Tag Archives: English Post

Review: The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference

9780349113463-480x600See for the Dutch version Het beslissende moment

The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference is written by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book we get a multitude of examples in which the author shows what it means to reach a tipping point. If we try to sell an idea, attitude or product, we want or need to help our listeners, our customers, our employees. We try to change them in some small yet critical respect, to convince them, to persuade them to reach a critical mass so that the goal comes closer. And that can be the acceptance of an idea, a changed attitude or the increased sales of a product.

To achieve the change the author uses the three rules of epidemics: the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context.

The law of the few shows that we need both connectors, mavens and salesmen. The connectors can bring the world and know lots of people. Whoever you want to reach, in a maximum of six steps, you can reach that person from your network. The mavens are accumulators of knowledge and brokers in information. Mavens are solvers of both their own problems and those of others. You use salesmen to persuade others where the word of mouth is still the most important form of human communication.

Tipping point (QRC EN, 181007) v1.0To download: Tipping point (QRC EN, 181007) v1.0

To penetrate the message, the product, or attitude (The stickiness factor) a messenger is needed that brings a memorable and contagious message. The message or advice must be practical as well as personal.

Finally, the power of the context shows that the sensitiveness to the message depends on change and the times at which and the places where they occur. Within a group of up to 150 people (the Dunbar number) it is possible to know everyone. To create an contagious movement you often have to create many small movements first (the paradox of the epidemic). The theory of broken windows can be used here too. A (social) epidemic or event can be tipped, by tinkering with the smallest details of the immediate environment.

Conclusion: The book reads smoothly and offers appealing examples of (social) epidemics, suicide, smoking, Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, the Ya-Ya sisters, the rise and fall of the crime in New York. The author knows how to reach a turning point in a striking way and shows that one creative person can change the world. While reading, it becomes clear why this book is recommended literature within SAFe to support the tipping point at the beginning of the SAFe implementation roadmap.

To order: The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference



Review: Tribal Leadership

9780061251320-480x600Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright wrote the book Tribal Leadership – Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization.

We probable are all familiar with Tuckman’s stages of group development and this book describes a model to explain how tribes (small company, 20-150 people, Dunbar’s number) or a tribe of tribes (large company) can or have to follow the five tribal stages to become a high performing tribe or thriving organization.

In the first stage we see people cluster together, and their behaviour expresses despairing hostility, such as in a gang (communication: “life sucks”).

In the second tribal stage we see a person separate from others who seem to have some power that they lack and their behaviour is characteristic of being apathetic victims (communication: “my life sucks”).

In the third stage we see a person who is connected to others in a series of two-person relationships, where they attempt to outperform one another and striving for dominance (communication: “I’m great”).

QRC Tribal leadershipTo download: QRC Tribal leadership

The fourth and fifth tribal stages are the places to be. In the fourth stage, the person forms structures called triads, in which they build values-based relationships between others and established a noble cause. When people at stage four cluster together, they radiate tribal pride (communication: “we’re great”). The last stage shares the same characteristics of stage four, except that there is no “they”. As a result, these people form ever-growing networks with anyone whose values resonate with their own (communication: “life is great”). Once the situation changes, the culture regresses to stage four, where it can move forward once a new opportunity arises or is engineered.

The book contains four parts:

  • The first part focusses on the tribal leadership system. What are corporate tribes and the five tribal stages.
  • In Part II we get an explanation what your journey as a leader could look like, leading others through the stages, starting in stage one – on a verge of a meltdown, via stage two where we see disconnected and disengaged people and stage three, the wild, wild west. And finally you must have your own the tribal leadership epiphany, your own awakening, before you can make the step into stage four to establish tribal leadership.
  • Part III describes what it means to own tribal leadership and stabilize stage four. Core values and a noble cause are essential as well as triads and networking. This part ends with a guide on strategy starting with the core values and noble cause, what we want (outcomes), what we have (assets) and what we will do (behaviours) as well as test questions.
  • Part IV, the last part, gives insights in vital work communities.

In every chapter we get coaching tips and technical notes and many, many real life cases to give in-depth insights. For every stage we get a summary and leverage points for a person in that stage and success indicators for you as a tribal leader.

Conclusion: Great book to understand the dynamics of organizational behaviour and what it means to build high performing tribes or thriving organization and become a real tribe leader. It’s not an easy read but at the end you have many real life cases to help you to make your next step when building or optimizing productivity of your organization or tribe.

To order: Tribal Leadership

On their website you can download a lot of tools: www.culturesync.net

The P3M3 maturity model with an agile extension (P4M3)


As HWP Consulting, we introduced in 2014 a Project Success Scan and we collected data points of more than 200 companies (see Project Success Scan). In 2017 we became an accredited AXELOS Consulting Partner for the P3M3 Maturity Model.

Many organizations are using traditional project management as well as agile delivery frameworks and in my opinion it’s not that black or white, you have to choose, depending on the change initiative, the right framework to make the change happen and that can contain traditional as well as agile flavors. When we look at the current P3M3 v3 model, I have problems to incorporate the agile way of working. E.g. how to cope with a permanent agile team?

In this article, I am proposing an extension of the P3M3 model to incorporate this agile way of working and I am looking forward to your feedback. At the end of the article there is a link to a very small questionnaire, which I hope you can complete.

Before I go into my proposal a short overview of the existing P3M3.


At this moment AXELOS offers P3M3 version 3.


To download: P3M3 V3 (QRC, 171205) v1.0

P3M3 version 3 contains three models, reflecting portfolio (PfM3), Programme (PgM3) and Project (PjM3) Management. We see seven perspectives applicable within each of the models:

  • Organizational Governance: Why we want to do what projects / programmes / portfolios
  • Management Control: Verifying that projects / programmes / portfolios progress as planned and within their authority
  • Benefits Management: Ensuring / proving our projects / programmes / portfolios are / were worthwhile doing in the eyes of the stakeholders
  • Financial Management: Getting and managing the money to do it
  • Stakeholder Management: Involving those who care and those who need to care
  • Risk Management: Managing uncertainty
  • Resource Management: Making sure we have the capacity to deliver

P3M3 can be used independently of your chosen project, programme or portfolio management method or framework.

The model is based on the five known maturity levels:

  • Level 1 : Awareness of process
  • Level 2 : Repeatable process
  • Level 3 : Defined process
  • Level 4 : Managed process
  • Level 5 : Optimized process

When answering questions you have the option to answer level 0: Unaware too.

New, in comparison with the previous version, are the max. 13 threads: Asset Management, Assurance, Behaviors, Commercial Commissioner, Commercial Deliverer, Information and Knowledge Management, Infrastructure and Tools, Model Integration, Organization, Planning, Process, Standards and Techniques. The most detailed questions are now the diagnostic attribute statements.

You can perform, by yourself, a Standard self-assessment or Enhanced self-assessment (subscription). The latter offers you on top of the standard self-assessment a maturity tracker, detailed results and a benchmark.

It is also possible, via an accredited consulting organization (e.g. HWP Consulting) to perform a full accreditation assessment resulting in your maturity level based on P3M3 or a full further diagnostic assessment including an improvement plan to achieve the next maturity level.

Agile extension

 Additional model: Permanent agile team

If you are using permanent agile teams (e.g. in your Software development department) the model will not help you to measure the maturity of these teams. Within the P3M3 model we have PfM3 for portfolio management (permanent organization), PgM3 for programme management (temporary organization) and PjM3 for project management (temporary organization). I added a fourth model PtM3 for Permanent agile teams.

P4M3 basisAs the three other models, this PtM3 model uses the same five levels. These five levels can be described as follows:


In the current P3M3 model we have seven perspectives. If your organization is using an agile way of working this will have consequences for your assessment of portfolio, programme and project management too. To cover this, I added an eighth perspective: Agility.

Additional perspective: Agility


At portfolio level your strategy must show agility, at programme level you must have agility within the strategic objective, at project level you must have agility at the project product level and within the permanent agile team you must have agility at product level (satisfy customer, prioritization, maximizing the amount of work not done).

The three tables provide an overview of the high level descriptions for the Agilty perspective in the three Management Maturity Models.



The next table provides an overview of the high level descriptions for all eight perspectives in the new Permanent agile team Maturity Model.

PtM3To download: PtM3

Additional thread: Product

P3M3 V3 (Intro training 180616) v1.1To download: P4M3 overview

To emphasize the importance of the product, I added an additional thread: Product. In this thread the maturity of the following attributes will be measured (source: Agile enterprise agility): Shippable, Cycle time, Product vision, Stories INVEST compliant, Definition of Ready (DoR), Definition of done (DoD), Story size, Backlog refinement, Slicing, and WIP.


To download: Thread product


HWP Consulting, as an Accredited P3M3 Consulting Organization can help you in performing a P3M3 full accreditation assessment or full further diagnostic assessment including an improvement plan based on your own objectives. To avoid bias we can facilitate your self-assessment as well. For the agile extension we developed the 3 reflective statements (organization, process, performance) for each of the eight perspectives within the Permanent agile team Maturity Model too. Feel free to get in contact.

Please fill in this simple questionnaire to help me to improve this P3M3 Agile extension.

Review : Turn the ship around!

9780241250945-480x600In this business novel – Turn the ship around! A true story of turning followers into leaders – the author David Marquet shows you his journey as Captain on the nuclear submarine USS Santa Fe. He had the guts to lead in a completely different way. Top-down leadership sometimes endangered the men. He decided to give his men the control themself: with amazing results.

Marquet describes the traditional top-down management as the leader-follower model in which the followers have limited decision-making powers and where they are barely encouraged to make the most of their intellect, energy and passion. The follower has learned that he must rely on the leader who takes all the decisions, instead of fully focusing on the work process in order to keep the organization running as smoothly as possible. In contrast, the author sets the leader-leader model that not only brings improvements in terms of effectiveness and morale, it also makes the organization stronger and more agile.

The book consists of 29 chapters and is further subdivided into four parts. Each section describes a phase in the author’s struggle to change the way of working on board of the Santa Fe. In the first part Starting over, letting go of old ideas is central and we get an insight into the frustrations, questions and ultimate rejection of top-down leadership (Pain, Business as Usual, Change of Course, Frustration, Call to Action, “Whatever They Tell Me to Do!” and “I Relieve You!”).

In the following parts (control, competence and clarity) the bridge to the leader-leader structure and accompanying support pillars is described. The bridge is control, divesting control to others in your organization while keeping responsibility. Here it is necessary that you have competent workforce that understands the organization’s purpose.

Turn the ship aroundIn Part II Control (Change, in a Word, “Welcome Aboard Santa Fe!”, Under Way on Nuclear Power, “I Intend to…”, Up Scope!, Who’s Responsible?, “A New ship”, and “We have a Problem”) a number of basic control mechanisms are discussed to be able to work according to a leader-leader structure, including searching and rewriting the genetic code for control, acting your way to new thinking, conducting short, early conversations, resist the urge to provide solutions, eliminate top-down monitoring systems, think out loud and embrace the inspectors.

Part III Competence (“Mistakes Just Happen!”, “We learn”, Under Way for San Diego, All Present and Accounted For, and Final Preparations) shows that it is necessary for people to be technically competent to make the decisions they make. On a submarine this means specific understanding of physics, electricity, sound in water, metallurgy and so on (compare this with the engineering culture necessary for agile transitions in software or product development). In this part, the following competency mechanisms such as take deliberate action, learn everywhere and all the time, certify everything, don’t brief, continually and consistently repeat the message and specify goals, not methods.

In the final part IV Clarity (Under Way for Deployment, A Remembrance or War, Leadership at Every Level, A Dangerous Passage, Looking Ahead, Combat Effectiveness, Homecoming, A New Method of Resupplying, and Ripples) it becomes clear that to be able to push down authority, in addition to control it is becomes increasingly important that everyone understands what the organization is about. This section deals with a number of clarity mechanisms such as achieve excellence, build trust and take care of your people, use your legacy as a source for inspiration, use guiding principles for decision criteria, use immediate recognition to reinforce desired behaviors, begin with the end in mind and encourage a questioning attitude over blind obedience.

The actual story starts 25 days to change of command and then we get a description of the 172 days to deployment of the Santa Fe, provided the submarine passes through the strict inspections and it does. The Santa Fe was the worst performing ship (poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet) and became the best performing ship of the fleet. There are 135 men on board of whom the most important persons with name and function are described. The story reads smoothly and each chapter is closed with a number of questions to consider.

Again a book that I can recommend to managers of organizations on their way to achieve more agility and it definitely makes sense that it is recommended within SAFe too.

The book also contains a number of references to websites, including www.leader-leader.com and www.davidmarquet.com where you can find additional material such as articles, a step-by-step plan, an assessment, et cetera can be found.

To order: Turn the ship around!

9780525534693-480x600The companion workbook – The turn the ship around! workbook. Implement intend-based leadership in your organization – written by L. David Marquet with Andy Worshek will help you to implement this leader-leader structure (intent-based leadership) in your organization. You get a lot of questions, exercises and activities on how to delegate and inspire for each of the chapters in the main book. It will show you how to to build a work community based on personal responsibility and trust. The workbook ends with the Intent-Based Leadership Manifesto

To order: The turn the ship around! workbook

A new kid on the agile block: Agile Digital Services (AgileDS)

Last week I followed an APMG ATO / trainer briefing regarding Agile digital Services.

This agile framework, developed by Agile Business Consortium, focusses on building and delivery of digital services. The AgileDS framework will help organizations to develop a consistent agile approach, a common language and a skilled workforce regarding digital services. It uses the same terminology as other agile frameworks. It is based on the GDS lifecycle (Government Digital Service, UK), themes and responsibilities have evolved from the roles and responsibilities in AgilePM and its agile practices come from other existing frameworks (e.g. WSJF from SAFe).

AgileDS (QRC, 180718) v1.0To create this quick reference Card I used the handbook that is available for feedback (beta phase). To download the QRC: AgileDS (QRC, 180718) v1.0

Generic and governance principles

The ten generic principles are:

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Then iterate again
  6. This is for everyone
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

The six governance principles are:

  1. Don’t slow down delivery
  2. Decisions when they’re needed, at the right level
  3. Do it with the right people
  4. Go see for yourself (GEMBA)
  5. Only do it if it adds value
  6. Trust and verify

Service Lifecycle

There are five phases discovery, alpha, beta (privat and public), life and service retirement which can be tailored to meet the needs of different organizations. The aim is to deliver  incrementally within each phase with a significant delivery at the end of a phase.


The following products are described (purpose, when created, updated, needed): Terms of Reference, Business Case, Backlog, Roadmap, Service Architecture Definition, Development Approach Definition, Management Approach Definition, Delivery Plan, Service Lifecycle Transition Report.

Themes and responsibilities

AgileDS defines a set of responsibilities that are collected into simple themes. All responsibilities must be covered and it’s vital that the team acts as a collaborative and effective whole, with clarity about individual responsibilities. Within the Service Delivery Team the following responsibilities must be covered: service ownership, delivery management, product management, business analysis, service development, user research, technical design, service assurance, service design and service deployment.

When needed specialist guidance should be available: assisted digital guidance, accessibility guidance, performance analysis and agile coaching.

Within Steering and Leadership we encounter the following responsibilities: business sponsorship, service ownership, technical leadership and change coordination (in case of multiple service delivery teams).


Several techniques are explained: Kano method, relative prioritization, stack ranking, MoSCow prioritization, WSJF, iterative development and incremental delivery, MVP and MMP, requirements and user stories, user research and personas, timeboxes and sprints.


Where AgilePM is there for the delivery of a product or service (temporary agile project, using a project lifcycle), AgileDS is there for the delivery and the continuous operations, support and maintenance of that service (permanent agile delivery team, using the product/service lifecycle). There will be a foundation and a practitioner certification in line with other APMG certifications.

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

Review: PRINCE2 Handbook

9780113315420-480x600Mike Acaster, Neil Glover and Allan Thomson compiled this PRINCE2 Handbook using the 2017 update of Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2.

It’s a handy, concise (A6) 82 pages booklet. It follows the official manual, and gives you a comprehensive overview of PRINCE2. After an introduction regarding projects in general, the role of senior management and the project manager, the six controls (costs, timescales, quality, scope, benefits and risk) and the structure of PRINCE2 you get an overview of the principles, tailoring, themes, processes and considerations for organizational adopting.

The principles provide a framework of good practice. All seven principles are explained: continued business justification, learn from experience, defined roles and responsibilities, mange by stages, manage by exception, focus on products, tailor to suit the project.

Tailoring can be applied to processes, themes, roles, management products and terminology.

Themes describe aspects of project management that must be addressed continually as the project progresses through its lifecycle. All seven themes are discussed in detail; Business case, organization, quality, plans, risk, change and progress.

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management. A process is a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. There are seven processes in PRINCE2 which provide the set of activities required to direct, manage and deliver a project successfully. All processes and underlaying activities are described: starting up a project, directing a project, initiating a project, controlling a project, managing product delivery and closing a project.

In a separate chapter you get considerations for adopting PRINCE2. Tailoring PRINCE2 to create an organization’s method and embedding the tailored method within the organization.

In the appendices you find explanations of all management products, roles and responsibilities and a glossary.

 Conclusion: a concise quick-reference guide with an overview of PRINCE2. But not enough if you are studying for PRINCE2 foundation.

To order: PRINCE2 Handbook

To order: Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2

Review HBR May-June 2018, Agile at scale

HBRIn this interesting article Agile at scale – How to go from a few teams to hundreds the authors Darell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland, and Andy Noble give insights in their study of scaling up of agile at hundreds of companies.

Some key take aways:

  • Leading agile by being agile, don’t use top-down plans and directives to scale up
  • Create a taxonomy of teams. Break the taxonomy into three components – customer experience teams, business process teams, and technology teams – and then integrate them (see picture)

HBR Agile at scale

  • Get agile rolling. Launch an initial wave of agile teams, gather data on the value those teams create and the constraints they face, and then decide whether, when, and how to take the next step (test and learn cycle)
  • Sequence the transition. Don’t make the mistake of going for easy wins. You have to create a learning environment or organizational changes necessary to scale dozens or hundreds of teams
  • Big bang transitions are hard. Require total leadership commitment, a receptive culture, enough talented and experienced agile practitioners to staff hundreds of teams without depleting other capabilities, and highly descriptive instruction manuals to align everyone’s approach, a high tolerance of risk along with contingency plans to deal with unexpected breakdowns. It’s often better to roll out agile in sequenced steps, with each unit matching the implementation of opportunities to its capabilities
  • No agile team should be launched unless and until it is ready to begin. The team is:
    • Focused on a major business opportunity with a lot at stake
    • Responsible for specific outcomes
    • Trusted to work autonomously – guided by clear decision rights, properly resourced, and staffed with a small group of multidisciplinary experts who are passionate about the opportunity
    • Committed to apply agile values, principles, and practices
    • Empowered to collaborate closely with customers
    • Able to create rapid prototypes and fast feedback loops
    • Supported by senior executives who will address impediments and drive adoption of the team’s work
  • Master large-scale agile initiatives with teams (of teams) of teams
  • Building agility across the business
    • Not every function needs to be organized into agile teams, but ensure that the functions that don’t operate as agile teams support the ones that do
    • Push for greater change in four areas: agile values and principles (agile and traditional teams), operating architectures (modular approach), talent acquisition and motivation (you need expertise combined with enthusiasm for work on a collaborative team, coaching, public recognition, team reward, …), and annual planning and budgeting cycles (annual cycles constrain innovation and adaptation, view decisions as opportunities to purchase options for further discovery, …).