Amp up your Agile implementation in complex environments with Systems Thinking

Scrum has proven to be a successful framework for many companies in complex delivery domains to transition to Agility from more traditional delivery methods.

At some point during these transitions many companies have experienced a stall to what have previously been ongoing and exponential improvements. Complexity brings with it challenges in the "white spaces" that exist between teams where local improvements become disconnected from the delivery of customer value.

In this workshop, we introduce a simulation of "The Company" where the white space challenges are experienced.

Players playing simulation

Through the use of the simulation we introduce Lean & Systems Thinking concepts to improve the system as a whole and bring the company back to a place of continuous improvement that is connected to customer value.

Note for conference selection committee: Additional option: the content can be presented in a 40 -60 minute talk format if workshop space is limited.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Introduction:
    • The Context: Typical organizational context in multi-team endevours; key vocabulary and concepts
    • The Promise: High-performance through Agile/Scrum
    • The Challenges: How "scrumifying" individual teams doesn't lead to systemic high performance; the devil in the "white space".
    • A possible way out: Systems Thinking as a tool to "mind the gap"
  • Part 1: Exposing accumulation of inventory
    • Simulation
    • Debrief:
      • Recognizing unmanaged WIP
      • Economic Impact of high levels of inventory
      • The Utilization Trap
  • Part 2: Managing the System Through Explicit Policies
    • Simulation (cont'd)
    • Debrief:
      • WIP control through "purging" & "blocking"
      • Liquidity of Skills
  • Part 3: Empirical Refinement of Policies
    • Simulation (cont'd)
    • Debrief:
      • Metrics & Leading Indicators
      • WIP limits
      • Inspection & Adaptation
  • Wrapping-up:
    • Summary of systemic levers
    • Modeling the whole system
    • Resourced for further development
  • Q&A

Learning Outcome

Workshop attendees will learn more about:

  • The impacts of Delivery System Design
  • The need for empirical approaches to improve; through experimentation, observation and testing
  • Common levers used in system design: Constraining Inventory, Queues, Skill Liquidity, Policies, Metrics, Understanding Customer Fit for Purpose
  • Exposure to Lean & Systems Thinking concepts and resources from Deming, Reinertsen, Goldratt and Kanban

Target Audience

Leaders in organizations with multi dependent teams. Any interested Agile practitioner or coach.

schedule Submitted 4 months ago

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