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Embracing Uncertainty

Embracing Uncertainty

Over the last few years Dan has been working with and studying teams who are dramatically more productive than anything he's ever seen. They produce in weeks what would take other teams months, and iterate in days rather than months. One of the central themes he's observed is their ability to embrace uncertainty, holding multiple contradictory opinions at the same time and deferring commitment until there is a good reason.

Uncertainty lies at the heart of agile delivery and is one of the primary reasons organisations struggle with agile adoption: it turns out we are desperately uncomfortable with uncertainty, so much so that we will replace it with anything, even things we know to be wrong. In this talk Dan shows how we have turned our back on the original Agile Manifesto and explains why understanding risk and embracing uncertainty is fundamental to effective delivery, and also why it is so scary. He describes how Real Options and Deliberate Discovery can help make life more manageable and invites you to embrace uncertainty. He is pretty sure he won’t succeed.

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Daniel Terhorst-North

April 28, 2016
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Transcript

  1. Embracing Uncertainty Dan North @tastapod

  2. @tastapod A tale of two communities

  3. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  4. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  5. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  6. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  7. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  8. @tastapod A tale of two communities Bounded Centred

  9. @tastapod We fear uncertainty!

  10. @tastapod We fear uncertainty! Faith produces religion

  11. @tastapod We fear uncertainty! Faith produces religion Complex questions produce

    simplistic answers
  12. @tastapod We fear uncertainty! Faith produces religion Complex questions produce

    simplistic answers Interpretation becomes dogma
  13. @tastapod We fear uncertainty! Faith produces religion Complex questions produce

    simplistic answers Interpretation becomes dogma We would rather be wrong than uncertain
  14. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty

  15. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist

  16. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist - uncertainty of

    scope
  17. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist - uncertainty of

    scope - uncertainty of technology
  18. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist - uncertainty of

    scope - uncertainty of technology - uncertainty of effort
  19. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist - uncertainty of

    scope - uncertainty of technology - uncertainty of effort - uncertainty of structure
  20. @tastapod So we resist uncertainty We resist - uncertainty of

    scope - uncertainty of technology - uncertainty of effort - uncertainty of structure We resist uncertainty of the future
  21. @tastapod So we are kind of stuck, right?

  22. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery

  23. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint

  24. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant
  25. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly
  26. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly Some unexpected bad things will happen
  27. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly 
 
 Some unexpected bad things will happen
  28. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly 
 
 Some unexpected bad things will happen
  29. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly 
 
 Some unexpected bad things will happen
  30. @tastapod Deliberate Discovery Ignorance is your biggest constraint You are

    second order ignorant Ignorance reduces suddenly 
 
 Some unexpected bad things will happen
  31. @tastapod Real Options

  32. @tastapod Real Options Options have value

  33. @tastapod Real Options Options have value Options expire

  34. @tastapod Real Options Options have value Options expire Commit deliberately

  35. @tastapod Real Options Options have value Options expire Commit deliberately

    “Never commit early unless you know why”
  36. @tastapod But you won’t believe me

  37. @tastapod But you won’t believe me Confirmation bias

  38. @tastapod But you won’t believe me Confirmation bias Fundamental attribution

    error
  39. @tastapod But you won’t believe me Confirmation bias Fundamental attribution

    error Bias bias
  40. @tastapod But you won’t believe me Confirmation bias Fundamental attribution

    error Bias bias but most of all, that craving for certainty!
  41. @tastapod Embracing uncertainty

  42. @tastapod Embracing uncertainty Embrace uncertainty of scope

  43. @tastapod Embracing uncertainty Embrace uncertainty of scope Embrace uncertainty of

    technology
  44. @tastapod Embracing uncertainty Embrace uncertainty of scope Embrace uncertainty of

    technology Embrace uncertainty of effort
  45. @tastapod Embracing uncertainty Embrace uncertainty of scope Embrace uncertainty of

    technology Embrace uncertainty of effort Embrace uncertainty of structure
  46. @tastapod tl; dr

  47. @tastapod tl; dr Expect the unexpected

  48. @tastapod tl; dr Expect the unexpectable

  49. @tastapod tl; dr Expect the unexpectable Anticipate ignorance

  50. @tastapod tl; dr Expect the unexpectable Anticipate ignorance Embrace uncertainty

    — it’s inevitable!
  51. Thanks for listening @tastapod http:/ /dannorth.net dan@dannorth.net