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Ask questions for these opening talks in #ask-the-speaker-plenary
I need to start shaping in the middle of the talk!
Luckily I think it can wait the few minutes until we get to the end.
As a former teacher of mine stated moments before meeting my group: "I have one wish. I hope they sense light."
The book we’ll be referencing: https://www.conversationaltransformation.com/agile-conversation-book/
@ds what's a consulting CTO and how does that work in practice?
Hi, great book…. enjoyed the book club too.
I have, and we use that as our 1:1 meetings and as we work on projects…
As we talk about daily work and how we are applying to improving our daily work and breaking it down to things we can change…
If we look at our daily work as its own project…
This also helps the team talk better and for myself as a manager be a better manager to be in tune with the move towards common and personal goals.
glad to hear it @denver.martin, wondering whether you're going to answer our key question positively - did you use a piece of paper and fold it in half to do the conversational analysis?
Structure & dynamics thanks to @steve773 @genek101
I like the book but the digital copy does not work as a beer coaster so much.
@ds @jtf Congratulations, you got a 5 star review on Amazon!
Excellent! Thank you for taking the time to post that @ferrix!
Structures = what we do ; Dynamics = what we get
Love the 2nd half of that quote which I always talk about as the people who are closest to the work
They can try the structures... but they don't know what the results should feel like...
Like following the bread recipe without tasting the result
Relevant Cynefin links: Dave Snowden: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dave-snowden-2a93b/ Article: The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~brooks/storybiz/kurtz.pdf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin_framework
Dynamics = emergent properties. Have to be sensed. Can’t just plan them in advance.
emergent dynamic properties - unintended consequences?
@nickeggleston unintended consequences or "learning opportunities"
heh "learning opportunities" - but often people don't want to learn... they just do it harder and wonder wy it keeps hurting!
exactly, can have both intended consequences as well as surprised …. “learning opportunites”
“The decision making rule isn’t important” < this was a mistake. Decision making rules do matter; the information generation process matters more.
Really enjoying this conversation!
Question for the audience: How should we make the decision where to hold the conference next year? What structures should we use to make that decision?
Google Doc with comments and explanations
How to get involvement, and allow most to be involed.
what location would bring in the most new attendees, but still appeal to veterans?
Online - but incorporating learnings from this one...
Silent brainstorming on Mural; put all ideas up at the same time - identify duplicates, dot vote, and discuss the top 5 to decide by consent
Talking the talk vs walking the walk when under pressure
how get the key knowledgeable people that may not be able to leave work, so virtual and alternative hours?
“You know what the results look like”: Espoused Theory vs Theory in Use : https://infed.org/mobi/chris-argyris-theories-of-action-double-loop-learning-and-organizational-learning/#_Theories_of_actionhttps://infed.org/mobi/chris-argyris-theories-of-action-double-loop-learning-and-organizational-learning/#_Theories_of_action:
don't agree @mboudreau327, we need the HIPPOs but as part of the whole set of inputs
We want our ideas to win. Any other idea is a threat to that. If I don't listen to different ideas, then they don't exist!
That’s the problem with hearing other people’s ideas… you risk learning something!
@ds @jtf did you really know my answer was going to be: random
A good overview of Chris Argryis: https://infed.org/mobi/chris-argyris-theories-of-action-double-loop-learning-and-organizational-learning/
Love the interactivity in this breakout. Well done @jtf and @ds!
Thanks! I love this affordance of the remote format.
The 4Rs are a generic framework that you can use with lots of different conversational tools, not just the ones in the book. Nonviolent Communication, EAR, LEAP, and many others.
How does #psychological-safety fit into this? My guess is low PS is a disincentive to listening, revising, learning
Definitely, #psychological-safety is needed for a real learning and listening environment - safe to speak and safe to listen up
Practicing these methods builds psychological safety @nickeggleston. We cover this in Chapter 3 on building trust where by trust we mean the ability to predict someone’s behavior because you understand their internal story
How does this defininton of trust relate to what we might call acceptance... by which I mean... the idea that you will continue to respect and engage with me even if you disagree with my current thinking or ideas?
#psychological-safety as a group behavioural norm is about accepting you will all commit to behaving in a certain way. This can include committing to disagreeing in a constructive (but passionate!) way
@nickeggleston: I think our version of trust is accepting that different people have different stories. We use the tool of The Ladder of Inference as a mental model to help with that process. The idea that people have different experiences and therefore different ladders should be a strength because it gives us more information. Accepting that is very useful.
Agree with @ffion. We don’t need to agree, except that we agree to that we’re going to put the shared problem, the shared mission, ahead of our own egos.
“…is about accepting you will all commit to behaving in a certain way.” < in particular I believe that psychological safety is the shared belief that everyone is motivated by good intent, that everyone is trying to solve the shared problem.
When coaching I often say that there’s no reason to believe that two people will come to agreement. However you should be able come to mutual understanding, where you each understand what the other person believes and why they believe it. That’s a powerful shift towards acceptance.
When anything you do is an attempt to find out reality, agreeing on the next experiment is enough.
So I am thinking back to the James Damore issue with Google. Not much psychological safety in evidence there, from the research I did on the issue. Ironic, given that Google is often cited for the work in PS. There's something worth studying in that whole debacle, I think.
Does Google have an explicit behavioral commitment?
Ties well into Crucial Conversations but extends it in a meaningful way
it's all over chapter 4 (on reducing fear) @nickeggleston - we suggest more concrete steps for improving your conversations to create safety
My shield is blessed +1 against fire. Role playing is fun.
The 4Rs podcast episode: https://soundcloud.com/troubleshootingagile/learning-through-case-studies-the-4-rs
Most of twitter = "conflict" or "group think"
that’s what you get from high “engagement” algorithms
Quadrant from: Blog: The Uncanny Valley of a Functional Organization : https://stratechery.com/2013/the-uncanny-valley-of-a-functional-organization/
I converted many other managers and leaders for Safety 2 culture by doing a book club with some Dekker books, “Just Culture” ” Drift Into Failure”. is was interactive book club…
People read the book… and then want other people to do the work!
We read the book, and want others to read the book who want others to read it.. :)
"Oh no, not another learning experience!"
I think about Jogging 5 miles every morning, and it is the thought that counts…
They don't do the work! This is what @me1342 and I speak with people about week in week out. The work is painful initially but there is joy on the other side
Humility isn't actually necessary for finding opportunities to learn @ricardo.viana - you just need to be in the habit of (painfully) learning
I completely agree @ffion! Just like being fit eventually feels great. It just takes a lot of sweat to get there! 😓
#LearningIsHorrible … when you learn you aren’t who you think you are
"difficult emotional work" - learning - is difficult
That’s the ouch. Oh? I’m contributing to the problem? It isn’t just them? Ouch.
Impression management - not speaking up because you don't want to appear ignorant, intrusive, incompetent or negative
how does this related to basic psychological traits like inroversion vs extroversion
Source of “What does being wrong feel like?” : https://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong
dojos are the key idea, we took awhile to get here but we hope you'll all give them a try!
Conversational Dojo Kit & How To: https://itrevolution.com/conversational-dojo-kit-free-download/
Reading the book helps with theory but the work really makes it happen.
Yep @nickeggleston. The kit has several ideas and in particular lays out the Foundational Dojo
No I mean... do you have some groups you are hosting that we can join to practice?
Yep. Take a look at our events page. The London Organizational Learning meetup has online public sessions twice per month.
If the time doesn’t work for you, let us know on the Agile Conversations Slack and maybe we can organize one in a different timezone
@ds The way I see it, people who don't have a good dose of humility won't truly realize that they are not who they thought they were, even when evidence is shown to their face. A lot of people like to redo the narrative in their favor, sometimes almost automatically. If they are high enough in the org chart, they may get away with it. What do you think?
yes @nickeggleston - in addition to ideas in the kit, you can attend a dojo with @jtf (and sometimes me) - stay tuned for links to the London Organisational Learning Meetup
I run an online dojo twice a month as part of the London Organizational Learning Meetup: https://www.conversationaltransformation.com/events/
@jtf How long does one dojo typically run in duration? how long should a team set aside for one session?
I think I'll dial in some time. I wonder what I can see through comedian's eyes 😄
But I bet you are can also opt in to having a fun two-day Dojo with any team with lots of sweat, tears and a few resignations 😉
@alundgren: most of the sessions we ran in-house at TIM were 1 hr. We ran those initially weekly, then fortnightly, for a few years.
I typically run sessions for people new to the material for two hours.
Once people have done it once, and then understand the flow of the 4rs, then 1 hr is enough.
@jtf do you have breaks in those two hour sessions? I find that a necessity for the brain in trainings.
Our Agile Conversations Slack: https://join.slack.com/t/agile-conversations/shared_invite/zt-hbwzzvvp-QUnG71ad07_Qtf2nvWNbig
I have seen some people who are not very humble (I myself am not terribly humble) but who are willing to accept that they need to improve. A tricky balance to get right but I have seen it @ricardo.viana
After this talk we’ll also be available in #ask-the-speaker-more
Self-distancing.. interesting. I've only been hearing about social distancing. Maybe with self-distancing, we don't need a mask!
really enjoyed the speaker engagement in slack along with the talk… added a lot
Thanks so much for the presentation @jtf
This mirrors practicing conversation in Marriage. It goes so much better when I don't take it personally and when I put myself in my wife's shoes (as far as able), especially actively listening. I'm amazed at how often I forget to do this.
very very insightful. especially the point of putting in the work.
@jtf are the practice sessions the ones labelled "London Organizational Learning Meetup"?
Welcome our next speakers @hbmartin23 and @edwardrussell!
even my adult co-workers used to cause me joy and pain in the same day
@fernando.b.rodriguez. - not very good unfortunately- except those special rare days.
I remember when I met you guys many many many FinTech moons ago and I was stunned how much knowledge about front end and customer behaviour you had when you didn't "need to" on paper
are there any teams that don't say that ops doesn't deliver fast enough?
Oooh, tickets! Come see my talk in 2 hours about that!
ha....tickets.....they said "we dont' need no stinkin' tickets"
"In silos, we felt we were doing good.." love this @edwardrussell.. this feels very familiar.. 🙂
Yea, as we were working on this, we knew that none of this was very unique to us at Discover.
@hbmartin23 Super curious how quickly you turned things around into an Infra as a Product setup. We've done an agile transformation as well and I'm benchmarking against industry leaders. Chat?
We're about 1.5 yrs into this transition.. happy to chat.
“incident creation secret sauce” - I encourage my entire team to have a link to create a ticket for my support team in everyone’s email signature. (They still ping on IM/WebEx Teams/Email.)
Good session @hbmartin23 and @edwardrussell! We have just started our infra/ops transformation and much of what you all are sharing resonates strongly in our space. Eager to learn more!
single points of failure...in the service...one is none....
"if all you have are firefighters, you'll have a lot of fires"
we have too many "heros"
^^^ and reviews shouldn't glorify heroship
Yep, we try to focus on behavioral attributes in reviews when possible... don't give a laundry list of everything you did.. you are on a team... how did you work better, differently, smarter. How did you collaborate and innovate more.
Ohhh the human bits!
this is my single biggest headache...I have an infra team that are "wired to resist" any change....they want nothing to do with infra as a service...
the CAB meets ones a week, as long as you have your request in the week before... you might get something next week... if you filled out all the fields in the spreadsheet.
<- literally used to have an environment called Dogfood
@edwardrussell How were you able to get over the hurdle of choosing technical leadership vs. people leadership?
@hbmartin23, now it looks like you are calling me one of “those people” 😂
Technical leadership can become people leadership @lance.d.taylor - EQ can be trained
@bryan.finster You said something nice about my baby! - virtual pint! @fernando.b.rodriguez. happy to. We make a team solution that seeks to measure and improve Psychological Safety and EQ
You can't lead technology. You mend it, you program it, you manipulate it. Humans you can lead.
@lance.d.taylor - I think we’re getting there. We have managers focused on people leadership and development. Really starting to see some great thought leadership coming out of those roles as we give them time to focus
I'd agree with that statement, but the time consumption or tradeoffs that were made is what I was focused on @me1342
@lance.d.taylor but we also create tracks for those to be product leaders without requiring them to lead people to advance their careers.
Interesting idea that engineers have gravity, instead of work having gravity
BMW spoke last year (I think) about refocusing their infra teams around product/service orientation...
Yes!!!! I keep saying "Every release is missing the next feature."
@hbmartin23 That is what I was wondering about. I would love to hear more about that process. I think that is where the path has to be forged
@mavila907 have those resistant to change sit more with their customers... feel what they feel... they will be motivated to make it better.
we are a retail company...so our customer is not one I would want my infra team to sit with...there are a few that would argue that the business is our customer, but other that say there is only one customer...
but...I will help them get through the "change curve"....minimizing the anger phase as much as possible....move them quickly to exploring
@mavila907 we have just 'one customer' as well.. our external customer... our internal (business / app dev) teams are our 'consumers'... those are who we have the infra product leaders or value stream engineering leaders sit with
@hbmartin23 @edwardrussell - What does "product management" look like in your infrastructure space re: dedicated product managers, etc.?
@hbmartin23 Did you get a lot of resistance from teams that were aligned around a technology? Did everyone make it through the journey?
@derick.stenftenagel i wish we could say we are 'there' .. definitely an evolution .. but we're on the right path. Yes, we definitely received resistance .
@hbmartin23 if I understand this correctly, the focus of this talk is how to change the behaviours, operating model etc., of infra teams... does that assume you already had exec/senior management buy in?
@edwardrussell Having those leadership roles definitely seems like a SMART way to move this change in culture forward. How do you measure these leaders success?
@philipday yes we definitely had leadership buy in.. i would say that is a must.
Jealous! In my firm the challenge is more how to liberate infra managers/teams who want to operate along the lines of your model from more constraining top-down direction
@philipday still?:( was hoping it changed since DOES London
There are some good things going on at grassroots level - organic horizontal collaboration e.g. from the retro of some outage incident
Value Stream Engineering, absolutely love it!
What does the reporting structure look like for your product teams (interested in technical and agile resources, product owner roles)
We see it as a common pattern and a great way to enable flexible movement of people and teams to priority work
😱😱😱😱 Holy cow, @hbmartin23 !!! So much change crashing down all at once!!!
How did the pandemic impact your ways of working? Was your company already supportive of WFH or was it an in-office organization? How has that played out?
Definitely some impact, but we had embraced WFH for some time. However, as we were rolling this out we were encouraging teams to pick days to co-locate, which obviously didn’t really happen with the pandemic. Thankfully most of us were accustomed to working remotely so we’ve managed to stay connected and productive.
@denee.ferguson we have chapter engineers deployed to product teams.. they report to chapter leaders. Our product owners report to product area leaders
@hbmartin23 who do the scrum masters report to?
@denee.ferguson our scrum masters report to a chapter lead (for all SM across our infra teams)
(whoa. I'm logged into Slack with a different account on my iPad!)
I have so many slack accounts I get confused which goes whcih which
@lance.d.taylor - great question. Obviously a large portion of their success is tied to 360 feedback, but we’re looking at measures like setting goals around engineering skill distribution based on the Dreyfus model; adherence to core engineering principals created by the teams; expansion and adoption of our education and training programs; etc. still work to do in quantitying all of this vs having much of it being qualitative in nature.
What were the most unexpected critical challenges you encountered? (aside from the pandemic)
@genek Now we don't know who you are without your pieces of flair in display name 😄
At least it's not the 9 year old's homeschooling account as it was at this house @genek 😂
@denee.ferguson definitely the pandemic coupled with the huge leadership changes we were going through in the middle ... we had to pivot but still find a way to keep our eyes on the same outcomes (better consumer experience, greater efficiency, improved solutions, etc)
That’s a great question. I’d say so far the biggest tool we’re using would be adoption metrics and feedback surveys. Unfortunately with Infrastructure it’s not quite as easy as a customer facing tool where you could do some sort of A/B testing. Hope that answers your question
It does. I will reach out to connect as your insight has been super valuable and really impressed with how Discover has fully embraced the CI/CD ideology. Would love the opportunity to share more about how Split's Feature Delivery Platform does measure the impact of feature releases using A/B testing to reduce the amount of wasted features. I learned a lot and looking forward to learning more from your experiences as it helps me to serve my customers better!
Everything can be data-driven including feelings and the people work
Some of these mistakes sound like you saw what I was doing and took me aside to point out some problems I've been having.
@hbmartin23 what were some of your key measures for data driven decisions?
@hbmartin23 How did you incorporate your managed service providers ( if if you use any) in this product model ?
@hbmartin23, what ratio of new blood did you have to bring in to infuse new thinking and build your COPs?
Tech Debt is real, Human Debt is real too - all debt will bite you 🙂
What's the interest rate on those? I think the human one is more expensive. (and they cause each other)
It's greater for sure
@genek101 made me apply for an actual TM for "Human Debt" 🙈 Not like anyone is falling over backwards talking about paying it off :)
@peter.maddison I see where that complexity is coming from but I find human debt and tech debt more actionable.
"We've got too much things!" is not a call to arms that I'd sign up for
@ferrix They are. I find Complexity Debt resonates as a starting point for some before breaking it down into what is causing that complexity.
Out of all the approaches to sell a change to upper managements VPs of whatnot, I prefer the "Your people are suffering and the re-employable are leaving. You're going down." as effective. and the "I presume you are dealing with a complex constellation of interlinked problems" to be more like pandering to their excellence in dealing even as poorly as they are.
Yes, it is not easy and that may be related to it going poorly. 😄
Yes, exactly. I don't find describing it as any form of "this is how much you messed up" is helpful.
Sure. I've read that Agile, DevOps and Clean Code are dead. Approaches like that who don't acknowledge any previous effort will not win any business. Something has been tried and it has been partially successful since the business is still alive.
"You are screwed" and "You screwed up" are very different but they may be heard all the same.
@edwmarshall3app we adopted OKRs and measured and reviewed at least quarterly. We also standardized on quantitative and qualitative metrics across our teams
Sorry if I missed this @hbmartin23, but what does the Value Stream Engineering team do? Are they coaches/facilitators who help form and optimize value streams across the organization?
@hbmartin23 is Psychological Safety in the OKRs?
so it's the organization that sits on top of our product and chapter organization that accelerates delivery to our value stream (app dev) teams..by prioritizing and executing on the work that drives business value.. we help to take our infra enterprise offerings to the next level (customizations, automations, self service, etc)
@me1342 psychological safety is not in our OKRs but it IS part of our guiding principles, team norms, how we work. We foster an environment of psychological safety across our engineering teams.
Cool @hbmartin23 great session - will pick your brains privately about how you measure it 👍
who sets which priorities; fortunately not the devs, but how does that all come together
I hope we answered any questions you all had. Feel free to reach out if you want to know more. We’d be happy to connect.
@hbmartin23 @edwardrussell thanks for the presentation. Can't wait to get my hands on the slides!
Hi all - looking forward to the Q&A on Team Topologies 📗 soon! 🤓 💬 💬
Hi everyone, looking forward to chatting about Team Topologies!
👏:skin-tone-3: Looking forward to this session!
👏 Really looking forward to this session @me1208 @matthew !
one of my senior directors just found Team Topologies and got really excited. Looking forward for what I can learn from this session and bring back to P&G 🙂
Ooo you might get an executive sponsor out of it...
I believe so, as there is a ask to include the patterns and anti-patterns in our global training material 🙂
The book has plenty of patterns and anti-patterns, @rodriguessemensati.e - this should be a good start 🙂 We are planning to publish some visual guidance patterns and antipatterns in 2021. They will be similar to our original DevOps Topologies patterns from 2013 but obviously use the new Team Topologies thinking and concepts. http://devopstopologies.com/
Thanks for replying @matthew. Yes I am currently using the DevOps Topologies for our training material, as the idea is for our organization to provide guidance on what kind of patterns can be introduced across the company to fit the need of each development organization and their DevOps/Agile Maturity level. Do you already know when in 2021 you will be updating this? I would love to create our material with up to date content, so should I just wait or go on and match the content of the book and the DevOps Topologies site?
The TT book 📗 is much more advanced and up to date than the DOTs website. I never really use the DOTs material now except to say "this is where TT came from" 🙂
The DOTs stuff is a good starting point but I'd recommend to use the TT 📗 material if you can.
We don't have a date for the new patterns yet - we're super, super busy with client work until early 2021 at least, so the new patterns may not be published before the middle of 2021.
got it, thank you so much for taking the time and sharing the information!
Team Topologies is an amazing book.
How does HW fit into this. Could be seen as platform I guess, right?
It depends... 😉 If the HW is stable and what we need are some platform services to simulate tests/update firmware, etc - then I'd see it more as platform.
But if you're developing a product/system where both HW and SW are evolving, I'd tend to see the embedded SW team as stream-aligned. What you might need in that case is more frequent and clear interactions between those different teams.
More collaboration in particular I think tends to be missing in that scenario.
Because HW + SW dev is hard, we tend to try to isolate them but that only shifts problems to later integration stages. HAving those teams interact more often and share common practices would help imho.
Yeah. I haven't read the book yet, but I think I see it the same way
is the platform team embedded in the other products? or is is a standalone product team?
The platform should be managed as a product, so typically you would have separate teams working on the platform. However, you can also get value from having Enabling teams work across multiple Stream-aligned teams to understand needs and feed back that information into the platform.
Depends how "the product" is defined. At the moment I think splitting this up in a basic product (platform incl. HW and basic Sw) and value stream aligned teams (building applications on top of that) would make sense.
@roman - when you read the book, look at the example on page 123-124 - it's about a manufacturing client we worked with. Related to hardware + firmware + software
When the technologies are very different - different skills, different change cadences, etc - it can be A Bad Thing to choose the wrong thing as the platform. Sometimes, it's actually best to use ongoing collaboration until the correct platform becomes clearer.
Just got my copy this weekend, only on chapter 4 so far - very interested in learning how 'enabling teams' work...
@matthew @me1208 I see how the concepts apply well and scale up to sufficiently large organizations (i.e. these case studies). What about scaling down to smaller organizations? My guess is it’s certainly possible that it doesn’t make sense when there are too many teams and interaction modes to support the business need. What’s your experience been here?
When the organisation is smaller it is good to use the TT concepts to plan out what the organisation might look like in the future - thinking about how the organisation could grow
It may also help to identify where people are wearing "many hats" and working across teams
essentially highlighting their potential cognitive load due to context switching
I have begun to discuss Team Topologies concepts with senior leaders, but they pushed back and said we need people to wear many hats... otherwise we would need to hire more people than we can afford.
Also you can apply some patterns even if you don't necessarily have a dedicated team, for e.g. a thinnest viable platform might be a wiki with useful recommendations to get started.
Or you might have a more experienced stream team working in an enabling fashion for a period of time to help a more junior team, etc.
> When the organisation is smaller it is good to use the TT concepts to plan out what the organisation might look like in the future - thinking about how the organisation could grow Aye, I agree with that.
It could help you identify where you might want to "replace" existing team members in those teams
i.e if one person is highly skilled but utilised across many teams, how can you "skill up" someone on one of their teams eventually allowing the highly skilled person to no longer be required within that team
> I have begun to discuss Team Topologies concepts with senior leaders, but they pushed back and said we need people to wear many hats... otherwise we would need to hire more people than we can afford. @dmaillet63 - it sounds like the organization wants to do more than is really feasible to do. Is the goal to be working on multiple things simultaneously (but probably taking a long time) or instead to have a fast flow of change that enables organizational agility?
@matthew Great question! It is currently more of an over-commitment to do too much rather than have a fast flow of change.
Yep - so try to get senior management to address the over-commitment. Lots of approaches: • Limit WIP and use queuing theory • Wardley Mapping to stop doing certain things • Trial use of Team Topologies in a small area and see the results • All the above 🙂
@matthew Thank you! That's helpful. I've wanted to ask you my initial question since I started reading the Team Topologies book 2-3 weeks ago.
At PureGym, the senior management initially pushed back with the "what happens when we don't have enough work for a team?"
the term stream aligned team allowed us to then discuss how a stream aligned team could own more than one domain as long as there was no more than one "complicated/complex" domain
so the "Acquisition Team" owned became responsible for a variety of products/features that aligned with the acquisition stream
@richard.allen Thank you. It would seem my next step will be to identify the streams and domains, in which the work and delivery can be owned by a team. I am also looking at Enabling and Platform teams, which can pull cognitive load away from the streams teams.
@dmaillet63 take a look at Independent Service Heuristics as a strightforward starting point for finding streams: https://github.com/TeamTopologies/Independent-Service-Heuristics It's not perfect but it's much easier to use than more comprehensive approaches like DDD (but you should look at DD too 🙂 )
Cognitive load - great characteristic to consider in team design.
cognitive load is fascinating as a factor impacting speed and quality of development and delivery
Indeed, team cognitive load should drive many key decisions around architecture, team composition, and so on. The resulting decisions might be quite different when we have cognitive load as a key concern.
In particular, team cognitive load should be a strong input into architecture and system design.
I’m interested in how these teaming concepts can by leveraged in cyber physical design as well
Hi @txjones - what do you mean by "cyber physical design" in this context?
Ah - just seen thread https://devopsenterprise.slack.com/archives/C015DUDD9C5/p1602622167390500
ah good I was just about to reply here again 🙂
also I spoke at Mapcamp earlier today … what a coincidence
Have you found that leaders end up using team interaction models in staffing conversations?
Do you mean internal staffing / allocation or more in terms of hiring?
here's an article where we cover a bit on hiring for individual and team purpose alignment: https://techbeacon.com/devops/why-you-should-hire-devops-enablers-not-experts
I believe as Team Topologies ideas become more prevalent in an org, that necessarily has effects on staffing and hiring approaches
I guess my question was more around if you've seen people outside of tech using these terminology. I like the idea here of creating a language to describe types of teams and how they collaborate.
@me1208 so it'd be interesting to hear if diagraming out an entire org or department ends up having a rebalance of people
an example would be aircraft engine design
it’s a lengthy modeling and simulation exercise before you get to manufacturing
I don't have much experience in that area but perhaps this thread with Roman could provide some ideas: https://devopsenterprise.slack.com/archives/C015DUDD9C5/p1602621665374900
Hardwware is going to add more and deeper technical engineering and science knowledge - electrical, mechanical, fuel flow, exhaust flow, etc. The cognitive load is really large. And the archtiecture may not be as decoupled. But I tihnk the concepts still apply.
yes it would be a great place to experiment on how to team. I tried a small experiment for design of an engine fan in a new material
I think the topolgies are the best we know. But the subsystems will be more coupled. And must evolve together. So we will have all teams on a common cadence and be integrating the system end-to-end as frequently as possible. That's what the aerospace and automotive companies do.
I think the principles from Team Topologies still apply in a manufacturing context. I started my career working for electronics manufacturing companies - MRI brain scanning machines, oil & gas sensors, etc. and I completely see the same kind of "platform" and team cognitive load issues in manufacturing as we see in software. (Obviously, software is more "malleable" but that ends up being a detail, I think)
I found that collapsing boundaries between disciplines and focusing them on the outcomes helped the team own the work in a multi-disciplinary fashion and find ways to distribute cognitive load. The next question was ‘how do we scale this’.
@txjones bingo - I've found that setting up an or a few efficient cross-functional team is straightforward ish. Scaling this is where the tricky challenges of planning, coordinating, funding and hey just effectively talking to each other gets much harder. The team API concept fits very well here, as does an eye on minimizing interdependencies. For manufacturing there's some really neat talks about SpaceX & Nasa collaboration on freeing teams up to iterate faster.
Part of the solution is in a ruthless removal of in-flow dependencies. Basically: don't spend your effort MANAGING dependencies, REMOVE them. This means changes to product/service architecture to enable fast flow of changes. It also means moving beyond the "scaled agile" approaches of regular coordination because (although useful initially) these coordination points are really kinds of monolithic coupling.
what is the responsibility of "Developer experience" in Puregym?
For them it's mostly improving development practices, ways of working, better tooling, automation, pipelines, etc.
are they including to define standard stacks of development?
They’re considered platform teams I guess?
I'm not 100% sure, but I believe it's more sharing good practices, tooling, tech stack without a specific intent of "standardizing"
We can ask @richard.allen who wrote the case study 😄
The DevEx team focused on the developer experience across the different steam aligned teams, helping them get the CI/CD pipelines etc
And the DevEx team is separate from the Platform, right? A separate identity?
we also introduced the concept of "chapters" for knowledge sharing for things like "front end development" etc
so those that were in the stream aligned teams that were had an interest in front end dev would join this chapter to help share knowledge - the DevEx team would also be involved in these chapters and help encourage good practice in the other teams
@arthur.maltson > They’re considered platform teams I guess? The 4 fundamental team types help to clarify roles and purpose. So the DevEx team at Puregym is an Enabling team - with a set of behaviors and responsibilities separate from the Platform. This all help to keep teams and systems loosely coupled rather than blurring boundaries that leads to Big Balls of Mud. :shit:
It sounds like they were almost like a developer advocate team
For the internal platform
Wonderfull... I appreciate your help. I was in your session last year, I read the book and this use cases it's awesome
Really enjoying the Team Topologies session! Our Founder & CEO, Mik Kersten, had a great chat with Manuel and Matthew last year on his Mik + One podcast https://projecttoproduct.org/podcast/team-topologies/
Setting boundaries in the high collaboration phase I can see conversely allowing for greater space for effective collaboration both within each stream and across
Related to @txjones comment about aircraft engines, do you have experiences applying Team Topologies at companies that build really big things - 100s or 1000s of developers and suppliers?
We see pockets within those large orgs where some ideas are being adopted and we've done initial training for some of them. Team Topologies is a 1-year old baby 🙂 Companies that size take a bit longer to change their ways 😉
We hope in 2021 we will be presenting some industry examples of that scale 🙂
@me1208 is there anything you can share earlier? For example, do Team Topologies fratcal up as we scale? We apply them to organize the teams in a subsystem. And, we organize the subsystems that way too - stream-aligned, complicated subsystem, platform, (enabling may make less sense). Thoughts?
Yep - we explicitly talk about fractal platforms.
And fractal stream-aligned too, right? Within a subsystem, my user is another subsystem. The aircraft is the engine's user, as an example. So some subsystems in the engine are stream-aligned delivering value (power) to the user. While others are supporting - platform and complicated subsystem. Is that the right thinking?
We recommend to use the same principles and patterns at all levels of the IT organization at least, and probably into other areas of the organization too. We have heard of GOV departments using TT ideas for things like in-person citizen services. We've heard of financial services companies using TT ideas to extend out to the legal department - getting the legal group to specify the services they provide as an internal "legal platform".
I think we have to be careful where we place the fractal boundaries. We need to ensure that Stream-aligned teams have end-to-end responsibility for delivery and operation of user-relevant software. Stream-aligned teams should NOT just deliver to an interim internal user.
Can you elaborate on the DevEx enabling team? What was their focus?
See this other thread 🙂 https://devopsenterprise.slack.com/archives/C015DUDD9C5/p1602622324394400
Clear purpose is essential for great teams, so awesome to see this here!
When you say "long term architecture" in that context, can you comment on how you correlate it with Emerging Architecture?
Generally we're talking about architecture that supports different business value streams by effectively decoupling different parts that support different business areas (in the sense of DDD bounded contexts). Without that focus we can get to an architecture where many different business concerns are coupled and it becomes hard to align autonomous teams to different business concerns.
At PureGym, the short-term project approach meant that it was difficult to do long term architectural planning because the projects were never quite long enough to have an impact - focus was always on delivering the project rather than making incremental changes to improve the underlying architecture
Having long-lived teams that were stream aligned gave them a longer team view of what the stream and wider business wanted to achieve
@me1208 I see. I am trying to establish a difference between how "long term architecture" (which we might as well call "tech-first architecture" in the old world) and the idea of creating an architecture that allows team alignment, with a business focus instead. Thanks for the clarification. I just got your book from Amazon and I will be reading it to get full context, but this clarifies what you mean. Thank you
We could then determine how the stream aligned/platform/enabling teams might need to interact (through the interaction modes) in order to achieve the desired architecture
Thanks, @richard.allen It seems that you let that long term architecture emerge from the interactions of the teams, and this is what I was looking for. As I see it, for as long as we align our architectural choices to enable iterative feedback from the teams involved, the next cycle of architecture will emerge from that knowledge. Congratulations on pursuing this. Many times this is easier said than done 🙂
In essence, I think we're looking at reverse Conway's Law here. Identify the business supporting architecture based on your business value streams, align teams to the latter, and then set up the team interactions that will allow decoupling the existing architecture (because there's always an architecture already in place).
I’ve been pondering the idea of reducing cognitive load and realize what you actually want to do is redistribute the cognitive load to where you want it to be focused.
That's a great way to look at it indeed. We def want to balance the load by having teams with different focus.
But to some extent also reducing cognitive load by upskilling the teams (via enabling teams for example but could be other techniques like training, pairing with senior staff, etc)
How do you measure and visualize the landscape of CogLoad?
as yes that makes sense re: reducing @me1208
We have an early tool here but the field of team cognitive load is quite new... https://github.com/TeamTopologies/Team-Cognitive-Load-Assessment
I promise not to keep talking on the screen after my video is done 🙂
at an in person event, this would be the time where people are getting up and walking out to get to their next session
I see an opportunity for a product to slightly adjust the speed of the video to fit a 40 minute presentation into a 30 minute session
@joel.boekankamp maybe you're just craving for airline peanuts.
I keep giving the conference team feedback that they should leave 10-15 minutes between sessions to handle over-runs and Q&A transitions... anyone who agrees, I'd recommend separate messages to amplify the message. They could try it on day 2-3 and see how it goes... iterate and get fast feedback...
Interesting definition of platform!
One of the most overloaded terms in IT 😉
the remote work workbook will be awesome
If you loved @me1208 and @matthew presentation, head over to check out their previous webinar on Remote-First Team Interactions here: https://itrevolution.com/remote-first-team-interactions-webinar/
Before we get going, I just wanted to give a major shout out to the excellent @pedrinho_does2020 who reviewed a number of revisions of the talk to make it what it is today.
“You just keep the site running” < funny use of the word “just”
When the dev guy goes to DOES and brings back the high performing Ops team blueprint :)
@dave the name of the presentation is triggering for any Ops or ex-Ops 🙂 - now I have to see this!
Thanks @me1208 @matthew, Team Topologies work site and now (much better) book has been a major shift in organizing teams. The "cognitive load" concept was key when I first heard from it.
@nick.kritsky I'm trying to get in your head, lol 😈
It is funny how cognitive load is a new thing for teams where in education people are somewhat mindful for not exceeding the human limits.
I think people in our industry, including me, feel like failures if they don't know everything. It's hard to admit you don't. This then pressures everyone else to behave the same way. Is that unique to software development?
Amen to that Bryan. Just today I was working with a team and they really struggled to admit any sort of gaps in their knowledge or needing help from other teams. "We'll learn by ourselves, not a problem". Which is correct, the problem is not the learning, is the time available to learn 🙂
The other classic is of course "we just need better tools"
It also helps when teams ask for help developing a learning path. Everyone seems to want to start from zero and do all the exploration of WHAT to learn and which resources are good resources.
And we have cognitive load everywhere. The structure of companies is not evident, the dependencies between systems are not evident...
When we pride ourselves with slicing models easily, the number of easyish models is something we ignore. So the cognitive load of knowing what all of your dependent and depended teams do becomes a huge cognitive load. And then you are supposed to context switch between that and your software.
There are three kinds of leadership: personality, excel and structure. This is a failure in structure and possibly caused by being "cool" or making it look pleasant in a worksheet.
(having a leveled tripod of the three is generally what would be a balanced approach to leadership)
Thinking about cognitive load in terms of groups or teams is quite new. The originator of "cognitive load" - John Sweller - has only recently (2018) published a paper looking at group cognitive load (as opposed to individual cognitive load). It's a new "hot topic" 🌶️ 🙂
Granted. It's just silly how "complexity makes you tired" is a general fact that gets applied to new domains one at a time where you could almost consider it a first principle 😄
That's a bunch of commits...
I am getting the impression that this is not a happy war story.
I love that cloud leads to a virtuous circle of reduced cost <-> increased resilience <-> better quality
“we saved 70% in costs” < that seems like a way to win friends! 💰
I used to LOVE reading the BOFH
I learned about BOFH thanks to @ds while we were working on Agile Conversations
@justin.heimburger we all did. The "excuse cards" were very tempting to use in the daily job.
It was so cathartic to read about someone fictional doing things that seemed totally reasonable, but also career-limiting....
that’s what came to mind when you said “What kind of SRE do you want to be?”
This also came to mind: https://twitter.com/JoeBlubaugh/status/1311420391412260864
Oohhh, yeah, I saw that thread. Cringeworthy.
4. I am in progress of telling people what a model is.
“when they are working with developers or things like that” < wait, what? What kind of things are they working with that are like developers?
wait. In the new world - isn't the "keeping the site up" something that developers are supposed to do?
At the application level, not at the infra level @nick.kritsky Someone has to turn the knobs in K8s! 🙂
@dave is a true authentic speaker. Love listening to him. Lots of experience helps.
toil to me translates to Time Off In Lieu. I’ve got to stop and think to remember it is actually a word, not just an acronym.
I think we need a music video for Burning Down The Ticketing System
Brian Eno got a mention in an earlier talk. Maybe he could put something together...
I think @jeff.keyes could probably do vocals with his dueling pianos like microphone from his earlier talk
this Eurovision song could be used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S4drHAd8dA
#xpo-servicenow : we are talking about ticketing system. May be worth a watch later if you are busy.
“Toil … scales linearly as the service grows” is a great insight, emphasis.
failure is inevitable - hihi
but if we treat it like normal work @dave we can’t get as much done in our schedule
Ha, Agile teaches us: you have to go slow to go fast 🙂
can you make a fourth option...all of the above?
None of the above. Finding out WHERE in the ticketing system I have to be in to create it.
And I don't hate much...
Yes, my tickts get created. I wait for several weeks, and then I get email that ticket has been closed with no comment. 😞
thinking about when I was responsible for a ticketing system and we would walk around asking "do you really need to keep this ticket open?"
Poorly performing teams hide by making their support queue non-obvious to find (or worse, not even supported).
Yea...definitely an uphill battle
“they don’t care about any of those internal things” < 💯
having an internal disagreement with leadership....I say sre is devops but devops is not sre...I want to create an sre team...but they are pushing for a devops team....thoughts?
Are you dealing with one person who has go/no-go power, or is this a larger issue, like business, hr, etc. having feels?
or...create an sre team and do devops in it....
I'm asking in case the name may not matter as much - where I'm working now, there are "devops" teams and there are "SRE" teams depending on the business. But some of those teams do the same things, and some don't. As long as you're not being artificially limited, and as long as you can get your owrk done...
but thanks for the input
Yeah, I think Nick is pretty spot on. It doesn't matter what color you paint it on the outside, it's what you do on that team that matters.
short staffed...can't do both....
Well, whichever one you end up doing has to be the priority, especially if that's what everyone is saying is the priority
leadership feels that devops team stops once the item is deployed in prod...I feel sre would own the app..from cradle to grave and all points inbetween...
You can only have one top priority. If that's what they think the priority is, then help to test that thesis. If you're right, you need to push to expand. If you're wrong, you have less work!
It's hard to offer some arguments, without knowing the reasons that drive the other side. this: "devops team stops once the item is deployed in prod" probably has some reasons behind it. Financial, regulatory or otherwise. Maybe you should start with finding what those reasons are.
Well, consider the Netflix SRE model. This way the developers can own the item, but they are not asked to just be great at operational things unsupported. There are so many places to "Keep the developers moving as fast as possible".
you have made some great points about "keeping the developers moving"
we suffer from that mainly because our test systems suck...and we need to have a way to "self serve" or "test system on demand"...completely disposable...and repeatable...
I definitely view Ops as empowering to the organization when done right. That's why I called it "Ops as a Strategic Differentiator! " 🙂
@mavila907 are all your environments built with the same tools?
no....sadly...as we have quite a few legacy systems that cannot be "automated" due to being physical systems...
Sure, but for the things are are not, hopefully a successful test in one environment will likely lead to a successful test in the next. When things get inconsistent , that when often "test systems suck" as you say.
inconsistent is an understatement...I have many things to address and looking for my leadership to prioritize the items....I can do anything, i can't do everything...
thanks again for your input
No worries. Happy to talk it through. I think your leadership seems to be missing a key component of the why.
perhaps I am not asking the right question? thoughts on that?
The Accelerate book might be able to help with that, or if they want the easier version, The Phoenix Project.
omg...the phoenix project had to be written by a prior employee at my company....it followed us perfectly...which is not perfect but you get my point
It just sounds like there is a perception that "things are working"-ish, so why mess with it. As Dr. Kersten talks about in Project to Product, you will get crushed if you don't.
Ha! @mavila907 totally! So many people say that about The Phoenix Project. @genek101, et al created a masterpiece. When I was at Salesforce, one of my colleagues was reading the book and catching up on email while on vacation, and told me he couldn't tell which was the book after a while. 😂
pretty accurate assessment...to be more specific things are not broken...not broken and working could be two different places...but that is subjective...
ok...then ish is spot on
Good talk @dave Thanks!
v2mom is the Salesforce alignment strategy, vision values metrics obstacles and measures I think
Vision - Values - Methods - Obstacles - Measures
👏 thank you @dave
Thank you, @mavila907 and anyone else, I'll be over in #ask-the-speaker-more if you want to thread some questions ❤️
@dave What would you say to an ops team that feels like they are being phased out as the developers are now pushing docker images on managed platforms (that they don't manage)?
I think that it's impossible to do everything well. If someone isn't focused on Ops type problems, the org will definitely suffer. How is monitoring done? What if there is a platform problem? Etc.
"Good news, everyone! We don't have to push docker images no more. It's a great opportunity to lay your hands on something more interesting. How would you like to own a domain-wide application performance monitoring platform for example?"
@dave I came late - now will re-watch the parts I missed. Great talk - appreciate the insights and where the discussion went. 🍻
If you liked the Empathy stuff, check out the talk I posted from DevOpsDays Vancouver
@me1208 late question: are there any metrics to characterise teams in terms of their composition (roles, headcount), how do they relate to other teams, the value they create or others that you have found useful in order to create a picture of an organisation? I have been looking for this to support staffing decisions and keep track of progress
Just started reading their book but i think there are a few things e.g. size (obvious) , the number of business domains they deal with, whetervthey are colocated...
colocated is tricky as it is not binary. offices with closeable doors are better than an open space if a team room is not a possibility so that they can have a 24/7 open call between the team. All three options would count as "colocated" instead of remote or distributed.
In these times, teams who can now have an open call between their homes are thriving instead of being hindered by the need to find a quiet space to speak to each other. So the new normal for colo/distributed/remote setting would probably be rephrased useful/non-useful communication channels.
that's a really interesting observation, matches my experience
Hi @jracabado - the whole Team Topologies books is fundamentally addressing the questions you asked 🙂