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From Change Management To Change Prevention

April 30, 2015 3 comments

Assume that, in order to prevent chaos from reigning in your organizational processes, you design and place into operation a change management system.

cms

In order for your system to be effective, the turnaround time (i.e. latency), from request to disposition better be low enough so that people will be motivated to participate in the system.

cms latency

If, over time, you keep adding more and more evaluation rules to your system and imposing more and more pre-conditions (e.g. requiring a formal ROI analysis paper) on your proposers, your system’s latency will keep rising and its effectiveness at managing change (accepting the good and rejecting the bad) will keep decreasing. People will conclude that it’s just not worth their time to traverse your bureaucratic gauntlet. In the extreme case, your system will automagically morph from a change management system into a change prevention system – and you may not even know that it has happened.

cps

The Missing Role

April 22, 2015 2 comments

Quick, quick! What role is missing from the classic Scrum 1.0 team configuration of developers, product owner, and scrum master?

Missing AC

Ooh, ooh, I know what’s missing….

AC Present

Me thinks version 2.0 of the Scrum guide should include, and formally recognize, the glorious role of Agile Coach, no?

Since the Scrum Master has waaaaaaay to much to do already (running the daily 15 minute meeting and removing all those bazillions of impediments that the whiny developers willingly disclose every day), she can’t possibly fulfill the crucial role of agile coach. In addition to formal recognition, the Scrum Alliance should create a program where aspiring coaches can dole out some $$$$ to get certified.

Categories: management Tags: , ,

The Apples To Apples Fallacy

April 19, 2015 1 comment

To promote their infallible expertise, fathead consultants love to present apples-to-oranges comparisons as though they were apples-to-apples comparisons. One such prominent consultant (hint: a famous Forbes columnist) recently gushed over the success of music provider Spotify.com; contrasting its success to the team that built the buggy, slow, initial, version of the healthcare.gov web site.

As is almost always the case, these clever dudes leave out the oft-hidden, process-independent, contextual, forces that relentlessly work against success:

Apples Oranges

To imply that the Healthcare.gov team would have been successful if they simply employed agile practices (like Spotify.com) is to either be naive, disingenuous, or both.

Have you noticed that the press isn’t clamoring over the inadequacy of the healthcare.gov site anymore? Obviously, the development team must have righted the ship by morphing into a high performing juggernaut under the tutelage of a cadre of agile process consultant(s) – regardless of whether they did or they didn’t.

Toxic, Typical, Supportive

March 22, 2015 Leave a comment

How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules

February 28, 2015 1 comment

  • Set your own salary
  • Vote your leaders in/out
  • Come and go when you please
  • Take vacation whenever you want
  • If you finish your work by Wednesday, go to the beach and come back on Monday
  • If you have to give back, you’ve taken too much
  • Ask “why” three times and then stop
  • Design for wisdom

A brilliant and emotionally moving talk from my favorite CEO of all time, Mr. Ricardo Semler.

Please, please, watch it. I guarantee that some, if not all, parts of the talk will fill your heart with joy! Well, maybe it will. If you’re an average, run-of-the-mill, anointed, business leader, it will either piss you off or strike fear into your bones.

If you want some more seminal Semler to whet your appetite, check out these two MIT-sponsored videos:

Managers Not MBAs

Leading by Omission

Make no mistake about it, Mr. Semler’s radical ideas are not a mess of pie-in-the-sky, Utopian psychobabblings. They’re the real deal, and they’ve been in play… in the real world… for over 20+ years at Semco.

Semco List

Taking The Low Road

February 2, 2015 2 comments

In the pic below, I prefer taking the low road over the high road.

Which Path

So, now that you and your accomplices have labored long and hard to transform your standard org into a high performing org, you’re happy as a clam. Whoo Hoo!

But wait! What happens when you inevitably team up to do business with a standard org? D’oh! I hate when that happens.

Inter-Org Friction

Scrumming For The Corner Office

January 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Note1: This bogus post was inspired by Bertrand Meyer’s book: “Agile!. Specifically, the juice is squeezed from chapter 2: “Deconstructing Agile Texts“.

Business gurus love to fabricate crises and instill fear in their deep-pocketed C-level executive clients so they can pitch their latest idea (at $2000/day plus expenses) to “reinvent management!

Steve Denning is a big-league business management guru, ala Gary Hamel, Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard, Bob Sutton, etc. Even though Mr. Denning has no software background, he somehow got into Jeff Sutherland’s refrigerator and managed to drink a whole pitcher of “agile” koolaid with nary a burp.

agile koolaid

In a brilliant marketing move to distance himself from his peers, Steve has jumped on the “agile” bandwagon. He’s been busy advocating the migration of Scrum out of the software development trenches; up the ladder and into the corner office we go. I can visualize it: CEO as Certified Product Owner, COO as Certified Scrum Master, and the rest of the C-suite as second-class, uncertified, “developers“. (Why is there no certification program for developers?)

agile execs

In closing out this post, I’d like to share with you this brief twitter exchange between Mr. Denning and the lowly BD00 :

Denning Tweet Exchange

Note2: I actually like many of Steve’s ideas: “Who’s Left Standing?“, “Salesmen And Accountants“.

Categories: management Tags: ,
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