Self-Selection: Minimising Chaos Through Effective Team Design

If the most important factor for team performance is the combination of skills, personalities and relations between team members, the crucial question is “How do we best design teams?”.

 
Here’s a radical idea: Trust people to know best and let them decide which team they should work in. Let them self-select! 
 
Self-selection is the simplest, fastest and most efficient way to form stable teams, based on the belief that people are at their happiest and most productive if they can choose what they work on and who they work with.
 
In this workshop we will share learnings and experiences from more than two years of running self-selection processes in large organisations. We will show you a repeatable process for how to establish efficient teams and will answer questions such as “Why would I do that?” and “How do I convince management?”.
 
Come along and take part in a large-scale simulation exercise which involves participating in a self-selection event for a fictitious company.

 

Information for the review team
 
In October 2013, we ran the biggest self-selection event we (and Google ;-) know of at New Zealand’s largest eCommerce provider. We designed and used a process which has since been repeated many times in multiple locations across the world. 
 
Our workshop is based on on our recently published book “Creating Great Teams - How Self-Selection Lets People Excel (http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Great-Teams-Self-Selection-People/dp/1680501283/ref=sr_1_1 ). 
 
It is a newly created workshop but by August 2016 we will have run it at least twice in New Zealand and twice at the Agile Australia conference in Melbourne and Sydney.  
 
3 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

Structure: 
 
  • 00:00 (5’) Introduction to the simulation exercise and its purpose. Introduction to the concepts and ideas behind self-selection and how it is different to traditional management selection
  • 00:05 (10’) Collect the thoughts, fears, what-if scenarios. A group exercise to to collect, share and refine these. The output will be a defined list of everything the group is worried or scared about. This activity will serve as a warm-up for the main self-selection simulation. 
  • 00:15 (10’) Share the presenters real-life experiences, stories and anecdotes in relation to the items brought up in the group exercise. 
  • 00:25 (10’) How to convince people and how to get away with running a self-selection event. Interactive exercise to look at the stages people go through when self-selection is suggested. We will cover how to deal with management.  
  • 00:35 (30’) The main self-selection simulation. Everyone self-selects into teams for a fictitious company. People receive persona cards with their skills, character traits and relationships with other participants’ personas. 
    • Explanation of the process and the rules of the game. 
    • Iteration 1 - followed by a status review 
    • Iteration 2 - followed by a status review 
    • Iteration 3 - followed by a status review 
    • Further strategies to solve the problem or any outstanding issues. It is not always possible to solve all the problems in the first iterations so we will look at different strategies we have used to solve the problem when more iterations wouldn’t necessarily work.
  • 00:65 (5’) What next? Making the outcomes real and deciding the next steps
  • Potential Section: (5-10’) Metrics: How will you know whether the teams selected are working? A look at measurement and collecting useful data after the event.
    • Option 1: (we don't have time) We just add this to the presentation part where we share ideas, anecdotes etc. We will just share what we have done.
    • Option 2: (we have 10-15 mins): We work through it with participants. What would they measure? Work through some idea. Then we will ask participants to come up with ideas for how to measure happiness.
  • 00:70 (5’) De-brief to uncover insights, questions and observations
  • 00:75 End
 

Learning Outcome

After this session participants will be able to: 
  • Run their own self-selection events
  • Explain why self-selection is the best way to ensure the best team design
  • Describe a tried and tested process for self-selection that scales to hundreds of people
  • Anticipate and address people's questions and concerns before asking them to self-select into teams
  • Create a plan that includes a number of pre-requisites for self-selection success

Target Audience

Everyone who needs to create teams, works in a team or interacts with teams

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Paul Flewelling
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Innovate or Die Trying - A newspaper company's plan for survival

    Paul Flewelling
    Paul Flewelling
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    As a print based media company we maintained our competitive advantage through the printing press, a multi-million dollar proposition which few could afford in order to enter our market and compete against us.

    With the advent of the internet and advances in related technology, this all changed.

    Using our own case study as an example, the key aim is to get people thinking about innovation, its different approaches and why it’s essential to a company’s betterment and survival.

  • Matt Ray
    Matt Ray
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Compliance and security are the next steps after Infrastructure as Code and Test-Driven Infrastructure in expanding your DevOps workflow. Traditionally compliance has been the domain of auditors who are separated from the state of the infrastructure, disrupting development and operations periodically during audits. Chef's open-source InSpec language and audit cookbooks provide an accessible pattern for incorporating  compliance into your continuous delivery pipelines to ensure that compliance is always maintained and teams can move faster with less disruption.

  • Liked Winston Teo
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Happy Teams

    Winston Teo
    Winston Teo
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    All of us want to be happy. We want to find meaningful work that fills us with a sense of purpose.
    That might not be difficult, and there are a lot of self-help books out there that teaches you how to be happy.
    However, we are not isolated - we work in teams, 8 hours a day or even longer. So, it's not enough to be happy alone.
    We need our teams to be happy too because that directly affects us.

    We all know that happy people are the most productive people (try Googling it), but what about having a happy team?
    How can you make a team happy?

     

  • Fabiola Eyholzer
    Fabiola Eyholzer
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Executive

    Inspired, empowered, and engaged people are the heart and soul of Agile – and HR. Let’s turn your Human Resources into Agile People Operations to boost your enterprise agility.

    --

    “#1 trend 2016: HR embraces agile" | HR Trend Institute

    "HR drives the agile organization" | HRO Today

    --

    Transforming your organization into an agile enterprise is no small deed. And it does not matter where you are on your way towards embracing agility on all levels. There will be a time when you need to align your people solutions with the mindset and demands of agile people and organizations.

    The time is right to turn your Human Resources into Agile People Operations and any investment in modern People solutions is an investment in your people.

    We will talk about how to shift from a traditional to an Agile People approach and we will share stories, ideas, and examples of Agile HR practices and their impact.

  • Liked Kris Bharathi
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile In Growing Trends

    Kris Bharathi
    Kris Bharathi
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Synopsis:

    In year 2016

    and forth, due to speeding globalisation,

    does the traditional Agile is still to be followed exactly

    the way it is? Or we still stick to the methodologies,

    and keep customising to the client's organisational

    culture till we find the right fit?

    If customisation is inevitable, to what extend can we

    go? Where is the limit?

     

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Explanation:

    -Agile schools of thoughts started in the U.S. in late 1980s/early 1990s. High chances of being limited to what works for in an American context.

    -Now, due to heavy Globalisation, teams are of multinational nature. A lot of developer/ engineers/product owners are from growing economy. Large part of these teams are placed in countries with developed economy. This might lead to high changes of resistance due to cultural differences and lack of exposure and understanding.

    -However how much flexibility can be demonstrate in this globalised context? Which is the limitations before it becomes fragile?

  • Liked Vu Tung Lam
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Reevaluating Agile Techniques in the Context of Global Security Response

    Vu Tung Lam
    Vu Tung Lam
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    This talk is a field report of the Agile transformation journey in a global leader in security.

    Application of Agile in conventional fields such as software engineering is well documented and there is solution for almost any problem you may encounter. In less software-centric fields such as security the known solutions are suboptimal, and in some cases, inapplicable. In general Agile values and Agile's way of thinking remain foundational and essential, I found unique challenges where conventional techniques don't simply work as is - they need to be reevaluated and perhaps new interpretation is required.

    This is where the journey started and fun began.

  • Liked Daryl Chan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Working in Asia: does Chinese philosophy support or conflict with Agile principles?

    Daryl Chan
    Daryl Chan
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Chinese philosophy has played a influential part in shaping thought and culture throughout Asia. As we support Asian organisations with their Agile journey, we have encountered many modes of thought that overlaps with similar concepts from Chinese philosophy.

    Whilst not exactly the same as those long ago, these thought patterns have carried through into the modern world. Concepts such as ritual, 'wu-wei', loyalty and law manifest at the individual, team and organisational level – and we have experienced many occasions in which these support Agile adoption, but also many where they act as a barrier.

    In this session we will cover the basics of the core Ancient Chinese philosophical schools, figures and key concepts, draw parallels to observations and challenges that we all see in organisations, and provide some guidance on how to lead and support the adoption of Agile principles in such environments and situations.

  • Liked Jeff Campbell
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Better Retrospectives

    Jeff Campbell
    Jeff Campbell
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Are your Retrospectives truly driving change?

    Do you feel they are impacting the things that really matter in your organisation?

    Or, do they feel like another arbitrary ceremony?


    If they do not feel like the most valuable meeting you are having in your team then you should attend this talk. We will look at the most common anti-pattern seen in Retrospectives and you will learn exactly what you can do to change it tomorrow.

  • Liked Hrishikesh Karekar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The stuff 10x programmers are made of

    Hrishikesh Karekar
    Hrishikesh Karekar
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    There are programmers... and then there are great programmers..The ones that are 10x.

    10x development is not only about speed. It is much more - its about creating 10x value.

    As one blog author puts it beautifully "A 10x developer will have insights and find solutions that would never occur to an average programmer; they will avoid entire categories of problems that eat up enormous amounts of time amongst average programmers. 10 engineers writing the wrong code could definitely be out performed by a single engineer writing the right code."

    Their behaviors and practices are visible. We see them in action. This excellence is rarely a matter of only skill. It's coming from deep within. The things that drive them, the values and principles that guide them essentially result into the 10x performance that we see.

    In this session, we will see what going on in the minds of these 10x programmers. What is the stuff that makes them 10x.

  • Liked Sandy Mamoli
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Creating Great Teams - How Self-Selection Lets People Excel

    Sandy Mamoli
    Sandy Mamoli
    David Mole
    David Mole
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Stable teams have proven to be twice as productive as teams that are assembled and disassembled for specific projects and research shows that 60% of team effectiveness is attributable to team design.

     
    If the most important factor for team performance is the combination of skills, personalities and relations between team members, the crucial question is “How do we best design teams?”.
     
    Here’s a radical idea: Trust people to know best and let them decide which team they should work in. Let them Self-Select!
     
    Self-selection is the simplest, fastest and most efficient way to form stable teams, based on the belief that people are at their happiest and most productive if they can choose what they work on and who they work with.
     
    In October 2013, New Zealand’s largest eCommerce provider ran the biggest Self-Selection event in the world since WWII, using a process which has since been repeated many times in multiple locations across the world.
     
    In this presentation we will share our learnings and experiences from more than two years of running Self-Selection processes in large organisations. We will show you a repeatable process for how to establish efficient teams in growing organisations and we will answer questions such as “Why would I do that”? and “How can I convince management?”.
     
    If you work in an industry or company that involves teams then this talk is for you!
  • Victor Nunez
    Victor Nunez
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Demonstration
    Intermediate

    Unbeknown to many, there exists two (2) coaching methodologies. Agile coaches, most of the time would be providing specific direction to organisations to drive agile change and transformation. This method of coaching is of the directive type. Then there are coaches acting as more of a catalyst for new awareness to drive change and transformation. This method is the non-directive type.

    Both coaching methodologies aim to achieve change and transformation in the person, team or organisation but doing it different and with different applications. Directive coaching that is done mostly by agile coaches are useful for situation where problem correction is needed to achieve transformation whereas non-directive coaching can be most appropriate when focus is developmental. Though different focus still complementary and many organisations are beginning to see the value of non-directive coaching in driving change.

    What can non-directive coaching do for you? Experience what it is like being coached in an non-directive manner. This session is an experiential session letting participants experience and see what non-directive coaching can do in 

    1. Getting unstuck. Good for agile teams facing impediments and blockages.
    2. Reaching a goal. Can be useful to achieve transcendence or agile team purpose
    3. Dealing with difficult situations, resistance or doubt.

    This session incorporates learning and practice of the co-active coaching model, the coaching habit and co-active leadership. Volunteers would be asked to be coached on any topic that relates to above or any issue they find relevant in dealing with agile transformation.

  • Liked Adam Burke
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Building Memory Palaces From Ontological Slime

    Adam Burke
    Adam Burke
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Software systems are complex, both in the everyday sense, and in the more technical sense used by complexity science. This suggests reasons why agile software development and design are effective, including the usefulness of human feedback and of reducing localised complexity in code. We also have an agile idea, from Peter Naur, that a large part of programming is building and improving a model of the system in the programmer’s head. What does that imply about the world, or at least, the worldview of an effective programmer? This talk argues that software is a complex system and introduces William Wimsatt’s ideas of “causal thickets” and “ontological slime” as tools of navigation and classification for the working software developer.

  • Maxime Ducros
    Maxime Ducros
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Give feedback of a support for innovation done in a pizza team context.

    Pizza team is an innovation setup for small innovative teams containing: Product owner, Growth Hacker, IT, Swiss Knife, Innovation coach.

     

    We will tell the story of 4 pizza teams we have coached from the ideation phase to the development of a MVP. 

    It will cover the practices we used for design thinking (persona, value proposition, customer journey...), lean startup (business canvas, A/B testing...) and Agile development, all in a SCRUM setup.

    We will talk about the organization around the teams (backend services to support development), CX board (to make strategic and tactical decision).

    We will talk about the challenges we faced, specially for testing our assumption with end-user: how to identify a client panel and how to ask them feedback.

  • Liked Maxime Ducros
    keyboard_arrow_down

    SIY - Scale It Yourself!

    Maxime Ducros
    Maxime Ducros
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    This session is first to show how it is possible to deploy Scaling Agile without deploying a whole framework (Less, SAFe, DAD…).

    Meaning how to pic-up practices from different context to make sure it will fit to the organization context, constraints and culture.


    We will use feedback from hand-on experience and real deployment on large organizations.
    Then we will dedicate some to talk about the impact of Scale on organization:

    • team level,
    • line management level,
    • support team,
    • and  most of all impact on people...

    From the same experience used earlier we will talk about the benefits we get and challenges we face.

     

  • Duncan K. G. Campbell
    Duncan K. G. Campbell
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    In this presentation, Duncan Campbell reviews a post-mortem of a project which, during its lifetime, appeared to have all the trappings of a successful agile development project: a prioritised backlog, a Scrum board with Post-It notes, a burn-down chart, daily stand-up scrums, regular sprints, retrospectives, a Product Owner, a Scrum Master, and an actual product, but the project eventually died without having found any sustainable customer base.

    Despite the outward appearances of a successful agile development project, the body of this project had suffered numerous diseases: an organisation inexperienced in software development, poor quality staff, poor attention to quality, poor communication within the team, mismatched expectations, and a seemingly unstoppable rollercoaster ride of sales and development efforts.  In the end, even after several years of effort, there were no real customers willing to purchase and use the product.

    Which diseases lead to the death of this project?  Was it a particular combination of diseases which proved fatal?  Was there just a single disease which sealed the project’s fate?

    Given a second chance, how could the project have succeeded?

  • Liked Pranay Chanda
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Transform Enterprise Finance Functions based on Lean-Agile budgeting Models

    Pranay Chanda
    Pranay Chanda
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    We find that as enterprises drive business agility using lean agile methods, it faces friction and quickly hits against wall of rigid traditional budgeting methods and project based cost accounting.

    Traditional cost accounting believes in long horizon planning, it values plan accuracy with frequent variance analysis against original estimates rather than accept uncertainty, respond quickly to market trends. We notice frequent delays on re-approvals of changing budgets; a big WASTE. How can we transform finance functions to enable lean agile software and systems development?

    We can address this conflict with new Lean-Agile budgeting models that cater to the need of both the worlds: allowing empowered lean agile development programs for rapid decision making that are responsive to market, align with professional accountable management of dollar spends.

    Traditional cost center based investment planning is based on deliverables, but the content of such deliverables are changing rapidly that require flexible resourcing across projects.

    We all agree that agile portfolios need to execute and deliver value within an approved operating budget which is an outcome of strategic planning process at enterprise level. This paper describes the nuts and bolts around how to establish, administer and govern agile portfolio budgets.

  • Liked Jas Chong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A tango in communication - Leader and Follower

    Jas Chong
    Jas Chong
    Guillaume Duquesnay
    Guillaume Duquesnay
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    With over 5 years in the practice of tango, I would like to use tango techniques to explain the nuances in communication between product team and dev team. It's not often straight forward or easy. 

    Tango is an extreme dance in coordination and non verbal communication where both dancers decide how fast or how slow they want to take it. It is also one of the few dances where pauses are encouraged and takes the form of regrouping. 

    It will be an experiential learning experience. I will be using tango moves to explain communication techniques and considerations. 

    (Note: It's not a session to learn tango, but a session to learn communication through tango.)

     

    The session is ideal for 60mins but there is no option to choose the 60mins slot. 

  • Liked Michael Mallete
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Coaching Toolkit: 5 Target Conditions towards Agile Adoption

    Michael Mallete
    Michael Mallete
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In the book "Toyota Kata" by Mike Rother, highlighted the importance of a "target condition" towards Kaizen. Inspired by this, we had been working with multiple organizations of various sizes and plethora of domains in adopting Scrum and Agile Software Development guided by 5 Target Conditions. This talk will be about what these target conditions are, how we help organizations with these, and what results we had experienced.

  • Liked Aldo Rall
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Building a collective context to thrive in extreme uncertainty

    Aldo Rall
    Aldo Rall
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In coaching Agile teams, it became apparent that some individuals, teams and organisations were able to transition into the Agile mind-set a lot quicker or a lot less painfully than others. It was difficult to find the real reason(s) for this (even in current literature or dialogues) as it seemed to be more elusive than just straight forward adoption patterns (such as the team forming stages i.e. forming to performing or the Shu-Ha-Ri patterns).

    A recent study published by Dan Greening on “Agile Base Patterns in the Agile Canon” (in this publication, he discusses that following this 5 base patterns leads to faster agile adoption and maintaining high degrees of agility) and an earlier study from 2010 called “Agility in Context” (Hoda et. al., 2010) shed light on the topic and hinted at a complex ‘missing’ pattern that these individuals, teams and organisations perform to accelerate their adoption of the Agile mindset and subsequent transformation.

    This pattern is called ‘Collective Context’ and observations of individuals, teams and organisations that managed to practice this pattern intentionally had more alignment and cohesion and were able to tap into a far greater accelerated and successful Agile transformation.

    Along this line, I will be discussing how having a collective context, individuals, teams and organisations are able to increase their agility.

    Collective context is all about a having and maintaining a shared understanding of the current context that each individual, team or organisation finds themselves in.

    This is a base pattern, and any mix of these (individual, team or organisation) not having such a shared understanding about their current context (and circumstances) will find a low degree of agility.

    Collective Context as a base pattern is influenced by multiple factors (such as history, values, beliefs etc).

    I grouped these into 8 themes (for instance physical factors, psychological factors, value factors, motivational factors, etc) and will briefly discuss this.

    This talk aims to explore ‘Collective Context’ as a pattern at a high level, and what individuals, teams and organisations can do to build and maintain it. 

     

  • Liked Daylon Soh
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Trust

    Daylon Soh
    Daylon Soh
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Executive

    Part of working Agile is about having collaborative teams with minimal friction. How can we encourage a culture that builds trust in any organisation regardless of size and composition?

    Having worked with startups, SMEs and MNCs, Daylon will share his experiences as a product and project manager. Daylon will also draw from his experiences going through and applying learnings from a group dynamics course (Understanding Group and Leader) administered by the Swedish Defence College.