Guilds at Spotify solve two problems:
There’s usually a blend of these problems in any Guild but there are generally two archetypes which I’ll call “strategic capability guilds” vs “hobby guilds”.
Hobby Guilds build “friend at work” type engagement; Strategic Capability Guilds build strategic capability.
When I critique writing or presentations, I tend to follow an ordered 3 stage approach: 1. structure; 2. content; 3. style.
My first concern is logical structure. What is the logical structure of the message? What should be the logical structure of the message given the purpose and context? Typically, whether to use a deductive structure, aka telling a story from the beginning, versus an inductive structure, aka getting to the point first and explaining it after if necessary. A deductive structure is for entertainment, an inductive structure is for efficient communication and decision-making.
The structure is about the context…
Eric Ethington wrote an article for The Lean Post about “5 easy steps to simplify the A3 process”. Essentially…
This approach reminded me of something called “Spew, Then Organise”, that is, write out all your thoughts first and worry about organising it into a coherent structure later. …
Team productivity has factors that overlap with individual productivity:
However, team productivity goes beyond just a translation of individual productivity practices.
Let’s imagine that you optimise for team member utilisation, that is, team members should spend most of their time on value-adding activities, especially activities…
From the perspective of an individual, increasing productivity comes down to a few things:
Let’s say you get 4 requests.
In order to appear responsive, you work on all of them at the same time. In reality, given it’s just you working on them, you’re not actually working on all of them at the same time so much as switching between them.
In the end, every requester will feel like you responded to their requests and, assuming similar sized requests, all of the work is completed at roughly the…
Lisp followed the “MIT/Stanford style of design”. In priority order:
In other words, correctness, consistency, and completeness is seen as more important than simplicity.
In other words, simplicity, especially simple implementation, is seen as more important…
According to Marty Cagan, John Doerr has argued that “we need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries.”
From Marty’s Missionaries vs Mercenaries post:
Teams of missionaries are engaged, motivated, have a deep understanding of the business context, and tangible empathy for the customer. Teams of mercenaries feel no real sense of empowerment or accountability, no passion for the problem to be solved, and little real connection with the actual users and customers.
Apparently, either WW1 fighter ace Harry Day or WW2 fighter ace Douglas Bader said the following (I originally saw this attributed to David Ogilvy in the book Decision Traps):
“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men”
“Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.”
I’m going to replace “rules” with “model” and remove the unnecessary gender-specificity.
Original 15 March 2020 Twitter thread.
The key overall problem I see we’re solving with OKRs is strategy deployment OR “how do we get a lot of people aligned and coordinated to achieve a shared outcome?”
My particular concern is strategy deployment when multiple teams are involved. This is one reason why I don’t particularly care about individual OKRs (the other being undermining team focus).
The first issue is Alignment to Nonsense. What data and rationale led to the Objective you’re setting, never mind how to achieve it?
Original 8 March 2020 Twitter thread.
Objectives and Key Results (OKR) are not “just Management by Objectives (MBO)”. The whole point was that Andy Grove was trying to correct problems with MBO, borrowing from what he understood about “Japanese management” (I suspect, specifically, Hoshin Kanri). The result was iMBOs, aka Intel MBOs, aka OKRs. So how do OKRs and MBO differ?
Senior Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl