This is Part I of a two part series on the UVF and Management 3.0.
Earlier this spring I (Andrew) had the opportunity to go through Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 (M3.0) training. It was really encouraging to see how nicely Jurgen’s content maps to the implementation and structural models found in the Unified Vision Framework (UVF).
Before we look at how it maps to the UVF, it will be useful to look at where we believe M3.0 sits on the Project Management continuum:
Since M3.0 is mostly targeted at Enterprise Managers working with Agile teams, it makes sense to place it along the continuum towards the Agile end of the spectrum. Yes, we know that it’s really tough to capture 3-dimensional ideas in a flat, 2-dimensional picture (since both SAFe and M3.0 do reach up into the upper levels of an organization), but hopefully you get the idea.
We also shared in our last post “Scrum is Dead!” that both M3.0 and SAFe have ideas contained in them that are more prescriptive in nature and so both of these lend themselves very well to the situation where organizational leadership needs to have a more “hands-on” approach to implementing and Scaling Agile to the Enterprise:
Again, this isn’t a perfect picture since it is possible to use both SAFe and M3.0 in situations that are more hands-off as depicted to the right of “Aha!” above. But, from what we have observed, the strength of these models shine through in team and task level items that are more hands-on.
We have heard from a number of organizations that have been through the M3.0 training that, while they have found the ideas contained in M3.0 are good, they can be difficult to implement. Let’s take a look at M3.0’s view of the Enterprise:
Some people find that this is a good picture to demonstrate the complexity present in many of today’s Enterprises. The picture is complex and many organization are by nature (or design) complex, and M3.0 suggests that organizations combat complexity with complexity. This is likely one of the main factors that makes Scaling Agile using M3.0 (or SAFe) difficult.
However, Warren Buffet’s quote in this case is spot-on, “business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.” We prefer simple structures and communication paths that are always more effective. The UVF is deceptively simple. And, as many organizations have learned, simple isn’t easy.
After going through the M3.0 training it became clear that the implementation of M3.0 can be more effective using just a few of the tools included with the UVF, namely the:
- 1L + 1M + 1P = 1V Formula
- VSPT Leadership Framework
- 4D Model
One of the most powerful things an enterprise can do to enable a Business Agile culture is to get everyone speaking the same language. And, increasing complexity works counter to, and can actually block, effective communication.
In order to map M3.0 to the UVF, we will begin with Jurgen’s “Developing Competence” (instead of following the order in his book). Training is one of the keys to competence development and creates a common language for the organization. We’ve been using the concept of 1L (One Language) + 1M (One Mind) + 1P (One Plan) = 1V (One Vision) for the better part of 30 years to achieve positive cultural change for the organizations with which we’ve coached, mentored and trained. Here’s how Develop Competence maps to the UVF:
We won’t rehash the vital importance of Vision here (see our blog post on Culture Makes or Breaks Scaling Agile for more on that). The role of Middle, Senior and Executive Management is to create a culture where good people can achieve remarkable results. This is the new paradigm to which the leaders in organizations must align. Failure on the part of leadership to shift the culture in the right direction could be catastrophic, an epic fail.
An effectively crafted and communicated Vision will supercharge and enable the right Culture for any organization. This begins with everyone having a common language, agreeing on the definitions and then having a plan that uses the agreed upon language and definitions. The starting point for doing that, once the Vision has been clearly communicated, is implementing a common training program for the whole organization.
This is exactly what I (Andrew) did when I was at Nature Publishing Group as the Portfolio Manager from 2011 through 2013. One of the governance items I put in place was the Agile Transformation Group (the ATG). It was this group that had the responsibility to define the minimum definition for what we called NPG Agile (i.e. the minimum process a team must follow in order to even be considered as doing/being agile). This was our Vision definition that facilitated everything that we did. By the way, for an organization that has started out Agile, instead of an ATG they will need some form of an AGG (Agile Governance Group) in order to Scale Agile to the whole Enterprise. We will be publishing our newest materials on full-blown Agile governance later this autumn.
We began at NPG with a half-day training for everyone (click here to see how we trained the teams in Scrum using the UVF), including the developers, ScrumMasters, Product Owners, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Quality Managers, Line Managers, Senior Manager and Executive Leadership, and Board Members. Over 250 team members and stakeholders were trained (including the CEO, CTO, COO, Director of Business Development, Director of Business Management, etc.).
It took almost two years for the C-level and Executive leadership to get to “Aha!” moment and to where the CTO and COO where both responding to the results achieve with a single word: wow! By the way, one of the names we used during the development of the UVF during the past 20 years was “the Simply Wow! Model.” We used this description since the Framework is a simple, yet powerful, way of working. It enabled our teams to deliver “wow!” to the end customer. Developing the right competences (i.e. via training, coaching, modelling and mentoring) for your teams is foundational to building a high-performing organization at any level.
Once the organization has a common language (1L) at the Enterprise level, then Team Definitions must be crafted and aligned with that language. This is how Vision focuses the Definitions (1L) and Distilled Agreements (1M) with the Team’s Delivery efforts (1P) for the Product, Service and/or Result. So now we find ourselves at the Energize People portion of Jurgen’s model:
A clearly articulated Vision, and Framework to communicate it, engages and energizes the teams and people across the organization because everybody sees and understands where they and what they’re working on fits.
The first and primary definition for every team should be “VSPT” (Vision, Strategy, People and Tasks). We need to make sure that the right people are in place and, conversely, any “antibodies” that risk spoiling the efforts of the team should be mitigated or invited to leave. There’s nothing more draining for a team than to have a disruptive member that ends up sapping the energy and motivation from everyone.
Once the team has defined the work (i.e. the Product Backlog, etc.) and agreed to it (distilled agreement on what will be included in the next iteration), then they can use whatever method/tool the team deems best to deliver the work (i.e. Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, XP, Agile, etc.). There is nothing more powerful than a clear Vision that everyone agrees with to energize and focus your teams. And, the Product Backlog should encompass the entire Vision of the Product, Service and/or Result that you are aiming to release to your customer(s).
Once the groundwork is done, then the team is truly empowered to Deliver, which brings us to the Empower Teams part of M3.0:
Empowering Teams, without linking to the Vision, is like building a sports car and then trying to use it as a tractor. It may look nice, but it won’t effectively deliver the incremental result desired. And, this also links to the Hands-on/Hand-off discussion shared above since a team’s maturity level (and successful releases that align with the Vision) will impact the level of empowerment that the teams are granted by Executive management and the Board.
Part of Driving to Success for any team or organization is maintaining alignment with the Vision is a continuous process. This brings us to Align Constraints:
And, speaking of constraints, the structure of the Enterprise is one the key constraints that needs to be managed at all levels, not just at the team level. If a framework primarily deals with the team level, then that’s like trying to steer the Queen Mary from the boiler room. It can be done, but it’s very difficult to do.
So, in our world, Driving to Success includes iteratively Growing the Structure of the Enterprise using the 4D Model.
We agree with Dr. Jeff Sutherlin that good structure emerges through the iterative process, but only as long as it is led by a clear Vision.
The thing that we like about Jurgen’s idea of of Improve Everything in the next picture, is that it captures the essence of “Drive” in the UVF. Iteratively improving everything should make the organization or team better. Isn’t that what every CEO really wants? “Drive” is the consistent, constant pursuit of excellence, led by the organization’s Vision:
We feel that Management 3.0 is an excellent resource and body of knowledge for various layers of management in an organization. Like every other body of knowledge and/or framework, it is dependent upon the skill of the person(s) implementing it to achieve the full potential benefit.
If you are using M3.0 and would like to supercharge its implementation in your organization, then we believe that the tools shared above from the UVF (1L + 1M + 1P = 1V, the VSPT Leadership Framework and the 4D Model) are a powerful way to do that.
Properly implemented, our Framework enables the Right People, to Do the Right Things, in the Right Way and at the Right Time which adds maximum value to the Enterprise.