Harnessing Generational Challenges for Effective Project Management #PMOSym

http://www.pmosymposium.org/
PMO Symposium, 11-14 November 2018, Washington D.C. USA

Session Description: Wow! Five generations in the workforce: iGen or Generation Z, Millenniels (aka Generation Y), Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists (those born before 1945). Project managers will need to communicate, understand, and motivate their core/extended teams capitalizing the workforce. This is a skillset that can be developed via learning and adoptive practice. Join Brigid Buchheit Carney as she uses Senn Delaney’s behavioral styles and Knoster’s Managing Complex Change. Senn Delaney, like DISC, will teach participants about behavioral styles and how to flex to others. The Knoster model will teach participants how to develop a communication framework for success.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
1) Solve tough behavioral challenges by better understanding team dynamics.
2) Shift beyond traditional leadership by using a framework for communications.
3) Predict communication breakdowns and resolve them.

Speaker:  Brigid Buchheit Carney is the head of operations at Argus Group in Hamilton, Bermuda.

[These are my notes from the PMO Symposium 2018 . I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Why focus on generational challenges and behavioral styles?  Your projects will involve people from five different generations. Each of these team members also has their unique behavioral style. You need to craft your approach and messages for each generation and each style.
  • The Generations.
    • Traditionalists — born before 1945
    • Baby Boomers
    • Gen X
    • Millennials (Gen Y)
    • iGen (Gen Z)
  • Knoster Model for Managing Complex Change. Designed to develop organizational awareness and understand why projects fail. If you are missing any of the following elements, you will run the risk of failure.
    • Vision –Do you understand what you need to do AND why you need to do it? If you don’t understand why you are doing something, you end up in confusion, falling short of your goals.
    • Consensus — with five generational styles, you need five different ways to build consensus. Without consensus, you have sabotage and blame.
    • Skills — an absence of skills leads to anxiety
    • Incentives — an absence of appropriate incentives leads to resistance
    • Resources — an absence of adequate resources (including time for development, planning, reflection) leads to frustration
    • Action Plan — an absence leads to false starts and the sense of being on a treadmill
    • Culture = the way we do things
    • For more information on the Knoster Model, see
  • Senn Delaney Behavioral Styles.
    • Conductor
      • They are Type A and do not like to be told what to do
      • They strong-willed, self-motivated, results-focused
      • When crafting messages for them, focus on
        • results
        • decisions
        • efficiency
    • Promoter
      • They are enthusiastic, energetic, persuasive, adventurous, creative
      • They like shiny objects and hte next big thing. It is very difficult to get them to focus. However, they are really helpful when you need to deliver a difficult message.
      • They are happy to help others.
      • You have to help them keep their focus.
      • When crafting messages for them, focus on
        • big pictre thinking
    • Analyzer
      • Give them data, don’t ask them to go with their gut.
      • They will do things to the best of their ability. They know they are better at things then others.
      • Crafting messages
        • researchers
        • 2+2=4
        • Facts and figures
    • Supporter
      • They are relationship-oriented, team players, consensus builders
      • They will always ask for help.
      • When crafting messages for them, focus on
        • decision by committee
        • last to speak
        • subject mattter experts
        • speak face-to-face, but start with social conversation before jumping into the heart of the matter.
  • Exercises that appeal to each style.
    • Controlling
      • Mini-PM RAID log boss (RAID = Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies)
      • Don’t to a “ra ra” activity
    • Analyzing
      • Yes…and… exercise
      • Time-boxing — this avoids analysis paralysis
      • Five Whys
    • Supporting
      • Affinity brainstorming
      • Polling
      • Telephone — ask this supporter to be your communication maven
    • Promoting
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Value Delivery in a Age of Disruption

http://www.pmosymposium.org/
PMO Symposium, 11-14 November 2018, Washington D.C. USA

Session Description: Disruption is the norm for organizations. Disruptive innovation is now seen as required to stay competitive in a world of emerging technologies, globalization and changing demographics. This is changing the way we work, blurring industry boundaries and forcing even established organizations to rethink their business strategies to find effective ways to deliver value. What are the implications for organizations when disruption will change the way projects are delivered and leaders are required to lead more agile organizations? What are the challenges and opportunities? How do organizations effectively use their project talents to evolve existing practices, provide value while positioning themselves for long term success? This session brings together experienced executives to share their perspectives and insights on managing projects and change when disruption is a constant in their value delivery.

Speakers:

  • Joanie F. Newhart, Associate Administrator for Acquisition Workforce Programs at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), Office of Management and Budget and Executive Office of the President
  • Laura K. Furgione, Chief, Office of Strategic Planning, Innovation and Collaboration, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Beth Partleton served on the PMI Board of Directors from 2008 to 2013, serving as Chair in 2011. For six years she was a member of the PMI Educational Foundation Board of Directors, serving as Chair in 2006. Currently she is a member of the Certification Governance Council, serving as Vice Chair.
  • Linda Ott, Division Chief, Professional Development, Office of Project Management, Department of Energy (DOE)

[These are my notes from the PMO Symposium 2018 . I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • What skills will the workforce of the future need?
    • staying abreast of technology and understanding how we can leverage it.
    • understanding how to use data productively AND protect data privacy
  • How to improve the management of major acquisitions (contracting).
    • make sure that the members of the team with critical expertise get involved in the planning and execution early
    • they have started a new certification program that teaches government contracting officers how to manage digital acquisition contracting successfully. It is experiential, small-group training.
  • How does the Census Bureau deliver value?
    • Their demographic and economic data can help
      • federal and local emergency responders prepare for a climate event
      • government and private sector groups manage development after a climate disaster
  • Successes at the Department of Energy.
    • They run really large projects — sometimes worth several billions of dollars
    • They capture enormous amounts of data from their projects.
      • Their job is to understand and explain through these data the value the public receives from these projects
      • This helps the public understand how their tax dollars are being used
    • They focus on how to explain value to the public — not just explaining it to other scientists.
  • How can project leaders and their teams lead technology-driven projects.
    • DIUx: the defense department and the department of housing services are talking to and working with Silicon Valley to find technologists who can become valuable partners with government. The appeal for these new technology partners is that they can have an impact at an enormous scale when they work through government.
    • They are looking at new ways to streamline the acquistion (government contracting) process.
    • The department of homeland security has a procurement innovation lab. They innovate new ways of working and then share the success stories widely — within government and with industry partners.
  • What are the Data Capabilities and Skills at the Census Bureau.
    • One of the objectives in their strategic plan is to use innovative tools to increase their efficiency and use of their tools, as well as the efficient reuse of their data.
    • Linking as much of their data as possible to derive new insights
    • Ensuring that their regular environmental scans shape their strategic plan (which is a living document)
    • What skills are they recruiting for?
      • They are taking a closer look at the skills required for exploiting the data for multiple uses
      • They are also examining what technological skills their team needs
  • What they look for in their workforce.
    • They are looking for curious minds
      • The ability to focus on your own mission, while staying wide open to what is happening around you
    • Natural problem-solvers
    • The ability to connect their work to the needs of their users / consituents
    • The ability to communicate their work to the public
  • The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act.
    • PMIAA is a game changer because it tries to reach federal agencies where they are with respect to program management.
      • some agencies have fewer resources so they may not be as advanced with respect to project management
    • How to understand your projects, next put them in programs, then put those programs in portfolios and ensure that they connect clearly with strategy.
    • This helps develop a deep bench of experienced and capable project managers
    • The Federal PM Community of Practice is very active and engaged. They are helping spread PMIAA across the government
    • It helps focus on evaluation, quality assessment, and continuous attention to lessons learned.
  • PMO  Leadership.
    • Communication: 90% of your effort should focus on communicating with your stakeholders AND your team.
      • You need to listen, listen, listen
      • You need to understand the strengths and challenges of your team members
    • What’s our Value? Learn how to tie your efforts back to the values and strategy of your organization. What’s your elevator speech? What’s the value in what you do?
      • Do you have a crisp way of explaining how you are a value to (and not a burden on) your organization?
    • Collaborate Early and Often: don’t wait until an emergency or problem arises. That’s too late.
    • Customer Focus: talk to your customers early and often. Don’t assume you know what they want. You likely don’t.
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Building Team Agility and Releasing Creativity Through the Thoughtful Leadership of Language #PMOSym

http://www.pmosymposium.org/
PMO Symposium, 11-14 November 2018, Washington D.C. USA

Session Description:

It is easy to agree with the theory that soft skills are the key to effective teams. In practice, soft skills are the hard skills for many people. When team members collectively understand and embrace the techniques and tools, the interpersonal relationships and team productivity often improve dramatically. This interactive workshop will provide you with an introduction to a project-proven communications model—complete with skills and techniques—that has been successfully deployed across a broad spectrum of projects, including civil construction, information technology, and leading-edge, first-of-a-kind technologies.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1) Develop a detailed awareness and understanding of the dynamics of total communication that drive relationships and outcomes.
2) Improve your ability to understand more clearly what others are saying verbally and discern the meanings of nonverbal communication cues.
3) Acquire the beginnings of the knowledge and tools needed to facilitate and grow strong communication-based relationships within your project teams.

For more information: See greenlanguage.com and John Tompkins book on Amazon

Speakers:

  • John Post is a senior advisor and member of technical staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He is a member of the 2010 PMI Project of the Year team, and an advisor/reviewer for several large and complex projects within the U.S. Department of Energy portfolio.
  • John Tompkins (President, Team EdServe) is an executive coach and therapist in private practice in Pleasanton, CA, and has over 30 years of experience with project teams in complex environments with high consequence of error, much of it in a national security environment. He is the author of Not Crazy Yet? Then…Start Talking To Yourself Differently.

[These are my notes from the PMO Symposium 2018 . I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Our Brains and Language.
    • The cerebral cortex and the amygdala operate differently in the brain.
      • the cerebral cortex manages our higher order thinking, our executive function
      • the amygdala is geared to protect our survival by triggering our fight or flight mechanism when it believes it is necessary. It handles threat assessment and response.
      • The cerebral cortex focuses on
        • observation
        • feelings
        • thoughts
        • wants
      • The amygdala focuses on the roles of
        • persecutor
        • victim
        • rescuer
    • We use language to toggle between the cerebral cortex and the amygdala.
      • The more we can use our cerebral cortex, the better our teamwork.
      • Tompkins describes language that triggers the cortex as “Green language” and language that triggers the amygdala as “Red language.”
      • Tompkins estimates that 80% of language in the US is Red language rather than Green language.
        • it is encoded, confronting, triggering, and anxiety-provoking. (Just consider how the cable news stations treat the news they report and the people they interview.)
  • Green Language versus Red Language.
    • Green language enables “Owning.”
      • Owning = taking responsibility for what is mine.
      • Green language is clear and unambiguous
    • Red language enables “Disowning.”
      • Disowning = attributing to someone else responsibility for what is actually mine (i.e., ducking responsibility)
      • Red language is encoded, labeling, shorthand, slang/jargon
      • Red language creates a sense of inadequacy, wrongdoing, depression
    • Green language
      • Observation = what we can see, what a camera or tape record could record.
        • Green language focuses on what IS happening
        • Not-Inferences: not-inferences are statements about what is NOT happening, coupled with an inference as to why. The better choice is to make objective statements rather than inferring state of mind based on observable facts.
          • Observe: “Your socks are on the floor.” Because it is a neutral observation and there is no judgment attached, it leaves the sock-dropper free to admit a mistake and pick up the socks without rancor.
            • the judgment-laden, Red language version of this is: “You’re a slob!”
      • Feelings = emotions and sensations
        • Describes the feelings that exist rather than feelings that do not exist.
        • Example: “I feel relieved” rather than “I am not angry.”
      • Thoughts
        • Describes your think about what is rather than about what may or may not happen.
        • Eaxmple: “I think he is home” rather than “I don’t think he will come.”
      • Wants = needs and wants flow into our consciousness in the form of emotions and sensations. Our job is to make choices about how we are thinking and how we should make choices that meet our legitimate needs. This means understanding what we really want/need and then addressing that. So, for example, if you are feeling the emotion of loneliness, the appropriate response would be to seek companionship rather than to seek food.
        • Express what you want rather than what you don’t want.
        • Example, “I want you to stay here” rather than “I don’t want you to leave.”
    • Red Language
      • Not-Observation:
        • Focuses on what is NOT happening — it implies SHOULD and failure. “NOT” fires up the threat assessment and triggers the amygdala.
        • Red language attaches itself to our pain memories and thereby has increased impact
        • Focuses on Inferences: takes an observation and makes/communicates a judgment based on that observation.
          • Observe: socks on the floor. Infer: “You are a slob. You don’t follow directions.”
      • Not-Feelings:
        • Describes what you are NOT feeling. “No-one offered me a seat but I’m NOT angry about that.” This language seems encoded, it makes the listener think that maybe the speaker really is angry after all. This, in turn, triggers a response by the amygdala, which senses trouble.
      • Not-Thoughts
        • Thought expressed in a negative form.
      • Not-Wants
        • Wants expressed in a negative form.
        • Red language version: “I don’t want you to leave.” [includes not-want in the sentence.]
        • Green language version: “I want you to stay.”
  • How to Rewrite from Red Language to Green Language.
    • Example 1:
      • Red: “Ed works too hard and needs to take more time off.”
        • Analysis: “too hard”  and “needs to take more time off” = inferences
      • Rewrite to Green: “Ed worked 20 hours per day each week last month.”
        • Analysis: this is observable and capable of being recorded. It does not contain any judgment, just facts.
    • Example 2:
      • Red: “You cause others unnecessary work by not signing out.”
        • Analysis: “unnecessary work” = a judgment-laden inference
      • Rewrite to Green: “When you remain signed in, others try to reach you here without success.”
    • Example 3:
      • Red: “I’d like you to tell me what you mean.”
        • Analysis: this could be heard as a confronting command.
      • Green: “Please tell me more.”
        • Analysis: this is a more open-ended request for information.
    • Example 4:
      • Red: “I feel like the deal isn’t going to make it, but I don’t know why.”
        • Analysis:
          • “I feel like” is a dead giveaway that someone is using Red language.
          • They may be worried about the deal, but they are not providing any specifics to back up their concern.
          • According to John Tompkins, “‘But’ is a verbal eraser that wipes out everything that came before it.”
          • The whole statement appears to be a collection of unsubstantiated worry.
      • Green: “X, Y, and Z are problems for the deal.”
    • Example 5:
      • Red: “I feel shut out.”
        • Analysis: “shut out” is a judgment-laden inference that suggests that others are acting badly.
      • Green: “I feel lonely.”
        • Analysis: this is an accurate description of feeling — without any inference regarding the actions of others.
  • Ten Ways of Using Language that Encourage Failure.
    • Say what didn’t happen or what isn’t happening now.
    • Say what should be, use judging labels or mixed tenses.
    • Say what shouldn’t be or use not-labeling that passes judgment.
    • Say what you didn’t feel or what you’re not feeling now.
    • Say what you didn’t think or what you’re not thinking now.
    • Call a thought a feeling.
    • Call a not-thought a feeling.
    • Say what you didn’t want or what you don’t want now.
    • Say in encoded judgments what you did want or do want now.
    • Say in encoded judgments what you didn’t want or don’t want now.
  • To improve communication, focus on decoding and paraphasing.
    • this helps you understand someone more clearly
    • it helps you convey the desire to understand
    • it helps someone clarify their feelings and/or wants
    • it encourages the development of “owning” (green language) dialogues
    • it helps you maintain self control
    • it redirects a discussion that could be an attack or attempt to manipulate
  • These principles apply to organizations as well.
    • Responsibitiy & Values-Clarifying Language:
      • I observe (facts)
      • I feel (emotions)
      • I think (analysis)
      • I want (actions)
    • Scripted Values-Confusing Language:
      • “Have to”
      • “Should”
      • “Must”
      • “Can’t”
      • “Didn’t”
      • “Won’t”
  • This is challenging stuff that takes a lot of practice to master.
    • Use this post and John Tompkin’s book and website (links above) to raise your awareness about the differences between Red and Green language.
    • Next, notice how they appear in your conversations and in the communications around you.
    • Then, practice replacing your Red language with Green language.
    • Finally, share this with others.
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Dick Costolo Keynote – From Twitter to the New Economy #PMOSym

http://www.pmosymposium.org/
PMO Symposium, 11-14 November 2018, Washington D.C. USA

Session Description: When Twitter began, the founders did not set out to create a new economy, yet the way we do business has changed forever. When consumers are 80% more likely to purchase from a business they follow, there is a real business case for open communication between a brand and its consumers. Open access to information, or creating the feeling of open access to the brand, builds loyalty, identifies new product ideas and provides another channel for consumer influence. Equal access to information renders entire business models fragile as consumers become their own sourcers with all of the information. Costolo lays out the implications of an open access economy on innovation process and the future of work.

Speaker:  Dick Costolo was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter from October 2010 to June 2015, where he took the company from $0 to $1.5 billion in annual revenue.

[These are my notes from the PMO Symposium 2018 . I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The keys to Success are Speed of Execution and Leadership
  • Speed of Execution.  There were four things they did at Twitter to build their speed to execution muscle:
    • Adopt a Bias to Yes
      • As an organization grows, increasingly the answer to every question is no.
      • The bias to yes means
        • there have to be many paths to yes within the company
        • any function is not allowed to tell another function “you’re not allowed to do that”
        • avoid the most nefarious version of “no” = “you have to go ask these other 12 people.” So people spend their time asking for permission rather than taking critical action.
    • Focus on Speed of Learning: Every month at Costolo’s operating committee meeting, they asked one question: “What is it taking us too long to learn and how can we learn that faster?”
      • this question causes people within the company innovate cross-functional solutions to the problem that they had not generated previously.
      • This question surfaces commonly held beliefs in the company that are not true.
    • Ed Catmull: Protect the future not the past
      • Protecting the past: The desire for everything to run smoothly is a false goal. It moves the focus to avoiding mistakes rather than getting things done.
      • Protecting the future:
        • enable people to move quickly to get things done
        • resist creating too many rules. Instead, replace the critical rules with principles and guidelines. Then release your team to work within their own good judgment.
        • leaders must be a role model — make sure you are the first to be transparent about failures.
      • For more information on Catmull, read his book Creativity Inc.
  • Leadership. Much of this guidance is based on what Costolo learned from Bill Campbell, executive coach to Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, and Dick Costolo.
    • Campbell believes that  anyone can be CEO. It’s a matter of mindset, training, and experience.
    • For more information on Campbell’s advice, see these video interviews.
    • Be yourself. Don’t assume a different persona when you are acting as a leader.
    • Communication is key
      • Communicate context rather than authority.
        • Communicating authority = “Do it because Dick says so.”
        • Communicating context = explaining the reasons for your decision so your team understands the “why” not just the “what.”
      • The way to build trust with your team is to be forthright about the context of your decision.
    • Delegation
      • Push decisions down the stack
      • Write down and put on your desk: “What’s the highest leverage thing I could be doing right now.”
      • When in doubt, force yourself to delegate. Set a weekly goal of the percentage of meetings you will stop attending and delegate instead.
      • One sure sign that you are not delegating enough:
        • At the end of meeting, most of the action items are yours.
      • “Your job as a leader is not to make decision. It’s to ensure that decisions get made.”
        • Your job as a leader is to break logjams when your team cannot reach consensus
      • Ownership is both authority and accountability. If you give people responsibility without accountability, then they don’t care. If you give them ownership, they actually get work done.
    • Eliminate Politics
      • Don’t be the sole decisionmaker. If you make all the decisions, then you become the target of and conduit for organizational politics.
      • Encourage open debate within your team. But once the debate is done and the decision made, follow Jeff’s Bezos’ advice: “Disagree and commit.”
      • When people cannot agree, send them away to develop a joint solution. Don’t play Solomon and try to work out a compromise yourself.
    • The best questions to ask your teams to get really eye-opening information:
      • What’s not working in this organization and why?
      • What is working and why?
  • Final Thoughts.
    • Bezos: Don’t punish the person who disagrees with you.
    • Bezos: When you opt for compromise rather than the truth, then you don’t get the right answer.
    • Bezos: Don’t let the communication architecture follow the organizational architecture.
      • Don’t trap people in the organizational structure, forced to depend solely on their manager for information.
      • Let people talk to whomever they need to talk to get the information they need to do their job
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Year of Living Dangerously — Being the Product Owner for an Agile Transformation #PMOSym

http://www.pmosymposium.org/
PMO Symposium, 11-14 November 2018, Washington D.C. USA

Session Description:

Suncor Energy recently embarked on the journey of enabling agile capability within its project portfolio. With the aim of improving the time to value received by the organization and the overall engagement of business stakeholders in project delivery, a center of excellence (COE) was commissioned to develop, pilot, and recommend the plan for enabling agile delivery. This presentation, given by the product owner of the COE, will detail the motivations behind its creation, the approach taken to enable and standardize agile delivery, the services offered to support agile projects, and the lessons learned during the first year of its operation.

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
1) Learn how to drive shared project accountability across business, execution, and operational leadership.
2) Learn how the agile product owner approach was an enabling force behind the agile center of excellence.
3) Demonstrate an approach used to commence, develop, and sustain an agile practice within a large-scale enterprise.

Speaker: Joey Roa, Manager, Project Management Office, Suncor Energy

[These are my notes from the PMO Symposium 2018. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • His Context.
    • Suncor Energy is Canada’s largest integrated energy company
    • Their Digital and Enterprise Technical (IT) Projects
      • They do very little software development — yet they still use agile more broadly to “agilify” Suncor
    • Subject to frequent reorganizations
    • Heavily matrixed organization with a reliance on partnership and consultants
    • Very focused on specialized roles
    • Historical approach:
      • They were very reliant on the waterfall method. The construction mindset with a clear idea of scope was pervasive throughout the organization.
      • IT tended to drive projects, hoping that “if you build it they will come.”
      • They had limited business participation in their projects. They had a book-end approach: bring the business leaders in at the beginning to kick off the project, then bring them in at the end to see what IT has done.
      • They rarely had a sense of shared accountability. Rather, accountability was handed off from one group to another.
  • Why Agile?
    • Their motivation for adopting agile
      • delivering value faster
        • this does not necessarily mean that the entire project finishes earlier, but it does mean that the work is broken into small batches and each batch is delivered as quickly as possible
      • including business customers in the heart of the project teams
        • if the business folks cannot commit to participating in the process, then you cannot do agile
        • they drive the value, they drive the priorities
      • simplifying project delivery
        • reduce role confusion
          • they eliminated a large number of roles without eliminating people. They eliminated the titles and made the people involved team members.
        • eliminate waste and process complexity
        • increase focus on incremental delivery of working solutions
  • The started with an Agile Center of Excellence.
    • Agile COE services
      • Agile-related training
      • Agile project support
    • Delivery norms & interfaces
      • Guidance & knowledge bases
      • Ongoing change management
      • Process facilitation
    • Created an Agile coaching role
      • they have done delivery AND they can coach effectively
      • they help teams complete specific tasks — not by doing the work themselves but by helping the team do the work better
      • initially they hired contractors into this role until they could identify full-time employees ready for the role
    • Best Practices/ Alignment
    • They built a roadmap that was NOT a Gantt chart
  • They Learned by Doing.
    • They started with some pilot projects.
    • First they observed what was happening and then the coaches recommended more effective approaches.
    • Then they revised their delivery norms to reflect the recommended approaches
  • DAD.y
  • What They Did.
    • They used featuremap software to build a story map to prioritize a backlog for releases.
    • They used the Scrum ceremonies ands roles from the start
    • Leverage Pilot Projects
      • introduce/align new terminlogy, roles and processes
      • People don’t like to reinvent the wheel
        • so learn quickly so you can share the lessons with other teams
      • Improve your marketing collateral so you can communicate your success to your leadership
    • Create Agile role definitions
      • Product Owner
        • came from the business
        • responsible for prioritizing the backlog
      • Scrum Master
      • Architecture Owner
    • They created a process for declaring an agile project
      • have a conversation to ascertain if the proposed project has the requisite level of business participation and uncertainty
    • They created their delivery norms
      • Inception norm
        • sprint zero
        • sprint release plan
        • definition of done
        • backlog management
        • project performance reporting (burndown, velocity measurement)
        • funding strategy
      • Construction norm
        • construction checkpoint guidance and supporting documents
        • stage alignment and supporting documentation
      • Transition norm
  • The COE Service Model.
    • Agile coaching and process facilitators
      • they are critical to speed up learning and improvement
      • they are expensive but they should NOT be billable back to the project (most project owners will reject this charge even though it is necessary and useful)
      • they help build corporate memory and culture
      • don’t allow them to be 100% dedicated to a project — ask that some of their time be spent sharing lessons learned back to the COE so those lessons are available to other teams
      • ask them to train from the “back of the room” rather than having them in the middle of the action
      • they deployed coaches in the following way:
        • one coach for three projects in inception
        • one coach for five projects in construction
        • one coach for 10 projects in transition
    • Suncor Agile training curriculm
      • created curriculum for scrum masters, product owners, project teams
      • they customized the curriculum for Suncor, its projects, and its people
      • assume that Scrum masters are already versed in Scrum
    • COE service intake / consulting / advisor
    • Agile skillset and scrum master provisioning
    • Build, shape, and influence adoption of Agile within Suncor
    • Develop, monitor, and extend Agile technologies
      • how will you bring in the relevant technologies?
      • how will you integrate them?
      • don’t try to build/prioritize backlogs using excel or powerpoint — use better agile-specific tools
  • Critical Communications.
    • Leadership wants:
      • you to communicate faster and clearly about pitfalls and solutions
      • to know what do you need from us and how will you keep us updated?
    • The Ambitious
      • they want to know what’s in it for them
      • how will this help me?
    • The Agile COE Team
      • one of the services the coaches provide the team is the health assessment (supported by a surveymonkey survey owned by the COE)
        • use the health assessment to determine if your team is working well
      • do a fishbowl exercise during the team retrospect
        • put a chair in the center of the room
        • ask for volunteers to sit in the chair
        • once they are in the chair, other members of the team say the following things:
          • “One thing I appreciate about you is…”
          • “One thing I wish you would change is…”
        • This exercise really builds trust and team feeling
      • The Resistors — ignore them!
  • Lessons Learned.
    • Culture is always the challenge
    • Role clarity is vital and not easy
    • Training, training, training
    • Establish the COE and its service model as early as possible
    • Coaches — get them early — they are your ninjas and can train new ninjas
    • Be aware that leadership will not be patient forever so be prepared to explain your value
    • Perfection is the enemy of the good: start small, experiment, and adapt
    • Psychological safety: this is critical to good teamwork. Their coaches spend a lot of time on this. [For more information on this, read about Google’s Project Aristotle.]
    • Agile work practices versus Agile execution methodologies
    • Set wide riverbanks and empower the team to take action within those limits
    • Enterpise agile needs standars, guidelines, templates,
    • Don’t underestimate the need to supply tools to project teams
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Remembering the Great War

https://armistice100.org.uk/November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. That war was called the Great War, the war to end all wars. Tragically, it was misnamed.

Margaret Macmillan, one of the foremost historians of the First World War, reminds us in her recent Reith Lectures that war does not happen out of the blue. It happens because we choose not to act on the warning signs:

History is not much help when it comes to predicting the future, but it can remind us of the warning signals that always come before wars – the heightened rhetoric, for example, or the inability to understand the other side. What both sides learned in the cold war, sometimes nearly too late, is that they needed to grasp how the other side was thinking and feeling and how it might read or misread signals. In 1983, the Soviet Union became convinced, wrongly, that the United States and its allies were planning a sneak nuclear attack in retaliation for the Soviet shooting down of the Korean airliner KAL 007. Luckily, the west realised this in time and called off a planned military exercise.

The work of listening to and understanding the other is the work of every person, every team, every organization, every community, and every country. This 100th anniversary of Armistice Day reminds us that we ignore this critical work at our peril.

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Over the last four years, I have written several posts relating to lessons from World War 1. If you are interested in learning more, please see the following posts:

Finally, here is the latest installment of the incredible video series on the Great War:

[Photo Credit: https://armistice100.org.uk/]

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Blockchain Challenges

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Working closely with the UK Ministry of Defense, BAE Systems, ATOS and The Metropolitan Police, Ralphs’ company, ByzGen, designs and builds bespoke prototypes, proofs of concept and pilots.  He shares his real-world challenges, both technical and organizational, as well as tips for others starting to use distributed ledger technology.

Speakers: Marcus Ralphs, CEO, ByzGen Ltd.

Speakers:

[These are my notes from the new Blockchain in Government conference, which is part of the KMWorld 2018 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Realities.
    • Commercial challenges:
      • Institutions (especially government) prefer low-risk, small-scale change. They have a hard time
      • Getting government to provide budget for an initial project.
      • Limited (non-existent) standards
      • Accreditation — how can we trust?
        • How can you trust a vendor to ensure that their code and coders are doing what the vendor claims?
        • Do you have enough security to encourage trust? Private permissioned blockchains are more likely to engender trust than public chains.
      • Let’s wait and see — what are others doing? Is there any evidence of success elsewhere?
      • De-risking through muscle memory
        • he partners with established players because this spurs a higher level of trust on the part of the government. Government is likely to trust a small startup.
      • Benefits aren’t clear or measurable –at this point, there is so little, easily available evidence of commercial success.
  • How to Address the Realities? Think in terms of capability and benefit.
    • Reduce risk
      • data breach
      • IP leakage
    • Improve data assurance
      • that the version available is the latest version and is the same throughout the network
      • behavioral change making every action with the core data tracked and attributable
    • Increase efficiency
      • reducing back-office overhead
      • reducing human touchpoints — these touchpoints add error and inefficiency
      • reducing cycle time significantly
    • Enable “trust” in disparate networks — accept that some of these networks will be divergent and some may even be in conflict. So you have to find ways to drive trust across these networks nonetheless.
  • Taking the First Steps.
    • Identify the real world challenges — what’s not working across your system?
    • Quantify the challenge (risk, efficiency, opportunity cost)
    • Define what “success” looks like
      • what does good look like for you
    • Select a solution provider
      • what part of your requirements are mandatory — speed, security, scalability?
      • the right solution provider will help the client analyze effectively their challenges and definition of success.
    • Ensure / enable stakeholder engagement — this may mean asking the client to put money on the table even for a proof of concept so that you can gain access to the stakeholder
    • Think big, start small, and scale quickly
      • paying for a proof of concept is small money, scaling is big money
      • when thinking about scalabiity and ROI, make one spend and then get multiple uses out of it
    • Resource properly
  • Examples:
    • They are helping a financial services consulting firm significantly expedite its process for completing security checks on potential consultants.
    • MInistry of Defence and the Cabinet Office need to expedite and ensure their personnel vetting process.
    • They want to use blockchain to manage design IP for highly secure, collaborative projects.
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Smart Contracts 101

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Smart contracts are based on a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. They allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties, and are trackable and irreversible. Their potential in real estate, law, intellectual property, and many more places is amazing. Private blockchains have also been suggested for business use. Hear more from our speakers and see if this technology has an application in your organization.

Speaker: Hugh Logue, Director & Lead Analyst, Outsell

[These are my notes from the new Blockchain in Government conference, which is part of the KMWorld 2018 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Smart Contracts.  They are not smart and may not even be legal contracts. Vitalik Buterin (one of the founders of Ethereum) says that a better name for them might be “persistent scripts.”
    • Example: you buy a car and the financing contract says that if you miss a contract, the dealer can repossess the car. Before the smart contract, the dealer would have to physically repossess the car. With smart contracts (plus today’s computerized cars), you miss a payment and then the car refuses to start for you. Only the dealer (or the dealer’s delegate) can start the car.
  • How Smart Contracts Work.
    • Coding contract — the parties to the contract agree to a set of if-then statements that kick into effect upon the occurrence of a triggering event.
    • Triggering Event — when the triggering event occurs, the persistent script (if-then statement) takes effect and self-executes. It can do this without any human intervention.
    • Regulation
  • Smart Contract Advantages.
    • Scalability — self-executing without manual checks. So you have thousands, millions of contracts operating at once.
    • No intermediaries required — the contracts operate autonomously
    • Trust — it is coded into the contract
    • Unambiguous — the contract involves machine readable binary code rather than legalese
    • Auditable — there is proof of performance. It’s not one person’s word against anothers.
  • Disadvantages of Smart Contracts.
    • Scalability — if you have not included a “stop” function, the self-executing function could be triggered (at scale) without any way to stop it.
    • No intermediaries — so who do you sue when something goes wrong?
    • Trust — so what happens when there are security breaches or scams?
    • Unambiguous — it is written in binary code not human language. So it is easily machine readable but not easily readable by a judge in a dispute.
    • Currency – at this point, smart contracts work only with cryptocurencies
  • What is driving the popularity of smart contracts?
    • the internet of things
    • disintermediation — Amazon and others are pushing out the middleman in transactions
    • mainstream companies are offering blockchain services — SAP, oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Amazon.
  • How can Governments Support Blockchain.
    • understand that blockchain does not just mean cryptocurencies
    • establish standards for smart contracts
    • create legal certainty
    • provide R&D funding
    • modernize ID systems and public records
      • one good use of smart contracts is wills, trusts, and probate. If a death is a matter of public record, then probate could be expedited.
      • this cannot happen if the relevant public records are not accurate and digitized.
    • launch official cryptocurrencies linked to real currencies
    • experiment!
    • Examples:
      • Sierra Leone is experimenting with blockchain supported voting
      • Estonia has created a an digital ID system on the blockchain
  • Use Cases.
    • Proving property rights: Hernando de Soto (Peruvian economist, president of the Institute for Liberty) posited that proof of fomal property rights could unlock approximately $10 trillion of capital.
      • with reliable proof of property rights, property owners can then obtain mortgages to help fund imporvements to their property.
      • smart contracts could then be written using the subject property as collateral
    • Legal Industry could use blockchain for
      • know your client (KYC)
      • tracking filings
      • dispute resolution
      • probate and wills
      • repetitive contracts
      • intellectual property
    • Insurance
      • flight insurance: Fizzy by AXA uses flight delay data from air traffic control. When your flight lands, Fizzy automaticaly pays the passenger the agreed amount for the delay. The passenger will not have to make a claim.
      • Car insurance: in the large  number of cases where the parties involved don’t dispute the facts, a smart contract could immediately pay the claim.
      • Natural disaster insurance: use weather data to trigger an automatic payment
    • Supply Chain Logistics
      • non-linguistic sensory data (GPS, temperature, weather, etc.) can be managed by smart contracts
  • Smart Contract Startups to Watch.
    • Blockstream partnership with PwC
    • ChromaWay
    • Consensys
    • Clause
    • OpenLaw
  • Private vs Public Blockchain.
    • Public
      • everyone can see, may need permission to write
      • greater transparency
    • Private
      • need permission to see, may need permission to write
      • greater privacy
      • one or more entities control
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Intra-Preneurship & Learning

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Organizations can use game design techniques to fully engage customers, partners, and employees. When it is well-implemented, gamification can transform a work culture by cultivating deep emotional connections, high levels of active participation, and long-term relationships that drive knowledge-sharing, learning and business value. Enterprises can utilize strategy games, simulation games, and role-playing games as a means to teach, drive operational efficiencies, and innovate. Find out how organizations have embraced social collaboration using playful design to reap tremendous value; grab tips and tools to build a learning culture; and learn how to engage your community!

Speaker:Phaedra Boinodiris, Member IBM Academy of Technology (Blockchain, Games, Watson, Design), IBM

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2018 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Serious Games
    • Serious games are her business. They are games for a serious purpose, not just fun. (Although, they should be fun as well.)
    • She works at IBM, bringing the power of serious games to improve business and learning.
    • Use serious games to gather mindshare and to work through challenges BEFORE you have boots on the ground.
    • Be aware of the ethical implications of the games your create and/or play.
  • Start by Shifting Mindset.
    • If you want intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship, you must start inside. You may need a mindshift into a growth mindset, into opennes, into experimentation.
    • Use games to create entrepreneurial mindset. You can do this in the youngest classrooms.
    • Shift education to learner-centered: help them develop a true sense of agency and then provide tailored learning opportunities in their context.
    • Learner agency is critical for developing an entrepreneurial mindset: entrepreneurs are learning all the time. How? By trying new things and, iinevitably, failing lots of times.
    • Enable digital engagement through games — IBM has created AI that supports personalized learning.
  • Focus on STEAM not STEM.
    • STEM = Science, Technologing, Engineering, MATH
    • STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Math
    • The focus on the arts — culture, history, literature, etc. — allows us to add empathy and deep understanding into the mix.
    • Design thinking develops and relies on empathy. This in turn draws on STEAM rather than STEM.
    • Even when designing a chatbot, be sure to design in empathy.
  • Create New Business Models.
    • Blockchain
      • Blockchain illustrates how a new way of working together opens up new possibilities
      • Use blockchain for microcredentialing
        • as you learn things and get certifications, those certifications get added to your blockchain. This creates your immutable record of learning.
        • so this becomes your transcript and may even become your resume
    • Pair micro-credentialing with AI: as a student increases in learning, AI can interpret that data and then provide targeted learning or employment opportunities for that student via blockchain
    • Dallas County Promise:
      • Dallas County has developed a  new path to college program to increase the numbers and equity of students graduating from college.
      • They are using micro-credentialing and customized-learning to improve student outcomes.
      • For more information, see: http://dallascountypromise.org/.
  • CAUTIONS.
    • Gamification done wrong:
      • “Don’t slap a point system on an onerous work process and then call it a game. That’s NOT a game. It’s chocolate-covered broccoli!!!
    • Don’t treat tech like a neutral and benign blackbox:
      • IBM just created a Watson-powered Harry Potter sorting hat.
      • She rigged the system so all her children were sorted into Slytherin.
      • When they protested, she pointed out that they must remain skeptical and questioning of technology.
      • Be clear about how tech can be use and abused. Be clear about how it affects your choices and outcomes.
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The Blockchain as a New Architecture of Trust

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Companies and organizations are popping up every day to enter the blockchain technology revolution.  Others have been experimenting with the technology for many years. Hear from an academic who studies blockchain applications.

Speaker:  Kevin Werbach, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

[These are my notes from the new Blockchain in Government conference, which is part of the KMWorld 2018 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Blockchain and the Architecture of Trust.
    • His new book (by this title) will be available on November 20, 2019.
    • Here’s the Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2D7JWaC
  • Trust Architectures.
    • Peer-to-Peer:
      • works well in close-knit communities
      • not scalable
    • Leviathan:
      • this concept comes from Thomas Hobbes
      • trust in government as a backstop
      • we are willing to engage in private transactions, documented by contract, knowing that we can run to the courts (the government) to help us enforce those contracts
    • Intermediary:
      • we trust the platform (e.g., Uber) that intermediates our transaction (with the driver)
    • Blockchain
  • Blockchain = Distributed Trust.
    • Trust the system without (apparently) trysting any actor within it.
    • This trust is based on a consensus derived from a history of consistent behavior across a network without central control.
    • You can trust the promised value exchange without having to trust any particular actor within the system
  • Blockchain’s Value Proposition.
    • Trust Minimization
      • No dependence on the state
      • No single point of failure — you can trust the entire system without worrying about individual participant
        • when a single organization or actor controls the information  and that actor is breached, you have a single point of failure.  Think Equifax, think FaceBook.
    • Trust Expansion
      • Avoid reconciliation
        • currently, everyone keeps their own books and must create processes for settlement and reconciliation between each party’s books.
          • this runs the risk of duplication and error
          • this leads to increased cost and effort
      • Automated execution
        • smart contracts enable automated action, thereby reducing the cost and effort of human intervention
      • Integral auditability
  • Three largely distinct blockchain phenomena.
    • Cryptocurrencies — transactions asnd decentralized apps
    • Distributed ledger — tracking and accountability
    • Cryptoassets — trading
      • currently, Wall Street is swallowing up cryptocurrencies and creating new, decentralized markets to trade these assets.
  • Why Blockchain for Government?
    • Environment:
      • low trust in governments
      • governments tend not to have vast resources to invest so they have to use open source software and shared infrastructure
    • Requirements:
      • it’s critical that we develp strong security for government applciations
        •  it is an attribute of blockchains that they are designed at their core to be secure
      • blockchain provides transaction transparency that enables monitoring and accountability
        • it is an attribute of blockchains that they are designed at their core to be transparent
    • Benefits:
      • blockchain creates the opportunity for “government as platform” that can support a wide range of other applications and operations
      • it can spur economic development
      • it signals that the government is “tech-savvy”
  • Accurate Recordkeeping.
    • This is a central aspect of blockchain
    • It is a really hard problem to solve
    • Cook County in Chicago is trying to use the Bitcoin Blockchain to support their land title registry. In turn, this will support decisions by mortgage providers.
    • Delaware has changed its laws to allow companies to issue their shares on the blockchain.
    • The World Food Program is using blockchain to track which refugees in a Jordanian refugee camp are receiving benefits.
      • they use biometrics to validate identity.
    • Streamlined compliance
      • helps gather in one central place information that normally is housed in a variety of repositories.
    • Berkeley City Council has launched a pilot program for issuing city bonds on the blockchain.
    • West Virginia is experimenting with secured voting absentee voters.
  • Do you need a blockchain?
    • Can the assests involved by digitized securely?
    • Are the assets or activities outside the control of a single entity?
      • if not, then the transaction should be viewed as centralized within that organization, therefore, you shouldn’t need to centralize again on the blockchain.
      • one exception: some companies are using the blockchain to reconcile among the various ERP systems used by each of their divisions
    • Do you want to share data wihtout giving u p control?
    • Are you mre concerned about attacks (security) than crashes (availability?
    • Doe you want an immutable record of transactions?
  • Immutability isn’t always a good thing!
    • if it looks like a legitimate transaction, it cannot be undone — even if fraud/theft is involved.
  • Werbach’s Triangle. It is hard to have all three:
    • Trust
    • Scalability
      • if you optimize scale,  you sacrifice trust and get Facebook
    • Decentralization
      • Vlad’s conundrum:  if you take decentralization seriously, you have to give up on regulation (at least at the extreme edge)
      • Vlad = Vlad Zamfir (Ethereum)
  • What’s its future?.
    • go where the smart folks are going
    • go where the most interesting experimentation is happening
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