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Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

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  • Ram Srinivasan
    Jean: Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning s article
    Message 1 of 14 , May 30, 2012
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      Jean:

      Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning's article


      Ram

      On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:
       

      Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

      Dave...



      On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:
       

      I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

       

      I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

       

      --- Jean

       

      Description: gate.site.jpg


      Jean Richardson

      Azure Gate Consulting

      ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

       

      AzureGate.net

      (503) 788-8998

      Jean@...

       

       

       



    • Jesse Houwing
      I think the means she’s looking for other organisations that use a similar orgizational model, so flat, everybody can decide where and what to do etc. From
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        I think the means she’s looking for other organisations that use a similar orgizational model, so flat, everybody can decide where and what to do etc.
         
        From our training material I remember Semco as an example company that used this model in hopes to avoid bankruptcy. They managed to do so. There’s even books about it.
         
         
        I expect there to be others as well.
         
        Jesse
         
        Sent from my Windows 8 PC
         
        From: Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...>
        Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 2:21:43 PM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software
         


        Jean:

        Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning's article


        Ram

        On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:
         

        Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

        Dave...



        On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:
         

         

        I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

         

        I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

         

        --- Jean

         

        Description: gate.site.jpg


        Jean Richardson

        Azure Gate Consulting

        ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

         

        AzureGate.net

        (503) 788-8998

        Jean@...

         

         

         

         

         

         

         



         
      • Jean Richardson
        Mark - Thanks for asking. I perhaps should have been more clear. I would not say that most, maybe even many, of those organizations doing Scrum are team-based
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 1, 2012
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          Mark –

           

          Thanks for asking.  I perhaps should have been more clear.

           

          I would not say that most, maybe even many, of those organizations doing Scrum are team-based organizations, though they do make use of teams.  Organizations have been using teams well before Scrum came on the scene.  In a team-based organization, I would expect to see a different accountability model, a different approach to authority and leadership, and a different kind of governance model than has been the case traditionally.  Scrum foreshadows team-based organizations and, in some of the writing about Scrum, the assumption that team-based organizations are present or have been emerging seems to underlie the thinking of the writer.  However, in practice, outside even most high functioning Scrum teams, the approach to authority, accountability, and governance is pretty much the same as it was before Scrum came on the scene.

           

          I am seeking organizations where Teams are actively involved in governing the organization, the accountability model is such that the natural accountabilities of all participants are taken for granted, and “nominal leaders” or managers outside the team are typically functioning within a facilitative servant leadership or stewardship model.  I am seeking organizations where individual contributors on teams have real influence and experience direct line outcomes of their actions.  These organizations will likely prefer direct, respectful communication and assertive, collaborative styles.  You may see team level performance evaluations composed largely of something along the lines of a 360 review by peers with management input.  You may see individual contributor compensation enhanced by team-performance-driven bonuses.  You may see largely governing their own composition and signing up for work to benefit the organization based on some sort of portfolio level project intake mechanism.  Most of all, the employee/employer dynamic will feel very different in these organizations.

           

          --- Jean

           

          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Levison
          Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:09 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

           

           

           

          On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

           

          Mark and Dave –

           

          Thanks for this.  Both posts are helpful, and I’ve reached out to Clint as a result.

           

          If anyone is aware of any other currently functioning team-based orgs in the mid- to large size, I’m all eyes on that to!

           

          Sorry slightly confused as to what you're asking for. This sounds like a request for a list of all case studies for any organization doing Scrum (or other Agile) process. Is that it?

           

          Cheers

          Mark 

           

          --- Jean

           

          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Rooney
          Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:26 AM
          To:
          scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

           

           

          Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

          Dave...

          On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

           

          I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

           

          I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

           

          --- Jean

           

          Description: Description: Description: Description: gate.site.jpg


          Jean Richardson

          Azure Gate Consulting

          ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

           

          AzureGate.net

          (503) 788-8998

          Jean@...

           

           

           

           

           

        • Dietke Fowler
          Jean, Thanks for elaborating - your description and glancing over the Valve handbook actually made it a lot more clear to me how my current job is structured.
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 1, 2012
          • 0 Attachment

            Jean,

             

            Thanks for elaborating - your description and glancing over the Valve handbook actually made it a lot more clear to me how my current job is structured. Working for a company with about 90 employees for the past 4 months, I have not been told what to work on. I have heard suggestions, but they were always followed by "but only if you are interested and think that's a good fit". We are given some overarching goals, but it is up to us to come up with ideas on how to reach them, and to structure our work in such a way that we will reach them. I do have a team lead who is there to help remove impediments and help me out when I feel stuck, but that's about it - simply help me be more effective.

             

            Is that approximately what you are looking for?

             

            Tx

            Dietke

             

             

            ------

            Dietke Fowler

            (706) 614-0604

            dietke.fowler@...


            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jean Richardson
            Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 2:15 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

             

             

            Mark –

             

            Thanks for asking.  I perhaps should have been more clear.

             

            I would not say that most, maybe even many, of those organizations doing Scrum are team-based organizations, though they do make use of teams.  Organizations have been using teams well before Scrum came on the scene.  In a team-based organization, I would expect to see a different accountability model, a different approach to authority and leadership, and a different kind of governance model than has been the case traditionally.  Scrum foreshadows team-based organizations and, in some of the writing about Scrum, the assumption that team-based organizations are present or have been emerging seems to underlie the thinking of the writer.  However, in practice, outside even most high functioning Scrum teams, the approach to authority, accountability, and governance is pretty much the same as it was before Scrum came on the scene.

             

            I am seeking organizations where Teams are actively involved in governing the organization, the accountability model is such that the natural accountabilities of all participants are taken for granted, and “nominal leaders” or managers outside the team are typically functioning within a facilitative servant leadership or stewardship model.  I am seeking organizations where individual contributors on teams have real influence and experience direct line outcomes of their actions.  These organizations will likely prefer direct, respectful communication and assertive, collaborative styles.  You may see team level performance evaluations composed largely of something along the lines of a 360 review by peers with management input.  You may see individual contributor compensation enhanced by team-performance-driven bonuses.  You may see largely governing their own composition and signing up for work to benefit the organization based on some sort of portfolio level project intake mechanism.  Most of all, the employee/employer dynamic will feel very different in these organizations.

             

            --- Jean

             

            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Levison
            Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 5:09 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

             

             

             

            On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

             

            Mark and Dave –

             

            Thanks for this.  Both posts are helpful, and I’ve reached out to Clint as a result.

             

            If anyone is aware of any other currently functioning team-based orgs in the mid- to large size, I’m all eyes on that to!

             

            Sorry slightly confused as to what you're asking for. This sounds like a request for a list of all case studies for any organization doing Scrum (or other Agile) process. Is that it?

             

            Cheers

            Mark 

             

            --- Jean

             

            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dave Rooney
            Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:26 AM
            To:
            scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

             

             

            Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

            Dave...

            On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

             

            I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

             

            I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

             

            --- Jean

             

            Description: Description: Description: Description: gate.site.jpg


            Jean Richardson

            Azure Gate Consulting

            ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

             

            AzureGate.net

            (503) 788-8998

            Jean@...

             

             

             

             

             

          • Michael James
            Yeah, Jean s aware of Semco, one that typically comes up, and we ve certainly been hearing a lot about Valve s employee handbook lately. I suspect the reason
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 1, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              Yeah, Jean's aware of Semco, one that typically comes up, and we've certainly been hearing a lot about Valve's employee handbook lately.  I suspect the reason we hear the same examples over and over is that there really aren't many examples of large organizations fully embracing the philosophy Jean describes yet.  Some of the others we hear about as success stories from the consultant or author's perspective turn out to be mirages according to people working there, or their future performance.  I'm reluctant to name them here, but you can probably think of three or four examples.  

              Many Scrum implementations are so compromised they come nowhere near Scrum's actual definitions.  Other cases of actual Scrum in large organizations are small islands cordoned off from the larger org's legacy practices.

              If all the above are true, what would it mean?  Kent Beck wrote that it took 50 years for Lean Manufacturing to become common practice.  Are we 15 years into a 50-year adoption cycle?  Or are small organizations going to eat large organizations for lunch?

              --mj
              http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com

              On Jun 1, 2012, at 5:46 AM, Jesse Houwing wrote:

               

              I think the means she’s looking for other organisations that use a similar orgizational model, so flat, everybody can decide where and what to do etc.
               
              From our training material I remember Semco as an example company that used this model in hopes to avoid bankruptcy. They managed to do so. There’s even books about it.
               
               
              I expect there to be others as well.
               
              Jesse
               
              Sent from my Windows 8 PC
               
              From: Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...>
              Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 2:21:43 PM
              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software
               


              Jean:

              Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning's article


              Ram

              On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:
               

              Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

              Dave...



              On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:
               
               

              I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

               

              I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

               

              --- Jean

               

              <image001.jpg>


              Jean Richardson

              Azure Gate Consulting

              ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

               

              AzureGate.net

              (503) 788-8998

              Jean@...

               

               

               

               
               

               
               



               


            • srinivas chillara
              If all the above are true, what would it mean?  Kent Beck wrote that it took 50 years for Lean Manufacturing to become common practice.  Are we 15 years into
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 2, 2012
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                If all the above are true, what would it mean?  Kent Beck wrote that it took 50 years for Lean Manufacturing to become common practice.  Are we 15 years into a 50-year adoption cycle?  Or are small organizations going to eat large organizations for lunch?
                --mj

                Hmmm interesting thought, but I suspect that the future and how the situation develops will be more complicated than that. Software dev I suspect has more variety than manufacturing (of course we could argue endlessly about this). However I think the manufacturers were more honest, they either changed their approach to lean or did not;;
                In our industry so many pretend to be doing "agile", whatever that means. Scrum-but now more common than Scrum. So what will actually become mainstream?

                cheers
                Srinivas
                ceezone.wordpress.com



              • Ron Jeffries
                ... changed their approach to lean or did not;; Do you have any stats or reading to indicate that in manufacturing things actually went in this IS / IS NOT
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 2, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Saturday, June 2, 2012, srinivas chillara wrote:


                  ... However I think the manufacturers were more honest, they either changed their approach to lean or did not;;

                  Do you have any stats or reading to indicate that in manufacturing things actually went in this IS / IS NOT fashion.

                  In our industry so many pretend to be doing "agile", whatever that means. Scrum-but now more common than Scrum. 

                  Do you have any stats or reading to indicate that Scrum-but is now more common than Scrum? 

                  So what will actually become mainstream?

                  It will be interesting to see what, if anything, does. Is Lean now mainstream? Do you have any stats ... 

                  Regards,

                  Ron


                  --
                  Darn. If I use gMail, I'll lose all those cool sigs. What shall I do?

                  Ron Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                • Jean Richardson
                  Yes, thanks, Michael for providing to me the other day the name of that South American company that starts with an S that I couldn t remember. I also have
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 2, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment

                    Yes, thanks, Michael for providing to me the other day the name of that South American company that starts with an “S” that I couldn’t remember.  I also have to concur with your post below, and it’s a fascinating state of affairs.  Some might be tempted to blame “management,” but, frankly, shifting the accountability and authority models in an organization cuts both ways.  I have run in to a number of cases where Team members do not want to step up to their part of the bargain, either.  We are deeply enculturated in the current paradigm, and accepting the burdens of true freedom of the sort intimated by Scrum is as shocking to most of us as  plunge in glacier melt.

                     

                    As you know, I’m doing a lot of research on this topic lately as I’m working with a couple of companies that are trying to step up to becoming team-based organizations, or at least more team-based than they are now. The examples I am aware of seem to disappear as I approach the details behind the story.  Among my sources, the point of view you portray below has come up repeatedly:  This will be a shift that takes a generation, even if all goes well.  Some sources point to two generations, which, I believe, is 50 years.

                     

                    And, yet, humans can be surprising.  The whole “tipping point” thing applies here.  Right now, we seem to see such a strong trend in top-down Scrum adoptions (which have their own problems) where previously Scrum was a counter-cultural movement.  But, still, the full reality of Scrum’s potential is often not realized.  We have to ask why that is.  The facts there seem to point to the notion that we are all—top to bottom in the organization—in this soup together, and mostly we stand around pointing fingers and turning up the heat on each other.  Our inability or unwillingness to all step up to the reality of things like cross-functional collaboration; dialogic thinking; double-loop learning; true accountability for quality; consequences as a learning tool; and personal mastery keep tripping us up. 

                     

                    There may be a surprising tipping point in the next few decades that will suddenly cause Scrum, or something very like it, to come into full bloom in organizations.  It’s not clear to me what will cause that, because current trends don’t seem to be a basis for forecasting that.  I still can’t get over the fact that the Scrum Alliance has moved its big annual conference to the Gaylord resort hotel format.  People who have worked their whole lives to be in positions of power and are rewarded with money and privilege as they work their way “up” can have a hard time stepping away from all that just because it’s the “right thing to do.”  Others who have handed over a lot of personal sovereignty as part of their employment agreement have similar issues to grapple with.  The learning from what has come to be called the new science isn’t spreading fast enough.  But when it finally does, that may be the thing that pushes us over the edge.  Maybe then we will all see our individual role in the collective pain even though it’s a jaw dropping problem to know where to begin remediating at the personal level and still have a life you want to live.  It’s been a strange journey for me, given that I was raised as and feel very comfortable with the notion of the destiny of the strong individual hacking aside the underbrush to cut a path to privilege and ascendancy which has been the definition of security as well as our right as masters of the universe.  ;)

                     

                    Time to go out and prune the roses.

                     

                    From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael James
                    Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 9:45 PM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

                     

                     

                    Yeah, Jean's aware of Semco, one that typically comes up, and we've certainly been hearing a lot about Valve's employee handbook lately.  I suspect the reason we hear the same examples over and over is that there really aren't many examples of large organizations fully embracing the philosophy Jean describes yet.  Some of the others we hear about as success stories from the consultant or author's perspective turn out to be mirages according to people working there, or their future performance.  I'm reluctant to name them here, but you can probably think of three or four examples.  

                     

                    Many Scrum implementations are so compromised they come nowhere near Scrum's actual definitions.  Other cases of actual Scrum in large organizations are small islands cordoned off from the larger org's legacy practices.

                     

                    If all the above are true, what would it mean?  Kent Beck wrote that it took 50 years for Lean Manufacturing to become common practice.  Are we 15 years into a 50-year adoption cycle?  Or are small organizations going to eat large organizations for lunch?

                     

                    --mj

                    http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com

                     

                    On Jun 1, 2012, at 5:46 AM, Jesse Houwing wrote:



                     

                     

                    I think the means she’s looking for other organisations that use a similar orgizational model, so flat, everybody can decide where and what to do etc.

                     

                    From our training material I remember Semco as an example company that used this model in hopes to avoid bankruptcy. They managed to do so. There’s even books about it.

                     

                     

                    I expect there to be others as well.

                     

                    Jesse

                     

                    Sent from my Windows 8 PC

                     

                    From: Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...>
                    Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 2:21:43 PM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

                     

                     

                    Jean:

                     

                    Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning's article

                     

                     

                    Ram

                    On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:

                     

                    Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

                    Dave...

                     

                    On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

                     

                     

                    I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

                     

                    I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

                     

                    --- Jean

                     

                    <image001.jpg>


                    Jean Richardson

                    Azure Gate Consulting

                    ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

                     

                    AzureGate.net

                    (503) 788-8998

                    Jean@...

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                  • Michael James
                    If anyone missed my tweet, yesterday s Wall Street Journal had an article about this trend entitled Welcome to the Bossless Company. It mentions Valve (the
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 21, 2012
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                      If anyone missed my tweet, yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an article about this trend entitled "Welcome to the Bossless Company."  It mentions Valve (the videogame company), GE Aviation Division (where these practices have increased over the years), W.L. Gore and Associates (makers of GoreTex, where there are very few job titles), and GitHub.

                      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303379204577474953586383604.html

                      --mj
                      http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com

                      On Jun 2, 2012, at 7:28 AM, Jean Richardson wrote:

                       

                      Yes, thanks, Michael for providing to me the other day the name of that South American company that starts with an “S” that I couldn’t remember.  I also have to concur with your post below, and it’s a fascinating state of affairs.  Some might be tempted to blame “management,” but, frankly, shifting the accountability and authority models in an organization cuts both ways.  I have run in to a number of cases where Team members do not want to step up to their part of the bargain, either.  We are deeply enculturated in the current paradigm, and accepting the burdens of true freedom of the sort intimated by Scrum is as shocking to most of us as  plunge in glacier melt.

                       

                      As you know, I’m doing a lot of research on this topic lately as I’m working with a couple of companies that are trying to step up to becoming team-based organizations, or at least more team-based than they are now. The examples I am aware of seem to disappear as I approach the details behind the story.  Among my sources, the point of view you portray below has come up repeatedly:  This will be a shift that takes a generation, even if all goes well.  Some sources point to two generations, which, I believe, is 50 years.

                       

                      And, yet, humans can be surprising.  The whole “tipping point” thing applies here.  Right now, we seem to see such a strong trend in top-down Scrum adoptions (which have their own problems) where previously Scrum was a counter-cultural movement.  But, still, the full reality of Scrum’s potential is often not realized.  We have to ask why that is.  The facts there seem to point to the notion that we are all—top to bottom in the organization—in this soup together, and mostly we stand around pointing fingers and turning up the heat on each other.  Our inability or unwillingness to all step up to the reality of things like cross-functional collaboration; dialogic thinking; double-loop learning; true accountability for quality; consequences as a learning tool; and personal mastery keep tripping us up. 

                       

                      There may be a surprising tipping point in the next few decades that will suddenly cause Scrum, or something very like it, to come into full bloom in organizations.  It’s not clear to me what will cause that, because current trends don’t seem to be a basis for forecasting that.  I still can’t get over the fact that the Scrum Alliance has moved its big annual conference to the Gaylord resort hotel format.  People who have worked their whole lives to be in positions of power and are rewarded with money and privilege as they work their way “up” can have a hard time stepping away from all that just because it’s the “right thing to do.”  Others who have handed over a lot of personal sovereignty as part of their employment agreement have similar issues to grapple with.  The learning from what has come to be called the new science isn’t spreading fast enough.  But when it finally does, that may be the thing that pushes us over the edge.  Maybe then we will all see our individual role in the collective pain even though it’s a jaw dropping problem to know where to begin remediating at the personal level and still have a life you want to live.  It’s been a strange journey for me, given that I was raised as and feel very comfortable with the notion of the destiny of the strong individual hacking aside the underbrush to cut a path to privilege and ascendancy which has been the definition of security as well as our right as masters of the universe.  ;)

                       

                      Time to go out and prune the roses.

                       

                      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael James
                      Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 9:45 PM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

                       

                       

                      Yeah, Jean's aware of Semco, one that typically comes up, and we've certainly been hearing a lot about Valve's employee handbook lately.  I suspect the reason we hear the same examples over and over is that there really aren't many examples of large organizations fully embracing the philosophy Jean describes yet.  Some of the others we hear about as success stories from the consultant or author's perspective turn out to be mirages according to people working there, or their future performance.  I'm reluctant to name them here, but you can probably think of three or four examples.  

                       

                      Many Scrum implementations are so compromised they come nowhere near Scrum's actual definitions.  Other cases of actual Scrum in large organizations are small islands cordoned off from the larger org's legacy practices.

                       

                      If all the above are true, what would it mean?  Kent Beck wrote that it took 50 years for Lean Manufacturing to become common practice.  Are we 15 years into a 50-year adoption cycle?  Or are small organizations going to eat large organizations for lunch?

                       

                      --mj

                      http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com

                       

                      On Jun 1, 2012, at 5:46 AM, Jesse Houwing wrote:



                       

                       

                      I think the means she’s looking for other organisations that use a similar orgizational model, so flat, everybody can decide where and what to do etc.

                       

                      From our training material I remember Semco as an example company that used this model in hopes to avoid bankruptcy. They managed to do so. There’s even books about it.

                       

                       

                      I expect there to be others as well.

                       

                      Jesse

                       

                      Sent from my Windows 8 PC

                       

                      From: Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...>
                      Sent: Friday, June 1, 2012 2:21:43 PM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] team-based orgs/Valve software

                       

                       

                      Jean:

                       

                      Are you looking for the employee handbook ? If yes, you can find a link for that in Steve Denning's article

                       

                       

                      Ram

                      On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Dave Rooney <daverooneyca@...> wrote:

                       

                      Not a case study per se, but Steve Denning wrote about Valve in his blog on Forbes back in April: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/04/27/a-glimpse-at-a-workplace-of-the-future-valve/

                      Dave...

                       

                      On 30 May 2012 12:23, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:

                       

                       

                      I have been doing research on team-based organizations trying to turn up enduring examples among mid- to large sized organizations.  There’s plenty of theoretical “how-to” out there.

                       

                      I expect some of you may be aware of the Valve employee handbook being posted on the web.  Has anyone actually talked to Valve?  I’ve seen postings on the web that indicate the handbook is “real,” but when I was finally able to find a phone number for the organization, I was only able to get to voice mail at the terminus of all the working options in their automated attendant (some options were circular).  I’m beginning to think this org is visionary, but quite small.  Is anyone aware of a case study on Valve?

                       

                      --- Jean

                       

                      <image001.jpg>


                      Jean Richardson

                      Azure Gate Consulting

                      ~ Repatterning the Human Experience of Work

                       

                      AzureGate.net

                      (503) 788-8998

                      Jean@...

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       



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