RAMYA SHYAMA - Does change in mindset leads to change in culture?

What is the background situation/context for your probe?

In the Lean/Agile world, though these words seems to be very familiarly being used. But, the understanding differs with each individual or team or Project. This has gradually created a VUCA bubble in the work environment.

In my organization, we work with varied Business units, multiple location partners for product developments involving various lifecycles of hardware, firmware and software. Each of the Business units have their own defined array of processes, milestones and delivery timelines.

As a program we have to work together and fundamentally be aligned. Alignment had to be established at various levels like Business, processes, Product quality measures, release timelines, etc.

In order to set up a harmonized and synchronized understanding of process, I as a Lean coach in my organization wanted to bring in a common integrated process by defining and setting up a common software process which gradually brought in the culture of trust, transparency and ownership amongst the teams, management, partners we work with.

What is (or has been) your hypothesis?

For any building, strong foundation is the basis. So, my hypothesis strongly emphasizes the quote from Peter Ducker that  “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Culture plays crucial role in any organization. It is an unseen power or institutional habit where everyone is part of, right from the top-level leaders to bottom level developers to support members, etc. when established positively reflects in business/organization success.

This arises few questions in this context:

  • What is culture?
  • Who are the ‘Culture Setters’ in the Organization?
  • Who changes the culture and what are the challenges?
  • What power does empowerment hold to proliferate culture?
  • Is culture only means of success to Business or Organization?

My quest to get answers to above questions, led me to interact with various teams, roles, management, partners of the Business.

What is the experiment you would like to run (or you have run) and how can this experiment validate or invalidate your hypothesis?

The first task as coach I did was to gauge the leader’s and team’s process awareness quotient. For this,

  • I conducted couple of interviews with leaders and teams to know ‘What culture means to them?’
  • Organized with few teams an interactive reflection workshops to enhance their understanding
  • In batches, trained members with relevant case studies of impacts of culture
  • Enabled the change influencers (like POs, Scrum Masters, etc.) to translate the understanding in to practice continuously
  • Encouraged teams to ‘Fail early and learn fast’
  • Guided team to stay focused for goals they had to set
  • Enabled teams to define the value definition in terms of key KPIs
  • Collaborated with various stakeholders to identify and address the pockets of improvement to strengthen and proliferate the positive culture

Currently, the management team of one of the business lines, saw the change in the way teams across locations communicated, collaborated, accepted and owned the success or failures with grace. The journey taken was worthwhile, but the momentum is on and is in progressive path of success.

One of the outcomes of the above exercise was Business Partner Satisfaction survey commendably changed from low rating to high rating. The trust, confidence established so far has paved path in gaining more business when compared to last year (from 2 projects to 7 projects)

This also has led to accomplishments of Business partners accepting and gradually adapting the process by establishing similar culture across globe (Multi locations).  When culture is set strong mindful and responsible decisions are taken to deliver a right product.

Is there a specific skill/technique you would like to learn/explore at this coach camp?

I am keen to learn

  • How do we Sustain and revive the mindset without getting drawn to outside industry buzz words and practices?
  • What does Value sustenance mean for an agile business/organization?
Call for Papers CLOSED
Ended on Jan 25 '20 05:29 AM IST

Interested in attending the Agile Coach Camp on Oct 11th in Bengaluru? Read on...

It's been 12 Years and almost 110 viral Agile Coach Camps since our very first coach camp experiment. This year, Coach Camp co-creator Naresh Jain along with Jutta Eckstein and John Buck will lead participants in this Coach Camp in Bangalore, organized as part of the Agile India 2020 Conference.

Coach Camp Theme

As a coach, you're often the one who needs to drive and sustain change. Yet, how do you do this? What has helped and hindered you doing so and how can you best pass your experience on to other coaches or how can you best learn from other coaches?

This is the theme for this year's coach camp. To tackle this challenge, we invite you to try something new:

  • Currently, we face the following situation: Constantly driving change is getting more and more important for companies to survive in this VUCA world. At the same time, it is (or should be) the core skill of every coach – no matter if you coach individuals, teams, or organisations. However, sometimes it seems every coach has to come up with her own experience on how to drive change successfully.
  • Our hypothesis is that for driving change, every coach uses so-called probes, that are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the current situation as well as on theory. So, probing allows discovering (based on the hypothesis) what's working and what is not through one or several experiments. This allows to make sense of both the current situation but even more important of the situation we are aiming for. And if we create a knowledge base of our collective wisdom on probes we used (or intend to use) we can learn from each other.
  • Therefore, as an experiment we want to invite this year's coach camp participants to jointly discover, share, create, improve, and finally publish probes that help(ed) driving and sustaining change. As in a typical coach camp, we will use the Open Space format to explore different topics for driving change and we invite you to use probes to focus the discussions on these different topics. We anticipate as a result that the discovered and created probes will provide a foundation for such a knowledge base.

Registering for the Coach Camp

The coach camp is free of charge (financially) yet, for registration we ask you for the following:

  • Please click on the Add Paper button and submit your position paper. In your position paper, you will be asked to share an idea for a probe, consisting of a background situation (context), a hypothesis, and an experiment. This can be a probe you've implemented before, one you've discovered/heard of others implementing it, or you intend to implement. The probe should focus on the coach camp's theme: Driving Change.
  • The discussed probes provide a basis for a free and publicly accessible knowledge base.

Final Note

Please note, we want to invite you to use probes for the discussion and recording of the Open Space sessions. This is by no means an enforcement. We are well aware that there might be situations where probes are not the right means for discussing or/and recording a particular topic - and that is of course fine. After all, using probes for this coach camp is a probe in itself (and we are open to possibly invalidate our hypothesis.)

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