In this podcast is I got to dig into the topic of Bimodal with two guys who are deeply knowledgeable about both the traditional and the Agile space. If you aren’t familiar with Bimodal yet, you definitely want to check this out because it is poised to have a massive impact on how organizations introduce and work with Agile. And if you are already up to speed on bimodal, there is a good chance some of the discussion in this podcast is going to challenge what you know on this topic.
Some links from the Podcast
Steve Elliott Interview
AgileCraft on Twitter - https://twitter.com/theagilecraft
Dennis Stevens Interview
LeadingAgile on Twitter https://twitter.com/leadingagile
Dennis Stevens on Twitter https://twitter.com/dennisstevens
The blog post Dennis mentioned on Agile vs. Waterfall http://www.leadingagile.com/2013/08/agile-vs-waterfall/
0:00 Introduction to the Bimodal Podcast
Steve Elliott Interview
2:50 Start Interview with Steve Elliott from AgileCraft
3:22 Background on Steve and AgileCraft
5:30 Defining Organizational Agility
6:50 The challenges of scale (with Agile)
8:00 The challenge of Bimodal
9:00 Defining Bimodal
9:40 AgileCraft’s take on Bimodal
11:15 Is Bimodal just a way of legitimizing a hybrid model
12:28 Admitting when we can’t actually go 100% Agile
13:00 The Agile Walk of Shame
13:51 AgileCraft’s decision to support Bimodal and “meet them where they’re at”
15:00 How Bimodal brings the data from both worlds into once place
16:00 Transparency and Measuring Value
17:10 Agile’s connection to strategy
18:11 Figuring out what data you need to pay attention to
20:22 The dangers of big wave planning
21:30 How the Agile space is evolving and maturing
22:30 How to contact Steve
Dennis Stevens Interview
23:15 - Dennis Steven’s interview begins
24:14 Background on Dennis and LeadingAgile
25:00 Dennis explains Bimodal
26:00 Why some things can’t move fast in an organization
27:00 Not everything (in an organization) is ready to move to Agile
27:47 Not everyone is trying to move everything to Agile
28:00 How most people are misinterpreting the message of Bimodal
29:10 Nobody thinks matrix teams are the right way to build software
29:52 People are still running by the pool with scissors in their mouths
30:15 It’s like crack for the business world
31:43 Conditions that must exist for fast feedback cycles and bimodal to work
33:50 Is transitioning to bimodal harder than just transitioning to Agile? (3 options for transformation)
35:51 Realizing when your organization has changed enough
36:45 You have to make Mode 1 be sexy and desirable
37:10 Creating the urgency for change
37:45 Do organizations have the self-awareness needed to understand what change they need?
38:20 Explaining it to Executives
40:10 Why Dennis does not have a “bimodal” conversation with executives
41:00 The value of having a pragmatic and safe roadmap for transformation that resonates with Executives
41:47 The hardest part of transforming to bimodal
42:40 How to contact Dennis
I've changed the way I am doing the interviews and putting the podcasts together. So, this is a bit of a test and any feedback would be greatly appreciated...
Part 1 - Interview with Shane Hastie on Hybrid Agile models, Business (Organizational) Agility and Bimodal.
Part 2 - Interview with John D. Cook and Troy Magennis on data literacy, what we should be looking at and finding the multiplying factors to help us increase productivity.
Any feedback (good, bad, whatever) would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me at email@example.com or twitter.com/drunkenpm.
Following a suggestion from Derek Huether, I'm including some notes (below) to moments in the interviews you may find of interest.
Some info on the interviewees:
Shane Hastie on LinkedIn and Twitter
Troy Magennis at FocusedObjective or on Twitter
John D. Cook can be found on his website, or on Twitter.
Shane Hastie Interview
Podcast Overview 00:44
Shane Interview Start 02:14
Opening question on hybrids, organizational agility, and bimodal 02:32
Will Hybrid models continue to exist 03:31
Letting Infrastructure off the hook 03:50
Why knowledge workers aren’t off the hook 04:25
Infrastructure example to explain where you need traditional and where you need agile 05:00
Where you need incremental roll out without iterative change 06:05
The PMP / Architect Happy Dance 07:00
The Agile people are all spitting on themselves 07:24
Launching a new product example 07:50
Learning is everything - you want Lean Startup 08:10
Knowing when to stop pivoting 08:50
Agile is spot on - Learning and Adapting 09:10
The goal is not agile, the goal is learning 09:30
Are we making progress 09:58
Throwing down the Agile banner 10:21
Agile is just a set of tools and a nice brand 10:40
We are still addicted to waterfall 11:00
People have been successful in the old way or working 11:25
There are not many pathological managers out there. 12:05
Helping them see that the global paradigm of business has changed 12:20
Finding the right combination of techniques and practices12:35
Packing agile brands 12:50
Can you design a new insurance product with TDD 13:19
What about the people who do not recognize that the business paradigm has changed 13:41
The pace of change is increasing 14:30
Cultural Change Officer 14:43
People don’t resist change unless they can’t see the benefits 15:00
Finding the personal win 15:40
Defining (Organizational) Business Agility 16:40
Leveraging skill and knowledge of people in your organization 18:33
Practices designed to fill the gaps in Agile 18:50
Shane’s favorites from the Agile 2015 19:40
Defining value for organizations 12:08
Teaching the organization 21:00
If we could all be Sweden… 21:50
Wrap up 22:00
John Cook and Troy Magennis Interview
Are we data literate enough? 24:05
experiments and lean startup 24:34
Using legacy charts we don’t understand 15:00
Bing addicted to bad data in legacy charts 25:20
How do we help them see the right data 25:50
What should we measure and look at 26:23
Working on multiple projects 26:35
How much work are we doing 27:00
When they ignore what the data tells them 27:30
The chronic problem of multitasking 28:00
Extreme examples from academia and leveling 29:22
Tools fostering dysfunction 29:50
How do we teach them to ask for better stuff 30:25
We knew this stuff and we threw it all away 31:00
Agile and the laws of physics 31:15
Probability in the future 31:30
A predictable environment vs rolling dice 32:15
How long will things take 32:40
Creating / Defining a stable team 33:00
Tracking interruptions per week: 33:23
Helping hem understand why interrupts are bad by visualizing it 34:20
Understanding the difference between what you do and what the tool says you do 35:25
Interrupting managers v interrupting programmers 35:40
Tracking positive interruptions 36:00
A level playing field - they all suck so it worked well 37:15
The managers that will breed 38:00
Finding the multiplying factors 38:35
Technical Debt 39:10
Figuring out if we are looking at something meaningful 39:45
What is the mission with respect to data? 40:10
Trying to find the best course of action 40:45
We’re more about removing metrics and detail 41:10
Organizational Agility is an emerging area that Project Management Professionals need to become aware of. At its core it is about helping companies gain (retain) their competitive advantage by being able to see and respond to changing demands in the market quicker than their competitors. If you are 10 guys in a garage working on a startup, drastic changes to your business model are kind of par for the course. If, however, you happen to work at a Fortune 100 company that has been around for 50+ years and has to deal with a variety of oversight and compliance… not so much with the easy.
Because it is still evolving, defining Organizational Agility can become troublesome as well. Ask ten people and you’ll get 10 completely different definitions. What you are likely to find are similarities in the desired outcomes. If you are getting up to speed on Organizational Agility or your company is beginning efforts to move in that direction, here are three things to consider…
Organizational Agility is NOT Agile and you cannot have Organizational Agility without Agile
Trying to establish Organizational Agility in your company without adopting Agile would be a little like trying to win a marathon without learning to run. If your company wants to have the ability to react and respond quickly, making changes as they inspect and adapt every step of the way towards delivery, you are going to need to develop your organization’s capacity to work in an Agile environment.
Organizational Agility is not Lean Startup but you really need Lean Startup if you are going to develop Organizational Agility
If you are not already familiar with Lean Startup… stop reading this article and go fix that. NOW! The capabilities that come with that type of approach are now recognized as mission critical and they are at the core of developing the capacity for Organizational Agility. Putting them into play at the Enterprise level, establishing Innovation Centers, and creating a disruptive culture of experimentation and innovation is a very hot ticket right now. Unfortunately, the desire to develop that and the practical reality of doing so while still maintaining current position, revenue, etc. etc. etc. presents some significant challenges.
For the past 10-15 years, organizations have been working on implementing Agile and as this has spread into the Enterprise, it has become apparent that for many larger, long standing organizations, the adoption of Agile is going to take several years and in many cases, multiple attempts.
When those same organizations begin moving towards establishing a culture of disruptive innovation, fostering it in small groups, and then spreading it within the Enterprise, the tremendous dissonance created by all these changes is going to have a massive impact. Organizations are going to need a way to cope with the changes.
The Invaluable Capacity for Change
What is described above represents a complete revolution to the way most of the larger, older companies do business. The transition is going to be harder than any change most these companies have experienced before and there is very little chance they’ll be able to avoid it and remain competitive.
If you are involved with the management of work at the project, program, or portfolio level, you are going to be impacted by the introduction of Organizational Agility. If you want to add value for your company, one of the best things you can do is focus on helping the organization learn to adapt and change. The introduction of Agile and Lean Innovation are far more than just processes or workflows. They each introduce cultural and value system changes that will impact every level of the organization like a virus. And the Enterprise, like any existing organism, will fight as best it can to kill off the virus, even if the virus is critical to its survival. You need to become knowledgeable and practiced in the dark arts of organizational change if you are going to help shepherd in the transition.
So, if you are a PM Professional and you want to get ready for Organizational Agility:
- Become familiar with Agile. Remember that this is a tactical necessity for Organizational Agility, but Agile is never an end state we are trying to reach.
- Become familiar with the Lean Startup and learn all you can about how it is being applied in the Enterprise. This is an emerging area, so it may require deep and continued research.
- Become an Organizational Change Ninja. You have a valuable role to play in helping your company go through a massive change in how they approach and manage work.