Did I hear right - "BEST" practices in Agile ??

In Agile ways of delivering software products we often hear people talking about adopting 'Best' practices to improve their delivery.

If you try looking for BEST practices definition in Wiki you get -

A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.

In my view, Best Practice must surely be able to demonstrate a superior outcome achieved because of the way the thing has been done.

Do we have BEST practices in Agile ?

As per Cynefin framework - Agile practices fall under 'Complex' domain category.

In the complex domain, we find the relationship between cause and effect can only be perceived in retrospect and the results are unpredictable. Here, we need to create safe to fail experiments and not attempt to create fail safe design. We cannot solve complex problems with best or good practices alone.

In this domain we get emergent order and practice that is often unique.

Emergent practice, behavior or order results and the approach is to:-

PROBE — SENSE — RESPOND

Probe - Experimental input

Sense - Failures or successes

Respond - Decide what to do

When BEST practices can be applied for Simple problems why should we do the same for problems where there is a demand of exploration/innovation ideas to arrive at a solution - that is where majority of our Projects/Product implementations fall under :)

Just because “Company A” had success with a particular initiative doesn’t mean that “Company B” can plug-and-play the same process and predict the same result.

  • BEST practices forces one to stay in 'Fixed' mindset
  • BEST practices forces to minimize experimentation
  • BEST practices are always Static as they are applicable for specific issue/cause

Working in Agile ways is always about exploration (experimenting) and making course correction (inspect & adapt). Agile is not silver bullet, approach that works for one organization/team may not work for other and at the same time Agile is not a recipe of success either !!

By nature Agile is about working towards flexibility, improvisation and continuous learning & exploration culture. None of the teams/organizations can stay in successful path when they run behind 'BEST' practices. The moment they stick to Best/Good practices teams lose the focus of staying in Continuous learning/improvement journey.

Agile Practices/processes that work for one team/organization/program may not work well for another. So Scrum Masters/Agile Coaches/Management/teams should always look to learn from their mistakes and assess before taking next steps.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Presentation

Outline/Structure of the session as follows :

1. Introduction to BEST practice (2-3 mins)

This is an Ice Breaker game..

2. How BEST practices are applied and in what context ? (5-8 mins)

Once the Ice breaker is over we will start collecting the details from participants like when & under what condition they have applied BEST practices in their work and have discussion around the same.

3. Understand Agile way of execution and apply Cynefin framework to understand the Agile processes in detail (8-10 mins)

Here through Cynefin framework we will try to understand all kind of systems and specifically discuss more about Complex systems where Agile practices fall into. Will touch upon 'Emergent' practices and discuss how it is different than 'BEST' practices.

4. How one can apply Emergent practices and what are the enablers for them ? (8-10 mins)

Here we will explore Fixed & Growth Mindset in detail. Will discuss how Growth mindset enables Emergent practices and Agile processes.

5. Will brainstorm around BEST practices and understand why we need to avoid them in first place (5-7 mins)

Will discuss how BEST practices brings Fixed mindset approach that prevents continuous improvement (Kaizen) & innovation culture. Will also discuss how the addiction towards BEST practices slows down the 'Self-Organization' journey in teams which in turn affect the organization agility.

6. Conclusion of the presentation (3-5 mins)

Will conclude the presentation by stressing the need of Growth Mindset that helps Business Agility which is essential for continuous learning/improvement, innovation, faster time to market, automation etc.

7. Q&A (2-3 mins)

Will open the forum for Q&As.

Learning Outcome

Below are the learning outcomes & key takeaway from the talk :

  • How Fixed mindset can slow down the 'Self-Organization' at team level which can affect the Business Agility.
  • Why Growth Mindset is required and how it resonates with Agile practices .
  • How Emergent Practices brings innovation & continuous learning culture.
  • Looking at a holistic picture
  • How Growth Mindset can bring the cultural change in their org.

Target Audience

Ideally anyone who are working in Agile teams

Prerequisites for Attendees

Good to have the basic knowledge of Agile as it is very helpful to relate the content of talk

schedule Submitted 6 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Peter Stevens
    By Peter Stevens  ~  5 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi,

    I am trying to get a handle on what you want to present. Do you have a slideset, mind-map or outline of what you are going to say?

    Thanks

    • Madeeha Khan Yousafzai
      By Madeeha Khan Yousafzai  ~  5 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi,

      Can you please update your proposal as per Talk acceptance Process.

      Further, can you please align your title of talk with need to have growth mindset and how Kaizen' & carrying Growth Mindset is key for every Agile team towards their 'Self-organization' path

      • Madeeha Khan Yousafzai
        By Madeeha Khan Yousafzai  ~  6 months ago
        reply Reply

        What I like about this submission is that it is going to cover "mindset" and it is very important concept. 

        I would like to seek clarity around the title of talk and learning outcomes.

        Will this talk will cover Growth Mindset /Agile practices or will it talk about fostering Growth Mindset to reach Agility ? 

        Learning outcome is ensuring Agility overall or Agility via "Self-organized teams" which will be one aspect only. 

         

        • Madhavi Ledalla
          By Madhavi Ledalla  ~  6 months ago
          reply Reply

          Hi Jayaram, thank you for the submission around one of the important concepts - "Growth Mindset". 

          It would be great if you can support your proposal with few scenarios on how Growth mindset helped your team/organization and what was your role as a coach in encouraging the same and the challenges you encountered!

          Thank you!


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