Please welcome a guest blogger, Vickie Gray, a certified Core Instructor for more years than I can remember…..
The Core Dimension
When folks talk about whether Agile, or XP, or any other working method is as good as or better than the Core, they’ve lost the plot. One isn’t “good” or not, compared to another. The Core is in a different class entirely.
Most methods are tools of control. They try to externally control one or more of features, time and cost, on the assumption that “great” and “on time” are mutually exclusive. Instead, the Core Protocols starts with the assumption that you must, and can, have both “on time” and “great” and that external control is not only not necessary, but wasteful, distracting to team members, and only successful coincidentally.
The Core asks the team to get real about the common root cause of the disappointments we have all had with our method or framework of choice: the basic human behaviours of the team using the method. In most work environments we fight, procrastinate, lie to ourselves and others, and the only solution we have found to this mess of delinquency in the past 200 years is control.
Most team-based methods start with the assumption that left to themselves, humans in groups will descend into chaos before lunch. Therefore, the method itself and roles like project manager or process owner must control, guide, measure and direct this unpredictable human collection called the team to save both themselves and the investment before it’s too late.
Instead, the Core gives the team universally useful tools (protocols) that help navigate most of the usual team landmines. It then assumes that once the team is functional with the protocols, individuals will be intelligent enough to use those tools effectively and adaptively as required without external control.
So, if it is effective for an individual to work alone, or in a group, or with one other person, to seek innovation, or follow another’s lead, that team member is assumed to be capable of accurately assessing the situation and making the right choice.
Further, the Core trumps external control with the much more rigorous and immediate mutual accountability and commitment of team members to each other. Team leads and project managers, a source of waste and distraction on a self-organized team, may be replaced by adaptive shared leadership and holding each other accountable.
When you have a team in a state of shared vision, with high bandwidth communication and adaptive to the complexity of their environment using the most effective exchanges then any tool, whether software, methods, frameworks or equipment, becomes a potentially useful tool.
That’s because a great team will get the most out of anything you give them. What you will get is great not because of the tool but because of the team. A great team could make a great product out of shoelaces and a pop can.
Take away the manager, team lead or facilitator holding the remote control. The team will adapt to the lack of external control and rapidly shift to what is interesting, useful, innovative and fun. They will naturally dampen the patterns of drama, dependence, fighting, lack of accountability, and poor communication and instead amplify the patterns of productivity, passion, innovation and effectiveness.
Doing so simply makes more sense and brings meaning to their…our…work. So to get the most out of any method, framework, tools, infrastructure, skills, and resources, a team using the Core is your best first investment.
Vickie Gray is an organizational tree-shaker, complexity-hunter, idea-generation-machine, teamwork lab rat, coach, and Human Systems Dynamics Professional. She is a veteran of 15 years of frameworks, methodologies, management science and similar faith healing. She can be reached at www.adaptivecoach.com
There are no comments for this post.
There are no comments on this entry.
There are no trackbacks on this entry.