Cynefin framework

A very interesting and very well explained video on the Cynefin Framework.

Summary below taken from the video:

The Cynefin Framework is central to Cognitive Edge methods and tools. It allows executives to see things from new viewpoints, assimilate complex concepts, and address real-world problems and opportunities. Using the Cynefin framework can help executives sense which context they are in so that they can not only make better decisions but also avoid the problems that arise when their preferred management style causes them to make mistakes.
Cynefin, pronounced kuh-nev-in, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple factors in our environment and our experience that influence us in ways we can never understand.



“Being Agile” – Ontological perspectives on Coaching for performance.

I recently attended a very interesting meetup called – “Being Agile” – Ontological perspectives on Coaching for performance. One of the points that stood out about this meetup was that sometimes in our workplaces we forget that we are human. And just the simple things, such as asking someone in your team how they are, can often get overlooked. I think this is something we can all consider; and what is our state of being and the state of those around us. For the more we understand such things the better the work place can be.

Meetup Summary:

Over the years Agile Software Development has become “the way” to deliver value to the clients. While many are reaping the benefits being agile some are struggling to make the transition. This session is designed to help the coaches, change agents and all the participants in the agile journey to explore the “being” part of the agile journey from an ontological perspective.

Ontology is a branch of philosophy focusing on study and nature of ‘being’, now this term is also widely used in social science, computer science, artificial intelligence and in many other fields.

The term is derived from Greek words, “Onto” for existence and “logia” for study, science. In general, ontology focuses on the nature being for everything for example take an apple. The existence of apple can be seen, felt and can be tasted. In the context of managing Agile teams, the session will be focusing on “way of being for people.”

This meetup was presented by Raghav Mithare and the meetup group is Agile Leadership Community

Stakeholder Management and Communication

I have been reading a book called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

I can’t say I agree with everything that is said in the book, but it makes a lot of excellence points and one of the things that stood out for me is when it notes how groups of people such as tribes, armies and empires that rise to power are not always the most powerful or have the biggest armies.

These factors can be very important, but the key thing is simply the relationships, deals, negotiations and comprises that the group makes. This key to building success.

I think this very much applies in business and the relationships you build with your colleagues, team members and stakeholders. Obviously not with any murders or wars! But a key thing to bare in mind here is that communication is often regarded as a soft skill, but in fact it’s a very hard skill to master and also to do well regularly. But one of the key points to working with stakeholders or team members successfully is communicating with them well, confidently and building trust. If required a person should push him or herself to communicate with transperancy, and face to face where ever is possible.

You cannot be lazy or scared in doing this; as that is often one of the faults in communication. You must step out of the safe zones and speak to people in good and bad situations. Also being clear, concise and listening to what others have to say is very important.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Experimentation in the Workplace

I recently attended a very interesting work shop regarding experimentation in the work place. One of the great things from experimenting is that you not only learn a great deal you would not otherwise. But it also stops you from getting stuck in a set approach or way of thinking.

A summary that was provided about the workshop is below:

“Companies who experiment and try new things more, learn more and discover more. Rather than following best practices forever, they understand when the complexity of a situation requires experimentation – Build-Measure-Learn approach to figure out the best way forward. And complexity is all around is – in our product innovations, in our organisational social networks and in our company culture.”

The workshop was ran by:

Andrea Darabos (A lean agile coach and trainer, m3.0 facilitator. Twitter @adarabos)  and Ryan Behrman (Organisational and Team Process Improvement Coach and Trainer)

Further Reading – Experimentation in the work place:

Celebration Grid:


The Mark of a Good Project Manager (Dealing with Complexity)

One key skill that a good project manager should possess is summed up very well by Tom Clancy – “The mark of a superior person is to take complexity and find the simplicity in it.”

I have posted previously that a good project manager should be able to deal with complexity. This quote from Tom Clancy really sums it up. Although he is aiming this statement towards people in general, often the key life skills a person possesses are what a good project manager or scrum master should possess in their work.

Delivering projects on time and within budget

I get contacted by various recruitment consultants and sometimes directly by firms and one of the things I sometimes see on job descriptions. Is a statement that says something like – delivers projects on time and within budget.

It is by all intents and purposes a some what abstract statement! If I, or anyone, or any project manager had some sort of magic formula or secret process that could guarantee this, we would certainly employ it! 😀 We would deliver every project we ever worked on, on time and within budget. I’m sure that we would also be famous for it ;D Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately the world is a mystery place. Where chaos and complexity rules. Little unknown issues or by passed items by even the greatest project manager can cause problems, that put out the budget or schedule.

Of course there are good and bad project managers and we all want to work with or find good project managers. Often good project managers deliver results due to nothing more than a hard work ethic and being well read and well clued up to the processes that can help deliver success.

Look ‘Em in the Eye: Part I – The Importance of Eye Contact

This is a great article on eye contact. Good eye contact is both very important in your career and social life.

The article was written by Brett and Kate Mckay.