For this first Christmas 2018 special we focus on scaling Agile, and specifically how the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can help organizations take Agile and apply it in the large.
There are many systems that require multiple teams to work together. As more and more industries adopt software as a core part of their services and products, we also see many organizations developing many products concurrently, and large engineering organizations that require coordination across tens or hundreds of teams, including non-software teams.
In this episode, we discuss how SAFe can help you take Agile to that type of environments and organizations.
Read on for the detailed show notes, as well as all of the links.
All of us working with Agile and Scrum are used to the (sometimes) large transformations that these approaches can have at work. But it is not everyday we see the impact, the amazing impact, it can have on other types of work. How about this: Marcus Hammarberg, walks into a hospital and the hospital is about the crumble. Literally! The roof has collapsed, there’s dripping water and buckets everywhere and the second floor is overrun with debris. But that is not where the problems end…
A few months later, and using Kanban, Agile and Lean ideas the hospital is saved. But how did that happen?
Marcus explains his story, and the amazing transformation in his latest book: The Bungsu (now available for pre-order at Amazon), and we have a short video to explain the main points of the story right here.
Click on to see the video, and sign-up to get the first chapter of the book.
Work life is a serious thing. We spend (at least) one-third of our time awake at work, and in some cases much more time than what we spend with our families most days of the year.
Now imagine what would happen if your work would be falling apart. You have too much work, and are being constanly interrupted. Your authority and ability to contribute is undermined. And on top of it your place of work is literally crumbling: the roof collapsed and what is left is being innudated by dirty water that runs off from the roof’s debri.
Meet Ibu Elsye! Ibu Elsye is the lady dressed in black in the picture or “Mrs.” Elsye if you don’t speak Indonesian ;).
She’s General Manager of a hospital, Rumah Sakit Bungsu (aka The Bungsu), that Marcus Hammarberg helped, in Indonesia. General Manager; what is that, in a hospital? I’m happy you asked: basically she’s in charge of everything that is not health care. Food, laundry, maintenance, security staff, drivers … you name it.
In The Bungsu, if you need something fixed – go to Ibu Elsye.
But Ibu Elsye’s work life was not going very well…
When Marcus Hammaberg first started to work with the Bungsu hospital they were in a devastating situation. Their finances were on a bottom low after years of decline of patients visiting, their operational permit had not been renewed and they were operating on a probation, the staff was disengaged and blasé … oh, that’s right – the roof of the entire second floor had collapsed.
Tom and Mary Poppendieck have authored several books over the years about what needs to change in how we develop software to be able to meet the demands of the market, competition, and the growth in complexity of technology businesses. A recurring pattern they have witnessed is that people keep trying to discover a “silver bullet”. We explore why that is a bad idea and some of the changes in product development that make it an impossible quest.
Read on for the details, and all the links shared during the show.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this Episode we explore Systems Thinking with Matthew, and describe a 3 step process to apply Systems Thinking in our Scrum Master work:
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
Find out where are the queues and where the work “stops” and waits
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 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.