It’s one of those words that come back over and over again in context of modern delivery approaches and organizational structures. The word seems common enough to mean approximately the same in people’s minds, however I have found that it is often confused for something else. According to Merriamm-Webster, autonomy is the quality or state of being self-governing. This distinguishes it from the term empowerment, which is the state of being empowered to do something. In other words, autonomy is an internal property - it comes from within -, while empowerment comes from someone’s approval.
Autonomous teams make their own decisions, they do it based on their objectives and all the relevant information they have available about the world around them. Empowered teams also are told to do exactly that. However, the scope of their decision making power - sometimes explicit, more often implicit - limits their autonomy significantly and can even shrink should a decision be made that does not align...
We are excited to announce the launch of our newly updated Xodiac website. We have completely changed the layout to clarify the outcomes we help organizations achieve. As before, you will also find useful links to events we are speaking at, podcasts, and blog posts.
Our clients have been asking for a simple way to understand our services and the benefits we bring. To help with this, we have focused on our two most popular services:
Flow Engineering – Created in collaboration with our partner at Visible Consulting, this value stream focused framework targets the creation of clarity and alignment across your organization through 4 maps: Outcome Map, Value Stream Map, Dependency Map, and Capability Map.
Powerful Roadmaps - Based on the book by our own Gino Marckx, this service helps organizations develop a product roadmap that leverages risk to respond to changes and unexpected obstacles in the marketplace.
Below I'll discuss the benefits of these two methods and how they relate to each oth...
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was onto something when he said many years ago that
“Change is the only constant”
A saying as true today as it was for Heraclitus in Ancient Greece.
Today, businesses are impacted by change. Competitors introduce new capabilities or services, customers' loyalty shifts from brands towards value propositions, and new and exciting players disrupt the market altogether.
Introducing organizational change is a tricky business, especially when it involves new technology. Even seemingly innocuous changes to technology can have a far-reaching impact on your organization, disrupting the ways you work. Your initial vision of a smooth implementation, rapid adoption, and a high return on investment is easy to say, not so easy to achieve. For example, it is widely discussed that 70% of transformations fail.
Governance is something of a dirty word. It often generates a visceral reaction in people, conjuring up images of red tape, bureaucracy and time-consuming audits. These are seen as roadblocks to progress, innovation and adoption of new ways of working. This is especially true when we are looking to accelerate the rate of change or delivery speed, such as commonly occurs when adopting DevOps or Agile practices.
Below, I will discuss why we have governance, how it gets applied and some immediate approaches you can look at to help change your ways of working.
Let’s start with the purpose of governance. Governance practices intend to manage risk. I sometimes hear that “this doesn’t apply to me. I’m in a small start-up,” but all organizations, whatever their size, need to manage risk. In one form or another, we are all subjected to governance. In larger organizations, we have added complexity to deal with in creating and managing risk. It is also true that heavily regulated industries ...
Continuous improvement is at the heart of any agile approach. But where do we start? And how can we know that our improvement initiatives are moving the needle? This blog post expands on the ideas from what throughput can tell you about your team and provides some additional thoughts to help you truly embrace the following principle from the agile manifesto:
“At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.”
Well-designed metrics provide your team with insight into where to focus and look for improvement opportunities. They also provide you with a baseline, a measuring stick to assess any improvements.
In a previous post, I focused on what we can learn from a metric as simple as throughput. Here we take it a step further.
Recently I was on a call chatting with a group of senior leaders and the topic of work-life balance came up. More explicitly, how “now he seemed to have so much less time at the weekends”. Asking a few questions of the gentleman who brought this up identified that he had been newly promoted to a VP role.
Which got me thinking about the challenges as you move between roles in larger organizations. Expectations change as you move from an IC to manager to director to VP or above.
So I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts on the matter.