The new normal
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The new normal

AO concepts and patterns of 21-st century agile organizations

About the Book

The AO hypothesis is that what we call “Agile” is a dynamic in a system called organization. An Agile Organization is allowing high efficient interactions of people leading to better responsiveness on threats or opportunities.

To ensure such dynamics, the AO model is proposing five areas:

  1. Structure is not Organization
  2. Organization allowing Agile Dynamics
  3. Five transition phases to full Agile Organization
  4. Five metrics, the five experiences; enterprise experience, organization experience, people experience, customer experience and system experience.
  5. Five work areas: the platform, the Plexus, Programs, Projects and Swarms

These tools will help coaches, managers, leaders to design a proper engaging “alliance” with all stakeholders of the organization.

AO is an answer to anthropomorphic organizational model or organic working models where all the actors are engaged on a shared purpose.

About the Author

Pierre E. Neis
Pierre E. Neis

Pierre is a French-German agile coach and organizational designer.

His international career brought him to investigate and experience new models or work in various organizations from software development to finance, from Government to manufacturing.

The Kaizen and Lean background lead him to read organizations from systems thinking perspective, and so does agile from him.

Culture and people matters are his moto and are one of the keys he uses to read global organizations on their way to more innovation and responsiveness.

Five years ago, Pierre created a program for agile coaches, managers and HR people decoupled from the methodology perspective to have professional coaches having the abilities to tackle globalisation issues. Pierre ´s business engagement and that program generated a tremendous amount of documentation. That documentation is now consolidated in AO.

Table of Contents

AO, 2 concepts and patterns of 2 21-st century 2 agile organizations 2 By pierre e. neis 2 Content 5 Introduction 15 The puzzle 18 1. 19 What is the situation? 19 What organizations can be considered as agile and why? 20 If I use one of the agile methods, am I agile? 22 2 24 What is Agile? 24 Are we talking about a culture? 27 Is it a mindset? 29 What kind of agile is your Agile? 32 What’s not agile? 34 3 37 What is organization? 37 Organization isn’t structure 37 The titanic metaphor 39 Responsiveness over robustness is key 41 The farmer metaphor 45 Jason´s story 47 How to experiment it: the sociogram game 49 Conclusion: 52 4 53 It is mostly about behaviour : testing with the agile animal farm game 53 Pigs 54 Chicken 54 Foxes 55 Seagulls 56 Rats 57 Cats 58 Bulls 59 Shepherd Dog 60 Let’s discover the game and what we can simulate. 61 5 68 Understanding 21-st century work 68 The nature of work has changed 71 6 76 Changing paradigms 76 Summary 81 7 82 Addressing new challenges 82 Summary 86 8 87 Decoding systems with Cynefin 87 Keys of language: 89 Three types of primary systems: 89 Aspects of complexity 90 9 97 Considering agile like the dynamics in a system 97 10 106 Simples rules applied to scrum and agile 106 Set the stage 109 Everything is not an option 110 Decide 110 Avoid never ending stories 111 Human relations 112 Keep the balance 113 What do you really want? 114 Set the pace 115 Summary 116 The AO 118 11 119 Organization over structure 119 Organization is not structure 121 What is a system? 122 Ecosystem or Complex Adaptive System 124 Organisation system contains multiple subsystems 125 What is structure then? 126 What to measure? 127 How much “Structure” is enough “Structure”? 130 What to do? 131 12 132 The AO (agile organizations) principle 132 Changing the paradigm is almost missing. 140 The common pain points. 144 13 151 Roles in AO 151 Pigs & Chicken metaphor 154 How to work with Pigs 156 Emerging behaviour and how you can support complexity? 158 Summary. 160 14 162 The AO process 162 Apple trees 165 Programs 169 15 183 AO Projects with Scrum X 183 Managing projects in AO 186 How is traditional project management different? 189 What is Scrum X? 192 Scrum X dynamics 194 Scrum Roles are enhanced: 195 To summarise Scrum X 200 16 201 How to handle Transactional work? 201 Step one: make work visible 205 Step two: improve and prioritise work 207 Step three: let services emerge 209 Summary 210 17 211 AO and portfoliomanagement 211 18 220 Experiences: UX, CX, SX, PX, OX, EX 220 The Play14 case 221 Using the X to understand the business model deep design 228 19 231 Twelve steps to transform your company 231 STEP "0", the default situation when the company is not yet known 232 Step "1", We have a project manager but no knowledge of project management 235 Step 2: a project approach. One project = a dedicated team 239 Step 3: the beginnings of a proto-agile 243 Step 4: improve proto-agile 247 Step 5: Proto-scrum 250 Step 6: Old Scrum 254 Step 7: Scrum 257 Step 8 : Agile 260 Step 9 : The Switch 262 Step 10 : The Hack 266 Step 11. The Agile Organisation 269 Step 12. The Extend 271 20 275 The 5 transitions steps 275 Agility 277 Awaken 278 Rubicon 279 A-Venture 279 AO 279 Tips and tricks to switch 280 The challenge at enterprise level 283 21 286 Conclusion and points of attention 286 Join ao 289 Apologies 290 AO in 5 291 Bibliography 292 About the Author 295

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