BONUS: What is TameFlow? Steven Tendon explains TameFlow, an hyper performance approach for software development organizations

Steve has been interested in the performance of IT teams and organizations for many years. His work goes back to the 90’s when he experienced, first-hand, what a hyper performing team feels like during his stint at Borland International.

Borland famously fought off Microsoft in one of the most competitive markets in the 90’s: the code editor and compiler market.

During his experience at Borland, Steve got inspired to go beyond the basics of the definiton of performance and started to look for references and inspiration which later led to the definition of his TameFlow system which he describes in this TameFlow introductory book: The Essence of TameFlow.

Among some of the original sources of inspiration for his work, Steve mentions The New New Product Development Game by Takeuchi and Nonaka; David Anderson’s Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results; Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience; and many others.

Why do we talk about Hyperperformance and not Hyperproductivity?

Steve explains why he struggled with the use of the word “productivity” and ultimately decided against it. The use of the productivity word develops a focus on the wrong kind of metrics, as well as the fact that it drives a single-dimension focus. In contrast, with the word performance, Steve tries to elicit the different aspects that we need to take into account if we want to improve our teams and organizations. Among the different focus aspects Steve mentions what he calls the 4 flows in the TameFlow system:

  • Operational Flow: How well are you delivering? The operational flow is the conventional “work flow” that determines how work moves through an organization.
  • Financial Flow: How much wealth are you creating? Financial flow is measured in financial throughput. It represents the rate at which an organization turns its products or services into profit or to other units of value.
  • Informational Flow: How well are you communicating? Informa- tion is the lifeblood of an organization; even more so in modern knowledge-based organizations.
  • Psychological Flow: How happy are your people? The highest levels of individual or group performance are achieved when people reach mental states of flow, which is generally associated with a state of happiness.

The take-aways for Scrum Masters

Finally, we review the concrete take-aways Scrum Masters can apply based on the work that Steve has published under the TameFlow banner.

If you want to know more about TameFlow you can visit Steve’s site on the topic: https://community.tameflow.com. In this community you will find others that are applying these insights to their work.

If you are looking for a book where the TameFlow system is described you can check the TameFlow book or the set of shorter books that recently published.

 

 

About Steve Tendon

Steve Tendon popularised the Theory of constraints in some of the agile community and he is also the Creator of the TameFlow systems thinking approach which nurtures breakthrough performance innovation.

This system is described in the book with the same name: Tame the Flow.

You can link with Steve Tendon on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Tendon on Twitter.

 

 

Adrian Kerry on the tools you need to understand the system you are part of

When we work with organizations and teams that adopt Scrum, we need to have an understanding of what might be the inherent organizational and personal barriers to adoption. There are a number of tools we can use to learn about which barriers are active, and from that generate ideas about what might be the next step.

In this episode we refer to Henrik Kniberg’s Scrum Checklist (PDF), the Spotify Squad Healthcheck, and Adrian’s own post about the journey towards applying Scrum.  

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

 

Adrian Kerry on the critical importance of releasing early and often

All the teams we work with are doing their best. We believe so. And we also believe that certain mental models and practices are keeping them from doing much better, while still trying their best. In this episode we talk about the critical different developing software and releasing software. Releasing is a completely different problem. We discuss that and how to help teams get to the point where they can release software all the time, anytime something is ready.

In this episode we refer to the Scrum Guide.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Adrian Kerry on why coaching is so important for Scrum Masters

In change processes many behaviours, habits and practices need to change. As we adapt to the new way of working we struggle to find our footing in the new reality. How can a Scrum Master help a team in that kind of transition. What are the skills we should have? Where to go for those skills. Listen in to learn Adrian’s journey and how he found that coaching was a critical skill for him.

In this episode we refer to Behavior Driven Development, a practice that help teams collaborate with the product stakeholders, while defining concrete, automated tests.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Adrian Kerry on the anti-pattern of building something no one cares about

Teams need to care about their work. If teams are the only ones that care, that can’t last for long. In this story Adrian talks about the role of stakeholder engagement and how critical it is to learn to engage the stakeholders. When that engagement dies out, bad things start to happen.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Adrian Kerry reminds us that showing our failures helps us recover faster

In this story that Adrian shares with us we explore our tendency to hide the failures, to cover for each other rather than addressing the problems we are facing. We discuss the consequences of that Anti-Pattern and how we should, as Scrum Masters, help the teams we work with address the problems head-on.

In this episode we discuss the narcissistic personality trait and why we should always be on the lookout for such personalities.

About Adrian Kerry

A Scrum Master who specialises in Mobile and User Centred Design based approaches, Adrian comes from a testing background and he still finds that he champions making testing easier for the teams he works with. Due to that Adrian is also a strong advocate of XP practices (and, from that, BDD)

You can link with Adrian Kerry on LinkedIn.

Jacopo Romei on 3 tools that help you understand the system conditions

Systems affect the teams we work with. Systems develop certain patterns – the system conditions – that we must be aware of, and the people in the system also must be aware of. To find and understand those system conditions we need tools, practical tools that help us understand and describe the system conditions. In this episode we review 3 specific tools that help us understand the system conditions we deal with in our role as Scrum Masters.

During this episode we discuss the concept of the Lindy Effect, a useful heuristic that can help us understand the systems we are part of.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Jacopo Romei describes 2 key success patterns

Jacopo describes in this episode 2 patterns that may lead to success, and can help you define your own success as a Scrum Master. In the scope of those 2 patterns we also discuss multiple metrics that could be useful in navigating our own evolution and growth as Scrum Masters.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Jacopo Romei on how Kanban can help you visualize and promote necessary change

Change management, or as we like to call it, Change Leadership is a very difficult part of our job as Scrum Masters. There are great books out there that help people find the approaches to change management that work in an Agile context, however doing it in practice is never as simple as the books describe. In this episode we talk about a fundamental transformation that Jacopo was part of, and how a simple Kanban board helped the organization find the necessary changes and implement them in practice by allowing everyone involved to take part in the definition of the change.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter.

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.

Jacopo Romei What is Conway’s Law and how it affects our work as Scrum Masters

Conway’s Law is a little known observation that organizations seem to mimic the architecture of the software they develop, and vice-versa. So what does that insight mean for us Scrum Masters? Jacopo shares with us his story of a team that was living proof of Conway’s Law, and how he used his understanding of team dynamics and Conway’s Law to help the team evolve and get out of the self-destructive pattern they found themselves in.

About Jacopo Romei

Agile practitioner since 2003, entrepreneur more than once, he has been agile coach in eBay Italia, co-founder of the ALE Network and a former member in Cocoon Projects, an open governance based company. His main focus now are contracts and lean-thinking-compatible agreements.

You can link with Jacopo Romei on LinkedIn and connect with Jacopo Romei on Twitter

You can also follow Jacopo’s work at JacopoRomei.com, and follow the latest news on his book about Extreme Contracts on LeanPub.