#75 out of 100

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Although i am not acting as Agile coach or trainer but surprisingly listed here – 100 Top Agile Blogs in 2015TOP 100

Happy and proud to be among great people of agile community. It will definitely encourage me to continue sharing my ideas and thoughts about how to organize work in a company to keep Agile mindset even when you grow from 20 to 600.

Posts that worth taking a look at:

Thank you for reading.

Network structure – it works

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in management

It was a long journey of trying to understand what organisational structure is best for dynamic growth, experiments, agility and change.

Simple conclusion that i came up for myself – it works! And it is the best way to grow up to an organisation to a scale of 600 people at least. Reasons behind are simple – it allows you to scale fast naturally and have built-in flexibility in the structure to a constant change. Obviously there are challenges which you have to overcome.

TOP 7 Challenges

  1. Flexible structure is not possible if you want to keep technical foundation monolithic. Devops and Service Oriented Architecture is a must use practices otherwise organisation will not be able to adjust to changing business demand fast enough
  2. Easy to fallback to local optimizations and thinking that structure is something permanent
    • POD Leads and Keepers start to maintain status quo rather than to advocate the change as structure must be adjusted according new findings, growing number of people, speed of delivery and many other things that pop up during the journey
    • Extreme sense of ownership can lead to certain local optimizations instead of seeking global improvement
  3. It’s very important to define common artefacts for PODs as soon as possible so everybody knows what to expect and how to work. You can start from something simple first and grow it naturally according the needs
  4. Pod sponsor role is extremely critical in order to achieve alignment and solve challenges outside the scope of the POD or priority conflicts
    • Especially for service pods which are often understaffed and business value is indirect, but high expectations are formed by the community
    • Pod sponsor is an important contributor to network orchestration
  5. Transparency is key, especially regarding speed of delivery and commitments
  6. Behaviour and mindset is much more important than experience as new structure depends a lot on readiness to change and constant learning
  7. Change and adoption core group must be full-time activity and include decision makers (often C-level)
    • Plays leading role in network orchestration
    • Solves operational challenges together with leaders

But what you get instead:

  • you know value creation chain of your company and make dependencies visible
  • people are committed and motivated as they are the owners of what they do and decision making is delegated to them
  • problems are transparent to everyone who is looking for information and you can act upon them

Updated document with our experience – POD framework v.03, comparing to previous version you will find:

  • Description of deliverables and artefacts that can be used as a starting point of your journey
  • Better description of roles to handle expectations
  • Description of how roles work should together
  • Challenges that you must prepare for

If you have some experience building network structure would love to hear your insights, ideas and knowledge.

Scale A => Scale B

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in management

Experience shows that approaches that worked for Scale A will not work for Scale B and you need to change practices you apply, way to organise work, communicate and etc.
You might say it’s obvious, but somehow everybody still tends to stick to what they know and do not challenge themselves.

The need for a change as you grow pretty well described in the video –

Successful guys also confirm that to get from point A to point B you need to start preparing for a shift. The better you prepare and understand this more successful you are.

Following things must change in order to succeed as you grow:
– how you work with people: generalists vs specialists, on-boarding
– how you work with product: market fit, competitors, ..
– how you approach technical platform: from monolith to micro-services
– how you find balance between adaptation and excellence in operations and tech

And one thing remains constant – innovation. i understand this in a way that you always have to experiment to find best ways to tackle the challenge in your context as there are no such things as right and wrong.

What are your thoughts on the topic?

Danger of simplification

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in management, quick thoughts

“Where simplifications fail, causing most damage, is when something nonlinear is simplified with the linear as a substitute.” (from the book – http://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Disorder-Incerto/dp/0812979680)

That’s why project management, scientific management, planning 5 years ahead and similar things should be used as a tool at maximum, not way of thinking. Thinking should be based on principles (e.g. 12 principles of new organization), which are reviewed based on the current context.

Negotiation – value and common ground

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in quick thoughts

Stumbled upon couple of terms related to negotiations. Adding to my good stuff library and sharing it with you.

IMHO, very interesting concepts which can help to keep discussions constructive and encourage to for win/win situation.

I. Find common ground and red lines

“Indaba” (pronounced IN-DAR-BAH), and is used to simplify discussions between many parties.
An indaba is designed to allow every party to voice its opinion, but still arrive at a consensus quickly. It works because opinions and arguments can only be aired in a particular way:
Instead of repeating stated positions, each party is encouraged to speak personally and state their “red lines,” which are thresholds that they don’t want to cross.
But while telling others their hard limits, they are also asked to provide solutions to find a common ground.

II. Everyone must understand value of the agreement if consequences if it’s not reached.

“Nbatana” stands for “next best alternative to a negotiated agreement”. This means that everybody should be aware of what they will be left with if no agreement is reached; this helps them to understand the value of agreement, and correspondingly how much it is worth compromising before reaching the point where agreement costs you more than not reaching agreement.

p.s. if you know more these kind of hints please share them, would love to explore more on the topic as didn’t find anything more about this easily