In this second interview Dan Roman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dansroman/) and I (https://www.linkedin.com/in/garywmonti/) cover potential religious wars between various methodologies…Waterfall, Agility, Product Management, (and a new methodology not mentioned in this podcast, Business Agility, as exemplified in Flow), as well as whether or not there is value in gaining certification in the various methods. The podcast is sponsored by the Business Agility Conference Midwest being held November 6-7, 2019 in Columbus, OH. A form-follows-function approach is used in determining the value the various methods can provide in given situations. This includes use of hybrids. Collaboration is the key.
The conversation opens with the reality many aspects of these various methods have been used throughout the ages, e.g., Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. Also, the consequences are discussed of excessive belief in a one-and-only-one method and how it can lead to problems.
The reality is when moving through the 5 stages of Complexity the frame-of-mind and associated problem-solving method needs to shift accordingly, e.g., a lean approach may not be the best way to proceed before methods have yet to be established.
Dan goes through a brief history of the various methods and how they started as heuristics and were converted to dogma, dogma which can bias how historic events are viewed. The need to combine a humanistic approach, e.g., Carl Jung, along with a disciplined frame of mind in approaching innovation, e.g., TRIZ, can go a long way in deciding what approach will work best.
In the end, it’s best to use the method that brings the most value to the customer. This must be done, though, with a clear focus on risk management.
Collaboration is the key when looking at the people involved, degree of complexity, and the challenge associated with the client’s problem that needs to be solved.
The conversation moves into the importance of the psychological approach when forming teams. Vulnerability and team safety are key components that need to be addressed for efficiency and effectiveness.
The next topics covered include:
- What makes for a good Agile coach?
- What influence does psychological Type have on the team’s ability to perform? What is each team members definition of “reward?”
- The importance of diversity in creating a team.
- Combining team dynamics with methodology.
- The impact of team size.
- Why egoless teams work best.
- Delegation of power and budget control to the team and associated power struggles.
- The need for a clear vision to guide the team and having that vision reflected in something measurable. This is in contrast to just starting with work packages and/or backlogs.
- A simple technique for tying work back to the vision statement and solving the customer’s problem.
- Having a strong team spirit vs following a “guru.”
- Certification is more a start to build a path to success rather than an end-point in itself.
- Methodologies should support, not shackle, the team in solving the customer’s problem.
- Focusing on appropriate principles and their application rather than searching for a gimmick.
In the end, having a focus on the customer and what their problem is that needs solved is critical. This can be best done with Product Management which guides selecting the best method for moving forward.
Again, you can also connect with Dan on LinkedIn.
Access the conference web site directly for any comments or questions, https://businessagilitymidwest.com/, or you can contact me at
In line with Business Agility and dealing with complex situations, you can download my free e-book MINDSET – 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK AT COMPLEX PROBLEMS and learn how to find a simple vantage point from which you can resolve challenges.
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