September 26, 2022

Wow, what an enormous matter!

Jon Jorgensen put up a publish on LinkedIn.  Here:

(Jon has a lot of good posts. Recommended.)

I’ve not requested Jon precisely what he meant by his query.  I believe a little bit of mid-western sarcasm is concerned.

Here is my response, which is supposed to be of some partial assist for these concerned in “fixing agile transformations”.  It is an enormous matter with many doable conditions.  A e book might be not sufficient house to cope with it, actually.

My Response

Most of the next is a quote of how I responded to his publish in LinkedIn, considerably edited and expanded.

First, clearly, as we nicely know, you can’t MAKE somebody motivated. Motivation for information employees have to be intrinsic (not extrinsic).

And, in the event that they (the crew members) should not motivated after 1 yr, THAT is an enormous downside.

To over-simplify, motivation has two components.
1. Desire to construct the particular “product” for particular prospects. (Purpose to Daniel Pink. See his e book: “Drive”)
2. Other motivating components. Fun, no mushroom remedy, camaraderie, autonomy and mastery. (The final two Daniel Pink targeted on.)

In Scrum the PO should articulate the Vision. In such a means that it MIGHT be motivating to crew members.  The PO ought to get to know his/her Team, and make feedback particular to every particular person.

In Scrum the SM ought to work on the opposite components.
Other folks may discuss and affect.

Results that I count on:

1. Some folks is not going to be excited by that product, however seemingly by one other product.
2. Some folks is not going to be excited by these prospects, however seemingly by different prospects.

Note: Yes, some folks shall be motivated by the mix of product and prospects.
3. Most folks will like Scrum, if the Team is profitable and/or they principally just like the folks within the Team (and different components should not dangerous).
4. Some folks do NOT need to be in a Team. Any Team. Don’t pressure them in a Team. Forcing could be simply imply and incorrect.
5. Some folks is not going to like Scrum.  (I would argue that the majority of these folks don’t need to be in an egalitarian Team. But another causes too.)

Actions: Lots.

1. Managers, the PO, and maybe others ought to focus on why a product or mission must be motivating. And count on some folks NOT to be “into” that particular state of affairs.
2. Unhappy folks must be moved to a different Team. Often that works out high-quality.
3. Some folks do NOT need to be on an actual Team.  There is a few room for particular person contributors. (Think of those as chickens to Teams, that assist, generally, a number of groups, however should not in a Scrum crew.) Decide what number of chickens you need/want. Excess folks would seemingly want to depart the corporate. THEY ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE.  Do that humanely.
4. Chaos. Chaos or dysfunction or different de-motivators are available many flavors. Especially with an “agile transformation”. So, take suggestions, and attempt to decrease these.
5. Try to construct on success and volunteering. Others see a profitable Team, and say to themselves “I need to try this!” And the subsequent Team will be began.
Let me repeat: SUCCESS and VOLUNTEERING.
6. Engage the folks within the course of of remodeling the corporate. They have concepts and company.  If they need to assist, they are often very efficient (with maybe just a little assist).  If they really feel a minimum of heard, issues will go higher.  If they assist “design it” (a minimum of for their very own crew), they have an inclination to love it much more.

Daniel Mezick and others speak about this final one as Open Space and Open Space Agility.

Jon’s Four Choices

IMO, the entire selections listed by Jon (see just under) are open, and would possibly occur.

This is what Jon wrote:

People who nonetheless aren’t motivated after 1 yr of Agile Transformation help, belief & enchancment efforts must be:

laid off, demoted, managed out
impressed, incentivized, skilled
given time/house to suppose/develop
discovered, coached & remodeled

[END of his quote]

Those have been the 4 selections he would have you ever select from.

General Comments

Before we get into the 4 selections, let’s focus on the 1 yr of labor on Agile Transformation. Again, there are such a lot of conditions.  And folks make investments extensively differing quantities of power, cash and energy within the Agile Transformation.  And transformations will be of extensively totally different sizes (variety of folks:  say 50, or 500, or 5000, and so forth).

Let’s say you’ve 150 folks. In the primary yr all are skilled (CSM or related).  Let’s say you’ve 5 agile coaches and an Agile Transformation lead.  Pretty large funding.  Let’s assume your tradition is considerably agile-friendly, higher than normal a minimum of.

In that case, on the whole, most people must be pretty motivated. Otherwise, you’ve wasted some huge cash.  If 5% are under-motivated, that’s one downside.  If 15% of the individuals are under-motivated, a unique stage of downside.  If 30% are under-motivated, one other downside altogether.

General Employee Engagement

Jon refers back to the Gallup research of worker engagement. 

In normal, worker engagement is horrible, very low.  Gallup says solely 34%.  There are many the reason why.  You noticed many causes in The Office TV present.  There are many different causes.  A number of it’s no matter agile or non-agile.  We would possibly hope that an actual agile crew is extra engaged.  There are additionally loads of “agile-in-name-only” groups; unsure engaged could be excessive.

BUT: With information employees doing new product improvement, you actually need motivation (and that features worker engagement).

I feel what we would like agile folks to be is greatest known as motivated.  And that’s considerably totally different than “engagement” or “engaged”.

Still: Asking for an agile transformation when the tide of worker engagement is out (low) will not be a very good state of affairs.  You can instantly see that as very difficult.

And I hope it’s also apparent:  in case your engagement numbers earlier than you begin are low, then an “agile transformation” initiative will not be more likely to be sufficient to essentially change issues.  An Agile transformation would possibly assist. And for some folks, perhaps assist so much.  But we’re speaking a couple of larger cultural situation.

You know this: “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.” (Attributed to Peter Drucker.)  Changing tradition could be very exhausting.  Not unimaginable, however very exhausting.

Specific Comments on Jon’s 4 Choices

I would quibble with the wording or angle or emphasis of Jon’s 4 selections (see above). But all 4 can occur in a legit means.

Still, the concept that any ONE of those (or these with out different components) will “treatment” your agile transformation by itself — that’s magical pondering. I don’t advocate it.  (And I doubt that Jon was proposing any of those as “the reply”.)

Ex: Demoting folks will principally by no means be helpful IMO.  For information employees.  Might as nicely fireplace them in a pleasant means (a package deal).
Power video games typically don’t work nicely with information employees. Motivation is essential.

Ex: Some wording of Jon’s selection (see above) implies (to me) the concept that one particular person can MAKE one other particular person motivated. That is simply incorrect. “He’s simply not that into you” was an entertaining film, however the thought is importantly true for motivation.  For ANY given product/buyer set, some folks is not going to be into it!  So true for our work. You can clarify, however you can’t pressure it. (I feel Jon was teasing us with the choice of “impressed, incentivized, skilled”.)

Closing Comments

This is a BIG topic.

I feel I mentioned some issues which may assist some folks.

There are so many conditions. Surely I did NOT cope with each state of affairs. YMMV.


Your feedback are welcome.


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