Beyond Agile Practices

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Beyond Agile Practices Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming Where Did We Go Wrong? Troy Tuttle, KCP Principal Consultant, Owner KanFlow.com troy@kanflow.com @troytuttle Rate This Talk! http://spkr8.com/t/31661

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Challenges to Agile Adoption or Transformation Silent Brainstorm on index cards: In phrases (1 to 5 words) describe your current or past Agile adoption challenges. What is preventing “Agile Success?”

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Sad Clown Agile Quotes https://flic.kr/p/8M3zKf “Lack of executive commitment” “Our culture doesn’t support Agile” “Inconsistent or missing retrospectives” “Command and Control never left” “Started with a tool instead of a mindset” “Reverted to old habits when the coach left”

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War Stories “Cargo Cult Agile” Many 1st generation Agile attempts simply installed recipes Recipes lead to Cargo Cult Agile

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The Practice and Theory Imbalance Practice Theory Release Planning Iterations Retrospectives Planning Poker Continuous Integration ?

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Introducing Systems Thinking Russell Ackoff, Systems Thinker http://youtu.be/OqEeIG8aPPk

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What is a System? A system is a set of parts where: The behavior of each part has an effect on the behavior of the whole The behavior of the parts are interdependent Each part has an effect on the behavior of the whole and none has an independent effect on it

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What is a System? The performance of a system is never the sum of the performance of its parts; it’s a product of their interactions. - Dr. Russ Ackoff

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Systems Thinking PO / Analysts Developers QA Corporate Structure What about individual performance reviews?

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Systems Thinking “To optimize the whole, we must sub-optimize the parts.” If we optimize the parts of the system, we will sub-optimize the whole. - W. Edwards Deming

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A Particular System Condition Microsoft’s Stack Ranking System … 20 – 70 – 10 rule - Vanity Fair: “Microsoft’s Lost Decade” Aug. 2012 How many system conditions are misattributed to “team dysfunctions”? (Google “Microsoft stack ranking”)

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Bad Systems, Good People “I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system, 6% special.” “A bad system will defeat a good person every time.” - W. Edwards Deming

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Other Examples of System Conditions -- Hermanni Hyytia?la?, Reaktor @hemppah

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Complexity Theory: Cynefin Framework Ordered Un-Ordered

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Nature of Knowledge Work How does the work work? Because we often work in the complex and complicated domains, our work is non-deterministic in nature Ignorance about how the work works is a systems condition

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Culture Revisited “Our culture doesn’t support Agile” But we have other Lean-Agile experience reports from the field: “We have experienced profound cultural changes” But these companies weren’t trying to change their culture. They were just doing Lean-Agile and the culture changed. How did that happen?

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What is Culture? Culture is a pattern of shared tacit assumptions that was learned by a group … that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel ... --Schein, Edgar H. The Corporate Culture Survival Guide

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Schein’s Three Levels of Culture Visible structures, behavior, language Espoused values, goals, philosophies Underlying beliefs, tacit assumptions Group’s understanding of their environment To affect the visible aspects of culture, we must change that understanding We have to unlearn first as an organization to affect our organizational culture.

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Balance Practice and Theory Practice Theory Theory informs practice Practice informs Theory Do estimates really help us deliver predictably? Why are retrospectives valuable for our organization? Systems thinking and complexity theory are examples of theory that inform our practices.

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Agile’s Secret Sauce Agile is not an “execution” strategy…. It’s a learning strategy Balance your practices with a healthy dose of theory Use that knowledge to affect your Agile adoption

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Beyond Agile Practices Thank You! Where Did We Go Wrong? Troy Tuttle, KCP Principal Consultant, Owner KanFlow.com troy@kanflow.com @troytuttle Rate This Talk! http://spkr8.com/t/31661