The idea for this episode started with a conversation with Yves and Woody when recording one chapter for the Tips from the Trenches Audiobook (check out the audiobook). In this episode, we talk about, and try to define what makes a great place to work, or as Woody calls them: wonderful places to work!
Woody starts by describing two different workplaces, one that was “wonderful”, and one that was not. We explore what the differences were between those two places, and what we can learn from those stories as Scrum Masters.
As Scrum Masters, our role is to help our teams, and our organizations move towards a better place to work, therefore these lessons are critical for us to act on.
In this segment, we refer to MobProgramming, an approach to teamwork that Woody has been talking and writing about for some years; and Cynefin, a model that tries to describe the differences between different levels of complexity, and defines certain strategies for managing different types of work.
“Turn up the good” a heuristic to build great places to work
When teams start adopting Scrum, it’s easy to think that when they are proficient in Scrum, the work is done. However, that’s not nearly enough to help the organization achieve its goals. What are the outcomes that the team is aiming for? Are those outcomes part of the team’s Vision, and Mission?
Peter suggests that we should start our work by defining together with the team and stakeholders what success means. That becomes the first question to ask before we start our work with the team.
Bing bang approaches are sometimes necessary, but not sufficient for the momentum of change that is needed
When we look at team performance in a business, we need to take into account 3 different metrics. Sally explains those 3 key metrics at the start of this episode, and we dive into why some metrics are good leading indicators of team performance.
As we dive into performance metrics, we discuss what are some of the enablers for team performance, as well as how leaders, and leadership teams can positively impact the agility and performance of their teams.
Measuring Maturity, Performance and Outcomes, the critical aspects of performance
As Joshua started to research his book, he discovered many stories of people applying the principles and ideas behind agility to their lives, and their businesses. The Joy Of Agility is a book that collects those stories and explains what agility is really about. And it’s not about Scrum, or any other process framework.
Joshua starts by telling us a story of a young Richard Branson who, having been left stranded on an airport, came up with an idea to get to his destination while helping other fellow passengers who had also been left stranded. This is a story of a person being resourceful in the face of adversity. Being resourceful is one of those aspects of agility that we often don’t discuss, but is – as Joshua puts it – at the core of Agility.
Thomas’ perspective on business starts with the idea that businesses exist to generate value for people. The ones inside, as well as outside the business.
As he started the book, he realized that the digital age had transformed our ideas about what being human in that medium was all about. He set out to write about what it meant to be humn in the digital age. However, that was just the start of the book.
In that first part of the book, Thomas explores questions such as “am I a resource?”, a very common question we hear when we talk to teams.
This exploration leads to the realization that businesses have to generate value for customers, stakeholders, but also (and critically) for employees.
The needed transformation of business on the path to Business Agility