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
As he helped leaders, Dr. Nick Horney worked hard to understand what was going on in the business world in a way that could be explained to others, and to form a curriculum for leaders in worldwide organizations. He came up with the acronym VUCA, which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.
In this episode, we dive into what VUCA means in practice and share insights that Scrum Masters can take and help the leaders in their organization.
About Nick Horney
Dr. Horney has written four books. The most recent is VUCA Masters: Developing Leadership Agility Fitness for the world of work, the topic of this episode.
Nick retired from the U.S. Navy (Special Operations) at the rank of Captain and has applied that experience to his work with high performance team agility. He serves as a coach for The Honor Foundation focusing on the successful transition of Navy SEALs to the business world.
Dr. Horney founded Agility Consulting in 2001 and has been coaching leadership agility and organizational agility for over 30 years.
When working with organizations, we are part of facilitating the right aspects. Gunther asks us to facilitate the system, not the mechanics of the system. What that means for us as Scrum Masters will depend on the phase of transition the organization is in. Listen in to hear Gunther’s views on how to facilitate a system (not the mechanics of the system).
About Gunther Verheyen
Gunther left consulting in 2013 to partner with Ken Schwaber, Scrum co-creator, at Scrum.org. He represented Ken and Scrum.org in Europe. Gunther left Scrum.org in 2016 to continue his journey of Scrum as an independent Scrum Caretaker.
He calls himself a connector, writer, speaker, humaniser. Gunther assists, serves, advices teams, individuals and executives.
Gunther believes that Scrum – the most applied software development framework – will not only increase the value that software delivers to organizations but is also a way to re-humanise the workplace for people. Gunther likes to inspire individuals, teams, departments, and organizations to realize their potential.
Beyond Scrum, Gunther is all about his family, life, books, and music. He communicates in Dutch and in English. Gunther is co-creator to Agility Path and the Nexus framework for Scaled Professional Scrum.
Tony shares with us a huge toolbox and many tips on how to use Retrospectives as a tool to understand the system conditions that affect the teams we work with. Listen how these tools helped one team member understand the negative consequences his success had in other teams.
About Tony Richards
Tony is an Agile coach working with a global insurer wanting to become more Agile. Starting his career as a software developer working with Toyota he has a background in Lean and came across Agile in 2010 as part of a test and learn initiative. He is keen to help leaders understand their role in creating an environment where Agile can flourish. To support this he has been working on a game inspired by the research of Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins to support this journey.
In this episode we review several systems thinking tools with Zach and discuss their applicability to situations we all face as Scrum Masters. We mention Cynefin as one of the models that can help us wrap our heads around the complex environment we work within.
About Zach Bonaker
Zach Bonaker is Benevolent Trouble-Maker from San Diego. He’s an agile coach who specializes in bringing lean thinking to organizations and teams over varying sizes across the country. Zach builds relationships to help transform people, systems, and structures towards safer and faster ways of delivering high quality software. When he isn’t thinking about next-generation agile ideas, Zach can be found enjoying the sunny west coast weather and connecting with people all around the world. Follow Zach Bonaker on Twitter, and connect with Zach Bonaker on Linkedin.
When we start working with a team, we don’t actually work with that team. That team is part of a larger system, and we must understand the system before we can help the team. Amitai uses ideas from Theory of Constraints, and mentions The Goal, by Goldratt as a foundational book in his own journey as a Scrum Master. He also shares with us Schmoz’s theory, a critical insight when we work with and within human systems.
Today we play one more Agile in 3 Minutes episode which describes how we can reach freedom in our work. Today’s Agile in 3 minutes episode is episode #12, titled “Free”.
About Amitai Schlair
Amitai is a Software development coach, and legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, award-winning bad poet, and creator of Agile in 3 Minutes, which is a great podcast about what Agile really is about. A must listen for anyone interested in Agile Software Development.
You can link with Amitai Schlair on LinkedIn and connect with Amitai Schlair on Twitter.
There are many sources of inspiration that help us understand how to “see” the system. Daniel mentions the Logical Thinking Process by Dettmer, and The Goal by Goldratt as good places to start understanding the system and how to address it. But the real tool we all already use and can have a large impact on our understanding and influence is the Retrospective meeting. Daniel suggest the Circles and Soup Retrospective as a way to help the team understand the system and act on it.
About Daniel Hommel
Daniel is a ScrumMaster and Agile Coach with a strong background in Software Engineering. His first touch point with Agility was starting to use the Extreme Programming practices in 2007. After some years of working more on the technical side in recent years his interest has shifted to facilitation, coaching, guiding continuous improvement and working with people in general. You can connect with Daniel Hommel on Twitter.
Marc’s passion is to help teams implementing agile frameworks like Scrum and XP and to transform our world of work. Marc loves to help teams, that are struggling with agile transitions, to overcome dysfunctional behaviour. He loves to generate new insights by approaching common problems from the other side and trying to deliberately make havoc of the process.
You can connect with Marc Löffler on Twitter, and link with Marc Löffler on LinkedIn.
He hosts a Blog in English and another blog in German.
Software development is not the same as building a road, or building a house. There’s a key concept called Complexity that explains why many of our assumptions of how software development happens are false. Stefano explains his views of how we can understand the performance of the team in the context of the performance of the whole organization and what to do about it.
In this episode, Stefano refers to Polarity Management, a way of looking at the role of management that can significantly increase the performance of the organization. For more, read this page on Polarity Management.
About Stefano Porro
Stefano is from Turin, Italy. He has worked since 2001 in IT projects and he feels lucky because he does what he loves. He learned about Scrum in 2007 when the company where he was working decided to adopt Scrum. For the first two years he was part of a Scrum team, and he was fascinated from the role of the Scrum Master because he always loved to help team’s members. For him, becoming a Scrum Master, was a natural evolution.