21st of February, 9am to 6pm, London
How do we apply the Agile miracle to whole organisations?
There have been various suggestions -- the Stoos Group is in active discussion on some, and the Agile CultureCon has been home to others. Spotify is experimenting publicly with its own approach.
From our perspective, however, this problem has been solved.
For the last four decades, an electronics manufacturing firm in the Netherlands has been demonstrating organisational agility. In the last two decades, the model has spread to six continents and hundreds of organisations. Some of them also use Agile software development methods, but in any case the overlap is profound.
While most Agile methods excel at the level of the team or the project, they often suffer from interference from the organisational hierarchy that oversees them -- a bureaucracy may strangle the goose that lays its golden eggs. At the same time, senior managers often struggle to understand what is happening in their agile teams -- how can we have agility and accountability at the same time?
The answer is clear. Structural support for transparency and informal communication and feedback. Clearly defined roles in a cooperative business game in which all players win. Rapid iterations and structured retrospectives at every level of the organisation, from the shop floor to the board room. These are attributes of the Sociocratic organisation.
Sociocracy provides a framework derived from the principle of consent and a deep understanding of the cybernetics of self-organising complex systems. The principle of consent means that management must get the agile team’s consent when creating policy that affects its working methods -- this prevents the agile team from choking on too much red tape. It also means that the team must get management’s consent when it chooses new business to pursue, thus making agile teams accountable. The cybernetics of organisational design make sure the agile team (or at least the project manager and a representative chosen by the agile team) is in the meeting where management discusses the agile team. This 2 (or more) person overlap guarantees informal communication between management and developers, and makes accountability much easier.
If you want to learn more, join Pieter van der Meché and Nathaniel Whitestone for a one day experiential workshop in using Sociocracy to apply Agile principles and practices to your whole organisation. Participants will leave with a clear map of how to scale up Agile practices to the organisation with the help of Sociocracy; a clear understanding of the relationship between standard Agile practices and Sociocratic practices; experience with several key Sociocratic practices including the well-defined consent process that replaces vague consensus and conflict resolution processes prevalent in many Agile teams; and an experience of producing suggested implementation plans for specific situations contributed by their fellow participants.
Who this is for:
Executives, Founders, Board Members, Agile Project Managers and Product Owners
You can download a pdf version of the workshop handout here.