Agile transformation

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A piecemeal growth story about agile transfomation of an organization no larger than Dunbar's number (150).

The process we are using to create a vibrant organization relies on the concept of piecemeal growth. Rather than try to design the overall structure to be used, we are working with smaller segments of the community as they emerge around common interests. As other groups form they will need to determine what organization is most appropriate for them. We imagine that different groups will have different needs. Using the patterns below they will generate the organizational structures best suited for the activities they need to perform. Other patterns will help generate how they interact with the rest of the organization.

First, set up a small crew that goes before and shows the way:

sultans of swing
lead by example to go before and show the way so that others may mimic good behavior.
team charter to set up a container for healthy self-organization;
principle of consent to make clear how decisions are made and by whom;
unity of purpose to give direction and meaning;
three to five values for the group to foster humane behavior and communication;
evolutionary change to create a safe and sustainable environment for continuous respectful and humane improvement;
improve collaboratively, using models and the scientific model, to enable structured, considered, neutral, objective and scrutinized improvements;
system thinking to research an issue in its context of time and space and avoid unrealistic or untrue causal traps;
active participation to invite and involve all stakeholders to contribute to a shared and supported solution;
action learning to fuse thinking and doing, and develop self-governing ability; second order or double loop learning that evolves paradigms and perspectives when needed;
sense making to discover common ground, and a shared image for actions; to rationalize, but not solve, conflict.
rituals and folklore to be explicit about contribution and behavior—lead, inform, listen—at ceremonies.

Once you have set up the container for fruitful self-organization, find out what the overall plan is and for whom you are actually doing this.

vibrant personas to give direction, meaning, utility and lust;
agile transformation story map to know what to pull for next week;
educe behavior to get everyone on the same page and with a same level of understanding with training, mentoring, and coaching;
coach the coaches to get trainers, mentors, and coaches aligned as catalysts for change;
visualize work flow to focus everyone on creating value and flow;
manage flow to scientifically remove bottlenecks and accelerate;
explicit policies to ensure we work both effectively and efficiently and understand our behavior;
classes of service to optimize value creation in a timely manner;
season beat to bring calmness and predictability to the organization and the market;
quality without a name to speed up;
work in progress limit to shorten lead times;
deliver early and often to build trust and collect quick feedback;
busy buffered bottleneck to fully exploit scarce or shared resources;
balance demand against throughput to optimize flow;
optimize the whole to avoid sub optimization;
slack speeds up to invest in scaling speed;
guitar mummy to make changes stick;
similar items in both size and variation to improve predictability;
excellence guides to jumpstart new people in a practical way;

While gearing up, sprout teams in other parts of the organization to do the same.

stable teams to get started;
yesterday’s weather to successfully pull product backlog items into a sprint;
formulize what to pull next to get the right stuff done, be effective, and optimize value delivery (a.k.a. first things first);
start what you finish and finish what you start to really get things done;
boom buffer to deal with interruptions in a self-organizing fashion;
daily clean code to get defect free when done;
scrumming the scrum to ensure you continuously improve;
happiness index to get teams to have fun, and thus more productive;
teams that finish early accelerate faster to get hyper productive;

Some teams may want to volunteer for agile shock therapy.

agile training for everyone to have everyone understand agile, lean, scrum and kanban;
one week sprints to speed up learning and improving;
pre-cooked babushka of value to know when you are ready to build and ready to release;
story points only to normalize estimations;
physical information radiators only to boost communication bandwidth;
four hour time box for all ceremonies to maximize value-added work by minimizing non-value-added work;
formulize what to pull next to maximize return;
single piece flow to maximize efficiency on value-added activities;
start what you finish and finish what you start to really get things done;

Involve everyone and scale it up.

life is a broccoli to create self-similarity across the organization almost effortlessly;
operations review to set a business tone from the beginning and remind everyone we are running a business by objective, data-driven retrospectives;
guest sponsors food to show partners that we take interest while keeping costs down (implies do food to ease exchange of ideas and foster togetherness;


To process