Congruence in action: individual and team dynamics
We often accept someone else's concepts, as we hope they make sense for us in our context. All too often, metaphors from other disciplines are applied to the creation of software (e.g. software engineering, six sigma, lean), without adopters having a deep understanding of what it is that would make the new concept different and applicable to their capabilities and in their local context.
Major problems are just as easy to resolve as "minor" ones. Problems come, just like everything, in fractals. Each small problem is a microcosmos of the larger ones it is part of. The resolution of the problem, both for minor and major ones, depends on completely understanding what the problem is. Once we have understanding, even of a major problem, the solution is a question of just a little corrective push applied in the right place. Virginia Satir created many tools for learning and practicing a healthy balancing act.
Relevance for XP and Agile
The Agile Manifesto states: we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Tools and techniques are not enough for running your projects, you need 'people skills' as well. We all know e.g. that blaming others doesn't make our projects finish early, yet it is hard to stop doing it. This session provides tools and processes for individuals and interactions, to help you take a step further towards peaceful, effective projects.
To assess if a concept truly makes sense for our context, we need to understand the roots of the concept. The tools we explore in this tutorial are based on fractal patterns, meaning, we have to make them our own. Once we have done that, we can use these tools to better understand the application of new concepts in our context, adjusted to our skills and capabilities.
Peace within: Congruent action (1 hour)
"Our challenge now is to develop human beings with values: moral, ethical, and humanistic. For me, this means learning how to be congruent, and that leads to becoming more fully human. When we achieve that, we will be able to enjoy this most wonderful planet and the life that inhabits it." - Virginia Satir
Peace between: Interactions (1 hour)
Virginia Satir believed that all levels of human interaction need congruent communication in which intentions align with verbal and non-verbal messages. We explore how humans interact in guided simulations using the Satir interaction model:
Peace among: Changing the way we change (1 hour)
The first model is called the "hole in the floor" model. In this model, coming up with a decreed "Faster, Better, Cheaper" is expected to just "do it" instantly (figure a). This model is similar to the "oblivious" cultural pattern, a first setting to mark a starting point. But of course, no company really does it that way, because of the realization that it may take some time for people to get used to the "new ways" (figure b). Some "enlightened" managers may understand this and believe they can shorten learning time required by external motivation. With individual learning styles averaged out, we get the "learning" curve" model. In this model, management seems to believe all that is needed to externally motivate creators is by rewards and punishments like a pat on the back, and a lash of the whip now and then or withholding resources.
Mind you, the "pat on the back" motivation works only for a short while, because if we do it too often it might loose it's meaning and the creators will be asking for more money saying "put your money where your mouth is". And we wanted "cheaper", so that's not such a good idea. Withholding resources is a seriously bright idea for keeping control. A definite party pooper in such realities can be finding a sustainable balance between short term and long term effect on creator productivity (figure c). People with self-esteem, your best and most creative problem solvers, will vote with LawOfTwoFeet if and when they have experienced you tyranting them in this way three times.
Re-entry (half hour)
Smooth and safe return to full consciousness of the world outside we are to return to.
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