Agile2015 has ended
Back To Schedule
Tuesday, August 4 • 14:00 - 15:15
Whole-Team Dynamic Organizational Modeling (Raj Mudhar, Catherine Louis) Popular

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Limited Capacity seats available

In large organizations where the size of the product exceeds what a single Scrum team can deliver, we think through the best way to organize teams and work. In this hands-on workshop, we navigate through the process of developing & assessing large organizations using Lego. Unlike traditional paper-based “box and line” org charts, these models are physical, are built collaboratively, and provide insights into the psychology of the organization and its people. At Agile2012, this session was standing-room-only! Read about it on InfoQ here: http://tiny.cc/bs1duw Since then we’ve expanded and refined the approach.
The design of a large scale Agile organization is not a trivial undertaking. Business decisions are full of trade-offs, constraints, and opportunities. Organizational design has similar concerns. The effectiveness of your Scrum (or other agile) teams depends on optimum team organization balanced against the constraints of the business and your customers. Trade-off decisions can make the difference between an effective organization and one that continually struggles to deliver value to customers. In addition to the usual business considerations, there are cultural factors that come into play. The individualistic and Cartesian thinking that is a large part of organizational culture in countries like France may create problems when working with a collectivist, Confucianist value system that is a large part of cultures in countries like China.
Over the past eight years, Catherine and Raj have worked with project teams of 100 to 9000 people, distributed across many global locations, to model and test organizational design. There are many real-world constraints to consider, including:
  • Proximity to customers
  • Team communication barriers
  • Export control and other compliance legislation
  • Third-party supplier collaboration
  • Regional labour laws
  • Product architecture
  • Skills distribution
  • Cross-border cultures (e.g. French, American, Chinese, Indian cultural considerations for example)
By involving teams and other business stakeholders in the modeling process, the organization develops a deeper understanding of the constraints and opportunities of each proposed organizational design option, and more importantly, the modeling tool and method uncovers hidden assumptions and the values and principles that drive day to day organizational routines. This deeper level of understanding helps teams put their biases on the table for evaluation, often leading to new insights and ultimately, a better organizational model.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Building organizational preto-types - a physical model of your project organization you can use for troubleshooting, among other things, communication pitfalls, logistics issues related to infrastructure like test environments, and any number of other organizational constraints.
  • Methods for adapting the most challenging “old school organizations” to help them move along the continuum from traditional to Agile.
  • Thinking tools to help teams and management make good choices about organizational design. You’ll consider organizational communication, learning, speed of development, and quality.
  • Psychological factors that emerge during design, and how to deal with them.
  • Exposing and dealing with constraints including:
  • Degrees of separation from the Customer in geographic terms, and in terms of how far development teams are removed from direct customer contact.
  • Number and distribution of engineering staff (hardware, software, architects, testers, programmers, support and operations)
  • Number and distribution of non-technical staff (marketing, finance, product managers or product owners, sales)
  • The market conditions and the overriding goal. It could be quality, time to market, increasing organizational learning, a competitive threat, or a combination.
  • How management is organized to support the organization.
  • Constraints, including but not limited to, budget, skills shortage, communication barriers, regulated environments, standards compliance, unions.

avatar for Catherine Louis

Catherine Louis

Founder, cll group
Product Strategy, Lean Innovation, Business Agility: nurturing an innovation culture with teams who can rapidly sense and respond. Certified Scrum Trainer, Certified Agile Leader trainer, Lean Innovator trainer. For extra fun, K9 trainer and handler with WCSAR.

Raj Mudhar

Deloitte Canada

Tuesday August 4, 2015 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake 1/2/3