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.

 

 

Amitai Schlair on the importance of understanding our environment

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.

Neil Killick has specific system metrics he uses to evaluate how a system affects team’s performance

Informed by his knowledge on Theory Of Constraints, Neil looks at specific metrics to identify how the system affects team’s performance. He also explores what is necessary to create agility in an organization, and finally he explores the first value in the Agile Manifesto: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

In this episode Neil recommends a book that everyone should read to understand system metrics: The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt.

About Neil Killick

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton Neil has been a software professional for over 18 years, mostly as a developer, before moving to management. He spent the last 5 years being a passionate Agile, Lean and Scrum coach, trainer and practitioner. Neil cares deeply about creating enjoyable, authentic workplaces in which human potential can thrive.
You can connect with Neil Killick on twitter. Neil Killick’s blog.

Henrik Mårtensson introduces the Logical Thinking Process and Process Control Charts

Henrik Mårtensson introduces the Logical Thinking Process and Process Control Charts as tools that help you analyse the impact of the system in the performance of the teams. He also discusses how to define clearly what problem you are solving before getting started.

About Henrik Mårtensson

scrum_master_toolbox_podcast_Andy_Deighton If there is one word summing up Henrik Mårtensson, it is “curious”. Henrik is a systems thinker, strategy methodologist, process improvement consultant, project manager, author, and trick photographer. In 2014 he built a network organisation for photography and media production from scratch, to more than 200 people. He is kind to strangers, but has made friends dive off cliffs.
You can follow Henrik Mårtensson on Twitter and read Henrik Måretensson’s blog where he shares his ideas and breakthroughs in the field of Agile, Theory of Constraints and management in general.