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Thursday, August 6 • 09:00 - 10:15
Swarming : The Birds, the bees and Agile -or- How Managers influence self-organization (Dhaval Panchal, Thomas Perry)

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We invite you to join us in sharing the questions that truly unsettle us about prevalent management practices.
“Nature is to be considered much less of a sucker than humans.” - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
You’ve heard it before, “You are agile now, go self-organize” and yet exactly how to do it remains a mystery. Beyond giving permission to “go agile” what else can managers do to help teams capitalize on the power of self-organization? Who’s the real sucker here? Perhaps the question should be, “What can nature teach us about self-organization?” How can we as managers use the lessons nature provides to our advantage?
Swarming is a dynamic act of being, of exhibiting collective action to solve complex problems which are beyond the capabilities of top-down problem solving. Natural systems have iterated over millennia to hone into simple rules. Studies of ants and bees and other beings in the natural world have revealed some of the underlying principles and techniques. These have found applicability into wide variety of problem domains. e.g.. battlefields, drones, supply-chains, autonomous robots etc. But people aren’t robots…or insects. Is there a practical way to use these strategies, these lessons of nature, to help provide guidance for those of us trying to create an environment that supports and nurtures self-organizing teams?
The purpose of our talk is to first, elevate the conversation about Swarming in software development from the “psuedo-management-pop” notion of “every body work on the same thing” approach. Second, in light of the our understanding about how utterly un-understandable complexity really is, we invite you to join us in sharing the questions that truly unsettle us about prevalent management practices. 
Learning Outcomes:
  • Overview of Ashby’s Law of Requisite variety and its consequences
  • Introduction to the role of Context Manager
  • Insights into the art of creating a context that supports self-organization or swarming

avatar for Dhaval Panchal

Dhaval Panchal

VP & Enterprise Agile Coach, agile42 US
Dhaval Panchal is a VP and Enterprise Agile Coach for agile42. He is a Certified Scrum Coach (CSC), Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), and Innovation Games Facilitator. Dhaval brings results-oriented, people-centric perspective while training and coaching. He is often described as a... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry

Founder, Thomas Perry LLC
Tom has been working as a transformation agent in software development for over 20 years. He has worked on teams at startup companies, large corporations in the Fortune 100 and the State and Federal Government. His background includes testing, development, project/program management... Read More →

Thursday August 6, 2015 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
National Harbor 6/7