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Visualising a context based agile strategy - 18 October 2019

Some techniques and practices for visualising strategy in an agile context in order to consider different scenarios, risk and form a strategic evolving response.

Slide Deck from talk at Agile Tour London, 18th October 2019. This was the first time this presentation was given in full at a conference. #atldn

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Visualising a context based agile strategy - 18 October 2019

  1. 1. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Hello, I’m Craig Cockburn* www.craigcockburn.com Twitter: @siliconglen *Same pronunciation as Alistair, Agile Manifesto co-author. Visualising the “Why” – Strategy and Roadmaps in context -- or -- How to form an agile strategy and visualise it in a complex landscape
  2. 2. Audience • Anyone involved in creating a strategy • Reviewing a strategy • Executing any part of a strategy • Coaching someone in strategy • Recognising and fixing bad strategy • At any level of the organisation 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Strategy matters to all of us
  3. 3. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen What I’ll cover 1) What strategy is 2)Why THIS matters 3)A worked example 4)A VISUALISATION template 5)PRACTICES TO BUILD STRATEGY 6)KEY TAKEAWAYS 7)Any Questions
  4. 4. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen A Story of discovery via Roman Pichler’s ROADMAPS and Simon Wardley’s MAPPING
  5. 5. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Battle of Thermopalae 480BC “Corporate strategy”: Be in the magic quadrant for territory expanders this year! Be the leading army! Win 3 battles this year! Expand territory! Slide content: Simon Wardley
  6. 6. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Battle of Bannockburn, 23/24 June 1314 A battle in which the Scots defeated an English army more than double their size by use of an effective strategy Lay traps in the land. Recognise in the landscape where the battle will likely take place Defend ourselves using protective shiltrons Take the high ground, this conferring an advantage of line of sight and battle attack. Hem the English army in between the Scots army, the boggy ground and the Bannock Burn. This caused them to break rank, lose coordination and flee homeward (to think again!) Landscape, situational tactics, purpose. Only 2 days. Strategy not just for multi year big spends
  7. 7. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast Peter Drucker COMMON MYTHS DEBUNKED
  8. 8. CULTURE Myths Debunked It is your culture which helps you to implement your strategy. Therefore The two are complimentary RATHER THAN exclusive Drucker isn’t attributable as the source SEE http://bit.ly/CultureStrategyQuote AND https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/05/23/culture-eats/ 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” - ALLEGEDLY Peter Drucker
  9. 9. The seven deadly sins OF CARGO CULT 1. Copying what other people do without context 2. Copying what other people do without context 3. Copying what other people do without context 4. Copying what other people do without context 5. Copying what other people do without context 6. Copying what other people do without context 7. Copying what other people do without context 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Even this bridge has context!
  10. 10. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Strategy; A COHERENT & CONTEXTUAL plan to DELIVER outcomes OUTCOME: has lasting value IN realising THE VISION VISION: THE DESIRED FUTURE STATE TACTICS: supporting ACTIVITIES in the strategy which increase the likelihood of SUCCEEs Definitions
  11. 11. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Vision (future state) realised by Mission / outcomes / objectives Outcomes delivered by Strategy Strategy Supported by tactics Progress Measured by key results A “to do list” is not a strategy. Beware cargo cult Definition CONTEXT
  12. 12. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen We’re not very good at applying military thinking and strategy to business… WE still have cameras. WE still watch films. WE still buy phones. WE still buy toys. ….Kodak, Blockbuster, Nokia, Toys ‘R Us.
  13. 13. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen We’re not very good at applying effective strategy to other things too…
  14. 14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/palomacanterogomez/2019/02/05/the-7-critical-skills-of-successful-strategic-thinkers In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 97% of the 10,000 senior executives asked chose strategy as the most critical leadership behaviour to their organizations’ future success The need 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen
  15. 15. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen By a large margin, leadership is the biggest challenge to business agility adoption that most organizations face. With the right mindset and associated organizational support, a leader sets the tone for the entire organization. Yet, often, the inverse is also true - in the absence of a motivating leader, the organization can stagnate. Respondents to the survey raised a lack of agile mindset, unclear or changing vision, and limited practical support for the transformation as the top three challenges for (and from) leaders. Business Agility Institute report 2018 https://agilityhealthradar.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/BAI-Business-Agility-Report-2018.pdf The reality
  16. 16. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen https://medium.com/@siliconglen/agile-adoption-failure-patterns-648e98007409 Short URL: http://bit.ly/Agile-Failure-Patterns Further READING A Curated list of agile failure patterns from SURVEYS Consulting groups Agile coaches Newspaper articles
  17. 17. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen STRATEGY IN AN AGILE CONTEXT
  18. 18. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen https://www.romanpichler.com/blog/should-product-roadmaps-have-dates/ From Company vision to product backlog From Roman Pichler, “Strategize” The Product Roadmap in context
  19. 19. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Description of the environment Forces that affect the environment Operating techniques and beliefs Context specific decisions Why does this matter to us? Strategy Cycle
  20. 20. Strategy needs a story And people. remember the culture & Strategy slide? Also Half the Manifesto – Individuals… and Customer… And it needs to be regularly updated in line with new knowledge and changing circumstances And not just be a to do list that sits on a SLIDE DECK for 5 years. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen FREQUENTLY MISSING IN ACTION
  21. 21. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen https://human.associates/category/spaces/ Ian McLaren Wallace winner of Excellent Innovation in Business Psychology If this is how we make sense of knowledge Then why Do we OFTEN assume a fixed strategy?
  22. 22. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Devising strategy in a complex, uncertain, evolving landscape with competing parties OR DEVISING STRATEGY FROM THE BREXIT CHAOS
  23. 23. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen • Leave? What sort of leave? • Remain? How? What are the other motives? • Irish unionism or nationalism? • Scottish nationalism or unionism? • Toppling government or supporting it? • Profit by shorting stocks or currency? Step 1: PURPOSE
  24. 24. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen • Competing groups • Fractured groups • No clear majority • Hidden private strategy • Lack of compromise • Lots at stake • No precedent as reference Landscape static – just have to work with it Step 2: LANDSCAPE
  25. 25. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen • This is rapidly evolving • The clock is running down • The government has lost its majority • Legal action is taking place • Propaganda / Misinformation The climate is dynamic and alters the effect of the landscape Step 3: CLIMATE
  26. 26. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Step 4: apply doctrineBrexit representing competing Outcomes, Probabilities, Pathways and decisions (STRATEGY ABSENT) https://jonworth.eu/brexit-what-next/ 11th April 2019
  27. 27. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Doctrine: Visualise Visualise the Brexit DIAGRAM above on its side. Time is on the X axis going left to right. Position has meaning, the map shows time mapped against the probability of achieving an outcome with intermediary steps and resultant probabilities for the outcomes you want and the outcomes that are favourable to the competition (not unlike business, or playing chess).
  28. 28. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Doctrine: evaluate The seven Brexit GOALS in the diagram are scored in according to alignment with outcomes you prefer
  29. 29. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Doctrine: navigate Evaluate the pathway options leading to the desired outcomes and avoiding the worst outcomes. Discover the risky points which you need to traverse but which could also be favourable to opponents if they go the wrong way for you. These need particular attention.
  30. 30. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Doctrine: plan Using this information you can formulate a context specific flexible strategy based on the pathways which lead to successful outcomes and steer you away from the worst outcomes. Proactive agile + reactive agile TOGETHER
  31. 31. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen STEP 5: leadership See Strategy Maps http://bit.ly/Strategy-Maps Revoke A50 Peoples Vote General Election Softer Brexit Unclear Extension May’s Deal No Deal Brexit 11th April 2019 Reflection points And ACT!
  32. 32. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen SituationalContext (landscape,climateanddoctrine) Neutral or unknown Tactical Advantage, opportunity enablement, increased capability Advantageous to competitors, opponents. Risks, things that slow us down Now Future Time Tactical Gains / Tactical Delivery Tactical losses / Competitor’s delivery IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes Strategy map TEMPLATE VisionCompetitor’sVision
  33. 33. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen 1. Understand the present — where are we now? 2. WHAT OUTCOMES SUPPORT THE VISION? - Futurespectives 3. Plan to a realistic horizon —too deep or far is waste. 4. Connect the present to the future — primary path and alternatives – right to left & left to right 5. Refine the model — evaluate probabilities, risks, impacts on people and the system, who are the actors and lines of influence? 6. Regularly inspect and adapt – via reflection points/OKRs/ Heart of Agile - reflect to Improve. Have conversations Suggested approach More detail at http://bit.ly/Strategy-Maps
  34. 34. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Employ Cynefin
  35. 35. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Employ Cynefin Do we need much planning here? If it’s obvious, the plan should be very simple Use specialist knowledge to plan with certainty Requires regular review, feedback points, appropriate experiments, highlighting of unknowns, risks, and alternate pathways In a complex world, linear plans will be wrong! Know the vision and the goal, but act first. High risk, unpredictable. Detailed planning of limited value
  36. 36. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Employ Cynefin Each Reflection point in a strategy map will correspond to a domain in a Cynefin diagram in order to guide how you plan Colouring DOMAINS May HELP Respect for Cynefin dynamics needed
  37. 37. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen SituationalContext (landscape,climateanddoctrine) Now Future Time IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes EXAMPLE VisionCompetitor’sVision
  38. 38. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Tryingtodoagiletransformation Now Future Time IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes EXAMPLE VisionCompetitor’sVision Old job roles Roll out new roles All rolled out Transformed!
  39. 39. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Tryingtodoagiletransformation Now Future Time IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes Reality VisionCompetitor’sVision Old job roles Roll out new roles Fear and distrust Entrenched resistance Fail
  40. 40. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Tryingtodoagiletransformation Now Future Time IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes Try this VisionCompetitor’sVision Old job roles Pilot new roles Inspect & adapt Change approach Get pilot group All rolled out Different approachExpand pilot Potential fail
  41. 41. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Simon Wardley Keynote “Crossing the river by feeling the stones” -- Quote from Deng Xiaoping– AVAILABLE AT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IW9L1uNMCs Wardley link
  42. 42. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen SituationalContext (landscape,climateanddoctrine) Neutral or unknown Tactical Advantage, opportunity enablement, increased capability Advantageous to competitors, opponents. Risks, things that slow us down Now Future Time Tactical Gains / Tactical Delivery Tactical losses / Competitor’s delivery IncreasingAdvantage FavourableoutcomesUnfavourableoutcomes THE RIVER AND STONES VisionCompetitor’sVision
  43. 43. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen 1. Wardley maps typically visualise movement in relation to technical maturity to value Stream 2. Useful in context 3. WARDLEY MAPS AND STRATEGY MAPS CAN work together 4. Strategy maps visualise approach in a complex landscape, therefore not always tied to technical maturity 5. Think of strategy maps are a generic way of visualising work, like a Kanban board WARDLEY MAP LINK
  44. 44. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Leadership: Proactive anticipation. Vision of meaningful outcomes. Supporting people, innovation, culture Agility: Responding to complexity. Includes feedback, low cost of change. Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect, Improve Lean: improvement where complicated. Includes visualisation and elimination of waste. Flow EFFECTIVE STRATEGY Areas of emphasis: Individuals, People = Circle Waste reduction = Lean Complexity and Feedback = Agile Responsible Strategy = Leadership Overlapping skills, tactics and culture in support of successful outcomes
  45. 45. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen SUMMARY 1. EFFECTIVE STRATEGY REQUIRES CONTEXT 2. STRATEGY IS MORE THAN JUST A TO DO LIST 3. EVERYONE CAN TAKE PART AND CONTRIBUTE 4. STRATEGY EXISTS IN AN EVOLVING LANDSCAPE 5. STRATEGY REQUIRES REGULAR ADJUSTMENTS 6. ANTICIPATING OBSTACLES AND DEAD ENDS IS USEFUL 7. STRATEGY INVOLVES AND AFFECTS PEOPLE 8. IT’S EASIER TO ALIGN WHEN WE ALL SEE THE SAME THING
  46. 46. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen The BIGGEST TAKEWAY THERE ARE AT LEAST 12 advantages OF having an effective visual strategy over a simple to-do list
  47. 47. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen STRATEGY MAPSUsing this approach you have visual context of: 1. what you are doing & why you are doing it 2. Visual Representation of being on track and current SITUATION 3. Intermediate tactical goals and how to achieve them 4. MULTIPLE ROUTES TO favourable outcomes 5. How to avoid unfavourable outcomes 6. What your opponents might do 7. Unexploited opportunities 8. Timing and dependencies 9. Risks and consequences 10. ESTIMATED Probabilities 11. Pivot Points 12. everyone sharing the same view and able to provide feedback. STRATEGY AS A CONVERSATION
  48. 48. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen Strategy Maps - http://bit.ly/Strategy-Maps Product delivery mapping - http://bit.ly/Delivery-Mapping Human associates - https://human.associates/human-skills/human-cultural-transformation/ Simon Wardley – https://medium.com/wardleymaps Roman Pichler - https://www.romanpichler.com/blog/elements-definition-product-strategy/ Declaration of Interdependence - http://bit.ly/Declaration-of-Interdependence Heart of Agile - https://heartofagile.com/ Management 3.0 - https://management30.com/ Contact me: craig@siliconglen.com www.craigcockburn.com Further Reading
  49. 49. 18/10/2019 Craig Cockburn, www.craigcockburn.com @siliconglen THANK YOU QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK

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