Agile organization – system view

What is an Agile Organization? A relatively simple question with a very complex answer. Many “definitions” state that it is an organization capable of responding quickly to change. It can also be read that this is an organizational arrangement in the form of a flat organizational structure, an adaptive network of multifunctional teams. And other information and observations, which together have one common shortcoming. In fact, it focuses only on the most adaptive, agile part and does not solve at all that activities of a different nature also take place in the organization as a whole. Process, project.

However, if we want to get a realistic idea of a real agile organization, we must include these “ordinary” things. Otherwise we will always miss something in the given model. So let’s think the whole thing systemically for a moment, as a whole.

Tribal Leadership – The Key to Agile Culture

Tribal leadership is the title of a book written by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fisher-Wright. It summarizes the results of their ten-year research in 24 organizations with a total of 24,000 employees. It was first published in New York in 2008 (and probably thanks to that it is not focused on agile and non-agile companies and cultures). The issue of agility is not really addressed in it at all. However, the results of this research have a huge overlap, whether in conventionally or agile companies and teams. In the current context, tribal leadership can be very helpful in why some changes (such as agile transformation, but not only that) simply fail and what can be done about it.

The research that underpins the “theory” of tribal leadership is based on fundamental questions: “How are successful companies different? How is it possible, for example, that two hospitals, which are across the street from each other and therefore have the same conditions, show completely different results? In one of them, everyone wants to work or have an internship, while the other is not so interesting? ”. (more…)

Team development – from a group of individuals to team synergy

We can best imagine what team development is based on our own experience. Whether we are working on a project or product development or a similar activity, we often work with other people. Usually, such a grouping is called a team. But there is no team as a team, and no team is formed by snapping a finger or writing people on a paper titled “Team X”.

Surely you have already experienced the situation when you find yourself in a new team. Even when you found yourself in the first grade of elementary school. Or the first year of high school or college, the first time at work, etc. Some people you may have known better from the past, some just from sight, others not at all. The environment was also new, as were the ways of working and the desired results. The first few hours, days, or weeks were probably quite demanding before everything “somehow sat down.” After a while, everything ran into a certain rhythm, new things became a habit and overall you just got used to it. But was it good or bad? How did you feel? How effective was it? Sometimes better, sometimes worse, right? What were the main differences? Probably in what stage of team development you have reached. (more…)

Project manager in 2020 – challenges and opportunities

Who is a project manager in 2020? What is he doing? What should he be able to do? How much has the profession or role shifted?

“Classic” project management consisted mainly in the creation of plans and procedures for achieving the project goal and the subsequent coordination of project team members within the given plans. Most project management standards, such as IPMA ICB or PMI PM BoK or even the PRINCE2 methodology, described the processes, methods and techniques of creating such plans and subsequent monitoring and controlling of the project. Respectively fulfillment of these plans. Certifications according to these standards were then full of questions and examples of relevant methods. Such as CPM (critical path method), EVM, WBS, risk analysis and others, especially the so-called hard methods and techniques working with numbers. Above all, IPMA was innovative in the inclusion of so-called behavioral competencies. Soft skills needed for the success of the manager (which then strongly appeared in 2015 in the PMI PM BoK, which until then had dealt with these aspects more between the lines).

However, in the latest versions of the given standards (as well as certification tests according to them) there is a relatively large earthquake reflecting the shift of the whole field. And also what a project manager is, or what skills he should have. Who or what is the role of a project manager in 2020? (more…)

Dark SCRUM and what about it?

During our engagement in various companies or during discussions on our courses, we are increasingly discovering that there is such an inconvenience here in the Czech Republic … In English speaking countries they call it Dark SCRUM or also Technical SCRUM. These phenomena very often lead to the failure of an agile approach and subsequent resistance to anything that begins with the word agile. What is it about and how to stay on the bright side of SCRUM? (more…)

Universal agile principles

As part of our Agile & SCRUM training, we are increasingly getting into a discussion about Non-IT agile and agility as a whole (rather than agile SW product development). I’ve done research, but there doesn’t seem to be anything like universal agile principles in the world. The last step in formulating the principles to be followed seems to be the Agile Manifesto and its 12 principles. But this is material from 2001 created by SW developers about SW development. The amendment from 2005 “PM declaration of interdependence”, intended for better project management of agile software development (which itself sounds quite strange), is not a great benefit in this context either. In 2009, another manifesto was issued, this time the Software Craftsmanship Manifesto – and thus again a matter about SW development.

However, agility today is far from just SW product development and it is not just SCRUM. (more…)

Agile transformation – how to do it right?

What exactly is agile transformation? What can you imagine under that? It’s starting to be one of the most inflected terms lately. Unfortunately, we hear rather scary stories about how it failed and what didn’t work out. When we ask for details, very similar patterns begin to appear in the answers. We encounter unpleasantly often very dysfunctional cases of attempts to adopt agile principles. It is not exclusively about corporations, but they are represented very often. It seems that running Scrum or some similarly agile approach is really difficult in such environment. And it is true. But why is that so? Do we need agile transformations at all? And what can be done about it? What is good to avoid? (more…)

Why agile? Does it apply to us? And what about PM?

Basically, there is probably no conference, professional forum, blog, etc., where agile, agility, business agility, etc. would not be addressed at least in part. Why does agile flood the debate and practice in many companies and other organizations so much? Is it just a fashion wave, another buzzword? Or something bigger? Isn’t it just a reflection of the fact that we are not able to plan and implement projects by standard methods and so we resort to some solution that should save us? Or is it all a little different? (more…)

Motivation 3.0 is a real need – higher reward – lower performance …

“What is Motivation 3.0? What? What’s the nonsense that a higher reward means a lower performance?”, You’re probably asking yourself. However, at least in most cases, this is, perhaps surprisingly, the case. These are the so-called hidden costs of rewards, which are very often very devastating. Specifically, these are rewards awarded in the style of “if … then”, ie the basis of motivation, ideas about economics and business in the second half of the 20th century. And to this day it is the reality in a large part of companies (see, for example, our article here). (more…)