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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Denning’

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: ,

Who’s Left Standing?

November 22, 2013 1 comment

First W. E. Deming, then Russell Ackoff, and now Chris Argyris. They’re all gone. Bummer.

ArgyrisWhen I first encountered the work of each of these three original thinkers, it blew me away. Their insights on organizational and management behaviors were like a breath of fresh air compared to the C-suite pandering, jargonized junk that business schools spew and pop business icons like Tom Peters promulgate (no offense Tom, I like some of your ideas).

Managers who are skilled communicators may also be good at covering up real problems – Chris Argyris

AFAIK, there’s nobody like this trio of intellectual giants left standing (maybe they’ve won?). There are, however, a handful of second string, accessible, truth-tellers out there. Henry Mintzberg, Sam Culbert, and Steve Denning come to mind. Who can you add to this list?

Salesmen And Accountants

December 22, 2011 3 comments

No one has ever failed to find the facts they are looking for. – Peter Drucker

Mr. Drucker may have gotten it wrong, at least in BD00’s case. It seems like the “facts” that I desperately need to continuously confirm my distorted world view come right up to me out of hiding and bite me in the bumpkiss. (If they don’t, I simply make some pseudo-facts up to feed the need).

Here’s one of the latest confirmations, and it’s in the form of another quote:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

Say what, you ask? That quote deftly closes this Forbes article written by “radical” Steve Denning: “Why Big Companies Die”.

Quoting Steve Jobs on where salesmen come into play, and adding his own two cents on where accountants come into play, “rad” Steve describes an oft repeated pattern of corpo demise:

“The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesman, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues. So salesmen are put in charge, and product engineers and designers feel demoted: Their efforts are no longer at the white-hot center of the company’s daily life. They “turn off.”” – Steve Jobs

“The activities of these people (the accountants) further dispirit the creators, the product engineers and designers, and also crimp the firm’s ability to add value to its customers. But because the accountants appear to be adding to the firm’s short-term profitability, as a class they are also celebrated and well-rewarded, even as their activities systematically kill the firm’s future.” – Steve Denning

The dorky BD00 graph below attempts to map the above words onto an unscaled timeline.

Or, if you prefer, here’s an alternative view of this unconscious pattern of demise:

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