Why focus on 5 Gaps?

The gaps that I will note below are those things not mentioned in the Scrum Guide.

An extract from this recent post –

The 2016 Scrum Guide doesn’t mention:

  • Jenkins, Git,
  • leadership
  • mindfulness
  • JIRA
  • Rally
  • Scaling
  • Senior Scrum Master
  • XP
  • Gluten free food types…

I could add more ‘things’ that the scrum guide doesn’t contain. What’s the point?

I have an issue with this post, as I probably do with SAFe and other scaling approaches that have ‘certification’ sitting behind them, with c$900 yearly renewal fees.

From the Guide – Scrum is ‘…framework within which you can employ various processes…’. Scrum can address ‘complex adaptive problems’ and uses empirical process control to allow for:

  • Transparency,
  • Inspection, and
  • Adaption

Scrum is – Lightweight, Simple to understand BUT Difficult to master. What makes it Difficult? From my perspective and from what I’ve experienced within organisations; it is holding on to old mindsets, habits and ways of knowing that builds judgement, cynicism and fear in to this simple process – amongst other things.

Something that is so simple, is complicated and made difficult by people, teams and organisations that want to NOT be responsible, NOT be accountable, NOT self-manage and NOT trust ‘them’ – it’s them, not us, that’s why it failed!

The post says that Scrum has 5 Gaps; Clarity, Commitment, Ritual, Progress, and Habit.

Clarity within Scrum is gained by people talking and sharing information through it’s founding principle of Transparency and having a shared common understanding of what ‘Done’ is.

Commitment (an objective set) and this can be a tricky word and value for sprint teams to adopt – we are NOT committing, we are setting the expectation and objective?

So, Commitment and Progress can be measured (if you want to measure, rather than look at business / user value being delivered) by the four formal events for inspection and adaptation, as described in the Guide:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

What gaps are left: Ritual and Habit. These two ‘gaps’ can be associated and embodied by teams (inside and outside of product or software development) who live the Scrum Values of: commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect.

Consistently having action (a ritual) to embody these values and mindsets that hold on to positive, life affirming, appreciative habits will build teams that deliver, trust each other and bring about a sense of collective purpose.

Personally, I don’t see how you can not apply the Scrum framework (and values) to not just the project or team sprint level but across the organisation at the programme and / or portfolio level.

Shared from Lyssa Adkins:

And not just for IT or product work, contextual use and ‘what’s good enough’ flexible, adaptive approaches, with aspects of Lean / Kanban can play substantially to the systemic organisational ‘whole’, without the need for more complicated, process, artefact heavy frameworks and keeping the focus on ‘people‘.

I am a Coach and I work with people, teams and organisations to help them be curious about their potential to self-manage, be whole and share their collective purpose.

I am not technical – I cannot code – I cannot build continuous integration deployment platforms. I will display humility and be humble in this professional, skilled domain and will trust those that know, to know.

However, if they lack the belief or confidence to know that they know or how that might take the first steps, then I can coach them.

If the Product Owner is not sure about telling the user journey – together we can explore that journey through a coaching relationship.

If the team want to explore greater trust and to challenge (management or each other) – then together we can explore what ‘trust & challenge’ would feel like.

I am a Coach – I work with: relationships, identity, ambiguity, confusion, uncertainty, dilemmas, visioning, creativity and innovation.

I explore the curious, and hold the potential for you, to a point when that potential can be held by you to achieve greater performance.

Thank you for reading.

Inspired by many things but for this post – Reinventing Organisations / Theory-U / Lyssa Adkins / The Scrum Guide.

Ambiguity & Complexity

As a leader, newly appointed CEO or manager, do you find it difficult to work with ambiguity and complexity? Teams new to Agile or agile or agility (mindset or practices or being), with a hint of VUCA sauce.

You’ve done very well in your old job or you’ve transitioned to a new role but still things are constantly changing – nothing stands still. The team have transitioned to ‘stand-ups’:

  • the dynamics of a new role
  • the disruptive dynamics of competition
  • relationship conflicts
  • organisational dilemmas
  • agile / digital transformation – over and beyond stand-ups (even though that’s a major shift in some cases)

As a coach and coachee (team), can you hold the dynamic when the issue brought to the relationship is open-ended, ambiguous and undefined.

It’s important to have the emotional resilience that out of what is happening in the present, outcomes and shaping of solutions can naturally emerge.

The incremental development of innovative and creative visioning will master a solution that resonates with the coachee, allowing fluid movement from the abstract.

Issues that define a present context at work are ambiguous and holding onto a notion that you must have a fixed goal or outcome, when you haven’t fully immersed yourself in the issues ambiguity.

Sometimes goal setting in a coaching relationship allows an easy path for the coach and an illusion of moving forward for the coachee. Holding an issue for all that it is and to let that issue run its own, natural path.

Look at the ambiguity and think of the issues as it sets a compass with possible directions – from and to, and sideways. Staying with the frustration and how it manifests in your thoughts, emotion, intuition and embodied sense.

Coaching is not always about goal setting, with pushing forward because it seems that’s what is expected. Work with unstructured and unfocused activity but having an awareness of what form, shape, colour, sense is being surfaced.

Where nobody has ever been

We unconsciously make an assumption that we have all the time in the world and therefore don’t feel a sense of urgency of making the very most of the here and now.

An unconscious assumption that things, diets, goals, quit smoking, new business, new venture, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, can be put off till tomorrow, next week, the New Year.

Then we wake up and our whole life has passed us by.

Become mindful and aware, reflecting on your existence and an understanding of using your precious human life to the fullest.

Additional motivation from Marina Abramovic – marinaabramovicinstitute.org
– cultivating inner-awareness
– Being present, gaining consciousness to disentangle ourselves from the artificial structures of society
– ‘Where nobody has ever been…’

Coaching can do this – take you to where you’ve never been before; to take a team where they have never been before. The idea and creative journey that is a ‘transition’ – to move from one place to another. To give all you have to move, to find that place where you will be noticed and you will belong.

Change is hard but it’s possible. If you think it’s hard, then it is – give in and go home. Sit in front of your TV thinking about all the things that could have been; if only… I did this, did that, didn’t do that. Switch on to other people’s lives and live those. Immerse yourself in the TV-soapdom from the comfort and distorted illusion of your life.

‘People to have realise we can create change by changing ourselves’ – Marina Abramovic

I see you…

Just reading my new Xmas book – If I Could Tell You Just One Thing…: Encounters with Remarkable People and Their Most Valuable Advice by Richard Reed.

I’ve learnt something new from the first encounter; “Sawubona“, a Zulu greeting to mean – I see you.

It comes from a chapter in the book about Bill Clinton and his quote –

‘One of the most important things is to see people.

The person who opens the door for you, the person who pours 

your coffee. Acknowledge them. Show them respect’

– Bill Clinton

For 2017, for the rest of 2016 make an effort and ‘see the person’ that you encounter, meet, work with, whether the bus driver, your manager, your partner, your developers, your postman or the barista that serves you your daily coffee.

Look up from your Smartphone, end your call and see the person – acknowledge them.

The same could be said for you. See you and who you are – acknowledge you for who you are and let yourself be heard and be present.

Thanks for reading

Imagery

Do you work with projects, products, services? Do you get excited about bringing them to life and enabling them to be who they need to be?

Help bring about a transformative change to your perception on working in the delivery space. Create an image of what you product or offering will look like, what shape will it take, how will it be perceived and who will engage with it. 

Does it have a sound or a voice? If you product or service offering had a voice – what would it want to say to you, its users. If it had a personality…

If it was a colour, what colour would it be – vibrant, evocative red or a delicious, sumptuous deep purple. Maybe it’s a bright, energy sun blasting yellow, with a gold halo, radiating warmth and love.

Bringing about a different perspective to your product or service offerings allows to engage at a more personal, emotive, intuitive and embodied approach, rather than just relying on a typical, cognitive style.

Have fun, let go of previously held assumptions and feel free to fail.

Work with imagery and engaging visual language to create a desire around your vision.

Imagery

Do you work with projects, products, services? Do you get excited about bringing them to life and enabling them to be who they need to be?

Help bring about a transformative change to your perception on working in the delivery space. Create an image of what you product or offering will look like, what shape will it take, how will it be perceived and who will engage with it. 

Does it have a sound or a voice? If you product or service offering had a voice – what would it want to say to you, it’s users. If it had a personality…

If it was a colour, what colour would it be – vibrant, evocative red or a delicious, sumptuous deep purple. Maybe it’s a bright, energy sun blasting yellow, with a gold halo, radiating warmth and love.

Bringing about a different perspective to your product or service offerings allows to engage at a more personal, emotive, intuitive and embodied approach, rather than just relying on a typical, cognitive style.

Have fun, let go of previously held assumptions and feel free to fail.

Work with imagery and engaging visual language to create a desire around your vision.

Transitions

Just a quick post re ‘transitioning’ – transition: – the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

The two articles attached really focus on leadership transition – ‘developing new capability and letting go of previously held responsibilities’.

The following two PDF’s (The Leadership Pipeline & The_First_90_Days) can be found at the following Dropbox link:

Although the articles are not recent, they do hold some valuable information on aspects of transition – letting go of the past, before moving forward.

Transition works in all areas of peoples / teams / organisations lives, same examples being:

  • waterfall to agile
  • manager to leader
  • tech lead to manager
  • project manager to scrum master
  • scrum master to agile coach
  • single to married
  • no children to children
  • start-up to SME
  • old job to new job

When you are impacted by ‘change’, what is your first reaction? How much do you hang on to old habits, hoping that things will ‘be the same‘? When a new team member joins your team, introducing new ways of working and the voices in the room shout – ‘we don’t do that here!‘ – How many times have you heard that…

I work with change and I coach through the change, to enable recognition of the transition and to exploit and enable growth through unseen challenges. It’s not easy for some.

I love the challenge and curiosity that comes from working with potential – even if someone or the team doesn’t recognise that potential in them.

Want to explore more want transition to could hold for you, your team or as a leader / manager. Please get in touch for a ‘free’ no obligation exploratory discussion – Skype / tel call or in person (if London).

Thanks for reading.

Change

Change is constant – change is inevitable. The tree in Roundwood Park, NW10, doesn’t hang on to it’s leaves from the Summer but gives way to the natural changing cycles of the seasons.

As people, we all have our own seasons, whether in our personal or professional life.

We transition when new life and old life walk through our lives.

We transition as we tangle and weave our way through work.

As in the tree, Autumn disrupts Summer and Winter disrupts Autumn. Each season in our life brings disruption and disorder, but out of this there is a choice to work with change by seeing what emerges and building a new relationship with that disruption.

Change allows us to breathe, gain perspective and offers choices, many choices. Work with change – breathe in to that change and nourish and give light to whatever emerges.

All the time in the world

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

– Alan Watts

We unconsciously make an assumption that we have all the time in the world and therefore don’t feel a sense of urgency of making the very most of the here and now.

An unconscious assumption that things, diets, goals, quit smoking, new business, new venture, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, can be put off till tomorrow, next week, the New Year.

Then we wake up and our whole life has passed us by.

Become mindful and aware, reflecting on your existence and an understanding of using your precious human life to the fullest.

The Flame of Life

Zen for everyday.

‘…vigilance, an attention, a wide-awakeness of every moment, because the flame of life lies in the heart of each passing moment‘.

Living Zen, Linssen, Allen & Unwin – 1958

How often do we miss these moments, these flames that are unwittingly extinguished from our now.

  • The small voice in the team that is never heard.
  • The silly idea that gets laughed back too it’s box.
  • The birth of daughter or son, missed because of a meeting.
  • The autumn leaves that paint an ordinary London street.
  • The aircrafts contrails drawn against a winter blue sky.

The taut, tense, insatiable, stressed, angry motorway of our 21st Century lives takes us away from the finite moments.

Practice meditation daily, whether for a minute or thirty and bring back a reflective sense of the Now by bringing a perception, an awareness too a hidden, pushed away reality.

Do you have the trust and courage to try this as a team?

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