Managing uncertainty and complexity is on most business and IT people's minds as we navigate a world that is rapidly changing and is increasingly unpredictable. This month our consultants share resources and learning on the value of cross-functional and self-organising teams for dealing with complexity, amongst other topics.
Bill Ross, Principal Consultant (see Bill's profile)
A short 4-minute animation that gets across the value of self-organising teams for overcoming coordination and complexity issues in organisations:
Carl Weller, Principal Consultant (see Carl's profile)
- The cost center trap - A great article from Mary Poppendieck covering IT as a historical cost-centre and order taker, but with a shifting need to become a strategic driver for the business. Mary discusses the impact of Agile and DevOps on capitalisation, and how accounting treatment can drive the wrong behaviours. She also talks about the danger of using proxy metrics that drive wrong behaviours and fail to show successful ones.
- Advice for leading an Agile transformation - Bob Galen (with reference to Steve Denning's advice) provides really useful thinking here. A few of the key points - focus on why, focus on asking the team about what the real problems are, and focus on the 20% of people that represent the essence of the organisation (and ignore the squeaky wheels).
- Control vs trust in complex situations - Refer to the traffic light and roundabout image in this link as a metaphor for control vs trust in complex situations. Roundabouts rely on trust, transparency and self-organisation and support faster flow of traffic with less accidents. Giving people full visibility of all relevant information, some very basic parameters (i.e. give way to traffic on the roundabout), and allowing them to self-organise actually is a much better way of managing complex situations than any form of rigid rule setting or control (e.g. traffic lights). So what am I trying to say? Give people the right information, some basic guiding principles, trust and support, and let them get on with it.