Project Management

Disciplined Agile

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This blog contains details about various aspects of PMI's Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit, including new and upcoming topics.

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Requisite Agility applied in Project Management

Requisite Agility applied in Project Management

This blog provides an overview of how Requisite Agility can be applied to Project Management.

In the age, of the convergence of AI, IoT, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Robotics and AGV’s, as the pace of change and disruptions accelerates, requires us to be more open to the unknown and therefore to be more nimble, flexible and adaptive than ever before.

Project Managers have always been concerned with ensuring deliveries based on quality specifications, on time, within budget. In our new realities, requirements change in real-time. Our deliveries on time to forecast is meaningless if the competitors are faster. A budget only matters if the organization is synchronized in real-time changes with the markets and communities it serves.

In the Origin of Species, the biologist Charles Darwin described evolution as the “survival of the fittest”. The fittest did not mean the species with the most resources and health. The fittest species were the ones who were most resourceful and adaptive in the face of changes in their context and environment.

We need to distinguishing Agility and Agile. Agile is a specific set of tools and practices developed for small, stable, software teams using semi-autonomous teams, visual metrics and rapid iterations and release of usable code. Agility is the ability to think and act quickly and flexibly. It is a characteristic that exists in every living thing in the universe.

Agility as a characteristic by itself is not enough. For example, a professional boxer can have amazing agility in the gym. Lightning-fast hand speed, head, foot and body movement and an open adaptive mind. But he, she or they will lose when he is in the ring with someone who has greater agility.

Agility by itself is not enough. We need is Requisite Agility. Requisite means what is required or necessary in any given situation. In our boxing example, requisite is measured by the agility of the opponent. A new mindset is required in complex ecosystems and competitive environments.

Requisite agility is the capacity to make fast and flexible changes in relation to required context and conditions. The best example of requisite agility is our heart. It is constantly sensing and adapting in relation to changing circumstances. If it did not make these requisite adjustments, we would die.

There are at least five ways Requisite Agility (RA) can be applied to project management.

Waterfall Project Management

Requisite Agility in Project Management

Control and Obedience

Command-and-control cultures rely on top-down approvals of bottom-up status reports. The individual is the unit of production. In a Project Charter has the name of the person “accountable” which means who will be recognized, rewarded or punished. Regardless of systemic, structural and cultural impediments. The role of the supervisor is to plan, organize, lead, inspire, control and educate. (POLICE). Project Management enforces this culture.

Collaborative Intelligence
Sensors (human and technical) are in distributed networks (like our brain). The more nimble and more adaptive the connections between the parts the greater the intelligence, productivity and resilience in people, teams and organizations. Managers at all levels apply Gemba on a daily basis.

Teams are the unit of production. Individuals are accountable to the team they serve on. The team is invested in the success of every individual on the team. Project Management facilitates the nurturing and development of collaborative intelligence.

Functional Fragmentation

The organization is designed around horizontal control relationships of supply (organisational capabilities) and demand (customer needs).

Each downstream team or function is the internal customer of groups upstream, demanding their needs to be met. Customers make demands to fulfil capacities they lack. Project Managers are passive sensors and enforcers of budget, quality and time constraints that are out of their control.

Synchronous
RA transcends industrial concepts of supply and demand. The doctor is as dependent on the patient’s capability as much as the patient is on the doctors. In a healthy relationship both work together. Both are dependent on the synchronicity of the system as a whole. Project Managers are active systemic sensors engaged in continuous feedback, learning and adaptation. In a world Beyond Budgeting they are no longer helpless observers of a system designed out of their control.

Compliance-Driven Values

Values are written on the wall. Policies on ethics, fraud, fairness, equity and diversity are published.  People are expected to comply.  Project Managers police the compliance of abstract values. The unintended consequence of these sincere, good intentions is to create a low-trust, fear-based culture. But the only true source of integrity comes from within.

Seva
Seva is the Sanskrit word for being in union with and in service of humanity. Agile Coaches or Scrum Masters are servant-leaders. They are not in a parent-child relationship, they engage in mature adult-adult relationships based on mutual service and success. Project Managers are attuned to the presence or absence of Seva in themselves and the people they work with.

Unidisciplinary
There have always been ‘trades’ so it was natural for the industrial age to force people into even deeper specialization. Disciplines define us. Power is centralized. Cross-functional teamwork, alignment and dependencies hold a fractured foundation together. But resources, rewards, metrics, and performance systems revert to the individual as the unit of production.  We work with each other in an inter-disciplinary manner but ultimately we are expected to “stick to our lane” and are measured by the success of our functional silo.

Transdisciplinary

In the digital age technical specialization has become even more critical. We recognise that organizations are living systems, where the health is in the quality of relationships between the parts. Power is decentralized in networks of relationships.  The boundaries of industry sectors are blurring. Value streams are being aligned across eco-systems. Value is created in the white space, beyond the boundaries of the disciplines that define us. Being transdisciplinary reduces risk, increases innovation and makes us more resilient because it draws more value out of specialization.

Change Management

Change Management models based on the formula of “unfreeze, change, refreeze” are too flat footed in the era of digital transformation. Project Management adheres to Chronos (clock) Time: Deadlines and on-time-delivery are necessary but not sufficient. What is the value in meticulously tracking change requests in a proactive, team-based learning organization that is continuously and purposefully changing and improving?

Shaping Transitions
Project Managers (PM’s) adjust their approach across different levels of complexity. PM’s are trusted advisors in the business, not outsiders used as enforcers to ensure compliance. PM’s attune to how customers experience value. PM’s attune to the coherence and cadence of community or customer needs, desires and potential. They apply this awareness to engage in continuous, real time learning and development of people, teams and the organization as a whole.


PMI’s own research shows the dramatic difference in performance outcomes between organizations that apply agility and those that don’t.

 Requisite Agility enables organizations to deliver performance outcomes even higher than those who are only focused on agility, alone.

Posted by Kashmir Birk on: December 10, 2021 05:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

HONESTY

Categories: agile, Scrum


This is the sixth and final part series that examines and explores how we might be able to use our personal and professional values the shape the future.

In today’s blog we will explore HONESTY.  

Please share what are your perspectives on honesty. How do you apply it to lead and create the future.

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct describes honesty as follows:

“Honesty is our duty to understand and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct”

https://www.pmi.org/about/ethics/code

Take a blank page and write out in your own words what HONESTY means to you? Write out why it is important.

Reflect on how the power of honesty can be used as a tool to shape your journey through the new realities of our post-covid-19 world.

Honesty is more than not telling lies, it is doing what is moral and just. Being honest means having integrity, a moral compass, being trustworthy, not spreading rumors, not saying one thing behind people’s backs and then being different in front of them. Honesty is not telling people what we think they want to hear so that they will like us and provide us with favors and opportunities. This is a passive form of dishonesty.

Honesty means being who we say we are, saying what we will do and doing what we said, it means following through on our commitments.

Honesty means being open to both positive and negative feedback. It is surprising how many people do not know how to take compliments or hearing positive things about themselves. And equally how many people only hear what they want to hear, filtering out things that are negative or uncomfortable.

  • How often do you ask others for feedback and really listened?
  • How do you respond to negative feedback or criticism?
  • How do you deal with people who are stating half-truths?
  • How do you feel when you know you have told a lie?
  • How do you feel about challenging people with uncomfortable truths?

The future is wide open, waiting for us to create it. What do you want to do with it?

How are you going to use your HONESTY to create the future of your family, your work and your relationship with yourself?

There are many things that we cannot choose in life, but our most important choices of all, who we are, how we show up, what we stand for and how we create the future through our values – these choices are in our complete control.

Please share in your comments your thoughts on the importance of values, so we can all learn from each other.

How are you going to use HONESTY to create the future through the chaos and turbulence of your new realities?

 

Posted by Kashmir Birk on: June 23, 2020 10:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

RESPECT

Categories: agile, Scrum

RESPECT

This is the fifth of a six-part series that examines and explores how we might be able to use our personal and professional values the shape the future. In today’s blog we will explore RESPECT. 

Please share what are your perspectives on fairness. How do you apply it to lead and create the future.

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct describes respect as follows:
“Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others and natural or environmental resources”

https://www.pmi.org/about/ethics/code

Respect means accepting ourselves for who we are.
Our relationship with ourselves sets the tone for all other relationship we have with other people, compliance, regulatory, legal, environmental and shareholder implications.

Respectful leadership means treating everyone, regardless of rank, status or position – with the same genuine regard and consideration, you would like them to give you.

Respect creates a culture of trust and openness. It encourages people to speak their minds and share hard truths in ways that are maintains the dignity and honor. We cultivate respect in the culture by expressing a genuine interest in others, providing recognition and positive feedback, noticing when people do great things, being open and transparent about what is going on, taking others concerns seriously, and ensuring that when people feel wronged, that action is taken to remedy the concerns.

How respectful are you?

  • How do you listen fully, without assuming you already knew what others are saying?
  • How do you avoid telling someone what they want to hear so they will like you?
  • How do you ensure every decision involves or takes into consideration the people it will affect?
  • How do you listen openly to people who disagree with you to see what they can teach you?
  • How do you respond to people who speak badly to you about other people behind their back?
  • How do you ensure financial prudence and removal of non-value-add costs and activities?
  • How do you take the effects on local communities and the environment into consideration?

When people say values cannot be measured, they have not been asked these hard questions.

The future is wide open, waiting for us to create it. How do you want to create it?

How are you going to use RESPECT to create the future of your family, your work and your relationship with yourself?

There are many things that we cannot choose in life, but our most important choices of all, who we are, how we show up, what we stand for and how we create the future through our values – these choices are in our complete control.

Please share in your comments your thoughts on the importance of values, so we can all learn from each other.

How are you going to use RESPECT to create the future through the chaos and turbulence of your new realities?

Posted by Kashmir Birk on: June 16, 2020 09:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

FAIRNESS

Categories: agile, Scrum

FAIRNESS

 

This is the fourth of a six-part series that examines and explores how we might be able to use our personal and professional values the shape the future. In today’s blog we will explore FAIRNESS. 

Please share what are your perspectives on fairness. How do you apply it to lead and create the future.

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct describes responsibility as follows:
“Fairness is our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self-interest, prejudice and favoritism”

https://www.pmi.org/about/ethics/code

Take a minute to write out in your own words what FAIRNESS means to you and how it can be used as a precision tool to shape your future through the new realities of a post-covid-19 world..

In the midst of a crisis, fear of the unknown often provokes people to blame others and lash out at people who look and sound different.

Diversity and inclusion is much more than a legal remedy to social imbalances and bias. In nature the more diversity there is in an ecosystem the more resilient and healthier the system is as a whole.

Fairness begins with being objective about what we do right and wrong.

Fairness is not the same as equality. Equality means giving everyone the same rights and opportunities, regardless of circumstances. Fairness means giving everyone what they deserve.

Fairness is about being balanced, impartial and unbiased. It is about what is right and reasonable in the way we treat ourselves and each other. Fairness arises when we are dealing with differences, how others are treated and how we interpret our own freedom

Some people do not treat themselves fairly. They are overly self-critical, struggle with compliments and take their own good nature or granted. When this happens, they struggle with setting boundaries, do not always know where to say “No” and how to stand in their own power.

The primary step is to uncover our own “unconscious bias”. This requires us to slow down and step back, reflect on our own thinking, decisions and actions. It is also important to seek feedback from people around us, both those we trust but also the ones who we do not have a good relationship, as they may be more willing to challenge us.

How fair are you?

  • What are your conscious and unconscious biases?
  • How do you notice and address unfairness in yourself (self-?
  • How do you notice and address unfairness in others?
  • How do you improve and increase fairness in the teams and organisations you are a part of?

Think for a minute about how you feel when others have been unfair and treated you in an unconsidered way. This is how others feel when you are unfair with them.

It is important to feel what fairness is in your stomach and your skin, and why it is important.

When people say values cannot be measured, they have not asked these hard questions of themselves.

The future is wide open, waiting for us to create it.

We can follow others, or we can be leaders, we can inspire others to lead. How are you going to use your FAIRNESS to create the future of your family, your work and your relationship with yourself?

There are many things that we cannot choose in life, but our most important choices of all, who we are, how we show up, what we stand for and how we create the future through our values – these choices are in our complete control.

Please share in your comments your thoughts on the importance of values, so we can all learn from each other.

How are you going to use FAIRNESS to create the future through the chaos and turbulence of your new realities?

 

Posted by Kashmir Birk on: June 14, 2020 10:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

RESPONSIBILITY

Categories: agile, Scrum

 

This is part of a six-part series that examines and explores how we might be able to use our personal and professional values the shape the future. In today’s blog we will explore RESPONSIBILITY. 

Please read this and share what are your perspectives on responsibility and how you use it to manage work, lead change and create the future.

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct describes responsibility as follows:
 “Our duty is to take the ownership for decisions we make or fail to make, the actions we take or ail to take and the consequences that result”

https://www.pmi.org/about/ethics/code

As we move into a post-COVID-19 world, being responsible for creating our future has become more critical now than ever.

Response-ability is our ability to respond and fulfill our accountability.

Our reaction arises out of a nervous instinct. A reaction shoots automatically from our subconscious mind with  no filtering or conscious choice. The reaction may trigger unintended consequences. This is why there is no such word as reactionability, as it would be a contradiction.

Our response comes from our intuition, it is the result of a conscious choice. When we respond we tap into our wisdom, we apply a chosen discipline. The choices we make may be intuitive, and subconscious as driving or riding a bicycle, but they are measured in terms of their impact on our lives and others.

The distinction between reacting and responding becomes particularly important in a time of stress and crisis because when there is danger, we are more likely to say or do something that is going to harm ourselves or others.

Our ability to respond is a discipline. The self-determination we apply is dependent on our maturity.

This is why Disciplined Agile is the foundation of requisite agility. It is not agility for the sake of agility but a conscious response to changes that are occurring in the environment and in business.

How response-able are you?

  • Have you ever challenged or reported someone who is being unethical or doing something illegal?
  • Have you ever failed to follow through or fulfill a promise or commitment you have made? 
  • Have you ever taken what others say or do as personal rather a reflection of who they are?
  • Have you ever blamed others for how you feel?
  • Have you ever cut off, shamed or belittled others to feel good about yourself?
  • Have you ever broken the law or taken advantage of a situation when no one is looking?
  • Have you ever shared a confidence, knowing no one will find out?

Take a minute about how you felt when others irresponsibility has affected you and your work.

When people say values cannot be measured, they have not asked these hard questions of themselves.

It is important to feel what responsibility means is in your stomach and your skin, and why it is important.

The future is wide open, waiting for us to create it. What do you want to do with it?

How are you going to use your RESPONSE-ABILITY to create the future of your family, your work and your relationship with yourself?

How are you creating a context that allows not only you but those who you live with and work with to grow towards response-ability?

There are many things that we cannot choose in life, but our most important choices of all, who we are, how we show up, what we stand for and how we create the future through our values – these choices are in our complete control.

Please share in your comments your thoughts on the importance of values, so we can all learn from each other.

How are you going to use RESPONSIBILITY to create the future through the chaos and turbulence of your new realities?

 

Posted by Kashmir Birk on: June 11, 2020 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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