Agile Mindset – Nature or Nurture?
In this session we establish that the Agile Mindset of self-organisation is a natural set of attitudes, in-born in people, rather than a learnt one. We also establish that hierarchical approaches like the waterfall model are ones imposed on practitioners’ minds by existing practices and environments.
Understanding that the self-organising way is more natural, we look at various ways to unlearn the learnt hierarchical mindset and get back to the natural self-organising mindset
Outline/structure of the Session
- Exercise (5 minutes)
People stand/sit in rows and columns. Each person looks normally only at the person to the left of him/her. His/her responses and actions are based only on what the person on the left is doing. (People in the leftmost column responds to the person in front of him/her). [You can also occasionally look to your right or behind you] Two simple rules are given. Repeat whatever the person on the left is doing. Always maintain a distance of two feet from that person. Let us see what develops.
Discuss what the team observes. This exercise will prove that collaborative, synchronised, activities can evolve without a central directing authority. The team self-organises.
Show a half minute video on birds flocking
- Discussion 1 (5 minutes) – Self-organisation in nature
- What is self-organisation?
- Initially disordered systems reaching a pattern of order through local interactions;
- positive and negative feedback;
- self-assembly at molecular level;
- lions / wild dogs etc. hunting
- buffaloes deciding which direction to go after resting
- Other things in nature?
- Hunter-gatherer societies were self-organised;
- Hierarchical (family head, chief, king etc.) structures came later following individual’s quest for control / power
- Current human societies , even with hierarchical structure, can regress to natural self-organisation – see mob behaviour
Conclusion: Self-organisation is natural; hierarchical directed systems are imposed by individual will
But, everything reaches a goal: Catch prey; escape predator; produce a foetus; defend society etc.
- Discussion 2 (5 minutes) – How hierarchical approaches developed
- Need to exercise power through control
- Need for control
- Worry that loss of control will lead to chaos (Need for order and security)
- Hierarchies are seen as a sign of success of individuals
- Traditional system development approaches like waterfall methodology are hierarchical approaches
- Sequential with control at each step
- Developers follow strict instructions
- Budget and time control
- Early non-changeable decision on deliverable
- Discussion 3 (5 minutes) – Agile – a self-organised approach
- individuals and interactionsover processes and tools – observing and responding to fluctuations – patterns emerge
- customer collaborationover contract negotiation – PO a deeply nested member of team
- responding to changeover following a plan – observing and responding to team members actions
- working softwareover comprehensive documentation – no major plan or directive needed; a pattern emerges
Agile Techniques for self-organisation
- Stand-up meetings to feedback and respond to “local” fluctuations
- Demos – correcting individual behaviour
- Iterations – “flock” actions
- Retrospectives – checking proper direction towards goal
- C-D-E conditions for self-organising Agile teams
- Container – the team boundary (our initial exercise – the room)
- Differences – diversity in team
- Exchanges – influencing each other
- Discussion 4 (10 minutes) – Unlearning nurtured behaviour and reverting to nature
- Need to change normal tendencies
- Let go of the need for control
- Let go of need to do everything in a planned manner
- Collaborative and participative approach
- Constant communication and feedback
- Trust rather than CYA trails [A quick eye-contact game]
- Be willing to take risks
- Need to change beliefs
- Belief in the supremacy of a hierarchical organisation
- Unconscious patriarchal beliefs
- Need to change presumptions
- Quality, rather than schedule is critical
- Focus on customer
- Need to change relative importance of things
- Ego-less work
- Encourage diversity
- Don’t take yourself too seriously
- Sometimes intuition works better
- Concluding discussions; questions and answers (10 minutes)
- Spill-over time (5 minutes)
- Self-organisation is a natural mindset of people
- Hierarchical approaches are imposed mindsets
- Agile approaches with their emphasis on self-organisation are natural for people and therefore organisations need not hesitate to implement Agile methodologies
- Since self-organisation is a natural inclination, people following agile methodologies are more productive.
- Ways to unlearn old hierarchical habits and learn the self-organised approach
1. Agile sceptics 2. Managers and teams of organisations that are contemplating an Agile Transformation 3. People needing positive reinforcement of their Agile focus 4. People seeking to improve their way of working
schedule Submitted 10 months ago
People who liked this proposal, also liked:
Vishweshwar Hegde - Mindfulness: Cultivating Agile MindsVishweshwar HegdePartner, PM Power ConsultingPM Power Consulting
schedule 10 months agoSold Out!
Agility starts with Mind. It’s about open, curious, energetic mind constantly looking for doing better things and in better ways. Such Agile Minds manifest in proactively sensing market/customer opportunities/needs early, quickly adopting to changes to create new value in the changing contexts, continuously learning, exploring & experimenting new things. It requires courage, self-drive and taking people along. If we notice, all these characteristics are distilled in Agile Values & Principles.
But how to develop Agile Minds? Typically our education system and corporate trainings are predominantly IQ oriented; whereas Agile Mind is about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – self awareness, self regulation, self motivation and empathy. EQ is an essential ingredient for a culture of self-organizing, collaboration and servant leadership – which are the tenets of good Agile culture. Mindfulness is a practical & effective toolset to cultivate EQ and create Agile Minds.
Being a Mindfulness practitioner, this talk will cover my experiences of consulting & coaching on Mindfulness in organizations driving Enterprise Agility.
Kent McDonald - 'Tis Better to Be Effective Than EfficientKent McDonaldWriter and Product ManagerKBP.Media
schedule 9 months agoSold Out!
Better. Faster. Cheaper. Many IT organizations are constantly seeking the "best" practices that will deliver those characteristics, and the fact that they continue to search indicates they haven’t found them yet.
It could be they are looking in the wrong place. Most efforts around achieving better, faster, cheaper center around becoming ultra efficient.
Effectiveness may just be the better target.
Join Kent McDonald to explore the difference between efficiency and effectiveness and learn three simple, yet powerful, techniques that he has found can help teams be more effective. You’ll learn how to:
- Build a shared understanding of the problem you are trying to solve
- Establish clear guard rails for distributed decision making
- Measure progress based on outcome, not output
Along the way he’ll share stories about how he has used these techniques and help you figure out when these techniques may work in your situation.
You may be able to get faster and cheaper with efficiency, but in order to get better outcomes, you need to be effective. Come to this session to learn how.
Gayatri Devi Kalyanaraman - Agile Practices for effective Knowledge TransitionGayatri Devi KalyanaramanPrincipal ConsultantPM Power Consulting
schedule 8 months agoSold Out!
Any large team starts with one member at a time and the practices and the underlying culture is critical right from the beginning. This session is about practical ways of using Agile practices for doing knowledge transition.
Three levels of knowledge transition continues to happen in a self organising team
A. Transitioning roles within teams such as developer to analyst, scrum master transition, analyst to developer, any new team member onboarding
B. Transitioning knowledge inter teams such as bringing a new team upto speed, domain or technology
C. Handing over Transition such as one vendor to the other, one geography to the other
Discuss best practices, practical tips and important anti-patterns to watch for
Shiv Sivaguru - DevOps and the Software lifecycle - in 10 aspectsShiv SivaguruExcellence CoachPM Power Consulting
schedule 9 months agoSold Out!
There has been a lot of expectation around DevOps and discussion on what DevOps is and is not.
While most of the buzz is around tools, culture, automation etc, there is not much on the impact on the software delivery life cycle.
In this session, I propose to overlay the implication of DevOps thinking on the lifecycle - from concept [backlog] to delivery [to the user]