Sažetak, A Seat at the Table, Mark Schwartz

Agilne organizacije teže plitkoj organizacijskoj strukturi s minimalnim ili ne postojećim menadžmentom. Organizacija se orijentira na produktne timove. Produktni timovi u svojoj strukturi ne sadrže voditelje, direktore i slična “klasična” radna mjesta česta u organizacijama. Gdje se u agilnim organizacijama nalaze takva radna mjesta i kako će ta radna mjesta zaslužiti svoje “mjesto za stolom” je pitanje na koje autor pokušava dati odgovor u ovoj knjizi. Dobar dio knjige uzima pojašnjavanje agilne metodologije te usporedba iste s klasičnim metodologijama IT menadžmenta. Ako očekujete egzaktne savjete oni su izostali, ali je moguće napraviti zaključke u kojem bi se smjeru IT menadžment trebao razvijati.

Introduction

“This book brings together the literature of Agile thinking and the literature of IT leadership”

Sitting Alone

“Complex Adaptive System – evolving organism that continuously adapts to environmental factors and incentives”

“If we continue to define IT as a function, then we will never find a seat at the table”

Kept from the table

“Subtly, without anyone noticing, it is no longer that IT needs to speak the language of the business, but rather that the business is coming to speak the language of IT”

A nimble approach to the table

“I’m just guessing, but perhaps you are beginning projects with a large backlog of user stories that you are expecting a team to implement – in other words, a fixed scope. If you are doing that, you are not alone, and you are not yet agile.”

“In the confusion of all different ways of practising Lean and Agile, it is easy to forget the underlying principle which is simply that, in an uncertain, constantly changing environment, we must continuously learn and adapt. That principle applies not just to how we run IT projects, but how we lead IT”

Planning

“I might ask these questions when I review team’s plan:

  1. What are the business outcomes that the team is trying to achieve?
  2. How will the team determine the specific requirements that is, determine the work they will do?
  3. How is the team planning to work together?
  4. How will the team seek feedback on it’s work?
  5. What are the key risks to delivery?
  6. What can I do to help them accomplish their objectives?”

“Just as in IT delivery, rigid adherence to budget imposes the cost of opportunities foregone [Beyond Budgeting]”

Requirements

“Is a requirement required when there is no money to implement it? In that case, will the company have to shut down, since something required is absent?”

“An executives job is to creatively define strategic parameters, align the organisation behind it, and boldly implement them – boldly, but not stupidly. Feedback cycles tell the executives when to pivot and try a bold new plan”

Transformation

“A transformational project occurs when the amount of debt [technical, organisational] has become too much to bear.”

“Then there is the final irony: by the time we finish a large transformation effort, it is time to start transforming again”

“The strangler pattern overcomes a critical problem many of us have faced in applying Agile technologies to modernisation”

Enterprise architecture

“The challenge for the CIO is to ensure that each invested dollar actually moves the EA [Economic Asset] in the direction of his or her vision”

“When we see the CIO’s role as controlling projects to be delivered on time and on budget, we are missing his or her critical responsibility: that as stewarding the EA [Economic Asset] to maximise its agility, quality, and fit to business needs.”

Build vs Buy

“We make this mistake a lot. We organise our business around a product rather than creating IT capabilities to fit our business”

“Three major trends have dramatically altered the tradeoff between building and buying: virtualisation, abstraction and scriptability”

“But now, our approach to IT needs to be inverted: IT is the business, or runs the business, rather than being a set of tools we can buy off the shelf like a typewriter.”

Governance and oversight

“Business case is not really decided by requirements, it is decided by the project’s intended outcomes and intended spending, and by whether they believe the team is capable”

“To show me value the initiative has delivered so far, the team prepares a Value Delivery Register – a high level summary of the value that has been delivered. The second thing [Financial Summary] I want to know is how much we have spent so far. Spending in this case is measured in dollars, or in time, or in whatever metric is most appropriate”

“So when the team is reporting on the value delivered, I ask that they frame it in terms of the outcomes we agreed on, and when they are describing the roadmap, I ask that they explain it in terms of outcomes planned”

“But failing initiatives should never be terminated; only the successful ones. A failing initiative implies that there is an important business goal that is yet unfulfilled. The decision to cancel the initiative is a decision to leave the goal unmet. Instead of cancelling it, my responsibility is to improve in order to make sure it does achieve the business’s goals”

“Because an Agile project begins delivering valuable capabilities long before the budget is exhausted and delivers them in prioritised order, we can stop work when the budget runs out”

“When I say that every task should be done ASAP, it sounds like I am saying everything is top priority. I get that. But ASAP is just a way of stating the obvious: the goal of a Lean process it to shorten cycle times”

“If you are worried that the lack of deadlines reduces urgency, you shouldn’t be. Scrum provides urgency in terms of sprint boundaries; Lean provides urgency in terms of everything be done ASAP – that is, by requiring continuous improvements toward short cycle times”

“Every task should be done ASAP – given normal, humane, sustainable working conditions”

“With small investments comes smaller risk and earlier opportunities to evaluate performance”

“On the other hand, an Agile approach is one that engages all participants in a value-discovery-and-creation process, using feedback cycles to align IT work with desired outcomes. It is the invitation to a seat at the table”

Risk

“The Agile way to deal with uncertainty [risk] is to create options and then “buy” the information to more accurately asses probabilities”

“We can reduce risk – often at a cost – but there is generally no way to eliminate it”

“The Chief Information Officer is also the company’s Chief Uncertainty Accomodator”

“Why should we stop learning when we hit the “deploy” button?”

“I mean that security is just part of our job. It is about how we build our systems; it is a matter of everyday hygiene”

“A senior executive’s job is to manage risk. We often interpret this as reducing or mitigating risk. But really the executives job it to take risks, not to avoid them”

Quality

“It is a point of pride – we understand that failure is normal in IT, and the rest of the organisation doesn’t get it. The art of IT has always been and art of failure. It is a little strange”

“Let me come right out and say it: we have to raise the bar on impeccability. Just because we accept failure doesn’t mean that all failures are acceptable. We owe it to the enterprise to approach closer and closer to impeccability, and we have room to do so.”

“If we strive for impeccability, than we do not need to be a part of the enterprise that is all about failure, though the failure will occur”

Shadow IT

“Instead of looking for ways to eliminate or reduce shadow IT, we should instead ask ourselves what we can do to make sure that shadow IT does not come with those negative consequences [security vulnerabilities, unmaintainable systems, standards violations, maintenance expenses]”

“Respect for skill: your new IT workforce will respect coworkers who have impresivne technical skill, and will have little respect for people who don’t”

“Getting things done: the IT workforce wants to ship code. They expect to make impact”

“Cross functional and team-based: cross over skills are increasingly important”

“Fairness and social responsibility: the workplace must be fail. Arbitrariness provokes negative reaction. If someone needs to be on-call to solve problems (“wear a pager”), then everyone should share in that responsibility”

“Focus of roles is changing: the software engineer role is in importance; tests and infrastructure are now both represented in code; with SDN soon even the network will be”

“Technology matters: most IT people are technologists; they need to work with technology”

The CIO’s place at the table

“Driver of outcomes: IT must drive outcomes on terms of revenue, sustained competitive advantage, employee happiness and innovation”

“Master of uncertainty: making good decisions under uncertainty has always been an important part of IT leadership. Risk and uncertainty are simply the day-to-day reality for IT leaders”

“Steward of assets: I have argued that senior IT leadership has the responsibility for stewarding three critical assets: the Enterprise Architecture asset, it IT people asset and the data asset”

“Contributor: it follows that the CIO is the member of the senior leadership team – the team that oversees the entire enterprise – who contributes deep expertise in information technology”

“Informer and salesperson: the CIO needs to sell his or hers ideas to the rest of the organisation – to influence the use of technology on areas he or she does not directly control”

“Orchestrator of Chaos: the answer to my question is simply that IT leaders do not need direct “control” of the teams activities, because they lead indirectly – as do all of the executives with seats at the table”

“Enabler: if we treat IT and the business as a whole community, we can focus on enablement; it is the control paradigm that puts boundaries around what people can do.”

“Impediment remover: the best thing that a manager can do is to help the team do what it knows how to do by removing impediments”

“Manager of managers: but when things aren’t working so perfectly, management needs to use it’s powers to clear away all of the impediments that prevents the team from getting into that productive flow”

“The job of the IT leader is to inspire passion and inspire technical excellence in services of the enterprise objectives”

“We get that seat at the table by embracing uncertainty – by negotiating it with agility and leanness and doing what’s best for the enterprise, not by pretending to have control over what is by it’s nature uncontrollable”

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