Category: General

Keynote AgileTour Bordeaux

Keynote AgileTour Bordeaux

On October 30, 2019, I add the pleasure to deliver the keynote for AgileTour Bordeaux.

I delivered the keynote titled: What is your real power? in french.

The recording and the slides are already available.

I also facilitated the Open Space on the next day, just after the lunch with local Red Hat associates to celebrate the Red Hat Week!

Adding another dimension to the project management triangle

Adding another dimension to the project management triangle

By Mapto – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2690261

The project management triangle is a well-known model showing that the quality of the delivery is constrained by the budget, the deadlines, and the scope. The idea is that it is possible to trade between constraints: ask for an earlier delivery with a smaller scope, for example. And If you don’t trade, then the quality of the delivery will suffer.

During a discussion with a team, one of the team members brought that the way they were working was damaging the quality of the product and its long term maintainability. His point was that the fixed set of features (scope), associated with a 3-months deadline for the release, without changing the team, was blocking all the constraints, so the only thing that could vary was the quality.

I have to admit that I was totally in agreement, and while he was talking, I draw the well-known triangle on the whiteboard of the meeting room.

Another team member surprised us by stating calmly: “I always disagreed with that triangle. There is another variable that is not taken into account.”

He got all our attention, and finish his sentence: “The other variable is the effort that you are willing to put into the project.” Two other team members approved immediately in support of that claim. The other team members said nothing and did not move, probably waiting to see where that discussion would go.

After a quick glimpse at the only person in the room who seemed to disagree with that claim, I tried to explain that you could envision that the people could work longer hours, increasing the capacity of the team artificially without changing the cost, but that it will not be sustainable and there was an invisible cost to that burst. A debt that the team will have to pay later. Furthermore, after several days of working long hours, I was pretty sure that the quality would suffer anyway.

I tried to argue that pushing your “best” individuals to deliver could get short term results, but will also damage the ability of the people to collaborate, to support and help each other, to onboard new people in the team, and so on.

They continued to disagree explaining that some people were able to work for a longer time, with a strong focus on their work without damaging the quality of their delivery. This was the “effort” they wanted to celebrate and incentivized.

 

So do you think we should add “effort” as another dimension to the project management triangle?

 

 

 

Featured image is by

I am not your guru!

I am not your guru!

In the documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, released in 2016, Performance coach Tony Robbins proposes an interesting exercise. Imagine your life in the near future. If everything goes well in three years, how much will you make a year?

Don’t read further until you have the figures.

When you get the amount, multiply it by three and imagine what you are doing to deserve such compensation?

Inspiring?

No, it’s not all about money. Money is a by-product of our actions, and if money is not what you want to visualize, pick something meaningful to you.

I would be happy to hear what you think of the exercise!

The Podcast Experiment

The Podcast Experiment

I tried a new experiment last month! I recorded a few podcast episodes:

  1. The first one answers one important question: “How to form a team?” I recorded it with Valentin Yonchev and Matt Takane from the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs.
  2. The second one is a celebration of the availability of Changing Your Team From The Inside as an audiobook, with Michael Reid the narrotor of the book.
  3. The third one is an answer to the question: “How to create great goals?”
  4. I recorded the fourth one with Jerome Bourgeon to answer the question: “Do cultural differences influence the adoption of agile”

Of course, I am interested in your feedback about that experiment.

Maybe you have ideas about change, or you have questions to ask, and maybe even you want to record the answer to a question with me?

Do cultural differences influence the adoption of agile?

Do cultural differences influence the adoption of agile?

In today’s episode, Jérôme Bourgeon and I will explore the question of cultural differences and their influence on the adoption of agile.

Spoiler, we don’t think that cultural differences are the real problem.

Jérôme is an agile coach with Zenika. He is based in Singapore.

Together we discussed:

  • build trust take a different amount of time
  • culture of companymatters more than countries (Jérôme used the model proposed by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organizations)
  • beliefs of people matter more than anything else
  • the power of appreciative inquiry and how to use it
  • accepting differences that are important for people

I am eager to hear your feedback, so drop me a note at alexis@monville.com, on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also use those channels to propose the next question you want Le Podcast to answer. We can even record the answer together!

 

How to create great goals?

How to create great goals?

In today’s episode, I will answer one questions I have been asked several times over the past weeks:

How to create great goals?

And more specifically, how to create great goals using the OKRs approach. OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results.

In the episode, I used a simple example and the Impact Mapping approach, to walk you through the process of creating great OKRs.

I am eager to hear your feedback, so drop me a note at alexis@monville.com, on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also use those channels to propose the next question you want Le Podcast to answer. We can even record the answer together!

 

The Audiobook is available!

The Audiobook is available!

In addition to electronic, paperback, hardcover, and team edition, Changing Your Team From The Inside is now available as an audiobook!

Michael Ried did an excellent job in narrating the book. I was even caught listening to him forgetting that I was on a review mission 🙂

The book is available on the platform you usually use to find your books like Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.

Please let people know about it!

And let me know what you think!

The Breakfast Huddle on Innovation Fatigue

The Breakfast Huddle on Innovation Fatigue

While I was travelling to Singapore, I have been invited to discuss innovation with Eliott Danker on MoneyFM.

Thanks to Eliott interviewing talent, we touched on a lot of different aspects:

  • Innovation fatigue
  • Sustainability
  • Burnout
  • Innovation and customer experience
  • Team organization preventing people to innovate
  • Inclusivity of different perspectives
  • Management of talented individual
  • Manager role and manager discomfort
  • Creating the conditions for great work
  • Hiring, onboarding, training, mentoring
  • Empathy and personas
  • Understandgin the Flow of work
  • Bottleneck and constraints
  • More effort is not the solution
  • Measure the impact of the work from a customer perspective, not the work itself

Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y

I had the great pleasure to deliver the closing keynote of Voxxed Days Singapore. During the talk, Going Open, I introduced Douglas McGregor theories on human motivation and management that he developed at the MIT Sloan School of Management  in 1957.

The assumption in Theory X is that workers are lazy; they dislike and don’t want to work and do all they can to avoid it. As a consequence, if you agree with that assumption, your way of managing people, who have no intrinsic motivation and no ambition, the system needs to be “command and control.”

The assumption in Theory Y is that work could be as natural as play and rest; people seek responsibility and are able to direct themselves to deliver on their commitments. As a consequence, if you agree with that assumption, your management style is radically different, and the system could tend toward self-organization.

Theory X and Theory Y are self-fulfilling prophecies. Acting accordingly to the theory causes it to come true.

Reconsidering the way we are managing people in an organization is an essential ongoing exercise.

As an example, our actual reward system might perfectly fit the Theory X assumption, while we would prefer our whole team to live under Theory Y.

What about you?

What type is your organization?

What type are you?

Could I behave like X, because my organization is X?

Do you think my organization could change if I change my behavior?

It could be really interesting because X organizations suffer from a centralization flaw. And like spiders, if you cut the head, the organization dies.

By contrast, Y organizations are resilient like starfishes, if you cut an arm, the starfish will regrow it, and even more interesting the arm will regrow a whole new starfish, as all the knowledge needed is available to do exactly that.

Y organization are really like Open Organization.

Open Organization is the term coined by Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat for his eponym book published in  2015. The book written primarily for organizational leaders, demonstrates how open source principles are changing the nature of working and managing in the 21st century.

There are five characteristics of Open Organization:

  • Transparency. Transparency by default as a foundation.
  • Inclusivity. Inclusivity of all perspectives.
  • Adaptability. Feedback mechanism to continuously learn.
  • Collaboration. Collaboration to produce better outcomes.
  • Community. Shared values and purpose.

How can we adopt those characteristics in our organizations?

I then proposed some of the approaches that you can find in the book, Changing Your Team From The Inside, to foster the change in your team and organization.

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