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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 433 features our interview with Jeff Dalton discussing holacracy.  Holocracy.org defines holacracy as, “a complete, packaged system for self-management in organizations. Holacracy replaces the traditional management hierarchy with a new peer-to-peer “operating system” that increases transparency, accountability, and organizational agility.” Jeff has implemented holacracy in his own firm and others and has a lot to share about this exciting form of management and leadership.

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword, a Process Innovation firm, and Chief Evangelist at AgileCxO.org, an Agile Leadership Research and Development center that develops models for high-performing agile teams.  Jeff is principle author of “A Guide to Scrum and CMMI,” published by the CMMI Institute, and is a SCAMPI Lead Appraiser and Certified Agile Leadership Consultant that specializes in software product development, self-organizing teams, and performance modeling.  His upcoming book, the “Agile Performance Holarchy: A New Model for Outrageously High Performance” will be released in September of 2017. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 420 features our interview with John Hunter.  John is a SPaMCAST alumni; John first appeared on SPaMCAST 226 to talk about why management matters.  In this podcast John returns to discuss building capability in the organization and  understanding the impact of  variation.  We also talked Deming and why people tack the word improvement on almost anything!   

John’s Bio

John Hunter has served as an information technology program manager for the Office of Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office, the White House Military Office and the American Society for Engineering Education.

In 2013, he published his first book – Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability.

John created and operates one of the first, and still one of the most popular, management resources on the internet.  He continues to aid managers in their efforts to improve their organizations with an emphasis on software development and leveraging the internet.  His blog is widely recognized as a valuable resource for leaders and managers with a focus on improving the practice of management in organizations.

Re-Read Saturday News

In this week’s re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team  by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, Copyright 2002, 33rd printing), we tackle the sections titled Accountability, Individual Contributor, and The Talk.  We are getting close to the end of the novel portion of the book but over the next few weeks, we have a number of ideas to extract from the book before we review the model. (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 413 features our essay on Scaling Agile and Management Styles.  This essay builds on our recent discussion of servant leadership. It is not as simple as adding teams or building a hierarchy.

Steve Tendon joins the SPaMCAST this week to discuss Chapter 11 in Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published J Ross (buy a copy here).   We discussed the concept of throughput accounting.  A powerful concept that that focuses on the delivery of value through the overall process. Visit Steve at www.tendon.net.

We cap this edition of the Software Process and Measurement Cast with a visit to the QA Corner with Jeremy Berriault. Jeremy discussed the impact of testing tools. There are significant plusses for using tools if you don’t let the tools use you! Connect with Jeremy on Linkedin.

Re-Read Saturday News

We continue the read/re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (published by Jossey-Bass).  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a business novel that uses a story to get important ideas across to the reader in a less threatening manner. This week we discuss the sections covering the background for the first major team crisis. Lots of behaviors you might, unfortunately, recognize in teams around you!

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads. (more…)

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Servant leadership is a powerful tool to unlock the ability of teams or groups to deliver value. Many of the links between servant leadership and Agile are because servant leadership enables several of the principles in the Agile Manifesto. The concept of servant leadership can be traced back to Ancient China, but it was popularized in the 1970’s by Robert Greenleaf in his essay “The Servant as Leader“.  It is simple in its basic premise, but more complex and nuanced in practice. When considering the servant as a leader, Greenfield suggested that base attribute of the person, which can not be taken away, is that of a servant (providing service to others). The leadership attribute develops as an addition to the servant role.  While the servant attribute is forever, the leader can be transitory. The term servant is used in more of a religious tone (small r variety), in which the servant seeks to make those around her or him better, rather than the servant portrayed in Downton Abbey. The high-level distinction is important and often glossed over when applied in organizations.  Being a servant leader is more difficult than following the simple definition of empowering and serving the people he or she leads.
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Scaling!

Leading the way!

Participative management styles are often used by Agile teams.  Participative management styles are perceived to be more flexible. Flexibility allows teams to immediately react to the feedback they receive as they work rather than wait until it is too late to react. Flexibility is a core principle of Agile; however, scaling Agile requires trading some of the flexibility of participative management styles for more control.  More control is needed due to the increased size of both team and work and the increased level of risk large pieces of work typically represent.    (more…)

Follow me this way!

Follow me this way!

Most any substantive of discussion of Agile sooner or later turns to leadership.  As teams embrace the principles in the Agile Manifesto that foster self-organization and self-management, they often require a shift away from classic management techniques.  In some cases, as teams begin exploring Agile the idea of management becomes an anathema, while in other cases, the concepts of leadership and management are conflated. Leadership and management are not the same thing and in most organizations, both are required. (more…)

Attention Dogs

Delegative management?

During a keynote speech at a conference I recently attended I listened to a Phillip Lew challenge the orthodoxy of Agile’s over-reliance on group decision making (participative management) styles.  Agile teams are typically built a presumption that group decision making is all that is needed to deliver value to the customer. Group decision making is often compared to classic command and control forms (autocratic) of management. In many cases, autocratic management is portrayed as the antithesis of Agile which casts the discussion in terms of good and evil.  Casting the discussion of management styles in terms of good and evil is probably an overstatement and just believing that are there only two management styles is a miss-statement. Let’s deal with the miss-statement first. There are at least five common management styles. Before we can wrestle with whether Agile only works if a pure participative management is used we need to agree on a few definitions. (more…)