Agendashift roundup, November 2018

In this edition: Changeban 1.0; Right to Left; Life in Agendashift land; Podcast interview; Top posts

Changeban 1.0

As per recent roundups, I’m in the process of updating some of Agendashift’s Creative Commons-licensed assets (and also considering releasing one or two more, but that’s another story). Of those, the fastest mover is Changeban, fast-moving in the sense both that it has been through some rapid evolution in recent weeks (one upside of a heavy travel schedule is the number of opportunities to test it) and that it has been a very popular download. Here’s the announcement on Changeban 1.0:

changeban-crazy-wip-2018-11-26

Right to Left

Monthly status check: 29,604 words and I have at last completed a draft of the potentially controversial (but to me common sense) chapter 4, Viable scaling, something I admit I had been putting off. There’s also a rough chapter 5, Outside in, leaving only chapter 6 unstarted. If the intro counts as quarter of a chapter, it’s 80% complete (apart from the remaining 99% of course) and I should be able to keep it to around 40,000 words.

Lifted verbatim from chapter 2:

Life in Agendashift land

Quite apart from the writing (no hardship at all), things have been pretty busy in recent weeks. A pre-Brexit tour took me to three different EU countries in three weeks, with a public 1-day workshop in Brescia, Italy, a 2-day workshop in Berlin, Germany, and a private workshop in Dublin, Ireland, a followup to one a few weeks previously.  Julia Wester has the last big public workshop of 2018 next week in Munich, Germany (details here).

Already in the calendar for January are two workshops and two conferences in India, details here. We’re pencilling a 2-day workshop in Utrecht, Netherlands for early April (watch this space) and I intend to announce both 1-day and 2-day workshops in London. There’s a decent pipeline of private workshops developing too.

Lastly, at the time of writing there is one place free at the Agendashift Studio on Friday December 7th. By definition, this is at my studio office in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with lunch at a local farm shop. You might like to stay in the area and visit the Peak District national park over the weekend (I feel very lucky to have it on my doorstep). £195, with 40% off for government/education sector employees. There’s no booking page, just drop me an email or ping me on Slack, the sooner the better.

Top posts

  1. Changeban has reached version 1.0
  2. Agendashift is not a maturity model
  3. My kind of Agile
  4. Right to Left: a transcript of my Lean Agile Brighton talk (October)
  5. Agendashift’s many extension points
  6. Engagement: more than a two-way street (September)
  7. How the Leader-Leader model turns Commander’s Intent upside down (June)
  8. Right to Left’ works for Scrum too (July)

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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

Agendashift roundup, October 2018

In this edition: Brighton; Right to Left; Featureban (DE); Other resources; Three public workshops still to come in Europe this year; 2019 Calendar; Top posts

Brighton

I spent the second week of October in Brighton (UK’s hippest city, according to Wikipedia). Tuesday to Thursday was a joint 3-day masterclass with Karl Scotland, then on Friday I was the last speaker of the day at a brand new conference, Lean Agile Brighton.

By a country mile and already a top 5 post for the year, the transcript for my short (20-minute) talk is this month’s top post. Speaking last gave me a great opportunity to namecheck several other speakers, also one or two other collaborators and influencers that were in the audience.

If you missed it:

Right to Left

Monthly status check: 24,755 words and I’ve completed an initial draft of the 5th chapter of 6. With roughly half of chapter 4 deferred and an introduction still to write, I estimate that this first draft is approaching 70% complete. But before I continue to chapter 6, enough time has passed that I can look at the existing material with fresh eyes, and I’ve started on a round of revision.

Overview, with an initial cover design:

Featureban (DE)

Even without an official German language translation, our Kanban simulation game Featureban has been played quite a bit in Germany. And now there is one – thank you Tim Themann!

Go to the downloads section of the Featureban landing page to get your copy. Also available in English, French, Polish, Russian, Italian, and Spanish.

Other resources

I’ve substantially reworked Agendashift’s about page, which as well as a refresh of the text incorporates the new clickable Overview image and a link to the new Engagement model page.

Next I plan to bundle up what the Resources page refers to as “referenceable elements” such as the True North, Principles, and Done along with the old poster and the aforementioned Overview image into one convenient download. Each of these are single-slide (or single image) resources that are referenceable in the sense that they each have their own nice url, and are published under a Creative Commons with-attribution license to facilitate adaptations, translations, etc. I’ll do 16×10 format first and then A4 for those assets that would benefit most.

Work on Changeban 1.0 and Featureban 2.3 will begin after that.

Three public workshops still to come in Europe this year

Julia Wester deserves a special mention: she’s coming over from the US in December to lead a 1-day workshop Core Agendashift: Facilitating Outcome-Oriented Change in Munich, Germany, in a tie-up with DevOpsCon.

Before that, I’m doing a 1-day workshop in Brescia, Italy on November 9th (Friday next week) in conjunction with Italian Agile Day 2018 on the 10th, then a 2-day Advanced workshop in Berlin, Germany, 21-22 November, courtesy of my friends at Leanovate.

2019 Calendar

Nothing published yet, but expect to see a 2-day UK workshop in Q1, and (fingers crossed) appearances in the US, India, and mainland Europe. Also, expect Agendashift Studio workshops to take place roughly quarterly; these are cozy workshops for 3-4 participants at Agendashift HQ here in Chesterfield, UK, organised informally via the #agendashift-studio channel in Slack.

As always, if you’d like to see a workshop at a location convenient to you (whether public or private, and I’m doing the latter with increasing frequency), do please get in touch. Conference tie-ins work particularly well, making it double value for the trip for everyone involved.

Top posts

Recent:

  1. Right to Left: a transcript of my Lean Agile Brighton talk
  2. 5 reasons to come to an Agendashift workshop
  3. Engagement: more than a two-way street (September)
  4. Dealing with internal contradictions – if they can’t both be true at the same time, then what?
  5. A small departure from the book (September)

A couple of Kanban-related classics also did particularly well this month:

  1. Scrum and Kanban revisited (August 2017)
  2. Introducing Kanban through its values (January 2013)

In case you’re new here, that second one is the career-changing post that led to my first book. Even though Kanban is now only a small part of what I do, it still has to be said that the rest wouldn’t have happened without it. Values got me to outcomes, and outcomes is what Agendashift and Right to Left are all about.


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

Agendashift roundup, September 2018

In this edition: On disengagement and Engagement Models; Resource updates; Workshops; Right to Left; Top posts

On disengagement and Engagement Models

The 2-year anniversary post Engagement: more than a two-way street very quickly became a top 5 post for the year, and I’m very glad that it did – it makes some key statements of intent and I’m sure that it’s one we’ll keep referring back to.

Very short version:

  • Disengagement is a real problem, and one cause of it is inept change management, of which Agile by imposition is an inexcusable example.
  • Engagement Models – a very helpful term coined by Daniel Mezick and used in his foreword to my Agendashift book – are approaches designed to involve people meaningfully in organisational change, so that they are engaged in the process rather than disengaged. Agendashift is of course an engagement model, and I list some others (which I regard as complementary, not competitors).
  • Another kind of engagement is also essential to the viability of any organisational unit as it transforms: it must continue to participate in the wider organisation, and in such a way that both sides of any organisational divide will thrive. If you have studied viability, you will recognise that there are huge opportunities for organisational design and leadership development there. Inward-looking framework adoptions only exacerbate the problem meanwhile.

Read the whole thing, and expect to see it developed further in our product offerings and in Chapter 4 ‘Viable Scaling’ of the Right to Left, the 2019 book.

Resource updates

The simulation game Changeban is now quite well tested, and I released version 0.4 this month. Only two things keep it from reaching 1.0:

  1. A page of instructions
  2. An alternative deck that uses playing cards rather than coins as the source of variation

I won’t say that it’s better than Featureban (which has served me wonderfully – not bad for a sleepless night’s work) but Changeban is a better fit for my current needs. I still would recommend Featureban if your main goal is to teach the mechanics, basic practices, and metrics of kanban systems, but use Changeban if you’re focusing on product or organisation-related experimentation. Changeban is also a fun way to tee up our A3 template for hypothesis-based change.

Questions? #changeban and #featureban on Slack.

You may also have caught a sneak preview of a new overview picture:

Screenshot 2018-09-17 09.15.08

After some minor tweaks and reformatting for printing, I’ll add this to the poster deck. If you subscribed to that, expect to receive an update in October sometime.

It’s less linear than the original, and from the very positive feedback I’ve received, it’s both easier to understand and more representative of how Agendashift gets used in the wild. It allows for a lot more “circling round” through Operation (for example between Discovery and Exploration as need and outcomes get better understood through initial baby steps of change), or around Elaboration as assumptions get tested.

Workshops

We did another Agendashift Studio this month, a cozy workshop for up to 4 participants in my studio office, with lunch at a Peak District farm shop. I was thrilled that two of the four participants were attendees of past workshops back for a second helping, one of whom also brought a colleague! If you’d like to attend a future Studio, announce your interest in the #agendashift-studio channel in the Agendashift Slack – from there it’s basically an exercise in self-organisation.

Then a busy autumn schedule:

Brighton (myself and Karl Scotland) is only 11 days away! There are still places available, and if you’d like a discount code, feel free to use (and share) SHARE15 for 15% off, or get in touch if you believe a bigger discount might be appropriate. Discount-wise, we give preference to employees of public sector and non-profit organisations, but clients, colleagues, and friends of the community will be seen right too 🙂

Right to Left

Monthly status check: 18,824 words, and I’m part way into the abovementioned Chapter 4, ‘Viable Scaling’, in many ways the pivotal chapter. That’s less than 2,000 words added this month but there have been some fantastic book-related conversations that I’ve found very helpful. You know who you are – thank you!

Top posts

  1. Engagement: more than a two-way street
  2. A small departure from the book
  3. “Core or better”
  4. A small revision to Changeban
  5. How the Leader-Leader model turns Commander’s Intent upside down (June)

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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

Agendashift roundup, August 2018

In this edition: Another podcast interview; The Agile travesty; Right to Left; Translations; Public workshops (UK*2, IT, DE*2); Speaking (UK*2, IT); Top posts

Another podcast interview

Last month I was interviewed by Vasco Duarte for the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast. For reasons that now escape me this missed the July roundup, so I lead with it this time:

Thank you Vasco, it was fun!

The Agile travesty

This quote from Martin Fowler’s The State of Agile Software in 2018 keynote has drawn quite a bit of attention over the past few days:

Screenshot 2018-08-31 10.47.18

Of course the Agendashift community not only stands against imposition, we offer positive alternatives (or in other words, we’re neither grandstanding nor whining). Authentic engagement on outcomes isn’t that hard, certainly not beyond the capability of anyone who can reasonably claim to be an effective change agent or sponsor. If you’re not sure how, let us show you!

Right to Left

Monthly status check: 17,014 words, three chapters (of six) completed.

I’ve updated the landing page to list the chapters:

The eagle-eyed may spot a subtle title change: there’s no “Lean-Agile” in the book’s title now – given its intended audience it seemed just that bit too jargony.

As promised, two of last months book-related tweets…

…have become blog posts:

The next chapter to be written, 4. Viable scaling, is one I really must get right. Scaling is a controversial topic, but hardly one I can ignore while covering the Lean-Agile landscape. Via Agendashift and a new mystery ingredient I believe I can address the controversy constructively while still remaining fair to all sides. Of course I might just end up offending everyone – we’ll see!

For questions or the latest updates, go to Slack channel #right-to-left. See also some research-related conversations in channel #systhink-complexity.

Translations

As announced this month here and here, the cue card for our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO has recently been translated into German, Swedish, and Italian. Thank you Johan Nordin, Alex Pukinskis and Massimo Sarti.

Meanwhile, Agendashift surveys are now multilingual. Short version: survey participants can now switch languages from the default specified by the survey’s administrator.

Public workshops (UK*2, IT, DE*2)

Notes:

  1. Slack channel #agendashift-studio if interested in attending another cozy and low-cost workshop for 3-4 participants in my studio office in Chesterfield (close to the Peak District National Park; lunch is at a local farm shop). Delighted to report that two of September’s participants are attendees of past workshops, returning for more!
  2. The Brescia workshop now has a booking page (it wasn’t ready for last month’s roundup)
  3. The Berlin workshop doesn’t yet have a booking page; watch the LinkedIn group or #events in Slack for updates, or drop me a line

Speaking (UK*2, IT)

Top posts

Recent:

Still going strong:


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

 

Agendashift roundup, July 2018

In this edition: Strategy workshop and Agendashift Studio; Right to Left; Public workshops (US, UK, IT, DE); Top posts

Strategy workshop and Agendashift Studio

On consecutive days early this month (before things began to slow down for the summer) I led a private strategy workshop done Agendashift-style and then a small “Agendashift Studio” workshop held in my studio office in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, just outside the Peak District National Park.

For obvious reasons I can’t go into a lot of detail about the private workshop but it did result in a blog post:

There’ll be at least a chapter’s worth of this in the new book (more on that in a moment), covering the use of this kind of outside-in structure for strategy and operations reviews in the kind of depth that wasn’t possible in the Agendashift book.

The Agendashift Studio workshop was a lot of fun. Here’s some great feedback:

We’ve started a new #agendashift-studio channel in the Agendashift Slack for coordinating future Studio workshops. It’s an exercise in self-organisation – if 3 or 4 participants can agree a date that also works for me, then we have a workshop; likely we’ll have another one in the coming weeks, perhaps as soon as August. They’re very affordable, there are generous discounts for government/education/nonprofit etc, and we generally hold them on a Friday or Saturday so that participants can spend some weekend time in the Peak District if they wish.

Right to Left

Monthly status check: 11,258 words, and well into chapter 3. Also, a new landing page:

In addition to the one already mentioned, this month’s blog posts are very much related to the new book:

The first of those is already a top 3 post for the year, which is very encouraging! I happen to know that at least one forthcoming article from a member of the SAFe community has been inspired by it, and I’m hopeful of some constructive engagement with other scaling communities too. If you’re part of one, please get in touch!

Some tweetable thoughts that might become future blog posts:

Right to Left will be my least technical book (it’s aimed at managers first, practitioners second), but still I maintain my usual respect for my sources. I’ve been exploring the Viable System Model as “deep background”, and several of us have been discussing this and other things from the world of Systems Thinking, Complexity, and the Learning Organisation, which you may recognise as a chapter title from my first book Kanban from the Inside. To join us in that particular conversation, find the #systhink-complexity channel in the Agendashift Slack.

Public workshops (US, UK, IT, DE)

Note: Early bird pricing for the Brighton workshop ends on Tuesday.

We’re also looking at doing one in northeast England, perhaps in Newcastle. If that would be of interest, please get in touch.

Top posts


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

Agendashift roundup, June 2018

In this edition: Agendashift as…; A new joint 3-day workshop; Happy birthday!; Progress on Right to Left; Out and about; Top posts

Agendashift as…

In recent weeks and in weeks to come we’re pushing boundaries, getting into new areas:

  • Agendashift as an enhancement to Kanban training – using the assessment and some lightly structured “obstacles to outcomes” conversations to organise the day and help participants focus their work on things that really matter. I don’t actively seek out this kind of training opportunity but am happy to deliver an outcome-oriented experience when the call comes!
  • Agendashift as leadership development – another private workshop, helping leaders make the shift away from command and control, getting comfortable with (i) outcomes as the focus for self-organisation, and (ii) experiments as a powerful way to frame and develop actions.
  • Agendashift as business strategy development – “outcome-oriented” meets “outside-in”, the latter just a minor theme of the Agendashift book but one that will see greater prominence in the next one. Expect to hear more in the meantime as we pursue this on the ground, taking our tools of transformation strategy and adapting them for application in more general strategy work.

This October: 3-day Advanced Agendashift + X-Matrix workshop

One of my key collaborators is already very active in the strategy deployment space, and I’m delighted to announce another joint workshop with Karl Scotland. For the first time we’re bringing together the Advanced Agendashift workshop (already at least 2 days worth) and Karl’s X-Matrix workshop. You can be part of that collaboration, joining us for 3 days in Brighton ahead of the Lean Agile Brighton conference. More here:

Happy birthday!

On June 14th our Slack community celebrated its second birthday. Of all the things I’ve helped create, this is definitely one of the coolest. If you’re not participating, you’re missing out! More here about the kinds of channels on offer and how to join:

Progress on Right to Left

A quick monthly update on the third book: 7,164 words, nearing the end of chapter 2, still aiming for early summer next year. I have a ton of other people’s stuff to read and re-read; I’ll put together a new reading list soon.

A reminder meanwhile that the references for the Agendashift book make an excellent reading list:

Out and about

Next week I’m at Agile Cymru in Newport, Wales, where no fewer than 5 Agendashift partners (Jose CasalKarl ScotlandMatt TurnerCat Swetel, and myself) will be speaking! Hope to see you there. A couple of private workshops aside, the summer period will provide some space for writing and development (I don’t mind admitting that I miss programming when I haven’t done it seriously for a while).

Have a great summer (or winter, if you’re south of the equator). There probably will be July and August updates but I will allow myself at least the option of a break!

Top posts

Agendashift roundup, May 2018

In this edition:  ‘Done’ goes viral; Right to left; Reviews for Agendashift; Munich and South Wales; Tools and translations; Upcoming; Top posts

‘Done’ goes viral

I don’t usually start with the blog, but within days of posting, My handy, referenceable Definition of Done jumped to the top of the leader board for 2018, bringing with it a linked post from 2016, Better user stories start with authentic situations of need.

Screenshot 2018-05-05 06.23.15

The reaction to this post was striking. Clearly, most people got what I was doing right away, but a few (5% maybe) seemed offended that I had dared to subvert a cherished Agile concept, the definition of done. I have absolutely no regrets on that score, and not just because it provoked a response: it’s a legitimate target that I’d be only too happy taken down and replaced with better things – definitions of ready (the obvious technical alternative), needs, outcomes, goals, validation, and so on.

Right to left

It seems slightly crazy that I’ve started work on a new book (my third) so soon after Agendashift, but I just can’t help myself!

Are you tired of introductions to Agile (and actual implementations, for that matter) that start “on the left” with projects and backlogs and work their way slowly rightwards to where the long-suffering customer patiently waits for something of value actually to happen? Well so am I, and I’m doing something about it.

My best guess is that Right to left will be available sometime in 2019, and hopefully no more than 12 months from now – let’s call it early summer ’19. There’s no landing page for it yet but there is a #right-to-left channel in the Agendashift Slack and some blog posts:

For completeness, theme 3 of 3, “upside down”, the supportive organisation, will get its own post in the next few days.

In terms of tone, I’m aiming for “a book you’ll happily give your manager and hope they’ll want to pass on to theirs” – less practitioner-focussed than KFTI and Agendashift then, but plenty for the expert to enjoy too I’m sure.

Word count so far: 2,910 (May 31st, 2018).

Reviews for Agendashift

Fewer than I’d like (to be honest I’m a little frustrated), but the reviews we do have are great, all 5-star so far. See for yourself:

Many thanks to those that have taken the trouble so far, and keep them coming!

Munich, and South Wales

For reasons we don’t fully understand, the Munich workshop didn’t quite get off the ground. There were sales, but not quite enough of them came soon enough for us to be confident of being able to give a good experience. Postponed rather than cancelled, and we may find a client organisation both to host it and to ensure numbers. That’s a model that could work in your city too; do get in touch if you have even just a small core of people interested.

Cardiff though – with DevOpsGuys as both excellent hosts and active participants – was great. Again some fantastic feedback for the 2-day Advanced workshop, and I spoke afterwards at the South Wales Agile Group.

I’ll be in South Wales again in July for Agile Cymru, where no fewer than five Agendashift partners will be speaking:  Cat SwetelJose CasalKarl ScotlandMatt Turner, and yours truly. That’s amazing! Clearly, if you want to find good people, you should check out the partner directory, and perhaps decide to join that list yourself 😉

Tools and translations

  • The 15-minute FOTO cue card is now available in German – thank you Agendashift partner Alex Pukinskis
  • Featureban is now available in Spanish – thank you Youssef Oufaska and Daniel Carroza

After a long wait, we finally got to play Changeban during the Cardiff workshop and it worked great! A new version of the deck is now available, a couple of bugs fixed (just with the deck, the game itself worked as planned). More here:

Upcoming

Speaking:

Over the summer period, the only workshops I’ll be doing will either be private or the Agendashift Studio event on July 7th (in my home studio office in Chesterfield, UK, and it’s sold out). Watch this space for an exciting autumn/winter programme.

Top posts

Recent:

From the archives:


Agendashift-cover-thumbBlog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Links: 
Home | About | Partners | Resources | Contact | Mike
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based evolution of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…