This past week in Stockholm, Sweden Ted and Andrew facilitated the first ever Flow Certified Professional (FCP) and Flow Certified Trainer (FCT) courses.  Congratulations to the following Professionals and Trainers on a job well-done:

  • Mats Jegebo, FCP, FCT

  • Håkan Jegebo, FCP, FCT

  • Johan Nyberg, FCP, FCT

  • Patrik Jonsson, FCP, FCT

  • Robert Jonsson, FCP, FCT

  • Jens Mårtensson, FCP

  • Maria Lundgren, FCP

  • Martin Hultman, FCP

  • Morgan Ahlström, FCP

  • Torbjörn Karlsson, FCP

We’re looking forward to working with each and every one of them to help build Flow and their Flow leadership careers.

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For those that are not familiar with Flow, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to move beyond agile and wish to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks or tools that they use throughout their enterprise.

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Andrew Kallman, FCP, FCT and Ted Kallman, FCP, FCT are the co-authors of Flow and the Unified Vision Framework Their book, “The Nehemiah Effect” is a #1 National Best Seller on Amazon.com (in as many as 3 categories:  Business, Consulting and Project Management) for 4 of the last 12 months:
The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects

For those of you that may (or may not) follow Andrew on LinkedIn, here’s a summary of the Posts that he has published in the past on his LinkedIn blog on various topics:

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Andrew Kallman and Ted Kallman are the co-authors of the Unified Vision Framework and their book, “The Nehemiah Effect” is a #1 National Best Seller on Amazon.com (in as many as 3 categories:  Business, Consulting and Project Management) for 4 of the last 10 months:
The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects

“An Expert is someone who carries a briefcase and lives more than 50 miles away” Professional Consultants Association website.

This is an old joke that I have heard many times over the years and has a degree of truth in it. But there is a dark secret to expertise that lingers inside most organizations – Experts are the people we trust to say no.

What does this mean to Agile or Scrum environments?

We need the right people with the right ideas (see the 4R Model at the end of our blog post from last June 2014 on how to implement Management 3.0 using the UVF) and expertise on the team to be able to deliver the hoped for value as determined by the organizational Vision and Strategy as filtered by the Product Owner.

So why do we need to eliminate ‘experts’? Because deferring to an expert usually ends debate, innovation and creative thinking.  There should not experts on an agile delivery team – only team members who are there to understand, deliver value and find ways to overcome the obstacles to that end result.  A person with history and wisdom in an area of expertise should be listened to carefully.  But, a high performing team does not allow that one opinion to end discussion or ideation toward a better path.

Henry Ford understood this. Peter Diamandis in his recent book “Bold” quotes Mr. Ford on page 112:

“None of our men are ‘experts’. We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks of himself as an expert because no one ever considers himself an expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the ‘expert’ state of mind a great number of things become impossible.”

In other words, Mr. Ford had an Agile mindset and expected his team to have the same mindset or he removed them from the team. Exponential results followed.

An example in our experience will be a case study in our soon to be released book ‘Flow: Beyond Agile’. The project started with our brother Dan. At that time Dan was an IT manager for Steelcase, a multi-billion dollar furniture manufacturer, the largest in the world, in Grand Rapids Michigan. Dan’s development team was working on a Sales Force Automation tool to deliver cost data to the field in real time to facilitate better pricing for competitive edge.

The team had reached a point where they needed to aggregate data from a number of locations within a very diverse data universe in order to obtain and deliver it to the field sales force in a usable form. All of the ‘experts’ from the large companies assisting in the project said it could not be done and counseled Steelcase that they should abandon the project as a failure. These included; IBM, Hewlett Packard, Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) and Oracle.

Dan’s team did not include anyone who would be considered an ‘expert’ by these consultants so their opinion held little weight with upper management. Dan did not believe the facts as delivered by the experts and stated:

“it is not impossible; you just don’t want to try.”

One of the experts from Accenture said:

“if you think you are that good why don’t you do it?”

So Dan gathered his merry band together and in Apollo 13 fashion said:

“Guys, this is what we have to work with, failure is not an option.” Well, what he actually said was, “If we cannot pull this off the project is dead and our company will have lost US$ 4.5MM in the failure and without any the future benefit that this tool could deliver. We need to find a way to do it.”

You get the point.

They went into ‘skunk works’ under the radar mode and started to look at alternatives and ideated over and over for a number of days.

Now, before we reveal the result, you need a little more of the back-story.

Dan’s team had wanted to take the tool logo (IT) and have it spin when the tool was processing instead of the standard spinning arrow. This had no value to the end product and would not have been approved if Dan had requested it as a feature but he knew his geek squad wanted to do it because it was cool and they thought they could. He gave them two days to do it. (Google, which formed a couple of years before this event, gives employees the freedom to use 20% of their time on anything they choose to do, and it was that type of moment for Dan’s team).

They did not fully pull off the spinning IT within the two-day “hack event.”

Ah, but during the ideation session to save the SFA project, one of the Developers brought up one of the things they had attempted when trying to make the IT logo spin and suggested that they use the same approach to aggregate the data.

Everyone agreed.

They tried it and it worked. The impossible became possible. The team hired me to do the roll out and training and then we brought Andrew in on the service side. (Yes there were multiple jokes about entirely too many Kallman’s in one place at one time – the universe has still not yet fully recovered).  You can read about the whole story in Flow when it hits the street later this year but the net/net value delivered to Steelcase after one full year of implementation was US$ 29.5MM of profit according to their internal audit team. Not bad.

So how does this relate to Agile and experts?

Use expertise to place a person on a team but do not let their expertise block creative thinking and innovation. The ‘all for one and one for all’ culture in Scrum and Agile leaves to door open to all ideas and does not allow experts to kill them. And, short cycle testing of ideas along with retrospectives that assess what worked, and what did not work, keep the team growing. This growth increases expertise even as it eliminates individual experts (except as a team contributor).

Last thoughts.

One of the big challenges we face when coaching Enterprise Level Agile adoptions is the split use of experts over many teams. The rationale is that these critical resources are needed so that the organization does not make mistakes, or go down dead-end paths unnecessarily.

We believe that an expert should be on one team only and that if needed to consult with another team on a short term basis it is with a laser focus burst and then they return to their own crew to deliver value going forward.  This is not normal in most corporate structures. When you split the time of an ‘expert’ it mitigates against high performance for the individual, the team and thus the organization as well. It is an anti-pattern.

One of the other hurdles that needs to be overcome at the executive level is the elimination of silo-controlled expertise in executive decision-making.  Executive teams must be cross-functional and operate as equals within the team structure, just the way a Scrum team functions.  This is not easy and can be a critical point of failure in an agile adoption.  It requires a major cultural shift to succeed.

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Andrew Kallman and Ted Kallman are the co-authors of the Unified Vision Framework and their book, “The Nehemiah Effect” is a #1 National Best Seller on Amazon.com (in as many as 3 categories:  Business, Consulting and Project Management) for 4 of the last 10 months:

The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects

It’s been 14 years since the original Manifesto for Agile Software Development was forged on February 12, 2001, by 17 software development leaders.  The pace of change continues to accelerate and Agile Methodologies have begun to successfully replicate themselves beyond software and IT.
Recently Andrew was chatting with some of his colleagues at Knowit Group in Stockholm, Sweden and they had suggested creating a Manifesto that deals with Scaling Agile.  It was during one of the discussions on this topic that Andrew pointed out that there is actually a subtle, yet key, difference between Scaling Agile and Enterprise Governance.  And, so far, it has been a really tough sell for the Technology side of the company to convince the Business side of the organization to adopt “Agile.”  The graphic below might help describe the issue:
 Agile Governance Leadership UVF simplified
Scaling Agile has primarily been limited to all activities below the line in the Technology area.  Governance, on the other hand, is above the line and impacts the entire organization.  To date, Agile has grown organically from the bottom-up.  There are a myriad of team-level tools like Scrum, Kanban, XP, Scrumban, etc.  And, for scaling technology teams and programs there are tools like SAFe, DAD, LeSS, etc.  But, they all are targeted at the technology side of the house.  Management 3.0 sort of straddles the line between technology and business, but it is primarily aimed at and utilized on the Technology side (for the middle-layer of management).
Our tool, the Unified Vision Framework, begins with the Executive in mind.  But also, due to its simplicity, also works at the team-level, regardless of the methodology:
Agile Governance Leadership UVF Napkin
We believe it is time to initiate the discussion about a Manifesto for Agile Governance instead of just for Scaling Agile.  This is because we feel that a Manifesto that could be used for just Scaling Agile, for example, would limit the discussion to only Technology through a management lens.  In our opinion, a Manifesto for Agile Governance raises the discussion to the Executive and leadership levels in the organization.
A number of well-known, authors and experts in the Agile community have recently published books on how to scale Agile and Scrum to the Enterprise level.  We’ll look at those tools in another blog post.  We find it interesting that a Manifesto for either Scaling Agile or Agile Governance hasn’t yet been agreed upon by the Agile community.
To get the ball rolling, we propose the following Manifesto for Agile Governance for consideration:

Manifesto for Agile Governance
We are uncovering better ways of delivering business value
by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:
Clear Vision and Strategy over team-level, self-prioritization
Servant leadership over micromanaging, command and control
Business value delivered over completed product, service or result
Stakeholder collaboration over unbending governance structures
Iteratively leading change & innovation over following rigid plans 
That is, while there may be value in doing the items on the right,
we value delivering the items on the left more.

All thoughts, comments and input to improve this draft Manifesto for Agile Governance are most welcome; and, in advance, many thanks…
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Andrew Kallman and Ted Kallman are the co-authors of the Unified Vision Framework and their book, “The Nehemiah Effect” is a #1 National Best Seller on Amazon.com (in as many as 3 categories:  Business, Consulting and Project Management) for 4 of the last 10 months:
The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects
Often companies are hesitant to get started with transitioning and/or transforming their Traditional Governance to Agile Governance since they’re unsure of where to start.  There are a number of paths that will get you to the same destination, but we have found the following format for the journey is most productive and beneficial:
1.  Begin with the Leadership Teams
  • Cascading Vision Workshop
    • This is designed to facilitate the Leadership Team in defining and agreeing upon the definition for each team member’s vision for their business and technology teams.
    • Half-day format
    • Facilitator-led, hands-on participative format
    • The output of this workshop are the visions that will be used to guide each of the Portfolios, Programs and Projects/Teams that work with each member of the Leadership Team
2.  Walkabout Workshop / Big Room Planning
  • After the Vision(s) is in place, the next step is to build the “big picture” by bringing all of the teams together to product the Portfolio View
  • Full-day format
  • Facilitator-led, hands-on participative format … includes both the Leadership Team and all teams involved in delivering the Portfolio
  • The output of this workshop is the big picture, i.e. Portfolio View
3.  The Cutting Room floor exercise / Portfolio Prioritization
  • Once the Portfolio View is in place, then the Leadership Team and Teams prioritize the work in the portfolio and create work in process limits for each Portfolio, Program and Project/Team
    • The Portfolio is balanced against the organization’s velocity using this exercise
  • Two-day format
  • Facilitator-led, hands-on participative format .. includes both the Leadership Team and all teams involved in delivering the Portfolio
  • The output of this exercise is the Prioritization of all work included for the Portfolios, Programs and Projects/Teams that is balanced with the existing organizational velocity
4.  Ongoing tailored solutions, including the training, coaching and mentoring of the Leadership Teams and all teams involved in delivering the Portfolios.
  • Tailored solutions for each organization’s specific situation, can include:
    • Structuring and/or setting-up an Agile PMO
    • Structuring and/or setting-up an Agile Governance Group (AGG) or Agile Transformation Group (ATG) – used in parallel with the Agile PMO
    • Refining and/or transforming the organization’s existing Governance meeting structure to an Agile Cadence
    • Creating the Agile Communication / Reporting dashboards
  • This step includes both longer-term implementations and health-checks on a regular cadence (when up and running with the customized solution that fits the needs and culture of the organization)
If you’re still unsure of where to begin, then contact Ted or Andrew to arrange for a customized assessment of your organizations readiness to implement Agile Governance.

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As with all of our other blog posts previously shared on Agilean.se, these thoughts are Andrew’s and Ted’s and don’t necessarily reflect those of the Knowit Group, PMI, Scrum Alliance, Agile Alliance, etc.

Copyright © 1972 – 2015 Unified Vision Group all rights reserved – used with permission

Update:  Almost all tickets for this event are already taken, so if you’re planning on attending, then book your spot a.s.a.p. at the following link (this is a free event):

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agile-governance-community-of-practice-02-mar-2015-tickets-15631797126

Topic: Beyond Budgeting

Beyond Budgetering handlar om att förändra hur vi ser på budgetering och budgetarbete idag. Istället för krävande byråkrati och styrsystem handlar det om att lita på människors förmåga att ge dem tid att reflektera, dela, lära och förbättra under resans gång – vilket leder till ett mer effektivt och relevant resultat.

Presenter: Stefan Ovemark, Senior verksamhetskonsult, Knowit Decision

Stefan Ovemark har över 10 års erfarenhet av att införa systemstöd för budgetering. Han började som controller 2001 och har sedan dess arbetat både i linjen och som konsult i gränslandet mellan ekonomi och IT. De senaste åren har Stefan varit involverad i stora projekt på bland annat bank, försäkring och ett av Sveriges största sjukhus.

PDUs: 2
Light Lunch included (many thanks to Knowit Decision for sposoring today’s lunch!)

See you there!

For those that are tracking this blog, the next Agile Governance Community of Practice – Sweden even is on 29 January and there are only a few tickets left.  Register here on Eventbrite.

Topic: Agile Governance – Focus Led Organizations with Vision (FLOw Vision)

Presenter: Andrew Kallman
Becoming agile at the program, portfolio, C-suite and Board levels begins with having a shared (and agreed upon) Vision. Achieving the Vision to be agile is a journey that can be challenging for many organizations. One of the keys to success is understanding whether your organization is synchronous or asynchronous not just in its culture, but also in its organizational structure.
In this presentation / workshop you will learn how to successfully use the UVF (Unified Vision Framework), VSPT (Vision, Strategy People and Tasks) and 4D Model (Define, Distill, Deliver and Drive) to create a truly Agile culture at all levels in your enterprise.

PDUs: 2
Please note that the time for this workshop is from kl 14 – 16 (coffee and water will be available).

Location:
Helia Conference room at Knowit Group
Klarabergsgatan 60, 4th Floor
Stockholm, Sweden

Look forward to seeing you there.