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Re: [XP] Re: Results are in on organizational culture survey

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  • Keith Ray
    Very well worded! C. Keith Ray Amplify Your Agility Coaching | Training | Assessment | eLearning http://industriallogic.com
    Message 1 of 55 , Jul 8, 2010
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      Very well worded!

      C. Keith Ray

      Amplify Your Agility
      Coaching | Training | Assessment | eLearning
      http://industriallogic.com

      On Jul 8, 2010, at 6:09 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...> wrote:

      > BTW, the intrinsic human mechanism to convert an experience/input into
      > mental models consistent with our personal world view and then
      > substitute that mental model for that experience is also why agile
      > works better than the alternatives.
      >
      > Agile calls for collaborating in real time when things are happening
      > instead of documenting those things and expecting everybody who reads
      > that document to somehow come away with the same mental model. Agile
      > calls for reducing the amount of WIP so that the team can all focus
      > collaboratively on that work as it is happening instead of
      > periodically inventorying that work and expecting whoever removes that
      > work from the shelf will somehow have the same mental model as the
      > people who were working on it earlier.
      >
      > Short collaborative time boxes avoids everybody forming their
      > individual mental models of the work and then working at cross
      > purposes later. Many call this "shared mental model", but I think a
      > lot of what makes it work is that we are doing the work in real time
      > instead of substituting a mental model for latent work.
      >
      > On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM, Steven Gordon <sgordonphd@...>
      > wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >> On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 4:27 PM, PAUL <beckfordp@...>
      >> wrote:
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> Hi Steven,
      >>>
      >>> I've got my own views why we always end up down the same rabbit
      >>> hole. So I
      >>> agree with the sentiment, but that is different from "there is
      >>> nothing to
      >>> learn". Please see my comments:
      >>>
      >>> --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Steven Gordon
      >>> <sgordonphd@...>
      >>> wrote:
      >>>>
      >>>> We can learn a lot about human perceptions, opinions, attitudes and
      >>>> biases. In some worlds, such as marketing, perception is reality.
      >>>
      >>> In any world where we only have subjective means of measurement then
      >>> perception is reality. If my customers are extremely happy with
      >>> the results
      >>> of my labours, who am I to say they are wrong?
      >>
      >>
      >> Yes, customers can accurately say how happy they were with
      >> results. Once we
      >> start getting into their perceptions as to why they were
      >> dissatisfied, what
      >> lead to failures, what lead to successes, then I do not believe the
      >> data
      >> collected by a superficial survey months later reflects the reality
      >> of the
      >> project. A frequent complaint might be that the team did not plan
      >> in enough
      >> detail, but that response generally reflect FUD not the reality of
      >> the
      >> project. A post mortem with all the project stakeholders and
      >> participants
      >> facilitated by a professional facitator would get much more valid
      >> responses.
      >>
      >>>
      >>>>
      >>>> In most other worlds, perceptions affects reality and can also
      >>>> provide
      >>>> clues
      >>>> about reality, but they are not reality.
      >>>
      >>> I can get all phylisophical here, but how do you define reality? I'm
      >>> curious.
      >>
      >>
      >> Social scientists are well aware of differences between perception
      >> and
      >> reality. They know if you ask a person to reflect on why they did
      >> something, you will almost always get rationalizations instead of
      >> the real
      >> reason.
      >>
      >> They ask questions in very careful ways. They ask the same question
      >> different ways (with other questions in between). They ask the same
      >> question at different times. They have ways to ameliorate biases.
      >> Engineering researchers are not trained in those techniques.
      >>
      >>>
      >>> People's perceptions about agile
      >>>> projects can help identify misconceptions that need to be
      >>>> addressed,
      >>>> expectations that need to be set coming in, etc. Inferring that
      >>>> perceptions
      >>>> as to what is good or bad about agile reflects what really does
      >>>> and does
      >>>> not
      >>>> work in agile seems flawed to me,
      >>>
      >>> Good/Bad. That's the problem - two valued thinking which doesn't
      >>> allow for
      >>> grey or differences in opinion. If you say it works for you then
      >>> it works
      >>> for you. Now if 95% of people in your same situation say it
      >>> doesn't work for
      >>> them, then to me that is valuable data.
      >>
      >>
      >> The perception of grey along the success/failure axis is useful.
      >> Untrained
      >> researchers digging any deeper than that will get rationalizations
      >> based on
      >> biases, especially if much time has passed between the event and the
      >> survey. That is the way the human mind works, over the intervening
      >> time we
      >> cannot help but make mental models based on our own world view, and
      >> then the
      >> qualitative data reflects those mental models rather than what
      >> actually
      >> happened.
      >>
      >>>
      >>>>
      >>>> If your purpose is to market agile, RUP, CMMI, etc., then
      >>>> qualitative
      >>>> surveys could indeed provide useful information. If your purpose
      >>>> is to
      >>>> learn how to make agile, RUP, CMMI, etc. actually work more
      >>>> effectively
      >>>> (as
      >>>> opposed to being marketed more effectively), I think it is
      >>>> dangerous to
      >>>> confuse perception and reality.
      >>>
      >>> My goal isn't to market, my goal is to understand. Peoples
      >>> perceptions are
      >>> extremely important if I want to understand why they do what they
      >>> do. I
      >>> don't believe there is this objective truth. There are things that
      >>> people
      >>> think work and things that they think don't. If someone tells me
      >>> that
      >>> something is working for them, then to me that is a data point.
      >>>
      >>> Paul.
      >>>
      >>
      >
      >
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    • Laurent Bossavit
      Hi Paul, ... I m just getting things off the ground at the moment, so I may have more to tell in a few months. The initiative is called Institut Agile and aims
      Message 55 of 55 , Jul 14, 2010
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        Hi Paul,
        > Well done! Keeps us all posted. In fact can you tells us more?
        >
        I'm just getting things off the ground at the moment, so I may have
        more to tell in a few months. The initiative is called Institut Agile
        and aims at two things, growing the agile business ecosystem and
        getting agile on the map as a research topic on an equivalent footing
        to "software engineering". The scope is (for now) local to France. One
        of the first items on the roadmap is to start establishing a database
        of projects for the purposes of those longitudinal studies I mentioned
        in the article I posted earlier. Another is to get in touch with
        everyone I can find doing research on agile practices (typically in
        software engineering departments) and put them in touch with each other.

        Cheers,
        Laurent Bossavit
        laurent@...
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