Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking

Another wonderful bit of wisdom from Lean Agile thought leader, Al Shalloway. In my experience, no matter what the organizational problem, the solution is always better leadership.

bh 2018-03-06

 

Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking

Agile has somewhat left out management. While acknowledging the need for business stakeholders to get involved and leadership at all levels, management is not mentioned even once in the manifesto. But both the role of leadership and management is essential. Agile’s focus on the individual has had us take the focus off where it needs to be – on the organization in which the individual can or doesn’t thrive.

We don’t need to focus on people, they are already good & motivated. but management’s role is to provide them a place within which to shine. This is the essence of Lean-Management. Focus on the workflow and the environment in which people can work better. In other words, create an environment within which teams can work autonomously toward the common goal of realizing business value quickly.

Lean-Thinking is based on leadership and systems-thinking.

The following is a paraphrase of Russell Ackoff from Creating the Corporate Future: Plan or be Planned For

Systems Thinking is a mode of thought that begins with SYNTHESIS before ANALYSIS:

  • Identify the containing whole(system) of which the thing to be explained is part.
  • Explain the behavior or properties of the containing whole
  • Now, explain the behavior or properties of the thing to be explained in terms of its role(s) or function(s) within its containing whole.

Read the entire post here:Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking | Net Objectives

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Moving Agile Forward

Rethinking What’s Next in Software Development

Al Shalloway is an acknowledged thought leader in how we design and develop software. In this post, he begins the conversation about where we are headed next. It seems that everyone is in software development these days and most agree that we need to improve. Al notes that the original manifesto mentions the Agile Manifesto mentions “the team 17 times, the customer 3 times, business twice and management not at all.” But rather than impaling the sacred Agile Manifesto cow, he offers us a place to start the conversation with his personal manifesto.

I think this is a wonderful place to start a conversation about where we go from here. If you have an opinion about how the software business needs to change, I encourage you to read this post.

bh 5/30/2017

A Personal Manifesto | Net Objectives

May 28, 2017 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Background and the Agile Manifesto.I have been asked several times to help in the rewrite of an Agile Manifesto.  After having been involved in Snowbird 10 (the reunion of some of the original Agile Manifesto authors along with some others from the Lean/Kanban community) I realized there is no “Agile” community. Rather we have many sub-communities that are so diverse it is hard to think of them as being under one umbrella.
click here for more…

 

Source: A Personal Manifesto | Net Objectives blog

Agile Goes Big Using SAFe

This week I had the opportunity to meet and hear Dean Leffingwell talk on Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and its history. It was fascinating to hear him recount the early days of Agile, and how the SAFe came into existence. What impressed me most was how he continually tied Agile and SAFe back to the teachings of Taiichi OhnoW. Edwards Deming, and to the Lean concepts underpinning Agile. I am a late arrival on the software development scene, and I was working to improve First Call Resolution in an airline call center while people like Dean, Al Shalloway, and Mary and Tom Poppendieck were figuring out how to apply Jim Womack’s  “lean thinking” to software development. It was a great presentation and while I have many more questions than answers, I am sold on the concept that Agile can scale effectively.

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a proven knowledge base for implementing agile practices at enterprise scale. SAFe’s primary user interface is a “Big Picture” graphic (http://scaledagileframework.com/) which highlights the individual roles, teams, activities and artifacts necessary to scale agile from the team, to teams of teams, to the enterprise level. (The image at the top right is literally just one corner.) If you are serious about process improvement in the IT space, I strongly recommend you check this out.

(http://scaledagileframework.com/)

Image-Detail of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Big Picture.

The Scaled Agile Framework is a proven knowledge base for implementing agile practices at enterprise scale. Its primary user interface is a “Big Picture” graphic which highlights the individual roles, teams, activities and artifacts necessary to scale agile from the team, to teams of teams, to the enterprise level.

The Big Picture describes three levels of scale:
Team, Program and Portfolio. Each of these scales the essential agile elements of Value (requirements and backlogs) Teams (from development team through portfolio) and Timebox (iteration, PSI, budget cycle). This model of agile adoption has been elaborated primarily in Dean Leffingwell’s books Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements for Teams Programs and the Enterprise (2011) and Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises, (2007) and his scalingsoftwareagility blog.


Further Reading

Leffingwell, Dean (2011).
Agile Software Requirements, Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise,
Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 978-0321635846.

Leffingwell, Dean (2007).
Scaling Software Agility, Best Practices for Large Enterprises,
Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 978-0321458193.

 

Bob Hubbard, July 2013