Modern Agile meets Design Thinking

This is a guest post by Sigrun Tallungs (@tallungs). The original was written in Swedish and published on this blog earlier. That post, in turn, was a response to my post on Modern Agile.

What I like about Modern Agile is that it shines a light on what really hurts today, beyond the traditional focus on pumping out software features. Modern Agile aims to understand how we create value. Here’s how: Someone has to love what we create (”Make people awesome”). And for us to succeed we need to feel safe and reduce the risks involved (”Make safety a prerequisite”). Since we cannot figure out in advance what people really need, the way to go is to carry out a great number of experiments. That’s is basically all Modern Agile is – but that’s a lot!

Since its birth, the agile movement has engaged software developers but relatively few others. To face the challenges of today we need to involve all parties in the business surrounding the service or service eco-system we are developing. It is the co-operation of all these people that needs to be agile.

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Modern Agile möter Design Thinking

En gästkrönika av Sigrun Tallungs som en fortsättning på mitt tidigare inlägg om Modern Agile.

Det som jag gillar med Modern Agile är att det riktar strålkastarljuset på det som gör ont idag, det som ligger bortom funktionerna. Modern Agile siktar in sig på konsten att förstå hur vi skapar värde: Så här ungefär: Någon måste bli nöjd och glad av det vi bygger (”Make people awesome”) och för att lyckas måste vi alla vara trygga och minska riskerna (”Make safety a prerequisite”). Och eftersom vi inte kan räkna ut i förväg vad folk blir glada av så måste vi sjösätta väldigt många experiment. Det är egentligen allt innehåll i Modern Agile. Men det räcker ju å andra sidan långt.

Under de 15 senaste åren är det ju mest systemutvecklare som engagerat sig i att förbättra utvecklingsmetoderna. Men för att lösa de utmaningar vi har idag krävs fler kompetenser från alla delar av den verksamhet som finns runt en tjänst. Det är samarbetet mellan alla dessa som behöver vara var smidigt och agilt. Men frågan är hur man ska engagera de kompetenser som har för vana att jobba jämförelsevis traditionellt?

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Honey, let’s start over: A tale of business kaikaku

When Ian told them what he’d done, they couldn’t believe their ears. He had what!? He had erased every document in the company database concerning hiring and retaining staff. Joan’s deep thoughts on “talent management” simply gone. Gone! “Hey, what about the backups?”, Helen asked. Ian just smiled, “Those too”.

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Was Deming against self-improvement?

I recently blogged about Adaptiv’s peer performance conversations, or PPCs. As a comment to that post, I received a great question from Bob Marshall (@flowchainsensei), which was: “Please tell me how this in any way makes sense in the context of Deming’s 95/5?”. This is my response.

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A User Story Template for Effect Maps

Introduction

If you are into User Experience (UX), you may be using effect maps, also known as impact maps or goal maps, to guide software development towards the intended effects. These maps are used to describe how your business goals will be achieved by helping important target groups fulfill their goals of using your product or service.

If you are using agile software development, you are probably using user stories to describe your features for development using some common template. In this post I will suggest a new user story template, specifically designed to be combined with effect maps.

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Threatened by Extermination: Swedish Leadership Style

LESS 2011

The first day of the LESS 2011 conference is over. I am sorry to report I am not ecstatic after the first day. There were some nice talks and some not-so-nice ones, which is to be expected, but generally I felt that the speakers spent too much time on discussing models instead of working hard on making their talk come alive and be interesting and understandable for their audience. As J. B. Rainsberger (@jbrains), a Canadian master developer, put it one of tweets during the day: “Speakers, please tell me stories. They entertain me more, and they help me understand more”.

There is much to say about the topics of the conference (Organisational Transformation, Lean & Agile Product Development, and Complexity & Systems Thinking), but tonight I am just going to settle on reflecting a bit about something that the last speaker of the day, James Sutton, author and software-systems architect, said in passing during his keynote. He mentioned that from what he had heard about management and company culture in the Scandinavian countries, they were much further along than in other countries. Basically, what he implied is that the these countries have a more sophisticated style of management. Less command and control and more people-orientation.

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Drama på Agile Swedens julmingel

Torsdag 11 december är det dags för det årliga julminglet med Agile Sweden. Då vi har fått ganska många nya medlemmar under året hoppas jag att få se några nya ansikten på plats.

På programmet står några blixttal och därefter traditionell julmat. Eftersom vi befinner oss hos de underbara geekarna på Agical innebär väl detta pizza förstås… Agile Sweden kommer att sponsra maten.

Jag kommer att hålla ett slags “blixtdrama” tillsammans med Ola Ellnestam. Vi provar något nytt. Det blir 10 kaosartade minuter, men förhoppningsvis kommer vi att försöka få fram några poänger också.