Leaders and Followers

When adopting any method or framework (e.g. Scrum, lean, orTameFlow), organizations need a leader that believes in both the journey and the destination. The recent thread on enlightened self-interest and enlightened leaders cast doubt on how much enlightenment is really going around.  Whether a leader is enlightened or just seems that way because they are on the right side on an issue we are passionate about is less important than studying how they behave. There are five attributes of a leader that impact the direction and adoption of change. They are: (more…)

I grew up singing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Drinking song (YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9SqQNgDrgg) so of course, I read most great philosophers. The song was funnier, but the ideas of Kant, Nietzsche, Plato, and Aristotle have been more useful for understanding change and how people react. All of this leads me to point out that I finally get to quote Kant.

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another.”

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Play the Software Process and Measurement Cast 616 Now!


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The SPaMCAST 616 features our interview with Tom Henricksen. Tom brings the industry two great events the DevOps and the Agile Online Summits. He is also an active thought leader in the agile community. During his recent visit to the podcast, we talked about the exciting changes to this year’s Agile Online Summit. We also chatted about how creating and scaling the summit has changed how he thinks about the world.  Tom is passionate about fostering learning and sharpening the saw. Tom suggests that tuning your skills and capabilities has never been more important as the economy struggles to get going again.

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Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

I find Chapter 14 useful in a book of useful chapters. In this chapter, Steve and Daniel explain the foreshadowed idea of full-kitting and introduce two different versions of kanban boards.

I am a big fan of the idea of the definition of ready. I have written several columns on the topic (for example, Ready to Develop from 2015, in which you will note that my definition is much closer to Steve and Daniel’s concept of full-kitting than some of the austere definitions of ready). It has never made sense to me to start working on a story if you didn’t think you could complete the work. It’s like making a platter of hamburgers for a party if you haven’t bought or even planned to buy the meat. The definition of full-kitting is “everything that is needed for the whole journey to done is known, available, or can be made available just-in-time when required.” This helps to ensure that there is no logistical reason not to complete a work item. I have found this concept to be useful and now is a “must consider“ when pulling any piece of work from my backlog. Full-kitting puts a lot of pressure on getting work prepared before it enters the workflow. This might feel esoteric or like it is a tweak on the idea of the definition of ready, but I have seen examples of teams (including whole Agile Release Trains) working for months on features only to have them warehoused because the overall application was not ready for them. Having your work warehoused is frustrating, not to mention expensive to do work that can’t go forward. (more…)

When I began exploring the topic of enlightened self-interest in the realm of coaching and change (spurred by my re-read of Tame you Work Flow) I reached out to several people on the topic. I got a lot of responses which I am incorporating in essays for the blog. Joe Schofield responded in his typical very thorough style. I have convinced him to allow me to use his response as a guest essay. Just so you know, Joe Schofield and I go back . . . I can no longer remember how long. Most recently a few years ago we served on the Board of Directors of the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG). While we did not always see eye-to-eye, we always listened and learned from each other. I am still listening and learning. Joe’s website is https://www.joejr.com/

 

Enlightened Self-Interest and Rational Selfishness; A Guest Essay by Joe Schofield (more…)

Enlightened Self-Interest Lights A Fire

As a change agent, coach, and guide I often help find how a change will benefit the people that management is asking to change. I have often heard that you have to find “what is in it for them” (WIIFT). The idea is that if something is in it for them, they will be more likely to embrace the change, or do the right thing. The ethical or philosophical concept is often called enlightened self-interest. Steve Tendon, author of Tame Your Work Flow (currently the focus of our Re-read Saturday Feature), had an exchange in which he suggested that enlightened self-interest would lead product owners and leaders to put the good of the firm in front of their own interests. The idea of enlightened self-interest is not commonly understood (I have struggled with it) and is not a panacea.   (more…)

Play the Software Process and Measurement Cast 615


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Jeff Dalton is Chief Evangelist at AgileCxO.org, a Research and Development organization that studies agile leadership. He is a technology executive with over 30 years of experience as a CTO, CIO, VP of Product Development, and for that past fifteen years has been CEO of Broadsword and AgileCxO. He is an executive agile coach, agile assessor, and instructor, a regular conference speaker, and author of both “The Agile Performance Holarchy: An Operating System for Agile Leaders” and “The Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI.” In his spare time, Jeff is an instrument-rated pilot and plays bass in a jazz band. He has degrees in music and computer science. 

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Patterns Podcast News:

The second installment of the Patterns (video) Podcast is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/TKaw08tBgyE  Ben Woznicki and I discuss #NoProjects.  #NoProjects reimagines the classic organization of work that has a definite beginning and end (limited duration) often with a temporary organization as an ongoing operation. If reading is more your style, I wrote an essay on the topic simply titled #NoProjects in 2019  http://bit.ly/2ErwTkp.  I will publish an audio version of the Patterns Podcast soon.  Ben and I would like your feedback on the video podcast and ideas for future episodes.  Reach out at tcagley@tomcagley.com or benwoznicki@gmail.com (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 614 features our interview with Jennifer Bonine.  Jennifer and I talked AI, the impact of AI on the future of work, and how to re-skill for the next industrial revolution. This is not science fiction, and the future is not as far away as you might think.   (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Those that control work entry, control the health of a team, and at a product level, the health of the organization. Messrs. Tendon and Doiron discuss portfolio and work entry in Chapter 13 of  Tame your Work Flow. Putting my biases on the table I believe that Reinertsen (Product Development Flow) and Leffingwell et al. (Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise) have advanced the discussion of portfolio prioritization immensely with the concept of the Cost of Delay. That said, Steve and Daniel, advance the ball even further. The sad part of the conversation is that most organizations that I have insight into leverage brute force politics to prioritize portfolios and are subject to suboptimization within silos. (more…)