The Self-organising Organisation Nick Cahill & Lee Thomas Fraedom
A better way to manage business spend Save ! money! ! Gain visibility ! & control! ! ! Free-up ! staff! !
30 seconds about Nick • Born in Sydney, 21 pretty good years went by • Got a computer science degree • Cross functional software developer in 6 different companies in Sydney, London, Vancouver and Auckland • Various technical & less-technical leadership roles within Fraedom during the painless delivery team growth from 10 to 150! • Now a consultant • Fraedom remains a key client engagement
30 seconds about Lee
• Born on a golf course (Long Story) • Experience 25++ • Agile Coach & Trainer • Failed Rugby player, so now I coach J “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.“ " John Wooden, Basketball Coach"
Advice & caveats • Built on an established agile culture • This change was an evolution, not a revolution
• Some of the ideas & concepts might be useful for your evolution • We hope the story, ideas & lessons learned are interesting
• Not a Spotify clone, borrows from everywhere (including Spotify) • Was not a “Restructure” • No redundancies • Potentially a bit of self-selection is still happening
Fraedom’s agile journey
Our agile journey: Go Live
We launched Fraedom Practice on April 1st 2015...
Self organisation anti-patterns … that Fraedom experienced
CTO QA Manager Test Lead Tester Test Lead Tester VP of Product Chief PO Product Owner BA Technical Director Principal Architect Solutions Architect Lead Solutions Architect Dev Director 1 Dev Lead Dev Dev Dev Dev Lead Team X" Dev Director 2 Dev Lead Team Y Dev Lead Team Z typical delivery team" Self-organisation anti-patterns: (i) A deep org hierarchy (ii) Multiple direct management inﬂuences for delivery teams Scrum Master
Self-organisation anti-patterns: (iii) Functional departments with • exclusive areas of ownership • independent improvement backlogs CIO! Production! Hosting! System Admins! & DBA’s! Info ! Security! CTO! QA! Testers! Development! Developers! Architecture! Architects! Product ! Product owners & BA’s!
Self-organisation anti-patterns: (iv) annual professional development (performance) review done by your direct manager • KPI’s set generically & annually • SMART KPI’s working against self-organisation • KPI’s directly tied to an individuals bonus structure • Hands-on line mangers too busy to do these well • Feedback is from managers perspective • Misses most valuable feedback from team based peers
Self-organisation anti-patterns: (v) Making key technical practice evolution & culture shifts a project (or a team) • Fraedom wanted to: • Embrace a DevOps culture & practices • Achieve continuous delivery of its SaaS product • Adopt an agile mind-set & practices • These are true x-functional initiatives which require measured and constant focus touching many aspects of the business • Limited success, small slow and often unsustainable steps when trying to make inroads here using projects/initiatives & spare capacity
The Fraedom Practice Model …the theory
Early ideas An original early Cahill...
Key foundation concepts
Primary focus was to be team ﬁrst and foremost
Horizontal not vertical focus
Based on Lean principles – align to the Value Stream
Free our people to do what they do best
Removing constraints to promote evolution
An improved model… the highlights Traditional approach withmore constraints! Self organisation with lessconstraints! Lightweight peer feedbackmechanisms! Flat org structure! Functional leadership &management/HR decoupled ! Overlapping functional practices! Annual performance review! Deep org structure! Skill leaders also managers! Deﬁned departments !
Key concept: Overlapping practices
A typical delivery team setup Development Data Technology Quality Assurance Product, Analysis & Design DevOps Architecture Continuous Delivery Lean|Agile Operations Product Owner Scrum Master Solutions Architect Technical Writer CTO Practice Specialist Practice Specialist Practices have one Practice Lead each
A typical delivery team setup & HR Development Data Technology Quality Assurance Product, Analysis & Design DevOps Architecture Continuous Delivery Lean|Agile Operations Product Owner Scrum Master Solutions Architect Technical Writer CTO Practice Specialist Practice Specialist Practices have one Practice Lead each HR Advisors
Overlapping inﬂuences & support structures Business (Clients, ! Product Management, PO)! ! ! ! Scrum Masters! ! ! ! ! HR Advisors! Practices ! (Leads, Specialists & ! Consultants)! ! ! ! ! Your Team Members! ! !
How did it go? & how is it going?
Our in-house agile training program
Train EVERYONE = Baseline for a common understanding
Self Selecting Teams Teamiﬁcation...
Problems we face • Not everyone knows what to do & how to act • Some people just don't like change! • Most of our people were OK • Some roles didn’t ﬁt anymore... • We redeployed these roles • Some took the model extremely literally! • People did not have the full context to self- organise effectively
How did we handle these problems? Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model
Engaged an objective Change Manager
She helped with tough individual emotional responses
She brought a completely different set of perspectives - invaluable
What are we seeing? • Small staff churn/turnover (good churn? still early days)
• Ampliﬁed good & bad (good parts got better, bad things got worse) • Things evolve and devolve quicker • Existing problems ﬂare-up • Some attribute these to the model • Fundamental issues of visibility and context become primary concerns • Challenging personalities & structure focussed people stand-out more
Measurement & moving forward
• Measurement: Culture survey with baseline • Open spaces: Promote open discussions on challenges & hot topics
• Only roll forward, never roll back • We are sure on one thing: we have not got the perfect model • The model allows low(er!) friction evolution so encourages further change
References List of Case studies and books that fed into our approach:
Peopleware - Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister Drive – Dan Pink Spo.fy – Henrik Kniberg LESS @ JP Morgan