A Developmental Psychology Lens on Agile Adoption
In the last few years I have studied a lot of constructivist developmental psychology, particularly in the traditions of Robert Kegan and Susan Cook-Greuter. These theories map the growth of the human psyche over time, particularly calling out that adults continue to grow and develop under the right conditions. These maps describe different complexities of ego and mind, with associated new capacities. Generally later stages of development are more adaptive to contexts of complexity. Having studied these theories and been an Agile practitioner for an extended period, I believe that for people to enact Agile culture and mindset requires developmental attributes. For example, awareness of context and the ability to make assumptions explicit (from which to experiment with) are capacities associated with particular stages of development. This insight adds a very different lens to Agile adoption, calling out that it is unrealistic for people, teams and organisations to effectively adopt the core mindset and culture of Agile without going on a developmental journey, or having the right scaffolding to boost people into more advanced perspectives and ways of operating. Developmental theory provides a lot of insight into the journey people must go on and what kind of support is required for this journey.
Outline/structure of the Session
- What is constructivist developmental psychology?
- An overview of the Kegan and Cook-Greuter lineages and their models
- Connecting developmental capacities to Agile mindset and culture
- What cultivates development and how long does it take?
- How to scaffold people to more advanced capacities
- Connecting this to the Laloux culture model
- “Deliberately Developmental Organisations” and Lean
- Understand constructivist developmental psychology models and how they apply to Agile
- Understand how to use developmental lenses to improve our Ability to coach and create Agile mindset and culture change
- Particularly appreciate the journey that needs to be taken
- See how the Agile community is starting to gravitate to these perspectives and actually, I believe, already rests on these ideas implicitly
People interesting in change and development
Some familiarity with Lean and Agile is useful but not a must.