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Rethinking Transformation

Rethinking Transformation

I have heard many things that an agile transformation is not. It is not a transactional project or programme, and it should not be set up like one. It is not a side-gig that people need to do above and beyond their usual day job. And some say it is a process that never ends. (Imagine hearing that as the CFO!)

This is my take: Transformation is a product.

This is not a metaphor: transformation succeeds and fails just like a product does—as tangible changes in customer behaviour—and we should treat it like one. We should design it like a product, measure it like a product, fund it like a product, pitch it like a product, govern it like a product. We should take the time to identify the customer; involve them; understand their needs and the jobs they want to be done; and measure transformation success like a modern product manager.

In this session, Daniel confesses that Transformation-as-a-Product has been hiding in plain sight for at least a decade, and describes how approaching transformation in this way unlocks a whole world of modern product management tools, techniques, and learning.

Maybe successful transformation is possible after all.

Daniel Terhorst-North
PRO

March 28, 2022
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Transcript

  1. Rethinking Transformation Daniel Terhorst-North @tastapod

  2. Some (legit) questions about transformation How long will it take?

    How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? @tastapod
  3. Some (sketchy) answers about transformation How long will it take?

    How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? We don’t know yet 3-5 years It will never be done Let’s ask the consultants @tastapod
  4. Some (sketchy) answers about transformation How long will it take?

    How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? See “how long will it take” How much have you got? It’s ok, there’s a central budget Let’s ask the consultants @tastapod
  5. Some (sketchy) answers about transformation How long will it take?

    How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? You can’t measure intangibles Something something lead time Happiness surveys!* Let’s ask the consultants @tastapod
  6. Some (sketchy) answers about transformation How long will it take?

    How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? When we declare victory When the money runs out When the CIO / sponsor quits When we get new consultants @tastapod
  7. @tastapod Transformation is… a project? a programme? a journey? a

    never-ending journey?! Bryan Derksen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  8. What if transformation is a product? @tastapod

  9. @tastapod Doing the thing right Doing the right thing =>

    Product development => Product management
  10. @tastapod Doing the thing right Doing the right thing =>

    Product development => Product management
  11. @tastapod “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they

    want a quarter-inch hole” —Theodore Levitt
  12. Theory of Jobs to be Done Product (n): Job (n):

    Context (n): Progress (n): something you “hire” to do a job make progress in a given context factors influencing the job to be done towards a desired state @tastapod
  13. Prefer quantitative statements x Avoid qualitative judgements How would we

    describe our current context? @tastapod
  14. What factors define our context? @tastapod Attitudes Behaviours Characteristics positions

    we take things we do properties of the system (observable) (verifiable) (intangible)
  15. Alignment Psychological Safety Autonomy We choose our own tech stack

    and toolchain from a well- supported portfolio. Which factors describe our desired state? Our team has all the skills and resources we need to do our work. I challenge the status quo without fear of reprisal. We believe that people should speak up and ask for help. We should be able to release to production whenever we want. Our team’s decisions are consistent with other teams. …that are not true about our current context! @tastapod C A B A B C
  16. Contains science: expert (academic) guidance advised! Now we have a

    tool for measuring progress @tastapod Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly Agree ☐ ☐ ☐ ☒ ☐ “How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”
  17. So now we can answer those questions! How long will

    it take? How much will it cost? How can we measure it? When will we be done? How far away is the desired state? If we do it right, it pays for itself! Continual assessment & sampling When our behaviour* has changed! @tastapod
  18. @tastapod Doing the thing right Doing the right thing =>

    Product development => Product management
  19. @tastapod Doing the thing right Doing the right thing =>

    Product development => Product management
  20. Let’s go build a product transformation! https://dannorth.net daniel@dannorth.net @tastapod