The past decade of Digital change has been one of disruption. Uncertainty, VUCA, Complexity have emerged as new concepts in business. Leadership had to adapt, notably with agility. But who would have predicted what happened in 2020 and the pandemic? The world seems to have turned upside down in a matter of weeks. Change is inevitable, or businesses shut down. It is also a time to explore new possibilities. This talk will explore how good leadership through the crisis is in fact no more than great Agile leadership: Developing autonomy, promoting alignment, creating strategic clarity and keeping collaboration going by creating remote first working practices.

Best Agile Articles is a collection of the articles from a variety of authors published on topics of all things Agile in 2018.

The Best Agile Articles book series collects the best agile articles published during a calendar year into a single volume. 

You can download your free copy of the ebook from our website or buy a paperback copy from Amazon.

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About The Speaker

Philippe has been involved with Digital change from the early days of the Internet (nearly 25 years) and has led the initiation and delivery of significant change initiatives for large corporate clients & Banks. Philippe has founded Henko and is now working as an independent Coach/Consultant, or “Coachulting™”.

Other Best Agile Articles 2018 Posts

Integrated Agile

Brock and Erkan are exploring the interplay between Waterfall and Agile, and how organizations can manage the resulting dynamics to their benefit. They introduce the concept of Polarity Management, which can be used to get the most out of any change effort. They also discuss a new concept called Integrated Agile, which aims to help organizations leverage the upsides of both Waterfall and Agile.

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Growing your Agile Team

Heidi discusses the criteria for hiring a great agile team and for growing a more high-performing team; drawing from experience from her extensive background in teamwork and collaboration, and pulling from sources such as the Google Aristotle study, Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Stanley McChrystal’s Team of Teams, and others.

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On Scrum Mastering

Best Agile Articles Conference is a Quarterly event where Best of the Best Authors share their wisdom. We were thrilled to host Ewan O’Leary.

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Philippe Guenet  When I wrote that article, it made me think-

Host  You’re on mute, somehow it clicked on-

Philippe Guenet  Sorry. Yeah,thanks. Thanks. That brings me back to this article I wrote some time back and today, I’m going to try and bring a twist of COVID on it. Because you know, that’s, that’s highly disruptive and I think it reveals even more when we look at COVID.

So as… hold on let me just…adjust the slide – just a quick introduction. I’ve been a lot of my career in digital and… I don’t quite like to be introduced as an Agile Coach. I’ve been in digital change for a while, and really, Agile is a pseudo name of trying to be competent and performant with digital, it feels like, and-and working with software. And in parallel, I realized that to…you know, through a long cons-consulting career, I realized to really up til now was not so much about delivering solutions for them, but helping them to gain the competencies of being digitally competent. And, and working as teams like this. And that’s why I shifted my career about three years ago, with an effort towards coaching and being a coach and actually being a certified coach, together with Sherry on the same cohort. So that’s how we met. And and since then, I’ve focused on digital leadership as a slightly different term to achieve you know, the performance in digital and what our job is meant to be. And this article was leaders of chaos. Our traditional management perpetuates chaos in digital it. And today I’d like to also visit our is the leadership coping through COVID and the types of leadership coping to COVID. But to make it fun, because it’s quite late here. I also bring a flashback I don’t know if if you’re old enough to remember the adventures of the persuaders. Were a team it was British series, but apparently it made success more in Spain, France and other parts. And it was it had a fantastic start with comparing the two main actors which were Roger Moore and Tony Curtis as log bred sinckler. And then you wild law bread center was really the tradition very British out restro cracy, Army officer gentleman driver, old money and very much entitled. And Danny Wilde was raised in the Bronx, he served in the Navy made his money through oil in Texas. And Wall Street, it was very much a new money and go Gator, and and they were sort of partner together as chalk and cheese. And, you know, to solve crimes of some sorts and and they worked well together. But I chose those as kind of the metaphors of the traditional manager and, and the more sort of new type of manager. And actually, you know, I’m a bit of a petrol head and, and their difference was also visible in their car. For those that know on the on the left hand side here, you’ve got Dino Ferrari, which is not a Ferrari. So you know, with the V six and quite an original first central engine, rear central engine and to the right is the Aston Martin DBS, which logbooks and Claire was was driving much more traditional.

And if we look at log birth centers, the traditional manager, you know, very much suited sleek looking and so on. What does the regular manager cares about? And fundamentally, it’s about projects and big budgets, that that’s how they’ve been, you know, grown. And to a degree, I mean, although he was very slick in a series and very British, they groan about being a bit tough. In a show a leader or manager you have to make tough decisions and you have to, to commit to objective and deliver to the of victims, that’s what a manager does. And for that, when you have to apply some control, you do that by looking at the rock status very often you look at the Reds much more than the amber and greens, and you control costs and risks. And of course you have, you know, some some challenges and some worries about your careers, your perception, you need to look good. And and that’s all the motivators a lot of management out there. That’s what they grown into.

That’s what they used to. That’s what they’re good at. And and what is the unintended consequence of this is very often the watermelon projects. So don’t know, show of hands, maybe who knows the watermelons project? No. So they’re green on the outside in terms of rock stages, but red on the inside. So what happens, they’ll they’ll green, green, green, then for one week, they Ember and then they go red, generally three weeks before the release time. So that’s a very much of unintended consequences, because people are not in a safe environment to actually declare the challenges. And they try and just make the best of them. And and eventually, you know, you can’t avoid it. So that’s what happens. Now, I’d like to explain that through a framework I use quite often the sense making framework God Kennedy, do you know, Kevin? Yes. So just just to summarize it quickly, it’s, it’s, it’s composed of five domains. It’s not a five quadrant, a framework, it’s five domains. And in the middle is confused, which was before that called disorder. And it’s a state of trying to make sense of a situation. And generally, that’s where you start. And then you have the clear, to the right, bottom, right. And basically, the right is what they call the order domain, and the left is an order. And to the right, the clear domain, is relatively simple. It’s things that have been experienced before things that are generally known.

So you sense the situation, you categorize it, you respond, generally, there’s a process of protocol or policy that exists to deal with it. And it’s, it’s regimented, in a way by best practices, and generally rigid constraints, your policy to deal with those things. And then to the top right, is relatively similar, except that those situations are more complicated. In a sense, you need to make sense of them by analyzing or calling up the experts. And again, you can, you know, resolve those challenges. And you apply to good practices, and they obey the space obey by a governing constraints. And it’s the base space where you spend time analysis or a root cause analysis and calling in the experts. To the left is the less, you know, the unordered domain where it’s less clear, what is the root cause, or the causal link between things doesn’t really exist in hindsight. And in that, that complex domain, what you do is you tend to probe first. So you’re going to do experiments, and, and then you send the results of experiments, and then you adapt your response to that. And that’s the space for emergent practices. An examination examination is when you recompose things you already knew or things that you already operate, and you create something new out of that. And it’s a space as well for enabling constraints. So rather than seeing constraints as a limiting things as constraints now become enablers. So you you you put some boundaries, and people sort of recompose and do things differently, to create something new. And that’s the space of complex and display. so chaotic, is a space where there’s a degree of urgencies that is no known answers. And and when it’s like this, well, we tend to act first. You know, you have an outage, you’re going to try and resolve the outage to get yourself out of the situation. And then you will land into another domains and you adapt. So you act first you sense and you respond. But it’s also a great space because when things have broken and so on. There is no constraints anymore. Anything is possible. So it’s also a space that can be extremely creative with novel practices. What happens to those watermelons? How they materializes, there is a view of the world that everything can be analyzed, planned and committed. Anything can be controlled, in essence. And and once it is analyzed and planning committed, then we just have to execute, right? We execute through control with iraq stages to monitor it. And, and inevitably, when things go wrong, it falls into chaos. And that weekly think, at the bottom of the Navy model, this organic sort of limit, or boundary is is indicating a 3d cliff. So what happens is, when when things go wrong, you fall off a cliff, and you have overruns, you tend to try and compensate with deathmatch projects. And of course, you have a trail of tech debt. And it’s very difficult to climb back your way into clear from chaotic. And, you know, the way those those leaders actually operating this day, maybe they didn’t even have to lurking problem for so long.

But here they come along. They both have shoe people around the results on constraints that people couldn’t resolve. And suddenly they save the good, they save the game. And this is very rewarding part, to be able to save the game all the time. So what happens is, they focus on rock status, they get involved when it’s read. And effectively, they are creating chaos in your organization. Because they’re not focusing on green, they’re not focusing on Ember, and not focusing on improvement. And that is, when the CIO says we’re going to be agile on top of this, what happens is nothing changes. There’s an agile beat in the middle, but it doesn’t substantially matter. And worse, is that this is actually a characteristic that perpetuates because those people value heroes, they tap on the shoulders, the people that would work all weekend long to fix an outage. Those are the people are going to get promoted, those people are get the bonus. It’s all based on effort. When it’s an effort that fundamentally is, as its roots and foundation into dysfunction. And we’re creating, you know, a psycho minimi, psychopathic minimes that end up, you know, basically, in the leadership of organizations, were creating chaos. So, what would we like to have happen back to our heroes, and Danny Wilde, the cool new Monet character, the sort of No, that the guy that could make magic happen, we want in the digital magic to happen. We want to have the unicorn of engineering, how many times do I hear we have the wrong people. We need better people, they don’t get it. But generally as a leadership problem when it happens, because Google and so on, are in the same pool. And we need to move at speed, you know, grow and disrupt.

And sometimes, you know, wear t shirts and sandals as well, maybe some people even try to start with this because they think the rest is gonna come. And essentially, what we’re talking about is there is a dynamic in digital between opportunities and innovation and industrialization and excellence. And what we see is in what we don’t see is the relationship between those dynamics, and that’s where we talk about digital value chains. Because those are very much connected. And actually what makes it operate in the middle is the systemic leadership. It says ideas of working with a system of work, and getting the autonomy into the system of work, applying a lot of the systemic coaching techniques into leadership. So if we go back to the Canadian press, work, what essentially happens is those leaders operate into the complex, quite complex domain. And they look at options, experiments discovery, very much generated small experiments, that guide in what may actually materialize. And those small experiment travel to the complicated once we discovered, once we know better once we tried and we see what works, it becomes complicated, we’ve built the expertise to know. And that’s where we look at amplifying, we look at improving, and iterating on that. And once we are actually very useful expert, we truly try and scale things, we try and build things up. We try and get that competency as a standard in your organization. And we you know, it goes back bigger and better, as goes towards the clear. And essentially, what we’re describing is a learning journey to start with. We were simplification, modernization industrialization journey that follows that. And importantly, in digital, we need to recognize that the industrialization allows to free capacity for innovation. So it enables new value through innovation. Because it frees the capacity.

It’s not like it’s valued. It’s not like it’s a chain of production, it’s people. And if we use less people to do the existing, we get more people to do discovery innovation. And that’s what the digital companies do very well is it continuously cycles through this. Also, those those new leaders, they value the people capital, and I’ve heard this term, you know, as opposed to take that, essentially what you got is people capital, and what you’re investing in is people, technology will change solution will become obsolete, people need to grow through that journey, because they are the future. And diversity is also absolutely necessary. Because cognitive diversity, which is very often a result of diversity of people, culture, you know, skin color, religions, diversity is very diverse in itself. Diversity is about the curiosity of others, to actually explore the ideas, you may have to innovate. And diversity is essential in creating new ideas, connected with the people that are your customers, the people that buy from you. And that needs to be reflected in your teams. And, of course, collaboration is all of all of those great people working together. And in those organization, you promote the behaviors, you don’t promote the effort to promote behaviors and skills. And that creates a self sustaining evolution. So what about COVID? You know, that that that has thrown a spanner in the works, and you feel on COVID that has landed everybody right into chaotic. And some people, you know, I’ve remained into confused as a space, and they’ll paralyze, they just don’t know what to do. And what we have is the regular managers, they are trying to recenter on the call, they’re trying to safeguard the business as it is.

They’re trying to reduce the cost to achieve that. You know, they’re trying to get their hands on something concrete, are we going to return to work? Are we going to make that office with Plexiglas between people and other people are pressing live button? I don’t think so. I guess. But should I be really thinking about that? Because the other leaders think about new possibilities. What can we do the business? What made that open as options, new plans, new possibilities? You know, as we said earlier, the chaotic domain is a space of no constraints. Noble practices can emerge. I’ve got a friend of mine who works into a travel company, and he was doing total skunk work because he, he had to commit to long distances trying to figure out how can I get remote work to function. And he was a hero overnight, because he had worked out a solution using zoom before coronavirus, heat and lockdown. So he was ready to roll it out. And that’s really the kind of stuff situation where new possibilities happens. exultation can happen. And actually the people think remote first, they take cues that the working practices as changed probably forever. And rather than focusing on returning to work, especially as more and more lock downs are likely to happen, it is about making the most of the situation and exploring a new potential of the business route. So, are we going to reconfigure manager one zero with some leadership to zero, and reboot the lot. So, there is and that’s the approach I tend to take is this an element of strategy. There’s an element of leadership, an element of excellence, digital excellence, strategy very much about situational awareness and understanding the landscape we’re in to start with most of the time strategy, start with wishful ambitions. Let’s first understand the situation and visualize the digital value chains. Look at exaltation. And the adoptions work out the balance of innovation and industrialization, and very importantly, strategy to the people.

And if we want autonomous teams, it is absolutely essential that they make right decisions. Because if they don’t, the autonomy will be removed from them very, very quickly, we need to give them the element to make good decisions. And that means they need to be part of the strategy, because they will enrich the strategy with the limitations. And at the same time, part of this process strategy will become theirs as well. And they will be able to deploy and executed a lot better.

When we talk about situational awareness, I often look at, you know, enterprises in relation to a fairly linear process of having stable estate. So the stabilization of your state is often a problem when some tech debt is lurking, for some time, and optimization of a lot of the flows. And basically automation, which is the optimization of the business, it’s using technology to automate the business. And and then that enables innovation. And through that journey, if you’re in a stabilization zone, you have very, very little capacity for doing opportunities, exploration and experimentation. And you spend your time fixing problems. And you need to recover on our journey and start deriving a journey, so that you spend more time on the portunities and experimentation. But equally, it’s very important to start this journey. Because if you just say cost, at some point, you got to basically get rid of engineers, and in a digital world, that’s the last thing you want to do. So those are journeys that goes in parallel. And when I talk about value chains, understanding how your value chain of your business deploys on this, and you have tools like wardley maps, that helps a lot to do this. And once you do that, you realize that you manage actually very differently to the right of this or to the left of this and saying no agile one size fits all is completely wrong. And that’s where the leadership needs to understand and coaches as well. You know, that we need to have a situational awareness of the landscape to understand where we’re going to integrate, and we’re going to explore where and where we’re going to industrialize and normalize.

And now all those things all connected and rely on each other.

Now leadership, it is about switching really from task management. And leaders have been built, much most of the management has been built on managing tasks, and projects, managing programs, managing budgets, and portfolios. It is generally around managing tasks. And now they need to manage people in the system of work. And that is very different.

So it’s all about relationships and alignment and connectedness in the network, getting people to connect to each other, understanding their relationship to outcomes, and things I’ve done on an org design recently is asking people do not look at them racy. So the raci is responsible, accountable, consulted and informed and establishing each role, and how each role is actually involved with those things. What I’m asking people to first look at it, how will you in relationship with what are the outcomes of those relationships. And then we can work out the roles of the relationships. But fundamentally, we should design system of work to be in collaboration with each other in relationship with each other. Otherwise, you know, people do their job, but they’re not designed to collaborate. So it’s also about working with the emergence complexity is very much about what is trying to happen in the system of work. And it’s one of the recent sort of refresh Avast is about principles. And one of the principles is the system of work, the system of work is in permanent state of emergence. So how can we make take advantage of that innovation relies on getting that emergence to bubble up understanding weak signals, hearing the voices that are generally quiet, sometimes the other geniuses and getting that to bubble up experimentation, and actually finding its path through the reality or whether the customers buy or not. It’s also adopting a coaching stance in leadership. All the leaders need to really realize that their word, their attitude, their reaction, have an impact. And now Can they make it to positive impact for the people and generating autonomy and stimulation, I’m absolutely convinced that there is a role for leaders in the modern organization, I don’t believe that organizations can be just completely self autonomous.

But the role of the leader is not to get in the way, the role of the leader is to stimulate the organization to find its way and to be better. And that role of stimulation is needed. So if we think in terms of alignment, no, digital is about aligning the company, aligning Business and Technology working together, aligning executives and teams. And that alignment is basically an execution flow that is balanced with an improvement flow. It’s also having a strategy and change flow that is balanced by an emergent flow. And it’s getting those flows to be in balance permanently. Now, excellence, so this is kind of the the things that are more known. It’s about improvements. It’s about Kaizen, it’s about DevOps, you know, agile, in some cases would fit probably here. Spot value streams and flow and resilience is a very interesting thing in digital is that to manage quality, you don’t see what you’re managing, it’s virtual. In a car. If there’s a dent in the door, it doesn’t open properly, if the engine doesn’t stop, you see the lack of quality very quickly and easily. In digital is all invisible managers are blindfolded effectively. And that’s where creating a visibility of the work they know can ban gamba, collaboration, understanding the tech debt and capturing it in a way that we work with it and investing in engineering capital in the people that make the capital. And again, if we visit COVID No, I mean, I picked this up on on the internet. And I really liked it when you think our much money has been invested in transformation programs with big, big senior leaders driving those Transformation Program. And COVID-19 has probably driven more transformation in itself in a few months, and then in a lot of those programs. And when we look at what what does that mean accelerating change in COVID time, it’s almost Maslow’s pyramid.

And you need to first out the tooling and practices at this spare company completely working with Skype at the moment because you can do very little if you want to have effective meetings. You need to design those meetings, like workshops all the time, you get to get people engaged in those meetings. You need to have collaborative documents, you need to design that interaction. So people will get engaged, you need to think about a knock to the meeting, an arc where you may start with a problem, how can we refine that problem statement that it really engages the people, that it doesn’t create a bias for solution. But it actually creates something where people will collectively come to resolve that very often, what I see instead is people saying, well, I call that meeting and we’ll tell you what I think and then you have, you know, you can query it. So I’m going to put a big bias on the table, especially if there were senior, and then you know, everybody has nose Depo and is quiet as to compare contribution. Instead, we should start a meeting with the problem statement. And then allow people to diverge and ally creativity to happen. And it’s about creating that space where we we try and avoid having a reality. Or we can do that, because we can do that. Because No Why not? Let’s try what what would it take to do it without solve and and let the space open. So creativity can happen. And navigating basically, to a deeper level where where we touch the imaginary of the people. And then of course, we need to find in the like, for coaching, where we close with forward action, we need to actually lead people back into action. What are we going to try and what experiment becomes possible. And if we, we dreamed we dreamt, you know far enough in terms of ideas, obviously, those things may not be a slam dunk. So is there a thing we can try that can prove that we could go that way. And that’s why progress as well, progress gets made. But first, if you don’t have the tools, if you don’t develop the practices to do that effectively, remotely, in COVID time, you can’t do anything.

You can barely run the existing business. That’s it.

So working double out, because we’re remote, working double out on creating that engagement. And bringing people together to imagine possibilities is necessary in COVID. This is accelerating change. Looking at the team health, you know, we don’t talk very much about him health. But it’s tough for a lot of people. A lot of people that are alone at work was their social time, almost. I mean, it was part of their social time. And, and some people find it tough, and I think they are funny, tough for some time. And now we seeing more lock downs with winter coming upon us, it’s going to be very difficult for some people. And no large organization as the leaders to be in touch with everybody, and so on. And they can’t they have a business to run and they have so many hours in the day and COVID made it more difficult. So it is time to build a team and resilience, it is time to get the teams to look after each other. It is time to bring that autonomy in the team. And this is about alliances. This is about checkins. It is about the team every so often taking the time to reflect about themselves. It is about also making the effort to have some social time. But all this is also accelerating things we’ve been trying for a long time is becoming a necessity of COVID.

And we see as again, the possibility of accelerating change of teams, creating more autonomy, more independence, more thinking about themselves and being better together. So weirdly enough, you know, by being separated, we can actually be more intentional about the collaboration and and focus on on this even more. So that could be done. And that’s for leadership. Where do we start? Where do we start? There is so much and appreciate it’s extremely difficult in those times for them to also rethink how we’re going to lead. But it is about enabling the system of work organizing for flow. Why do we have to have bottlenecks between silos and every information going up the silos done another one another silo done another one. This connected teams together Start to create those organization where the work flows naturally. And it is time to share the strategy. So the teams can make autonomous decisions, it is time to accelerate those things. And and again, you know, maybe those things would not have been as pressing outside of COVID. It is also time, of course, to look after, how do we rescue the current business, but sometimes it’s about reinventing the business because it’s not really excusable. No, and I live in London, and I’m outside London, but the centre of London, I have not been in the centre of London for six months.

The sandwich shops, you know, have nobody to sell sandwiches to in the city or in Canary Wharf. And those are expensive estates. Why don’t they do a delivery service elsewhere? Why don’t they reinvent their business? They are closing shops. But there is a new demand elsewhere, I’m sure. So they could think about things like this. And I worked with enterprises in startups, as well as large, large clients, and large clients, it’s very difficult to reinvent the business. Whereas startups are naturally more inclined, and more entrepreneurial, to actually do this. And for their survival, they can pivot a lot quicker. And what we’ll see so we Stein is actually that some large businesses are probably going to suffer massively, whilst a lot of startup are going to reinvent something new. So it’s, it’s it’s a really troubled time, but it actually also can be a really novel and creative time. So in summary, we can forgive reconfiguring leadership is really about moving from Meraki to decentralized, moving from cost mindset to growth mindset. You know, moving from planning and control, to actually strategy participation and sharing and involvement of the people. It is about Kirby, many of them are technophobes, and they have to become technophiles. It was authority, it has to become an enablement. It was about control. It’s about serendipity. Now, it was about tasks and projects, it’s about people. And with COVID, it’s also about remote first, at least for the time being.

Thank you very much.

Host  Awesome, thank you. All right. So we’ve got a few minutes for questions, comments, thoughts? Who has something you’d like to bring to the table? Ted?

Ted Wallace  It’s wonderful presentation. I really appreciated it. I especially loved how you use the cabin model to explain the watermelon type of that was those brilliant actually. Kevin is an interesting thing, though, because this is insight my dad had when we were kind of studying it, it’s all perspective. For somebody, it could be a complex problem. For someone else, the same problem could be complicated or even clear, depending upon the viewer. So how do you take that into consideration in some of the way you explain these things, rather than this type of problem is this for this organization, a person or something?

Philippe Guenet  You’re right saying is not universal. But if in your organization, it’s a complex problem, and for somebody else is genuinely a clear problem, your organization is probably a long way behind. And and in that case, rather than trying to solve it yourself, that’s where the use of consultants is actually useful. Training consultants and so on. And you need to focus on upscaling as well as bringing solutions quickly in via externals that have that knowledge. But most of the time, what we got is some people that think they have a complicated problem for analysis, when actually it’s a complex problem. Or sometimes it’s, you know, it’s a compound problem. So, for instance, you know, DevOps isn’t is a fantastic one, a DevOps pipeline. Yeah, we’ve established what Devil’s pipeline is about when we know the tools you tend to need, we know how it should work. But DevOps adoption is another matter. And it’s not because DevOps pipeline is is established, probably complicated, that the adoption is complicated as well. And the adoption and the human elements are always very, very often in the complex domain. Because there’s so many multifaceted elements of them working, or people working in a certain way that it is so contextual to your situation.

And finding solutions to that is not rational, no change is emotional. And that’s where you need to figure some enabling constraints, not just solving limiting constraints. So sometimes, you know, you’re going to say, well, we’re going to deploy every two weeks, every sprint, we deploying them. But it’s going to take too long, yes, it’s going to take long, but we’re going to get better at it. And sometimes, that’s what you do. I mean, I’ve even had the situation where nothing would change. And, and what you saying in systemic coaching is that a system is like an 800 pound gorilla doesn’t want to move, it’s not going to shift.

So in that case, the kind of thing you can do is, is create disruption in the system. And what we did is we stopped everybody to work. Overnight, we said, You know what, this release is not going to happen. We’re going to rescue the beat of it that really matters. And for the rest, you know, what? You self organize, we’re going to make the software better. We need to do things better, what do you suggest we do. And the fact that people stop their work, they actually took notice that we meant about quality. And then the engineers took a voice. And because they took a voice, they also took action. And we could have done anything, that was the best thing to do for the system to realize quality mattered, then there’s a lot of other reason why it’s difficult to make it matter. But suddenly, the system realized that and suddenly a momentum was created to achieve that. So in in here, what we did is there was no crisis, we created a crisis, we created chaos, for normal thinking to happen by removing constraints. Now, when norovirus happens, well, you need to take advantage of that you cannot create chaos on top of chaos, otherwise, it can become a bit dangerous. But you know, when something like a virus happen, you have to actually look at what can be positive out of this. And how do we leverage the situation to, to, to develop the positive out of it?

Ted Wallace  Yeah, deep. I really liked that insight of in the DevOps problem. DevOps itself is complicated. It’s been done thousands of times before by many, but the getting your IT department to change their way of thinking can be incredibly complex. And that’s why coaches and some of these things are helpful because people are used to working on complicated things. Most of the time, a lot of managers not so much in that complex domain.

Philippe Guenet  So the complex is very often about competencies, not necessarily about solutions. And to build the competencies, it’s a mix of training and coaching and all those things. And enabling it. So sometimes the training allows you to build a competency, but enabling it, it’s more about coaching most of the time, so you need to have the different approach deployed there.

Alex Kudinov  So I was really interested to see is the the analogy with Maslow’s pyramid. Mm hmm. And, um, what I know about Maslow’s pyramid is that for a lot of people, it’s actually not a full pyramid. A lot of people just don’t get to the top right. And that’s perfectly fine. Um, but what we teach in Agile is that you can do technical stuff you can do process and tools absolutely fantastic. And without leadership, you don’t get anywhere. So um, I’m curious how you’re thinking about this analogy and whether the bottom part can actually lead without the top part.

Philippe Guenet  The bottom part can live without the top. Don’t think the top can live without the bottom. And that’s the message I wanted to bring. If If you don’t find a way to connect and engage people remotely during this time, you’re not going to get any of the rest realized. And if you try, if you don’t focus on your team health, and not resilience of the teams, you’re not gonna be able to drive change and flow and all those things. So it’s really the bottom elements are needed to be able to, to execute on the IR level. Another Another thing I often say as well is that and in Agile, you know, we tend to say, Oh, we need to be agile, or do agile, be agile. And very often, you realize that you can be, you know, if you don’t do if you don’t have a decent DevOps, if you can put your software alive every so often, you’re going to batch up, if you batch, you may be working in sprint, but you’re not going to be agile.

Alex Kudinov  So you’re not getting any argument from me, they’re absolutely aligned. I think what what’s coming up for me is that your bottom part requires some leadership for its existence, so it’s a little bit little bit disconnect. Because in Maslow’s, I know it goes, it builds up, right. In your example, by an actual requires a piece of off the top, and vice versa.

Philippe Guenet  Yeah, I mean, you can have skunk work and stuff like that. But in large organization, it doesn’t tend to happen. And in banks, I’ve seen emails saying if you if you use zoom, it’s a soccer ball offense. So yes, indeed, it’s, it’s, you know, the skunk work could happen. You know, people could start using zoom. But if if they are prevented at that degree, it’s very difficult to to let that happen.