So, when people reference a culture of innovation—or thinking like a startup—they’re actually talking about our capacity to create and manage changes in the way things get done. In digital transformation, we aim to effect these changes at scale, scope, and speed. (Location 101)

The chief method we use in flow is visualisation. By bringing more into the open in a company, we can stimulate more interaction and support people in uncovering more value. (Location 123)

Tags: flow

Note: Visualisation is key to flow

leaders are there to set the conditions for good social interaction, where they harness the intelligence of the group and direct it towards continuous improvement in products, services, and processes. (Location 355)

In our new age of work, learning is, or should be, a product of group interaction. In an empowered organisation, learning is about the group interacting well to produce good results, then reflecting on its actions as it refines its understanding of the work processes and tools that got it to a good outcome. (Location 359)

Tags: learning

Note: Learning through group interaction

We advocate entirely new work conditions: WALLS, not cubicles. WALLS as meeting places. Hypotheses, conversations and open debate should take place in public at Walls. (Location 373)

Tags: flow

Note: Walls as meeting places

WALLS are large-scale visualisations that become the focal points (Location 374)

Tags: walls

Flow puts human interaction at the heart of change. It says (we say), “The social interactions that make up our workday are the setting for good decisions that add value.” (Location 429)

Tags: flow

Make WALLS so intensely interesting people rub their chins and come up with spookily ingenious ideas they have sat on for months. (Location 743)

Tags: walls

In the 20th century, writers like H.G. Wells talked of a “world brain”. Democracy, in a sense, could be thought of as a collective wisdom. Economists have tried to describe the stock market as basically a collective intelligence system. (Location 978)

Tags: collective intelligence, democracy

Note: .democracy

Leaders need to set the conditions for good social interaction and it should be face-to-face.      The focal point of interaction is the visualisation of work.

We need to infuse teams with the ability to break work down so that it can be visualised at a level of granularity where value becomes clear. Work break down is a missing skill and one with very few experts.      Visualisation is the forum for critique, suggestion, experience sharing, and ideas about how work creates value. It is the venue for good social interaction. (Location 1065)

Tags: business analyst, visualisation

Note: Break work down into small components and visualise it

So there is a new kind of delegation that goes with flow. Everything is visible, transparent, discussed, and decided on the basis of emergent properties, on what we see surfacing in the workflow itself and the interaction between people. Collectively, through good social interaction, decisions get made, plans are fleshed out, poor decisions are spotted early, and good decisions get the support they need. (Location 1087)

Tags: agile, walls, flow

It begins with the Executive suite, where Executive Walls will help reveal which projects actually have value.      It incorporates Customer Walls that help identify new market segments and appropriate innovations that provide the triggers for bringing customers in.      It can include Culture Walls where companies understand their progress.      It funnels Executive Portfolio Walls into Project Walls and Kanban Walls.      It might have an Evaluation Wall, where quickfire evaluations take you and the team to the Next Best Action.      These are supported by Job Walls and Thank You Walls.      Risks and Issues Walls are also part of the mix.      These are supported by Job Walls, Cool Walls, Academy and Learning Walls, Customer Feedback Walls, and Thank You Walls. (Location 1171)

Tags: visualisation, walls

It may be that the Next Best Action is to      Outsource.      Wrap the idea into a hackathon day.      Bring customers in for discussion.      Offer up a prize to the developer community or a social-media community.      Work with a specialist innovation-processing site like Innocentive.      Feed it into an MBA or university science department.      Drop the project.      Just do it.      Experiment with only a small piece of the idea, assess the market interest, and pivot quickly. (Location 1225)

Mark each card with a t-shirt size: small (S), medium (M), large (L), and extra large (XL). These will reflect, roughly, the spend on the project. But keep it simple at this stage. (Location 1376)

Tags: estimate

Note: Add sizes to each card

Create one column per strategic corporate objective. There should only be five or six of these. Pin the cards under the strategic objective they are meant to help deliver on. (Location 1378)

Note: Have a column for each objective

Lastly, add the value, preferably in monetary terms, of each project. (Location 1380)

Note: Add value to each card

Whichever way the Wall goes, executives need to face the harsh winds of peer pressure. It will help them unwind expensive and useless projects and provide focus for those that are left. The Executive Portfolio Wall helps because it brings folly and wisdom into the open. (Location 1409)

Tags: walls

I see five insights from Walking the Wall: Knowing how much you are actually doing and the pressure that puts on people. Knowing that a sizeable share of that work is wasted. You can’t turn away from waste when it’s there in front of you, six feet high. Here are resources you badly need and they are there being squandered in zombieland. Knowing where priorities are skewed and need quick realignment. Knowing something about the hidden priorities that we didn’t know we had. Are they good or bad? Knowing that you have created policies and processes that needlessly get in the way of efficiency, block any attempt at doing change better, and frustrate the life out of talented staff. There they are right in front of everyone’s eyes. You can’t duck them. (Location 1457)

Tags: walls

You should certainly have a project cost and project value on each card but, keeping it simple, visualise these with signs like $, $$, $$$ to indicate the financial importance of the project. Too much detail will create the wrong debate. You can have a tweet length description - we find teams love to keep within 140 characters. It’s a great discipline. Signal the potential blockers so everyone is alert to risk. Indicate the beneficiaries of the projects and include a target date. (Location 1488)

Tags: flow

We suggested earlier that employees should own the walls, especially Job Walls, Appreciation Walls, and Learning Walls (we will also talk about Cool Walls). (Location 1527)

Tags: walls

Risk and Issues Wall Here, any member from any team can raise risks and issues that teams need to address, everything from a delay in acquiring new servers to concerns about a process or a lack of resources. (Location 1610)

Note: Have a wall for risks and issues

We argue that the more you can make visible, the more chance you have of capturing the best ideas from the talent you have. For as long as work is hidden in laptops you cannot interact around it. When it is up on the walls, it generates discussion. It becomes a focal point for intelligent social interaction. For that reason we have emphasised visualisation over and over. Visualisation is a process, of course. More importantly it is also a meeting place. The benefit of visualised processes is that people can talk about them and co-decide what will work and what might not. (Location 1702)

Tags: visualisation

“I am always very visible about my learning needs,” says Fin. “I read a lot, I tweet, I attend tech meetups and hackathons, and I give speeches that I need to revise for. There’s no point in people looking to me as the guy who knows it all or who knows more than my team members. Both of those are impossible objectives for me to aspire to. I can’t know more than most of my teams. I certainly am not the guy who is on top of every topic in tech. I can, however, lead by one very important example: I am always willing to learn.” (Location 1826)

Note: Be visible in your learnings

“It’s not about the person, it’s about the profession.” In other words, teams need to be critical of each other’s professional work without being hurtful to one another. (Location 1846)

Tags: feedback

Note: .feedback

A key to creating good flow is getting the work breakdown right and our understanding of what is right, or more useful, is still evolving. (Location 2201)

The same goes for Story Angles—they need to be really small. In fact, they need to be uniform in size, because this is the Holy Grail of flow: you can estimate cost and timescales with great accuracy from the right breakdown. (Location 2253)

Tags: business analyst, flow

Note: Create uniform work items

The principle is to break the work down much further than happens in Scrum, and to have that work breakdown as a visible picture of the overall resource allocation, cost, and schedule. (Location 2277)

Tags: flow

The Team Kanban Wall shows work throughput (or cycle time). It even shows who is working on what and what is not being worked on at all. And tasks can be deprioritised or, alternatively, re-prioritised right up until the last moment. (Location 2288)

Tags: cycle time, flow, walls

A simple count of the cards, from the initial definition of the project to its final completion, reveals the best product managers and business analysts in your company, the ones who do good work breakdown, or not as the case may be. The knack for improving productivity is to make them role models. (Location 2291)

Work breakdown is critical to flow because of the importance of cycle time. Cycle time refers to the length of time it takes to complete a typical software task. In Flow we are trying to get our cycle time down to one or two days – or even quicker! (Location 2294)

Tags: cycle time

Consulting companies like IBM and Accenture are often the source of new business norms. They have great thought leadership but they also have a pressing need to keep finding work for highly paid consultants. They survive by codifying new platforms or technologies into business concepts that they can own and sell aggressively in order to put thousands of their people to work. Conversely, in the face of the jargon deluge, companies struggle to discern what they really, truly need. Doubt and uncertainty are a consequence of being surrounded by very powerful vendor communities whose members devise new concepts and then successfully propagandise them into the market (Location 2374)

Note: Consulting companies are often the source of new business norms.

insights into your relationship with customers, and the biggest one is staring you in the face. How about instead of a single view of the customer we think in terms of a single view for the customer. (Location 2476)

Right now, however, most automakers have poor platform strategies. Their profitable revenue streams do not lie in car sales. Rather, the cash cow is after-sales service and extra parts. And to capitalise on this, they need extremely good customer retention. Retention issues are critical to profitability. (Location 2522)

Tags: cars

Note: Car manufacturers make huge profits in servicing and parts

Cool Walls The Cool Wall, you might remember us saying earlier (in Chapter 6), is the place where people can post their one liners about new techniques. It might sound frivolous to call it a one liner but we live in the world of Twitter, where @POTUS runs the world’s largest economy through tweets. Being brief is powerful (Location 2705)

The Friday Story In one of Fin’s departments, Friday afternoons are for storytelling. They are particularly reserved for stories about experiments and tests that people are doing (see The Cool Wall above). These are not retrospectives. They are perspectives on the future, on what can change for the better. Storytelling involves both the business side and the IT side of the house. The objective is to have four or five people do five-minute pitches on what they are learning. These pitches could be about customers, tools, or solutions. The room should be full. We’re talking 100 people or more (or for a smaller company, everybody) before they go off for the weekend. It is not a demo (as in Agile). (Location 2715)

Tags: learning

Note: Five minute pitches on what youre learning

The idea of the weekly Academy time is to focus on projects, their problems, and the solutions we are trying out. If you have the Cool Wall, Tech Radar and The Friday Story nailed down (or rather, tacked up on the Learning Wall), you are in a position to make judgments about what to stop, continue, or start. (Location 2727)

And finally, do make sure that you re-iterate the Retrospective Prime Directive before any type of reflective process. Which is: “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand”. (Location 2753)

Tags: retrospectives

Metrics Before going on to what could also be called lay-planning tools, we want to emphasise once more that the two metrics in constant use are: Value for the customer: What are we providing for them and how closely can that be visualised and measured? Is the feature, function, or message important enough to impact satisfaction or uptake? The only way to find out is to talk with customers and deliver options they can try out. Cycle time: By cycle time we mean the time it takes to complete any single work package. If cycle time is decreasing, all is golden, or should be. It means you are faster at creating value. If it is increasing, then something is wrong. The source of the problem could be in work design. It could be in areas like sick leave or holidays. Or it could be that a team member is not capable of fulfilling the tasks assigned. But cycle time tells you it is one of these. If cycle time increases go unchecked, you are storing up resource issues. (Location 2757)

The first principle of flow, before making any decisions from good social interaction, is to taste before you serve. Try things out. Here once again are your main ingredients:      The Customer Wall      The Executive Wall      The Culture Wall      The Digital Business Wall      The Executive Portfolio Wall      The Evaluation Wall      The Project Wall      The Team Kanban Wall      The Risks and Issues Wall      Fun Walls and Job Walls Obeya      The Academy or Learning Wall      Cool Walls, Sail Boats, Blue Ocean, Friday Stories      The Mosaic Metaphor      The Horizons Wall      Really Simple Metrics      Very Subtle Gamification (Location 2795)

Tags: walls