Finding Your Agile Blindspot
How has the way you interact with individuals changed so that you can create autonomous flow ? Has it ? Are you actively creating exceptional delivery or are you inadvertently part of a system that is stuck in effort ? What impact are you really having ? And most importantly, how can you shift that ?
This workshop allows you to explore the impact you have and the value you add in a team. It also invites you into a new, more agile, autonomous and collaborative practice.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
I hold the Guinness World Record for the Deepest Dive on Scuba by a Woman. I am also an active Agile Coach focusing on leading the agile change and how the process of doing agile isn’t enough to get the benefit of Agile – it takes a shift in how people show up and so use Agile. This workshop is a blend of practical as well as select, succinct stories from my world record that highlight the shift in thinking and so doing that is needed to really explore and live from an Agile perspective.
I practically delve into 2 mental models adapted from Roger Schwartz’s The Skilled Facilitator and Robert Keegan’s work around Immunity To Change. This approach creates awareness into how people are processing their world and the behaviours that are a result. By linking experience to behaviour and behaviour to the beliefs people have about the world, individuals are able to make different choices. This is double loop learning in action and the workshop is a blend of theory,, practice and facilitated conversation using Ontological coaching principles (what are the assumptions you are using, which mental model are you using, how is this impacting your outcome ?)
The biggest learning outcome from this is that the effectiveness of Agile depends on the people using it and how they are interacting with each other more than on the processes they use. This creates a new awareness of how individuals are actually using Agile and with a new mental model to practice, creates a space for true, lasting change.
- 10 minutes Opening, Exceptional Performance Basics (Flow, curiosity and learning)
- 30 minutes – EXERCISE. The room to be grouped in tables of 6 to 8 and using an adapted Okaloa Flow Lab simulation, each group is to deliver at least 2 work items per person on the team. The best delivery is 30 work items and on average 20 items can be consistently delivered.
- SETUP : Kanban board layout (A2 size), Work Cards, Packet of roles to be distributed randomly within the group (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Analyst, Developer, Tester), Dice and Day Instructions (run to 15 days).
Measures for the team to complete as they run the simulation
- Agile experience in years
- Daily : Plot on a graph the number of work items in progress, number of High Priority Items, £ of completed items
- This simulation is not allowed to use any form of work restriction or collaboration for the first 5 days.
- 15 minutes - Review of Exercise
- Compare the results. Teams to visit the other tables.
- Each team member to complete a survey and the collate the results per table, then for the room. This is visual in the form of a slider 0 to 5. The survey includes : Would you want to continue as a member of this team (Happiness), Were you effective ? Did you feel heard ? Were your ideas integrated ? 2 things that worked well 2 things that didn’t work at all, how much collaboration ? How much autonomy ? How much flow ?
- 30 min : Linking the results into double loop learning and the importance of autonomous, distributed leadership. How our standard behaviours are linked to what we believe (competition, defending our fears of significance, like’ability and competence). This takes elements of the unilateral control & mutual learning models and links them to the behaviours and experiences in the room. The focus is on the most common that I encounter, I am an expert and have the answer, just do what I am telling. Be right, avoid being wrong and Never loose, Win!
- 20 min reflection to be shared in a pair. What beliefs, fears and behaviours were operating for me and what was the impact on the flow in the team ? How do these play out in the real world ?
- Closing 10 minutes
Notes on the design of the workshop
- By bringing in the overall Agile age of each group a space is created to trigger fears of confidence and significance. The teams are being asked to use their own knowledge to create exceptional flow. The implication is that individuals and teams with a higher Agile age should get better flow.
- The intention is to create an explicit flow target that focuses people on the process and implementation of Agile and not on the behaviours and dynamics and so the people who are using Agile. The flow targets are deliberately set high to trigger inate competition and the standard corporate fears of not delivering. With a tight time pressure an additional trigger is introduced to shift individuals out of conscious collaboration into their unconscious expression and way of showing up.
- This creates a space for individuals to really get the fact that Agile is about the people who use it and the effectiveness of Agile is based on these people and more importantly, how these people are able to interact and create a flow of information and task integration.
- This is a format I have adapted from series of day sessions for Henley Business School as well as a 3 day immersion experience in these mental models and the use there-of.
- What are the fundamental blind spots that we live in and how do they adversely impact our ability to create Agile Flow
- Essential elements of Exceptional Performance
- What can you do practically to improve your own Agility and the Agility of the teams you work in
- A new leadership paradigm that supports and grows autonomy and collaboration
- What it takes to create a lasting change into Agility
Individuals & Leaders who want to become more influential and effective