Leaving Diana Larsen at Dansk Bank

Watching Diana Larsen in Danske Bank recently presenting her new focus on Start Well

Title for the talk was Start Well: Launching Projects and Teams for High Performance and Hyper-Productivity


Definition: High Performance, Hyper productivity, successful delivery
Starting Well: Change Dynamics, Craft the Team, Attention to the Beginning
Agile Charting: Purpose, Alignment, Context

Shooting a lot of different definition about Effective Team, High Performing Teams, Agile Teams, Traits of Bellman & Ryan’s “Extraordinary Groups” leading to the definition of Hyper Performing Teams.

Productivity: Efficiency and Effectiveness of a Team at turning inputs into outputs.
Hyper Productivity: Team work at much higher levels of performance such 2x, 3x, 4x more productive than their peers (or their own prior performance)

Often seen environment for Hyper Productive Agile Teams are described in Ryan Shriver. “Hyper Productive Agile.”

1. Self-Organization
2. Engineering Practices
3. Everyone Trained
4. Software “Done” at Iteration End
5. Backlog Ready at Iteration Start
6. Short Iteration (1-2 weeks)
7. Visible Progress
8. Frequent Communication and Collaboration
9. Pair Immediately
10. Few Disruptions
11. Everything is Prioritized
12. Servant Leadership

I guess that missing out of these list of definition is the depth details of what it take for making the single line of statements like “Servant Leadership” etc. I guess  that we can find many different explanations on the topics consulting different medias so which ones Diana Larsen means is the right once was unsaid this day.

Now how can we get our Teams to get Hyper productive?

Starting Well: Change Dynamics, Craft the Team, Attention to the Beginning

Starting well has the focus on getting the right skills in your team, making sure that

Prepare Conditions for Success

  • Get Product vision
  • Craft and Involve the Team
  • Set up the Workspace
  • Prioritize the Product Backlog
  • Plan Project Kick-Off Activities
  • Focus on Trust

Here I just focus on one element “Craft and Involve the Team”. When setting up the team you must focus on Collaborative Team skill with which means:

  • Interpersonal Interaction Skills (Listening; speaking up; self-disclosure; verbal and non-verbal communication)
  • Trust-Building Skills (Being trusting; being trustworthy; giving, seeking, and receiving feedback; meeting commitments)
  • Team Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills (Learning, thinking, and deciding as a group; problem definition and root-cause analysis)
  • Conflict Skills (Conflict management; influencing; negotiation)
  • Team Meeting Skills (Setting agendas; facilitating; participating; action planning)
  • Shared Leadership Skills (Direction; guidance; evaluation; follower ship)

Agile Charting: Purpose, Alignment, Context

Purpose is giving inspiration and meaning, Alignment is to provide the right alliance and Context will make us understand the fit with organization. Some of these areas are the bases of the Product Vision described by Roman Pichler but Diana Larsen has included Team activities like Working agreements, etc.

Vision – Value to Attain
Mission – Result to Accomplish
Mission Tests – Criteria for Success

Secure Alignment
Values & Principles – Beliefs & Ideals about Work
Core Team – Cross-functional group with a common purpose.
Working Agreements – Operational Guidelines

Explore Context

Boundaries & Interactions – Seeing the Systems
Committed Resources – Organization Support
Prospective Analysis – Initial Projections

Seeing Diana Larsen’s presentation slides for more details.

Getting at the end of the speak I missed somehow the red thread binding it all together to some greater learning. I fell that much of this speak had been a repeating lists of knowledge. I do love that Diana Larsen is focusing  on agile team optimizing – how to get to Hyper productive stage because this is hard work and doesn’t come easily.

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