Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [kanbandev] Thoughts on process

Expand Messages
  • Andrew Pham
    On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:46 PM, Siddharta Govindaraj
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 7, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:46 PM, Siddharta Govindaraj <siddharta@...> wrote:
       

      On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 2:32 AM, Alan Shalloway <alshall@...> wrote:

      Not all agile people recommend starting with cross-functional teams when they do not exist. That is mostly a scrum recommendation.


      Right! Cross functional teams is one of those 'it depends' bits that you need to think about when starting out. So is self organisation IMHO. And that's getting back to what I had tweeted.

      In our agile transition in 2004, we were struggling to get a self organized team working well, when I read Alistair Cockburn's Cone of Silence post (its here - http://alistair.cockburn.us/The+cone+of+silence+and+related+project+management+strategies).

      Alistair's post above describes a pattern that was the total opposite of everything I had read till then... it's the ultimate anti-collaboration anti-self-organization pattern if you will. It really made me question the things that I had to put in place to transition properly. I decided to drop self organization and do agile without it. Not exactly cone of silence, but a kind of hybrid. And... it worked. If we had stuck to self organisation, the transition would have sunk without a trace.. it just wasn't suited to our environment at that point.

      I was thinking back to the example that triggered this thought. Fadfree posted on the other thread about command and control agile. I know teams that do this. Some of them are delivering perfectly well though. A couple of years ago I used to make fun of them... this so called agile that they were doing.. but now.. I'm rethinking that notion.. perhaps I'm the fool.

      I mean, what does the customer want? The customer wants regular deliveries. Ability to incorporate feedback. The teams deliver on this. Internally its the same old command and control. Wood in marble skin, as fadfree said. Maybe its not scrum, lets call it ProcessX. But, so what? The customer doesnt care what you do internally. If this Process X works, why get bothered? Whats wrong with command and control agile?

      This has come up a few times on this list too - does Kanban actually create the mindshift change or does it reinforce command and control? In my mind it can do both -- based on what suits the organization better. And I'm coming round to the opinion that neither is superior to the other... its just a matter of what fits your situation better.

      Which also brings me to question the whole mindset vs practices debate. A lot of people say that without the right mindset, you can't be agile. But is it true? I was flying the flag for the mindset thing for a long time, but I'm seeing examples that disprove it.

      Nowdays, my 'minimum viable process' for agile is "Break up your requirements in chunks. Deliver a chunk at a time. Incorporate feedback." And for kanban its "Put up your work on a board. Identify bottlenecks. Get the team to work through the bottlenecks." Of course, you can combine both. There are no ifs, buts, it depends here. All that stuff about self-organization, cross functionality, mindset shift, etc etc can come later... if needed. As Mike pointed, you go from "shallow" to "deep" and run into issues (& improvement) over time.

      Thoughts?

      PS: At the Seattle scrum gethering, Steve McConnell gave a provocative keynote address (get it here http://www.scrumalliance.org/events/285-seattle) where he basically said that agile transitions needs to shelve the "organisational transformation" & "mindset shift" bits for later.
          It was like he was advocating a pseudo-command and control agile. I personally found the talk very thought
          provoking. The majority of the audience was up in arms though...

      Hello Siddharta,

      Thank you for asking for some food for thoughts...

      I do not know what Steve really said during his Seattle presentation since I did not attend the gathering but if you says that what he advocated was to shelve the organizational and mindset change until later, then I am in complete disagreement with the approach.

      Believe or not, organizational transformation and cultural shift of mindset are, for all the transformations I have led in small and large organizations, normally the first things that need be changed and have, therefore, to be part of the action plan to transition to Agile or Scrum or Kanban, etc.

      This is precisely the subject of my upcoming book on
      "Business-Driven IT-Wide Agile (Scrum) and/or Kanban Implementation"

      All my best,

      Andrew Pham
      Author of
      Scrum in Action (Agile Project Management and Software Development in the Real-World)
      http://www.amazon.com/Scrum-Action-Andrew-Pham/dp/143545913X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1-1

      and of "Business-Driven IT-Wide Agile (Scrum) and/or Kanban Implementation" (upcoming)
       

      -- Siddharta


    • Vikram Sharma
      Thanks Laurent. I will go through the site and get back. Regards, Vikram ________________________________ From: Andrew Pham To:
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 7, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks Laurent. I will go through the site and get back.
        Regards,
        Vikram


        From: Andrew Pham <andrewpham74@...>
        To: kanbandev@yahoogroups.com; scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, 7 October 2011 7:41 PM
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: [kanbandev] Thoughts on process

         


        On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:46 PM, Siddharta Govindaraj <siddharta@...> wrote:
         
        On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 2:32 AM, Alan Shalloway <alshall@...> wrote:

        Not all agile people recommend starting with cross-functional teams when they do not exist. That is mostly a scrum recommendation.

        Right! Cross functional teams is one of those 'it depends' bits that you need to think about when starting out. So is self organisation IMHO. And that's getting back to what I had tweeted.

        In our agile transition in 2004, we were struggling to get a self organized team working well, when I read Alistair Cockburn's Cone of Silence post (its here - http://alistair.cockburn.us/The+cone+of+silence+and+related+project+management+strategies).

        Alistair's post above describes a pattern that was the total opposite of everything I had read till then... it's the ultimate anti-collaboration anti-self-organization pattern if you will. It really made me question the things that I had to put in place to transition properly. I decided to drop self organization and do agile without it. Not exactly cone of silence, but a kind of hybrid. And... it worked. If we had stuck to self organisation, the transition would have sunk without a trace.. it just wasn't suited to our environment at that point.

        I was thinking back to the example that triggered this thought. Fadfree posted on the other thread about command and control agile. I know teams that do this. Some of them are delivering perfectly well though. A couple of years ago I used to make fun of them... this so called agile that they were doing.. but now.. I'm rethinking that notion.. perhaps I'm the fool.

        I mean, what does the customer want? The customer wants regular deliveries. Ability to incorporate feedback. The teams deliver on this. Internally its the same old command and control. Wood in marble skin, as fadfree said. Maybe its not scrum, lets call it ProcessX. But, so what? The customer doesnt care what you do internally. If this Process X works, why get bothered? Whats wrong with command and control agile?

        This has come up a few times on this list too - does Kanban actually create the mindshift change or does it reinforce command and control? In my mind it can do both -- based on what suits the organization better. And I'm coming round to the opinion that neither is superior to the other... its just a matter of what fits your situation better.

        Which also brings me to question the whole mindset vs practices debate. A lot of people say that without the right mindset, you can't be agile. But is it true? I was flying the flag for the mindset thing for a long time, but I'm seeing examples that disprove it.

        Nowdays, my 'minimum viable process' for agile is "Break up your requirements in chunks. Deliver a chunk at a time. Incorporate feedback." And for kanban its "Put up your work on a board. Identify bottlenecks. Get the team to work through the bottlenecks." Of course, you can combine both. There are no ifs, buts, it depends here. All that stuff about self-organization, cross functionality, mindset shift, etc etc can come later... if needed. As Mike pointed, you go from "shallow" to "deep" and run into issues (& improvement) over time.

        Thoughts?

        PS: At the Seattle scrum gethering, Steve McConnell gave a provocative keynote address (get it here http://www.scrumalliance.org/events/285-seattle) where he basically said that agile transitions needs to shelve the "organisational transformation" & "mindset shift" bits for later.
            It was like he was advocating a pseudo-command and control agile. I personally found the talk very thought
            provoking. The majority of the audience was up in arms though...

        Hello Siddharta,

        Thank you for asking for some food for thoughts...

        I do not know what Steve really said during his Seattle presentation since I did not attend the gathering but if you says that what he advocated was to shelve the organizational and mindset change until later, then I am in complete disagreement with the approach.

        Believe or not, organizational transformation and cultural shift of mindset are, for all the transformations I have led in small and large organizations, normally the first things that need be changed and have, therefore, to be part of the action plan to transition to Agile or Scrum or Kanban, etc.

        This is precisely the subject of my upcoming book on
        "Business-Driven IT-Wide Agile (Scrum) and/or Kanban Implementation"

        All my best,

        Andrew Pham
        Author of
        Scrum in Action (Agile Project Management and Software Development in the Real-World)
        http://www.amazon.com/Scrum-Action-Andrew-Pham/dp/143545913X/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1-1

        and of "Business-Driven IT-Wide Agile (Scrum) and/or Kanban Implementation" (upcoming)
         

        -- Siddharta




      • Siddharta Govindaraj
        ... One of the people that I talked to.. they had this problem with late requirement changes being a major problem. In a small 2 hour discussion, I mentioned
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 7, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 7:41 PM, Andrew Pham <andrewpham74@...> wrote:

          Believe or not, organizational transformation and cultural shift of mindset are, for all the transformations I have led in small and large organizations, normally the first things that need be changed and have, therefore, to be part of the action plan to transition to Agile or Scrum or Kanban, etc.


          One of the people that I talked to.. they had this problem with late requirement changes being a major problem. In a small 2 hour discussion, I mentioned they should try breaking up requirements and deliver piece by piece more often, then incorporate the feedback. I didn't talk to them again or do anything else. I didn't say anything about sprints or timeboxes or user stories. They did just that part alone, and that solved their problem, without touching anything else.

          This company is doing really good. They develop a really innovative high technology product. They were featured on Google's blog and Google invited them to present at the Google I/O conference as a partner. Do they do self organization? No. Cross functional? No. Command and control? Yes. Engaged team? Yes. The one piece of the puzzle they were missing was increments & feedback.

          They weren't missing the self organisation and complex adaptive systems stuff at all... at least so far... maybe later on they might need it... but not now. They may not be capital-A agile, but their business goals are satisfied..

          Maybe its a cultural thing? That people here are comfortable in a command and control environment?? Or maybe its the demographics of the environment? Organizations here usually have a large number of developers straight out of college and there is a sharp architect/senior dev/junior dev hierarchy? I dont know...

          --
          Siddharta Govindaraj
          siddharta@...
          +91 99400 36487

        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.