A few weeks ago long before the sun came up this morning I heard three phrases uttered by the same person in a five-minute block of time. I added my thoughts as I recall them in parentheses after each statement.  The three statements were:

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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…)

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…)

Read Part 1   Read Part 2

This is part 3 of an essay based on a presentation I did as part of IFPUG’s Knowledge Cafe Webinar Series. The presentation is titled Software Development: Preparing For Life After COVID-19. I have not heard if the final version has been posted. I do have a copy of the audio which I will edit.  I will also post a PDF of the slides in the near future (email me if you like to have a copy of the slides before they are posted). 

Once we have an idea of what is important: throughput, cycle time, productivity, and delivered defects, deciding when we care about measuring becomes critical. The answer is simple on paper, focus on the product backlog, what is between “Start and Done” and what crosses the line of done (production!). That we care about these three slices of time reflects the need to focus on how the work flows. Only counting the flow of value when it is done is a recognition that, at least in software, if code isn’t in production, you have not delivered. (more…)

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Sorry for the delay — repeat after me, always have an emergency bootable thumb drive!

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 601 features my interview with Brian Weaver. Brian is the Founder and CEO of Torch.AI. We covered a wide range of topics, including AI and agile, and the role of leadership in creating an environment where extraordinary results are possible.  (more…)

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SPaMCAST 580 features our interview with Bill Fox. Bill and I discussed his new book The Future of the Workplace –  https://amzn.to/2Q8z9Df.  Bill has compiled a huge amount of wisdom from his amazing interviews that translated into his new book. Bill and I spent time in this interview exploring the journey to the new book and Bill’s philosophies.  Our discussion highlights the benefits of a deep humanist view of leadership. (more…)

Book Cover

 

This week in our re-read of Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman opens with a discussion of a number of studies that show that professional predictions are far less accurate than simple algorithmic predictions. The work that sends Kahneman down this was originally done by Paul Meehl and published in the book Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A theoretical analysis and a review of the evidence (1954). At the time of publication of Thinking Fast and Slow decades later, studies across a wide range of subjects show that formulas beat intuition at least 60% of the time. Bluntly stated, formulas beat intuition most of the time – the idea that algorithms are powerful should surprise no one in 2019. (more…)

 

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SPaMCAST 562 features our essay on the power of saying no.  I firmly believe that unless you have control over the amount of work you take, you are asking for a trainwreck.  The problem is that saying no is often harder than being late or over budget.  

We will also have a visit from the Software Sensei.  Kim Pries is back to kick off September with an essay titled, Real Planning. While the actual plan might not be exactly what happens in real life, the act of planning is crucial.  (more…)

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SPaMCAST 551 features our interview with Michael (Mike) Lynn.  Mike and I talked about leadership and agile. Leadership is important any time two or more people get together to pursue a goal. Mike shares his expertise, experience, and wisdom to help shine a light on the relationship between agile and leadership.   (more…)