20 Years In a Week

I try to take a scientific approach to things. I view frameworks & methods as hypotheses for how to best be effective. If I disagree with the hypothesis, I’ll speak about it. Some ppl don’t like that. But in the information age, methods are public knowledge & we should learn from them, not make them dogma. Learning from them also means improving them

When I started Net Objectives (20 yrs ago 1/1) I did it on the basis of adding value to the industry. I’ve always liked Earl Nightingale’s perspective that money received is a measure of value delivered. That’s served me well.

My drive has always been how do I help others learn and become effective. Over the last 20 years I have learned a lot by being a consultant, including:
1) people know a lot more than they give themselves credit for
2) people will listen to a consultant’s dogma as if it were ok that they have dogma
3) people won’t figure out things on their own if they haven’t already, but they are smart & can learn quickly if you give them a little guidance (not tell them what to do)
4) there’s no one-size fits all but there are many best practices that work almost everywhere, yet aren’t popular

If you have a sense that Agile can be better than it is, please drop me a line. I think I can show you why you’re right.

Let’s not put limits on our methods. And let’s not accept methods with limits.

Here are two serious questions:

1) As a provider of a framework whose intent to increase the ability of an organization to deliver value more quickly, why would you put limits on what could be in your framework? This means limits on both what could be added to the framework or what could be substituted for any of the frameworks rules, roles, practices and events? If you do, you are limiting the effectiveness of the framework.
2) As an adopter of a framework with the intent to increase your organization’s ability to deliver value more quickly, why would you accept limits by the framework you wanted to use? In other words, if something was more effective than what was in the framework, you’d have to stop using the framework to adopt the practice, … Why wouldn’t you find a framework that didn’t require this?

As far as I can tell, the only real acceptable answers are:
1) I don’t know how to do otherwise
2) I don’t know of a framework that doesn’t do that

Let me know if you have other answers.

Attend To Culture. Excerpt from “Adopting SAFe® for Your Organization: Achieving Business Agility from Small to Mid-Scale” book 2 in the FLEX series

One must address the culture of the organization when attempting to improve it. Culture affects Lean-Agile adoptions in several ways. These include:

  • How attached people are to their roles. Scrum and SAFe require new roles for people.
  • The rate that people want to move forward. If slow, Scrum and SAFe may pose a problem.
  • The amount of discipline needed. If high, Kanban may pose a problem.
  • How much people will resist a specified approach. If high, Scrum and SAFe may pose a problem
  • How much do people already know. If high, standard training may pose a problem.
  • How much more do people think they know than they do. Must engage in a discourse with people more than a training mode.

These factors should be included in deciding how one will proceed with any adoption.

Introducing a New Kind of Framework FLEX: FLow for Enterprise Transformation

I have long believed that frameworks should meet the following requirements:

  1. provide an explicit method to start that can be tailored to the organization adopting it
  2. provide a method to improve the practices being used based on the situation of the people using it
  3. be able to incorporate new ideas as they become available

These are difficult to achieve and are not met by any of the popular frameworks. This difficulty is not because such a framework needs to be massive, but rather because it needs to be based on a clear, workable model of how software development works. Not having this model has led to both incomplete and/or complex frameworks.

FLEX is a framework that does meet these requirements. It considers other frameworks as tools to use and uses them to provide recognizable starting points to virtually any company. But by including a method to adopt new practices, etc., as needed, it adjusts to what’s needed without having to re-invent the wheel.

FLEX accomplishes this by having a set of intentions to achieve collectively that will increase an organization’s business agility – the quick realization of value predictably, sustainably and with high quality.