Monday, 4 July 2016

Agile View of Human Nature - Learning

The second part of my series on the Agile View of Human Nature is a guest post about Learning for Luis Goncalves.
In my experience as a coach and trainer for self-managing teams, I have found there are assumptions I make about people that I need for successfully getting to self-management.  They are often a point of contention and even conflict for people in the organisation that is going through change so it can help to be aware of them beforehand.
One of these things is 'learning is productive'.

Read it on

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Time isn't Money

Traditional management wisdom tells us that 'time is money'. However, during the years I have come to find that there is no conflict between learning and productivity, even that productivity increases as learning increases. To me this is such a no-brainer that I have had some difficulty in understanding why some managers might be against learning.

In fact, on closer inspection, the managers I came across were not actually against learning, they are just against 'wasting time' and unaware that their push to save on wasteful activities such as study time was in fact destroying productivity.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

How a yacht race turned me into a Scrum Master

Continuous Improvement, Autonomy, Validation - these terms are becoming so worn that they feel like business jargon. But if you have experienced the pain that Stagnation, Command & Control and Big Bang Deployment brings, you have ample reason not to look back.  The mild embarrassment that comes with joining the 'Agile cult' is greatly outweighed by the soul-numbing awfulness that is the alternative.

Although the above is my experience too, this is not that story.  I have also had experiences with Chaos - the inferno that regularly erupts in Startupland and in many Open Source projects.  It, not Agile, is the real antithesis to the frozen hell that is Waterfall/Taylorism/TheoryX.  This is not that story either.  I actually started appreciating what I now call the Agile mindset, on a sailing boat. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Blue Elephant Principle

cc image: JAM Project stencil: M MNMarz
This is an easy to understand principle based on the well known children's 'pink elephant' conundrum.

Child A: I know something you can't do.

Child B: What?

Child A: Don't think of a pink elephant.

Child B: ...

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Can you handle an Agile view of Human Nature? - Motivation

Implicit in Agile methods, is a certain image of human nature.  This view of human nature is prescriptive, you have to 'buy in' to this view or else somewhere along the line you will end up in conflict with yourself or with the particular agile method you are attempting.  This is a real problem if you have entrenched beliefs about how people are motivated and work, less so if you are still flexible enough to let yourself be surprised.