, or “management has promised it will be delivered on a certain date without consulting us”. David’s conclusion is that it’s the underlying assumptions about the design and the management of the work that need to be changed. I agree.