Tag Archives: English Post

Open Space Agility (OSA)

In one of my previous posts I discussed the new framework AgileSHIFT. A generic framework for organizations to make the shift towards agility. One of the reactions I received was a reference to Open Space Agility. As an ‘agile framework digger’ I had to take a deep dive into Open Space Agility (OSA).

Open Space Agility can help organizations with:

  • A dramatic reduction in the coaching & training costs of your agile program
  • A rapid, genuine and lasting agile transformation
  • Much higher employee engagement scores
  • Predictable, reliable, repeatable improvement in overall results
  • Increases in stakeholder satisfaction and potentially, stakeholder delight

Open Space Agility actually embodies the agile principles of iteration, experimentation, frequent inspection, and improvement. The five steps are repeated in an iterative fashion:

  1. Leadership and enterprise preparation
  2. Initiate the process using an all-hands “Open Space” meeting
  3. Initiate agile practices across the enterprise
  4. Complete the process in open space
  5. Inspect results and adapt

As we can see in the big picture and these five steps, engagement is key and can perfectly combined with other agile frameworks. E.g. you want to introduce SAFe you can follow the SAFe implementation roadmap. But to create buy-in, engagement and increase the energy Open Space Agility can help to create the right mindset.

BP OSA

If we look at the big picture (please visit openspaceagility.com/resources/ for a downloadable version of the big picture) , we see a timeline of 100 days, two open space meetings, 60 days before the first open space meeting and 30 days after the second open space meeting to level up. During those 100 days we experiment with agile practices, and then inspect the results about every 100 days. Start and end the 100 days in open space. During the 100 days, “suspend disbelief,” “act as if,” and “pretend” these Agile principles and practices might actually work. After the 100 days, discard practices that are not working. Improve and keep using practices that are working.

There are just a few open space roles. A sponsor who authorizes the meeting. The facilitator, authorized by the sponsor, to execute the meeting from start to finish and the participants to attend the sessions. Some participants become conveners and initiate small-group discussions. The coach who is responsible for delivering guidance on specific practices and facilitation of meetings.

Open Space has a light structure. The meeting starts in a large circle, where those attending learn about the 5 principles and 1 law of Open Space. The Five Principles are:

  • Whoever comes is the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it’s over, it’s over
  • Wherever it happens is the right place

The One Law: If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, and go someplace else.

It will take around 60 days of preparation before you can start with the first open space meeting. Part of the preparation will be the selection of a theme that frames the story of the open space experience for participants. The theme helps participants “know what it means.”.

Make sure that your meetings are optional and work only with the willing and leaders go first. They have to show that they are willing to do their leadership work in an agile way. To give all potential attendees enough time to consider the invitation and discuss with others it is recommended to give them around 6 weeks.

The management of the organization has to understand the difference between a mandate and an invitation, the open space meeting format, their role as a sponsor, the importance of storytelling and the importance of supporting and encouraging emergent leadership.

During the first open space meeting (OST-1) the participants learn about how Open Space works. They experience diverse perspectives on the agile adoption from diverse sources: teams, executives, managers, directors, and stakeholders. The participants learn that there will be another open space meeting in about 100 days (OST-2). This is the event where all of the experience from the 100 days of agile practices is inspected and reviewed. This allows everyone to give the agile practices a try.

Between the two open space meetings any practice that aligns with the Agile Manifesto is a candidate practice to experiment with. This could be done in the form of iterations (visualized by the numbers 1 – 8, but these iterations are not mandatory). A lot of experimentation is happing to understand the 4 values and 12 principles of the agile manifesto. Organizational learning, emergent leadership, leadership storytelling, direct experience, experimentation and game mechanics are key. Depending on the chosen framework or way of working additional roles can emerge. One specific OSA role is worthwhile to mention: the informal “Master of Ceremonies” role who provides reassurance and guidance through a difficult transition.

After the second open space meeting it is expected that the group can clearly identify the top issues of immediate concern. Each issue has a champion who brings passion and responsibility and a wider team who pitch in to help. In this manner a sense of progress across the entire organization begins to manifest. Before long, the culture starts to tip in the direction of continuous improvement and a strong intention to create great results. When this happens, many impediments tend to go away, as those who are not really supporting the new culture realize that more than a few things have changed in the past 100 days. The culture is actually shifting.

51CaLOiLZWL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_For more information visit openspaceagility.com

There is also a book explaining Open Space Agility: Open Space Agility

In my agile framework overview, I added this Open Space Agility (OSA) framework too.

Grasp session (Scaling Agile, 180526) v1.1

 

 

 

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The Agile Culture Map

In one of my previous posts I reviewed The culture map by Erin Meyer. Based on this book I created a questionnaire to ask my readers the come up with their ideas where to position the agile culture on the eight scales of The Culture Map. As we know, and stated by many surveys, the top 1 reason for agile transition failures is that the organizational culture is at odds with agile values. So I was curious to see the agile culture map visualizing the differences. In this map I compare The Netherlands with the Agile culture. For other countries you will have complete different results. At this moment there are culture maps available of 67 countries.

Agile culture map results

As we can see in this comparison there are a lot of differences to take into account. In the book The Culture Map you can find approaches how to bridge those gaps. The figures from The Netherlands are Erin Meyer’s figures. The agile figures are the average figures of 29 respondents of my Agile Culture Map questionnaire. Feel free to submit your input too so we can make it even more accurate. You can find an explanation of each row in the questionnaire. See the Agile Culture Map questionnaire.

I am looking forward to your reactions if you think these differences make sense or how you want to cope with them!

 

 

Review: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English / – Nederlands

Voor de Nederlandse versie van de courseware naar beneden scrollen.

9789401802253-480x600This book PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English was created by Douwe Brolsma and Mark Kouwenhoven and can be used as a replacement for a syllabus that training organizations provide for each attendee when following a PRINCE2 practitioner training class.

What do we get:

  • A timetable for a four-day training class with the exam at day 4 (starting with an overview and the principles, the project lifecycle including PRINCE2 processes and themes, tailoring.)
  • A print of all slides to be used during the training class. In the slides you find all the figures as provided by AXELOS, the preferred content of all products including references to the official manual
  • Two PRINCE2 Foundation sample papers from AXELOS (Question Booklet, Answers and rationales. 1 hour, 60 questions, to pass you need 33 correct answers) to be used at the start of the training class
  • The PRINCE2 Practitioner Examination Specification from AXELOS (learning outcomes, examination design and the weightings (number of questions) across learning outcomes, assessment criteria and ‘Bloom’s level’
  • Two PRINCE2 Practitioner Sample Papers from AXELOS (Scenario Booklet, Question Booklet, Answers and rationales. 2 hours 30 min, 68 questions, to pass you need 38 correct answers, open book, you can use the Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2)
  • 14 assignments to be used throughout the training with different types of exercises (create a product, explain a role, perform an assessment)

Conclusion: The courseware contains all the needed material for a training but could be of much more value when each slide is accompanied with an explanation of the content of the slide. In that case you could use the material as reference material after the training class/exam too.

To order: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – English

Recensie: PRINCE2 2017 editie Practitioner Courseware – Nederlands

9789401803458-480x600Dit boek PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – Nederland is gemaakt door Douwe Brolsma en Mark Kouwenhoven en kan gebruikt worden als vervanging van een syllabus zoals die door opleidingsorganisaties aan elke deelnemer wordt gegeven bij het volgen van een PRINCE2 Practitioner cursus.

Wat krijgen we:

  • Een tijdschema voor een vierdaagse training inclusief examen op dag 4 (de training begint met een overzicht en de principes, vervolgens volgen we de levenscyclus van een project met daarbinnen de verschillende PRINCE2-processen en thema’s, en het op maat maken)
  • Een print van alle PowerPoint slides die tijdens de training gebruikt kunnen worden. In de slides vindt u alle figuren/tekeningen zoals verstrekt door AXELOS en de gewenste inhoud van alle producten inclusief verwijzingen naar de officiële handleiding
  • Twee PRINCE2 Foundation voorbeeld examens van AXELOS (vragenboekje, antwoorden en toelichting, 1 uur, 60 vragen, om te slagen hebt u 33 correcte antwoorden nodig) die gebruikt kunnen worden aan het begin van de training
  • De PRINCE2 Practitioner Examination Specification van AXELOS (eindtermen, examenontwerp en de wegingen (aantal vragen) over leerresultaten, beoordelingscriteria en ‘Bloom’s level’
  • Twee PRINCE2 Practitioner voorbeeld examens van AXELOS (scenario-boekje, vraag-boekje, antwoorden en toelichting) 2 uur 30 min, 68 vragen, om door te geven hebt u 38 correcte antwoorden nodig, open boek, u kunt het beheren van succesvolle projecten met PRINCE2 gebruiken)
  • 14 opdrachten die tijdens de training gebruikt kunnen worden met verschillende soorten oefeningen (een managementproduct maken, een rol uitleggen, een beoordeling uitvoeren)

Conclusie: het cursusmateriaal bevat al het benodigde materiaal voor een training, maar kan van veel meer waarde zijn wanneer elke slide vergezeld gaat van een uitleg van de inhoud van die slide. In dat geval zou je het materiaal ook kunnen gebruiken als referentiemateriaal na de training / examen.

Om te bestellen: PRINCE2 2017 Edition Practitioner Courseware – Nederlands

Review: The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get things done across cultures

9781610392761-480x600Looking back at my week in Tokyo with all its cultural differences, e.g. the punctuality, the group culture, the clean streets but no garbage cans, the mouth caps to protect others and yourself, Japanese people skipping a lot of words, and to understand them you need to know the context, et cetera, I think reading The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get across cultures written by Erin Meyer was a good way to use my time when I flew back at an altitude of 38000 ft from Tokyo, Narita airport to Amsterdam, Schiphol.

It’s an easy to read and entertaining book with numerous examples from her own experience to understand how cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do). The purpose of this book is to improve your ability to understand these three aspects of culture and to improve your effectiveness in dealing with them. If you want to build and manage global teams that can work together successfully this book will be a great tool with lots of strategies and advices to support you.

The author developed an eight-scale model to help to improve your effectiveness. Each of the eight scales represents one key area that managers must be aware of, showing how cultures vary along a spectrum from one extreme to its opposite.

The eight scales are (see the figure with Japan and the Netherlands plotted on these scales):

  • Communicating: low-context vs. high-context
  • Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
  • Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
  • Deciding: consensual vs. top-down
  • Trusting: task-based vs. relationship-based
  • Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation
  • Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time
  • Persuading: principles-first vs applications-first (does not plot all world cultures as the concept of applications-first and principles-first only applies to western environments. Asian cultures, for example, are Holistic and neither Applications-first nor Principles first)

Schermafdruk 2018-11-11 15.06.57The culture map (source: www.erinmeyer.com/tools)

When examining how people from different cultures relate to one another, what matters is not the absolute position of either culture on the scale but rather the relative position of two cultures. It is this relative positioning that determines how people view each other. E.g. Japanese people see Dutch people deciding more top-down. But if you compare deciding between the Netherlands and Belgium, the Netherlands are more consensual and Belgium more top-down.

Each scale is described in a separate chapter with many, many examples to explain the different extremes from the spectrum and strategies and actionable advices how to cope with these people. Sometimes very specific rules or behavior are given. E.g. the “Law of Jante” (leading, Denmark),Ringisystem (deciding, Japan), Guanxi(trusting, China).

Mapping the communication scale against the evaluating scale gives four quadrants. Particular cultures can be found in each of these quadrants and the book explains different strategies for effectively dealing with people from each.

Mapping the disagreeing scale against a second scale that measures how emotionally expressive a culture is will help to understand that emotional expressiveness is not the same thing as comfort in expressing open disagreement.

To order: The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get across cultures

Review The change mindset – Survival kit for professionals in change

9789082935004-480x600A bookazine build around seven chapters. About the changing world and a changing mindset and the change mindset Yes … And … Act … we get many short stories, anecdotes, tips, exercises, and references to some awesome, related videos (see some at the bottom of this post) and a lot of references to books. In every chapter the spotlight on a thought leader, entrepreneur or specialist.

  1. A changing world. When the world goes bananas … The world of today (VUCA, 1 in 4 people hate their job, think about the major barrier to success: changing mindset and attitude, change is the only constant, complexity rules, happy is productive), the world of yesterday (from Reactive … to … Relax. Everything is under control), and the world of tomorrow (from Proactive … to … Relax. Nothing is under control). Professions of tomorrow: e.g. digital detox therapist, organ harvester and many more.
  2. Ladders & Bananas. Human beings love to think in patterns. Placing a ladder over a banana peel to avoid people slipping on it is not the most efficient solution. However, if you look at organizations, it is strange that they have built so many ladders in their structures and systems (red tape, bureaucracy). Seven solid reasons to build ladders are explained. Depending on your role you would solve the banana peel problem in your own way. Many different roles and solutions are given e.g. the scrum master or cleaning lady. And be aware of different shapes of fears. Three kinds of fears that often pop up: fear of the unknown, fear of different opinions and fear of failure.
  3. A changing mindset. Do you choose a fixed or growth mindset? You always have a choice. How are you making your (conscious) choices? Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you!
  4. The change mindset. The growth mindset is a mindset that is open to change. Three crucial ingredients play an important role if you wish to stay agile. ‘Yes’ stands for positive thinking. ‘Act’ is about getting into action and experimenting. ‘And’ means exploring different views and stimulate your imagination.
  5. Yes. Suspend your judgement is the first ingredient to allow change. Watch out for idea killers and use the 3-minute rule to triple your number of ideas. Understand when you can say ‘no’ and when you can say ‘yes, and’. What are you willing to struggle for, or to suffer to realize your dream?
  6. And. Switching perspectives is a great way to broaden your own reality. Flip your perspective from a problem to an opportunity. We get 21 activities to broaden your perspective and 7 creativity methods to generate ideas.
  7. Act. You can have lots of ideas but without action their value diminishes quickly. Human beings operate on the principle (“The banana principle”) of the least effort – given several paths, we choose the easiest. Start with a BaNaNo action, a first small step, to check if the idea or project had potential. To change behavior, pay attention to nudges (small easy and inexpensive changes) and the intrinsic motivation. Use nearlings (something new that was done with the right intentions, which had not (yet) led to the right result) to create learnings.

bananaConclusion: A fun to read and beautifully illustrated bookazine. It’s inspiring, pragmatic, and it opens your mind and gives lots of ideas and some food for thought (and it inspired me to create some ppt slides to be used during talks and training classes) and it offers a great set of video links. Looking at all those videos you can ask yourself if an ‘onlookazine’ (an online bookazine) wouldn’t even be a better format because you have to view them, many are awesome! The banana is key in this bookazine and be aware that 65% of your genes are the same as a banana. I would say a must read and I finish with a quote from Lewis Carroll “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take“.

To order: The change mindset

As said the bookazine contains references to more than 20 interesting videos. I selected a few:

The butterfly circus (awesome movie on unleasing potential)

Panyee FC (believe in your giga dreams)

27 Creativity & innovation techniques explained

Review AGILE NXT – Insights and foresights for your next step in agile

agilenxtA new colorful magazine from Xebia, developed by using their four new agile marketing Ps Purpose, Product, People and Process, to help you with your next step in your agile journey.

Many articles to bring you up to speed in the world of agile development:

  • Doing DevOps the DASA way: the six DASA DevOps principles and DASA qualification information
  • Product Leadership for the third wave (of agile adaption): successful POs build trust and a safe environment, transfer resistance into commitment, and switch between leadership styles according to the stakeholder field, urgency or importance. They learn how to own the product and nurture it to fruition
  • Mixed human-robo agile teams: the future is now: robo-advisors, teams focus on creativity and solving complex problems
  • Kick-start your agile team with design sprint: a five-day process with real customers that includes: define the main problem, forming ideas, designing solutions, prototyping and validating with real customers
  • Leadership’s role in business agility: driven by flexibility, focus, flow and feedback
  • Using brain science to boost your scrum events: applying one or more of the six trumps to enhance learning during your scrum events are movement trumps sitting, talking trump listening, images trump words, writing trump reading, shorter trumps longer and different trumps same
  • Yesterday’s competitive advantage is today’s industry standard: what questions need to be answered to embrace the next phase of your agile maturity
  • Design thinking: get to the heart of what the customer wants: The five stages of a design thinking process are empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test
  • Cultivating a culture for engineers with agile: Four critical ramifications of today’s digital age fueling the war for IT talent and the increasing demand for engineers: product digitalization, mass customization, immediate customer feedback and reduced cost of entry
  • Recommended reading for every agile leader: six knowledge areas that are critical to successful agile leadership are transformational reorganization, system thinking and mental models, ownership and responsibility, scaling through minimalization, group dynamics and a culture for creativity
  • The art of personal mastery: personal mastery shifts the focus to learning and improving ourselves and others
  • What makes a team a winning team: leaders who facilitate alignment and stimulate autonomy and improve team strength with a (management) drives workshop and a feedback workshop
  • Scrum@Scale: a meta-framework for strategic agility: set up a leadership action team to establish the executive metaScrum that prioritizes all agile initiatives and deliver shippable product increments at the end of every sprint, or sooner, by employing the Scrum of Scrums as a network of teams
  • Agile coaches prepare for the new wave: The 6 traits of new wavers are scrum experience, self-oriented, value work-life balance, value purpose and the need for speed, internet savvy and value and master feedback. The 8 do’s & don’ts of coaching, motivating, teaching a new waver are explained
  • The art of leadership agility: How can I be agile myself (flexible, adaptable and responsive) as a leader, in order to support organizational agility
  • Mindshift to purpose: our need to be part of something bigger: a well-defined purpose is inspiring, concise and observable. To make a purpose stick: believe it yourself, reinforce it often, reward the right behavior and share successes and build a movement, on purpose
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: accelerate your transformation with visualization: Five ways to speed up agile transformations: sketching skills: find hidden and essential drawing talent, travel journal based on pictures, talking pictures: shared complexity, style: congruent visualizations, and communication media: initiation of co-creation
  • Unboxing the CoCreate agile scaling model: scale to be small. The triple-A’s of the CoCreate model: Agility, Autonomy and Alignment. The model focusses on developing value and people while performance, growth, products, culture and adaption are its critical core components
  • Agility without agile: agility in practice, without using the traditional (agile) frameworks and using non-traditional cutting-edge technology to manufacture high-quality, custom-made, bespoke mannequins for the show floors and windows
  • 50 shades of “no”: product owners seem to understand the role, but they don’t know how to respond to all the requests and questions that come with it, or how to handle the stakeholders
  • Engineering culture: the unintentional side effect of agile transformation (and how to prevent it): upper layers of culture: artifacts and espoused values and behaviors and the deeper, invisible layer: basic underlying assumptions. 5 seeds for cultivating a sustainable agile culture are described
  • re.vers.ify: the need for agility in the face of perplexity: complexity turns into perplexity, an inability to act, an individual or collective state of being overwhelmed by complexity, permanently
  • Digital transformation gets real: adapt or die, disruption in action, embrace AI, robotics and AR. In the next decade 40% of today’s companies on the S&P 500 will be gone
  • Shared leadership: the product owner as mini-CEO: to get the most (and best) out of the product owner role: communicate top-down distribution of power and mandates explicitly and as the product owner, accept handovers of power and mandates explicitly and ensure product owners are qualified to execute power and mandates and that they receive the appropriate training
  • Evolutionary or revolutionary change: knowing the organizational end-state: fact or illusion? Evolutionary change: move away from where you are now
  • Find and bind talent with a flexible shell: a flexible shell can maintain the stability within the team while at the same time create an opportunity for those who want to grow more than a single team would allow.

Curious to read the magazine? Download or request a printed copy at: AGILE NXT

 

AgileSHIFT an overarching agile framework

AgileSHIFTcoverMany organizations are struggling to implement agile delivery frameworks to increase their level of agility, and many organizations fail. One of the reasons is the culture clash between a traditional organization and the agile culture. Only implementing agile delivery frameworks in e.g. your IT department is not enough.

AXELOS has developed a framework (see attached Quick Reference Card/QRC AgileSHIFT) that prepares people for transformational change by creating a culture of enterprise agility. The AgileSHIFT framework helps organizations to undergo a transformational change, to adopt a ‘survive, compete and thrive’ mindset. It will help to bridge the gap between the current and the target state (the Delta in AgileSHIFT) by embracing a range of agile, structured and hybrid approaches across the organization. The existing severe split between ‘run the business’ and ‘change the business’ will vanish. Now called, in this framework, Run the Organization and Change the Organization. Everyone is a change-enabler, encouraged and empowered to make change happen.

AgileSHIFT (QRC, 181012) v1.0To download: AgileSHIFT (QRC, 181012) v1.0

The AgileSHIFT framework explains why we need enterprise agility. There is an increasing pace of change (VUCA: volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity), the role of technology (from technology supported, via technology enabled towards technology centric), the delta between the current and target state of your organization and disruptive influences by enablers (as the gig economy, remote working, cloud storage and online presence), inefficient markets and black swan events.

To accommodate what we have to do the AgileSHIFT framework defines enterprise agility, principles and practices. Enterprise agility is the ability of an organization to move and adapt quickly in response to shifting customer and market needs. The five principles are: Change will happen so embrace the status quo, challenge the status quo, develop an environment where everybody adds value, focus on the co-creation of customer value and tailor your approach. The five practices are: Plan to be flexible and adaptable, engage stakeholders, build collaborative teams, focus on the co-creation of customer value and measure value.

The how (corresponds with the AgileSHIFT delivery approach) is expressed in the AgileSHIFT framework by the roles, the AgileSHIFT workflow and an iteration and by tools and techniques. There are three roles: the AgileSHIFT team, sponsor and coach. A simple iteration approach is explained but depending on the situation you have to choose the right approach. Tools and techniques include: customer stories and epics, relative estimating and story points, AgileSHIFT task list and roadmap, swarm, kanban, canvasses and agendas. For the last two there will downloads available.

To show your understanding of AgileSHIFT, foundation and practitioner certification will be possible.

In the next picture, I have positioned AgileSHIFT.Grasp session (Scaling Agile, 180526) v1.1