Tag Archives: QRC

Quick Reference Cards in 2019

As a result of my book reviews in 2019, I created several Quick Reference Cards to summarize what I have read.

QRCs 2019

Review: Portfolio Management – A practical guide

pfm guidePortfolio Management – A practical guide is a publication from the APM Portfolio Management specific Interest Group written by Steve Leary, Richard Moor, Marina Morillas Lara, Stephen Parrett, Lynne Ratcliffe and Adam Skinner.


Portfolio management contributes to organizations in many crucial ways:

  • Provides a focal point for strategic goals
  • Ensures the prioritization of the goals, with prioritization rules for projects and programs that are clear and unambiguous
  • Helps ensure the whole board and executives are fully behind the approach, are sponsoring the portfolio and are actively championing portfolio management and empowering a capable team
  • Provides the capability to assess all key change factors
  • Considers in-flight projects and programs and business as usual (BAU) in the same way and ensure full alignment to the strategic goals
  • Ensures ‘tactical’ projects contribute to the strategic goals – if they don’t, don’t do them
  • Embeds portfolio governance into the organization’s controls and makes it robust
  • Critically assesses what information is really needed to make portfolio decisions
  • Provides the means to be consistent and fair across the portfolio, irrespective of the program or project sponsor’s influence.

QRC (PfM A practical guide, 191129) v1.0

To download: QRC (PfM A practical guide, 191129) v1.0

The guide is divided into four main sections. The first section – Introduction to portfolio management explains the basics of portfolio management. How it can contribute to organizations, when you can benefit from portfolio management and where it fits in your organization.

The second part – Adopting portfolio management deals with the link to the existing organizational processes like strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, risk management and benefits. Different delivery methodologies (traditional, agile, hybrid) and their impact are discussed.

Part three – Portfolio management core processes looks at the underlying processes of portfolio management. See the QRC for the flow of processes: create strategic plan, construct & prioritize portfolio, review portfolio, assess performance of portfolio, reporting on the portfolio and develop, monitor & control the portfolio.

The last section – Implementing portfolio management illustrates how an organization will need to clearly and unambiguously identify what will deliver value for them, and then adapt the practice of portfolio management to their needs. Governance roles and the relationship to organizational governance are explained.

The book ends with an overview of challenges for portfolio management:

  • Lack of clarity of the organization’s vision, goals and strategy
  • Lack of board-level consensus
  • Priorities not clearly defined or understand
  • Resources and their allocation not optimized
  • Lack of portfolio management skills
  • Inadequate or overly bureaucratic portfolio controls
  • The cultural challenge
  • Limited perception of portfolio management
  • Portfolio management is seen as just the latest management idea.

Conclusion: If you are new to portfolio management or a senior manager this book will help to understand the basics of portfolio management. If you are an expert in portfolio management, you will recognize most of it and you can use this book to promote the added value of portfolio management.

To order: Portfolio Management – A practical guide



Review Brave New Work

9780241361801-480x600In his book Brave new work, Aaron Dignan shows how he views evolutionary (agile) organizations and what you can do to become a more agile organization.

The book is made up of three parts. The first part – The future of our work shows how our work has changed as a result of technological progress and on the other hand that for many organizations this does not apply to management. An organization chart of an organization from 100 years ago is still comparable with many organizations of today. But there are also organizations that do it completely different. The illusion of control is exchanged for something much better. The author calls these pioneering organizations evolutionary organizations. Evolutionary organizations are people positive and complexity conscious and use these mindsets to collectively and continuously improve their shared operating system (how the organization works).

Based on comments throughout the book, evolutionary organizations can be characterized as follows:

  • grow without losing the culture they love
  • work fewer hours but get more done
  • protect the planet but maintain outsized profitability
  • create prosperity, not just for their shareholders but for employees, customers, and communities
  • know that if you treat people like mercenaries, they will become mercenaries. Treat them like all-stars and they will become all-stars
  • aspire to eudaemonic purpose-missions that enable human flourishing
  • ensure that everyone has the freedom and autonomy to serve the organization’s purpose
  • focus on their value-creation structure
  • favor units or “cells” of 10 to 150 people who are self-sufficient
  • are transparent
  • have a responsive structure in place
  • Have a certain level of maturity and competence
  • make better decisions faster
  • anyone can make a big decision, but first they must seek advice from colleagues who have experience with or will be affected by their choice
  • allocate resources dynamically
  • form and disband teams fluidly
  • innovate both product and process
  • converge on twelve domains (the OS canvas)

This last point, evolutionary organizations converge on twelve domains, is elaborated in part two – The operating system. These twelve domains form the Operating System Canvas (OS canvas).

The OS Canvas:

  • PURPOSE: How we orient and steer; the reason for being at the heart of any organization, team, or individual.
  • AUTHORITY: How we share power and make decisions; the right to make decisions and take action, or to compel others to do the same.
  • STRUCTURE: How we organize and team; the anatomy of the organization; formal, informal, and value-creation networks.
  • STRATEGY: How we plan and prioritize; the process of identifying critical factors or challenges and the means to overcome them.
  • RESOURCES: How we invest our time and money; the allocation of capital, effort, space, and other assets.
  • INNOVATION: How we learn and evolve; the creation of something new; the evolution of what already exists.
  • WORKFLOW: How we divide and do the work; the path and process of value creation.
  • MEETINGS: How we convene and coordinate; the many ways members and teams come together.
  • INFORMATION: How we share and use data; the flow of data, insight, and knowledge across the organization.
  • MEMBERSHIP: How we define and cultivate relationships; the boundaries and conditions for entering, inhabiting, and leaving teams and organizations.
  • MASTERY: How we grow and mature; the journey of self-discovery and development; our approach to nurturing talent, skills, and competence.
  • COMPENSATION: How we pay and provide; the ages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, benefits, perquisites, profits, and equity exchanged for participation in the organization.

QRC (Brave new work EN, 191101) v1.0To download: QRC (Brave new work EN, 191101) v1.0

Each domain of the OS canvas is further elaborated in its own chapter. You get an extensive explanation based on concrete examples. Many to be applied techniques and step-by-step plans are provided too. In addition, you will receive for each domain a questionnaire that can be put to the entire organization or to individual teams. The canvas can provoke incredible conversations and powerful stories to determine which elements in your culture need to be strengthened and what needs to be done differently. Each chapter is concluded with an explanation of the two mindsets. How can you incorporate a people positive and complexity conscious mindset in the domain described?

In the third part – The change, the central question is how an operating system transformation works. This is based on a continuous participatory change. Within this continuous participatory change are six important patterns (Do not mistake these for steps. They’re more akin to thresholds):

  • Commitment: When those with power or influence commit to moving beyond bureaucracy (autonomy, consent, transparency)
  • Boundaries: When a liminal space is created and protected
  • Priming: When the invitation to think and work differently is offered (complexity, emergence, self-organization, organizational debt, agility, leanness, motivation, self-awareness, mastery, trust, generative difference, psychological safety, and more)
  • Looping: When change is decentralized and self-management begins (sensing tensions, proposing practices, and conducting experiments)
  • Criticality: When the system has tipped and there’s no going back
  • Continuity: When continuous participatory change is a way of life, and the organization is contributing to the broader community of practice (the role of the leader: creating space, holding space).

Conclusion: A book that shows what it means to achieve more business agility without getting bogged down in a description of implementing a (scaling) agile framework, because that alone won’t get you there. A must read for managers, with many practical tools to get started.

To order: Brave New Work

Youtube: Talk at Google: We were joined by Aaron Dignan, the founder of The Ready, an organization design and transformation firm, and author of “Brave New Work” to discuss better ways of working and how to ignite the energy in an organization, building a company that runs itself.

Zie verder mijn blog voor een recensie van de Nederlandse uitgave.

Review: Exponential organizations

9781626814233-480x600Salim Ismail wrote, together with Yuri van Geest and Michael S. Malone, Exponential organizations – Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it). These exponential organizations are able to show an exponential growth curve due to the integral application of communities, big data, smart algorithms and new, innovative technologies. The authors used research into hundreds of startups and interviews with CEO’s of the fast-growing companies (Airbnb, Netflix, Tesla, Waze, et cetera).

The book consists of two parts and an introduction. The first part explores the characteristics and implications of exponential organizations. The second part deals with the practical implementation and future vision of these organizations. You get tools to implement the exponential organization model in your own organization too.

Moore’s law will be known to many. Every eighteen months the price / performance of computing power doubles. And this has already been applicable for the last sixty years. However, this exponential doubling is much more common, but predicting a technology when it doubles is always dangerous. The Human Genome Project was set up in 1990 with the aim of completely unraveling a single human genome. According to various predictions, the project would take 15 years and cost $ 6 million. Every expert called the project a failure in 1997, pointing out that if only 1 percent were unraveled in 1997, it would take seven hundred years for the entire genome to be mapped. According to Ray Kurzweil, the 1% meant they were halfway. Double 1% seven times was 100%. The project was completed in 2001!

Almost by definition, exponential organizations (ExOs) all think big and this is reflected in the higher ambitious goal of the organization. The massive transformative purpose (MTP) statement is formulated for this purpose.

QRC (ExO EN, 191021) v1.0To download: QRC (ExO EN, 191021) v1.0

ExO’s are described by five external (SCALE) and five internal (IDEAS) elements. To classify as an ExO you need to have a Massive Transformation Purpose (MTP) and at least 3-4 of the ExO-elements. In the appendix you can find a questionnaire to calculate your own exponential score. SCALE- and IDEAS-elements are self-reinforcing and integrating.

The external elements (SCALE) to improve your performance are: Staff on demand, Community & Crowd, Algorithms, Leveraged assets, Engagement. ExOs scale up beyond the boundaries of their own organization by using or gaining access to people, assets and platforms to maximize flexibility, speed, agility and learning processes.

In addition, the controlling framework of the five internal elements (IDEAS) is described, which manages the abundant output of the external SCALE elements: Interfaces, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy, Social.

In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, the authors have determined nine key dynamics at play for the ExO ecosystem:

  1. Information accelerates everything
  2. Drive to demonetization
  3. Disruption is the new norm
  4. Beware the “expert”
  5. Death to the five-year plan
  6. Smaller beats bigger
  7. Rent, don’t own
  8. Trust beats control, open beats closed
  9. Everything is measurable and anything is knowable.

In the second part the authors explain how to start an ExO by using examples and they offer a step-by-step plan:

  1. Select a massive transformative purpose (MTP)
  2. Join or create relevant MTP communities
  3. Compose a team
  4. Breakthrough idea
  5. Build a Business Model Canvas
  6. Find a business model
  7. Build the MVP
  8. Validate marketing and sales
  9. Implement SCALE and IDEAS
  10. Establish the culture
  11. Ask key questions periodically
  12. Building and maintaining a platform.

In addition to setting up, attention is also paid to how you can grow an organization in the mid-market company segment, exponentially. Through examples from TED, GitHub, Coyote Logistics, Studio Roosegaarde, GoPro and how they score on the ExO elements, you get a good overview of what is possible. Finally, a number of strategies are discussed with which large organizations can align themselves with ExO concepts while retaining their core activities transform leadership, partner with, invest in or acquire ExOs, disrupt and implement ExO lite internally.

By using examples from Bridgewater, Coca-Cola, Haier, Xiaomi, The Guardian, GE, Amazon, Zappos, Tangerine, and Google Ventures, among others, the authors explain how these strategies have been put into practice by showing their exponential score. The book concludes with a chapter on exponential executives including the CEO, CMO, CFO, CTO / CIO, Chief Data Officer (CDO), Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), COO, Chief Legal Officer (CLO), and the CHRO.

Conclusion. Is this era of agile transitions, a must read for senior management to understand that scaling of agile teams is not enough to survive in this twenty first century? The book offers a practical framework to experiment with one or more of the ExO elements.

To order: Exponential organizations

See my blog for the Dutch translation of this book.

Review Make Disruption Work

9789082838206-480x600Alexandra Jankovich and Tom Voskes wrote the book Make Disruption Work – a CEO handbook for digital transformation. Everybody is talking about digital disruption. It will continue impacting every sector and industry and creating new ways for companies to serve customers better, faster and cheaper. Those companies that adapt and make disruption work for them, win big; those that don’t get boiled like frogs.

The book is built around the 5D model. Each step has its own chapter with explanations of the key points in that step and related examples of existing companies. The final part of the book is dedicated to three case studies. The chocolate world (de-decentralizing: autonomous-owners to everyone-wants-in), Dealcraze.com (back from the brink: data saves) and Prospect & Micawber (safety through risk). The case studies are detailed and risk, covering not only the sunny side, but also the gritty problems and misconceptions faced, as well as key case data.

The 5D model:

  1. Discover the new world. CEOs ask: ‘How is my industry going to be disrupted?’ Start by looking up
  2. Define how to act. The game has changed. There are six new rules, and seven strategies to match
  3. Determine what you need. Organize to deliver speed and disruption, and approach tech right
  4. Drive the change. Get your capabilities, get your team, go!
  5. Delight in the new world. Lead, act, and tell the story.

QRC (make disruption work, 190821) v1.0To download: QRC (make disruption work, 190821) v1.0

Conclusion: The book is easy to read, easy to digest, and visually attractive. By following the 5D model you get a lot of useful advice for senior leaders how to cope with disruption and how to make disruption work for you.

To order (Managementboek.nl): Make Disruption Work – a CEO handboek for digital transformation

Nederlandse versie: Make disruption Work – Een CEO-handboek voor digitale transformatie


Recensie Exponentiële organisaties

9789047008330-480x600Salim Ismail en Yuri van Geest hebben, samen met Michael S. Malone, met Exponentiële organisaties een boek geschreven waarom nieuwe organisaties tien keer beter, sneller en goedkoper zijn en hoe jij dat ook kan worden. Deze exponentiële organisaties zijn in staat een groeicurve te laten zien die exponentieel is, dankzij de integrale toepassing van onder andere community’s, big data, slimme algoritmes en nieuwe technologieën. Hierbij is gebruik gemaakt van onderzoek naar honderden startups en interviews met CEO’s van de snelst groeiende organisaties (Airbnb, Netflix, Tesla, Waze, et cetera).

Het boek bestaat, naast een inleiding, uit twee delen. In het eerste deel worden de kenmerken en implicaties van exponentiële organisaties verkend. In het tweede deel wordt ingegaan op de praktische uitvoering en het toekomstbeeld van deze organisaties. Daarnaast krijg je handvatten om het exponentiële organisatiemodel in je eigen organisatie te implementeren.

De wet van Moore zal bij velen bekend zijn. Iedere achttien maanden verdubbeld de prijs/prestatie van computer rekenkracht. En dit is al zestig jaar van toepassing. Deze exponentiële verdubbeling komt echter veel vaker voor, maar het voorspellen van een technologie wanneer deze zich verdubbelt, is altijd gevaarlijk. In 1990 werd het Human Genome Project opgezet met als doel een enkel menselijk genoom helemaal te ontrafelen. Volgens diverse voorspellingen zou het project 15 jaar duren en 6 miljoen dollar kosten. Iedere deskundige noemde in 1997 het project een mislukking, erop wijzend dat wanneer in 1997 slechts 1 procent was ontrafeld, het zevenhonderd jaar zou duren voordat het gehele genoom in kaart was gebracht. Volgens Ray Kurzweil betekende de 1% dat ze halverwege waren. 1% zeven keer verdubbelen was 100%. Het project werd in 2001 afgerond!

Exponentiële organisaties (ExO’s) denken bijna per definitie allemaal groot en dit komt tot uitdrukking in het hogere ambitieuze doel van de organisatie. Hiertoe wordt het massive transformative purpose (MTP) statement geformuleerd.

QRC (ExO, 190813) v1.0Downloaden: QRC (ExO, 190813) v1.0

ExO’s worden door vijf externe (SCALE) en vijf interne (IDEAS) kenmerken beschreven waarbij aangetekend wordt dat je minimaal een MTP en over 3-4 van deze kenmerken moet beschikken om als ExO geclassificeerd te worden. In de bijlage is een vragenlijst opgenomen op basis waarvan je je de exponentiële score van je organisatie kan vaststellen. SCALE- en IDEAS-kenmerken zijn zelfversterkend en integrerend.

De externe kenmerken (SCALE) die uitgebreid toegelicht worden en helpen om beter te presteren, zijn:

  • Staff on demand (personeel op afroep)
  • Community & crowd (community en het brede publiek)
  • Algoritms(algoritmen)
  • Leveraged assets (extern verworven assets)
  • Engagement (betrokkenheid)

ExO’s schalen op buiten de grenzen van de eigen organisatie door gebruik te maken van of toegang te krijgen tot mensen, assets en platforms om zo flexibiliteit, snelheid, wendbaarheid en leerprocessen te maximaliseren.

Daarnaast wordt het controlerende raamwerk van de vijf interne kenmerken (IDEAS) beschreven, waarmee de overvloedige output van de externe SCALE-kenmerken gemanaged worden:

  • Interfaces (interfaces)
  • Dashboards (dashboards)
  • Experimentation (experimenteren)
  • Autonomy (autonomie)
  • Social (sociale technologieën)

Naast de hiervoor genoemde kenmerken hebben de auteurs negen dynamische factoren bepaald van het ExO-ecosysteem:

  1. Informatie versnelt alles
  2. Op weg naar demonetisering
  3. Ontwrichting is de nieuwe norm
  4. Wees op je hoede voor de deskundige
  5. Het einde van het vijfjarenplan
  6. Kleiner verslaat groter
  7. Huren, niet bezitten
  8. Vertrouwen verslaat controle en open verslaat gesloten
  9. Alles valt te meten, en alles valt te weten

In het tweede deel gaan de auteurs in op het starten van een ExO aan de hand van voorbeelden en bieden een stappenplan:

  1. Kies een massive transformative purpose (MTP)
  2. Sluit je aan bij relevante MTP-community’s of zet ze zelf op
  3. Stel en team samen
  4. Baanbrekend idee
  5. Maak een businessmodel canvas
  6. Een businessmodel vinden
  7. Het minimaal levensvatbare product (MVP) bouwen
  8. Marketing en sales valideren
  9. De concepten SCALE en IDEAS doorvoeren
  10. Een cultuur vestigen
  11. Stel regelmatig belangrijke vragen
  12. Bouwen en onderhouden van een platform

Naast het opzetten wordt ook aandacht besteed hoe je een organisatie in het middensegment exponentieel te laten groeien. Middels voorbeelden van TED, Github, Coyote Logistics, Studio Roosegaarde, GoPro en hoe zij scoren op de ExO-kenmerken biedt een goed overzicht van wat mogelijk is. Tenslotte passeren een aantal strategieën de revue waarmee grote organisaties zichzelf kunnen afstemmen op ExO-concepten met behoud van hun kernactiviteiten:

  1. Transformatie van leiderschap
  2. Partnerschappen met, belangen in of overnames van ExO’s
  3. Disrupt [x]
  4. ExO lite intern implementeren

Aan de hand van voorbeelden bij o.a. Bridgewater, Coca-Cola, Haier, Xiaomi, The Guardian, GE, Amazon, Zappos, Tangerine, en Google Ventures wordt toegelicht hoe deze strategieën in de praktijk zijn gebracht aan de hand van hun exponentiële score. Het boek sluit af met een hoofdstuk over de exponentiële leidinggevende waaronder de CEO, CMO, CFO, CTO/CIO, Chief Data Officer (CDO), Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), COO, Chief Legal Officer (CLO), en de CHrO.

Conclusie. In deze tijd van agile transities een aanrader voor senior management om te lezen dat er meer nodig is dan het opschalen van agile om te kunnen overleven in de eenentwintigste eeuw. Het biedt verder een praktisch raamwerk om met een aantal van de ExO kenmerken aan de gang te gaan.

Bestellen (managementboek.nl): Exponentiële organisaties

Bestellen (Bol.com): Exponentiële organisaties


Review Flawless consulting

flawless consulting 9780470620748-480x600Peter Block is the author of Flawless consulting – A guide to getting your expertise used. Starting point are the following three consulting goals. Establish a collaborative relationship. Solve problems so they stay solved and ensure attention is given to both the technical/ business problem and the relationships. To achieve this, you have to follow four phases and you must make sure you complete the requirements for each phase before you move into the next phase.

The four phases and their requirements are:

  • Negotiate the client and your own wants, cope with mixed motivation, surface concerns about exposure and loss of control, and understand triangular and rectangular contracts.
  • Discovery and inquiry. Layers of inquiry, political climate, resistance to sharing information, and the interview as a joint learning event.
  • Feedback and decision to act. Funneling data, presenting personal and organizational data, managing the meeting for action, focusing on the here and now, and don’t take it personally.
  • Engagement and implementation. Bet on engagement over mandate and persuasion, design more participation than presentation, encourage difficult public exchanges, put real choice on the table, change the conversation to change the culture, and pay attention to place.

Result By definition, being a consultant – and not a manager – means you have direct control and responsibility only for your own time and your own support resources. The line manager is paid to take responsibility for what the line organization implements or doesn’t implement!

Accountability If I – know my area of expertise (a given), behave authentically with the client, tend to and complete the business of each consulting phase, and act to build capacity for the client to solve the next problem on their own, I can legitimately say I have consulted flawlessly.

QRC (Flawless consulting, 190628) v1.0To download: QRC (Flawless consulting, 190628) v1.0

The book explains what to do during the different phases, what kind of meetings can be or must be held (including checklists). You get practical guidance on how to ask better questions, gives suggestions for dealing with difficult clients, and contains expanded guidelines on more engaging forms of implementation. It describes the important differences between internal and external consultants. What kind of resistance can you face, what does it mean and how to deal with resistance? Several examples are given including two outside the consultancy world. One taken from the health care and one from educational reform efforts.

In the book you can find several handy checklists:

  • Assessing the balance of responsibility: Rate who is taking responsibility in a project you are engaged in.
  • Analyzing one of Your contracts: Practice writing up elements of your contract.
  • Planning a contracting meeting: Answer these questions when you are planning a contracting meeting.
  • Reviewing the contracting meeting: Questions to answer after the meeting.
  • Planning a discovery meeting: Planning guidelines to aid in data collection and prepare for resistance.
  • Reviewing the discovery meeting: Questions to answer after the meeting.
  • Planning a meeting for action: Guidelines to help you prepare for the meeting.
  • Reviewing the meeting for action: Questions to answer after the meeting.
  • Preparing for implementation: Reminders on working the elements of engagement into the implementation phase.
  • Reviewing an implementation event: Questions to answer after the Implementation phase.

To download these checklists, visit www.flawlessconsulting.com where you can find much more resources too.

Conclusion. A must read for consultants. If you just start or if you are already a very experienced consultant, this book gives a lot a very useful insights, practices, checklists, examples, and a way of thinking and working to build the right relationship with your client and to avoid disappointments on the client’s or your own side.

To order (Managementboek): Flawless Consulting

To order (Bol.com): Flawless consulting