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.

 

 

Henri Karhatsu on moving towards a Vision

Success for a Scrum Master is defined in many ways. For Henri this means focusing on constant evolution and change. He refers to the Toyota Kata by Rother as a model to follow when working with teams and defining success for you, and the team. He emphasizes how important it is to focus on one improvement goal at a time.

About Henri Karhatsu

Henri is a consultant at his own company Karhatsu IT Consulting in Helsinki, Finland.
He is a very experienced software developer that has worked for and with many clients over his career. He’s also been exploring how to improve our industry of software development and sharing his learnings in his blog.
You can connect with Henri Karhatsu on LinkedIn, and reach out to Henri Karhatsu on Twitter.
Henri Karhatsu’s blog.

Angel Diaz-Maroto shares his approach to start a change process

In this episode Angel shares many of the tools and techniques he uses to support the start of a change process in a system. There’s plenty of work to prepare the change before it can get started, and most of that work is about understanding the system we are about to be part of. We talk about many tools, like using Experiments, A3 problem solving and PDCA cycles for learning at the organisational level.

About Angel Diaz-Maroto

Angel is a seasoned and very energetic Agile coach and a frequent speaker at international conferences and Agile events in Europe and America. He is Certified Scrum Coach. Currently he is member of Agilar, one of the leading Agile coaching firms in Europe and Latin-America.
He is now at Agilar, but before he was the leader at one of the biggest Agile transformations in europe, including business and IT at the Spanish branch of a multinational bank (ING). He lead the transformation from the trenches and starting from scratch. He as more than 15 years of experience in many different roles and is a professor at ESNE (University School of design, innovation & technology).
You can link up with Angel Diaz-Maroto on LinkedIn and connect with Angel Diaz-Maroto on Twitter.

Matthew Heusser on Systems Thinking and how to apply it in your work

In this Episode we explore Systems Thinking with Matthew, and describe a 3 step process to apply Systems Thinking in our Scrum Master work:

  1. Look at “touch time” the time that the work items are actually worked on. Matt shares with us an example of what this means in practice
  2. Find out where are the queues and where the work “stops” and waits
  3. Make the work visual, make it transparent

This process will help you to understand the system of work and diagnose the systemic problems that you will need to address.
We mention the Quality Software Management: Systems Thinking by Gerry Weinberg and Toyota Production System by Liker, both great primers to Systems Thinking applied in practice.

About Matthew Heusser

Matthew Heusser is the co-author of Save our Scrum, co-chair of the enterprise track at Agile2015, And he is also an author at CIO.com. Matt Software is a delivery consultant/writer and Collaborative software geek since before it was cool.
You can find Matthew Heusser on LinkedIn, and connect with Matthew Heusser on Twitter.

Gitte Klitgaard describes the worst team pattern

Gitte explains why teams sometimes forget to think and they that is a self-destruction pattern. Being agile requires us to be flexible, and when we stop thinking the best we can do is follow orders. Asking questions and being ready to sit back and listen helps us bring the thinking pattern to our team’s day-to-day work.

About Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is a very pragmatic world-changer. She wants to make the world a better place today, not tomorrow. She’s also very experienced agile coach and regular speaker. But here’s the punch line: she talks about things that no one else talks about. She lives by the mantra “why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?” and she says that her best coaching tools are listening and making people think.
You link with Gitte Klitgaard on LinkedIn, and connect with Gitte Klitgaard on twitter.

Marcus Hammarberg explains his recipe for team success

Many management approaches settle for measuring activity instead of outcomes. Marcus asks us to focus more on outcomes to be able to investigate the system conditions. After all it is outcomes that matter. He also asks us to be so precise about outcomes that we can measure it with a single metric. His process is:

  1. Go for smaller and smaller iterations as a way to help teams “own” their work
  2. Bring the outcome definition down to ground-level, so that everyone understands it
  3. Everyone needs to understand the metric. Simplify it.
  4. The metric needs to be one that changes often, so that we can use it as feedback.
  5. Update the metric daily
  6. Celebrate success

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.
One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.
You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Marcus Hammarberg on the Water-Scrum-Fall anti-pattern

In many organizations we see teams rushing to adopt Scrum, only to be stuck in the Water-Scrum-Fall anti-pattern. Marcus shares with us one such case, and what he learned from the experience. He shares the metrics that matter in Agile, and why Lean is a perfect complement to the ideas of Agile and Scrum.

Marcus shared with us a discount code for all that purchase his book until October 14th, 2015. Don’t miss it, purchase the book at http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and use the code scrumkan.

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is a Software / agile consultant from Sweden on IT-sabatical leave in Indonesia, working for the Salvation Army hospitals there. And yes, using techniques from agile in that work even in non-software environments.
One of those approaches he is using is Kanban, as Marcus is the author of the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén, don’t forget to go to http://bit.ly/theKanbanBook, and get the book with the discount code scrumkan.
You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.

Luis Gonçalves on using Value Stream Map to help the team “see” the system

Seeing the system is an art that requires attention to detail, but also a technique that allows us to collect the right information. Seeing how we work as a team, and how the external factors affect our performance cannot be done without that information, and Luis shares with us how he used the Value Stream Map as a tool to help a team see the system that was affecting their performance.
The Value Stream Map also proved to be a great way to to collect information that helped the team have a truly valuable retrospective.
We also discuss the different levels of team development using the Shu-Ha-Ri model, and how teams have many skill areas that need to be developed and can be mapped with the help of the Shu-Ha-Ri model.

About Luis Gonçalves

Luis Gonçalves is a Co-Founder of Oikosofy, the Co-Author of the book “Getting Value out Agile Retrospectives”, a book which I use regularly to get inspired to organize innovative retrospectives. Luis is also an International Speaker and prolific Blogger. I don’t know where he gets the time to do all of this 🙂
Luis’ passion lies on the Management side of software development where he tries to apply what he has learned from the Management 3.0 books.
He is also a co-founder of a MeetUp group in Munich, Germany called High Performing Teams. A meetup he created to “Define the future of Management and Leadership”.
You can link up with Luis Gonçalves on LinkedIn, and connect with Luis Gonçalves on Twitter.

In case you are interested in Agile Retrospectives we are at the moment preparing a 10 DAYS FREE AGILE RETROSPECTIVES PROGRAM. This is a complete self-study program where you will learn anything that you need to become a great Agile Retrospectives facilitator.

Claudio Perrone on why the daily meetings fail

Daily meetings fail for many reasons, and Claudio has an idea of why it happens regularly. The 3 questions in the Scrum daily just can’t work in all situations. Claudio discusses some ideas on how to improve the questions the team asks in the daily meeting and gives a few tips on how to improve the Scrum board to make work more visible and focus the team on Flow.
We also discuss a promising framework to help teams understand the “why” of every story they develop. This is a framework developed based on the work by Clayton Christensen (Innovator’s Dilemma), and tries to define the content of products from a different perspective: the job to be done that customers hire the product for. Watch Clayton Christensen present the idea of jobs to be done on youtube. Or listen to the Jobs-To-Be-Done radio podcast if you want to know more about this promising framework.

About Claudio Perrone

Claudio is an independent Lean & Agile management consultant, entrepreneur and startup strategist. You may know him for the amazing cartoons he creates for his presentations or, perhaps, for A3 Thinker, a deck of brainstorming cards for Lean Problem Solving. These days he focuses on PopcornFlow, a brand-new continuous evolution method for personal and organisational change.
You can connect with Claudio Perrone on twitter, and see Claudio Perrone on LinkedIn. These days Claudio is focusing on his latest work: PopcornFlow, a method by which you can Learn how to establish a continuous flow of small, traceable, co-created, explicit change experiments. For you, your team, your organization.

Antti Tevanlinna shares his tools to understand and change the system

Understand and change the system is perhaps one of the major challenges for Scrum Masters all over the world. In this episode Antti shares his favourite tools for that exact task:

  • Measure Lead Time, and how each action affects that metric. Use that metric to detect problems in how the system works at all times.
  • Create causal loop diagrams that help you understand what are the many effects, and causes in play within the organization.
    Both of the tools mentioned are part of an arsenal of tools that you can find when studying Systems Thinking. To get you started, Antti recommends the book The V Discipline by Peter Senge.

About Antti Tevanlinna

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton Antti is an agile practitioner, who got started with agile in my own very first Agile project way back in 2004. He’s been through all kinds of roles, from team member, to management, to customer-facing roles.
You can connect with Antti Tevanlinna on twitter, and check Antti Tevanlinna’s blog.