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158278Re: [XP] Scaling Scrum and XP with Dynamic Governance

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  • John Roth
    Dec 15, 2012
      Hi Ron,

      As Michael Spayd says, it's a corporate governance system that's much
      more democratic than the more usual command and control corporate
      governance systems we love to hate. It was rebranded in the US as
      Dynamic Governance because of reactions to words that either begin with
      soc- or end with -ocracy.

      A well-functioning XP or Scrum team would probably recognize most of the
      team (called circle) practices except for the actual decision process,
      which is based on consent (not consensus as it's usually understood),
      not on majority vote. If someone wants to make a change to the current
      procedure, they make a proposal. The proposal is presumed to be adopted
      unless someone objects. Objections are worked through until they're
      either resolved or it's recognized that the proposal can't be achieved.
      The process is structured to make sure everyone has a voice: the
      facilitator calls on each person in turn; she does not recognize people
      who want to speak. The process is further structured so that the first
      round is reserved for clarifications, the second round for objections
      and then the third round to attempt resolution of the objections.

      A couple more qualifications: all, and I mean all, procedures are
      subject to revision. There's no such thing as a practice that can't be
      changed. Once a proposal is adopted, compliance is not optional - this
      is the same as Lean Manufacturing and most other functional team practices.

      Structures larger than a circle are based on multiple circles and a
      procedure called "double linking." That is, the subordinate circle has
      two delegates to the next superior circle, one of whom is the manager
      and the other is elected by the team. They have full voting powers so if
      a subordinate circle does not consent to a policy that affects them, it
      does not go into effect.

      My general impression is that Scrum/XP would be a natural fit for a
      Sociocratic organization, however I don't think that it's necessary in
      order to achieve scaling. The place where Sociocracy would work well is
      in getting agreed-on coding standards, protocols and similar things that
      cross teams, since the procedure for getting agreement among separate
      teams is essentially baked into the corporate culture.

      The system came from the Netherlands and the usual example is Endenburg
      Electric, an electrical contractor which has about 10,000 employees. I'm
      told it's accepted in some European countries as satisfying labor laws
      requiring employee participation. There's a book on it titled "We the
      People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy."

      Full disclosure: I had nothing whatever to do with writing the book, and
      I don't work for these people. I just like what they're doing.

      John Roth

      On 12/15/12 3:34 PM, RonJeffries wrote:
      > Hi John, it's nice to hear from you ...
      > On Dec 15, 2012, at 3:36 PM, "jhrothjr" <JohnRoth1@...
      > <mailto:JohnRoth1%40gmail.com>> wrote:
      > > I just saw this on the Sociocracy list -
      > http://www.socionet.us/dynamic-governance-is-scrums-big-brother/
      > >
      > > I presume you know about it. Opinions?
      > I do not know about it. Not sure if I'm sorry or not. It sounds kind
      > of pseudo to me. I suppose I should put it on my list of things to
      > look into.
      > What do you know about Sociocracy, in general or specifics?
      > Ron Jeffries
      > www.XProgramming.com
      > Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. -- Muhammad Ali
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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