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SPaMCAST 469 features our essay on consensus decision-making.  Consensus decision-making is one of the most prevalent decision-making tools in organizations today. But, consensus decision-making has it plusses and minuses. We came to a consensus and decided to discuss the topic.

Our second column this week is from Kim Pries (The Software Sensei).  Kim revisits the topic of cognitive biases.  Biases can blind us unless we are vigilant. Kim’s advice is to ask for data rather than just allowing our biases to decide for us.

Our third column is via Steve Tendon, who will bring us part 2 (2 of 3) of our discussion of chapter 20 of Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban  (buy a copy here).

Upcoming Appearances

Metricas 2017

I will be keynoting on Agile leadership and delivering one my favorite presentations, Function Points and Pokémon Go
29 November 2017
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Register

e-Read Saturday News

This week we re-read Chapter 5 of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction by Daniel S. Vacanti. Chapter 5 is titled, Flow Metrics and CFDs. The chapter puts the ideas of flow metrics and the power of cumulative flow diagrams together to provide a boatload of information..  Buy your copy today and read along!

Previous Installments

Introduction and Game Plan

Week 2: Flow, Flow Metrics, and Predictability

Week 3: The Basics of Flow Metrics

Week 4: An Introduction to Little’s Law

Week 5: Introduction to CFDs

Week 6: Flow Metrics and CFDs

Dead Tree Book

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Kindle

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Get your copy and begin reading (or re-reading)!

A Call To Action

I am looking for leaders of Agile PMOs for a special podcast and for background interviews.  Please contact me to discuss the topic at spamcastinfo@gmail.com or t.cagley@premiosgroup.com.

Next SPaMCAST

SPaMCAST 470 features the return of Ben Linders. Ben and I discussed his new book, What Drives Quality.  We explored the definition of quality, who owns quality and what teams can do to deliver quality.  If you are into excellence in value delivery, this interview will inform and delight you..  

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

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You can’t make a consensus decision by yourself.

Consensus decision-making is occasionally viewed as a panacea; however, there are several potential shortcomings. Like most situations, knowing an issue is a major step to resolving the issue. (more…)

How to decide?

Consensus decision making requires a number of prerequisites to be effective.  The prerequisites include a common goal, trust, commitment, participation, facilitation and a decision-making process.  There are numerous documented processes for making consensus decisions, each tailored to a specific set of circumstances.

Clear Process

A clear process makes consensus decision making easier because the process ensures that all viewpoints have time to be examined.  Following a defined process tends to be most impactful when the team is new, membership is dynamic or the group is large.  In all of these cases, a process helps to control potential chaos. The following process flow is a synthesis of a number of methods for team level consensus decision-making. (more…)

So the answer is . . .

Consensus decision-making may be one of the most prevalent decision-making tools in organizations today.  Simply walk around and ask the denizens of cube farms and team spaces how they make decisions. My perception is that the increase in the prevalence of using consensus as a decision tool has paralleled with an increase in the use of Agile and teams as a significant tool to deliver value. Defining consensus decision-making is a critical first step in understanding how to harness the power of the technique. (more…)

There are four leadership concepts that can double the chances that your Agile transformation will be effective and stay that way! These four concepts are not new, but they require a degree of passion and constancy of purpose that are often missing. The idea of constancy of purpose was the first point in W. Edward Deming’s 14 points for management (Out of The Crisis – 1982 MIT Press) that has rewritten management and leadership philosophy across the globe. Deming’s philosophies form the bedrock for the Agile and lean revolution in which we are currently engulfed, so we ignore Deming at our own peril. Agile delivers great benefits, but those benefits require leadership and vision to provide motivation and constancy of purpose. The four cornerstones that define Agile leadership are:

  • A focus on behavior;
  • setting the bar high;
  • developing self-awareness; and
  • deploying measurement.

(more…)

Picture of things not allowed on plane

What’s your dysfunction?

 

As part of the research on diagnosing when teams need to be rebooted teams, I have had several conversations focused on the circumstances that cause team dysfunction. An understanding of circumstances is important because how a team got to where they are will influence the type of reboot needed. Team problems are generally caused by one or a combination of four overarching problems. The four problems are: (more…)

There are four leadership concepts that can double the chances that your agile transformation will be effective. They are:

  1.   Behavior – The values you exhibit through behavior matter more than those you only espouse in words.
  2.    Goal – Goals define where the transformation is going.  
  1.    Self-Awareness – Agile leaders must be self-aware. Self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Building on the understanding of self allows a leader to understand other people. Self-awareness is a first step for leaders to put their own baggage aside and to support others.  Change in the workplace is difficult. Being good at conflict management and exposing issues is important for leadership when leading change, but if a leader not good at understanding his or her own cognitive and emotional biases it will be difficult for the wannabe leader to connect with those around him or her and for others to follow. The linkage between self-awareness and transformational leadership is not merely pop psychology.  In recent years the academic literature has empirically established the relationship between self-awareness and transformational leadership.

(more…)