More and more people think Agile is not just a method, it is a mind-set change. How could we change people’s mind to adopt Agile? How are we going to change people’s behavior to make them behave in an Agile way? Let us admit it. It is not easy. It just likes to change your 30-year-old smoking habit or change the way how you squeeze your tooth paste each morning, or change your spouse’s eating disorder behavior. Is that possible?

In this workshop, we will share Charles Duhigg’s Framework to help Lean and Agile Teams reach their full potential. The Duhigg Framework is an intriguing award-winning coaching framework developed by Pulitzer-Prize winning and New York Best Selling Author Charles Duhigg. Today, organizational visionaries clearly understand that extremely well-coached Lean and Agile teams perform orders of magnitude above their counterparts. The Duhigg Framework is a proven four-step coaching process for helping individuals, teams, and organizations reach their full potential. This workshop will practice how to use the framework to help people identify common Lean and Agile pain points or non-Agile behaviors and attempt to overcome them with highly-effective coaching techniques. The majority of the time will be used performing practical hands-on exercises to codify the world-renown coaching principles exhibited by the Duhigg Framework, which is recognized and endorsed by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Participants who invest their time in this short, but valuable workshop will walk away with tools to help them succeed.

Lean & Agile Methods have become a global phenomenon over the last 20 years. Over 95% of information technology projects valued in excess of $2 trillion across the world are now reported to use methodologies such as Kanban, Scrum, and other values and practices. Furthermore, lean and agile projects are also reported to be at least three times more successful than traditional ones, especially when effective coaching values, principles, and practices are properly utilized.

In spite of the proliferation of Lean and Agile Methods and their reported successes, information technology projects continue to struggle, under-perform, fail to reach their full potential, and even disappoint their proponents as well as customers. An alarmingly small number the top projects outperform the rest of the pack by orders of magnitude. This disparity threatens investments in Lean and Agile Methods, fuels criticism and anti-Lean and Agile sentiments even among its proponents, threatens to undermine this paradigm, set the global industry back decades to traditional methods, and creates a global divide among the best and worst industry performers. Furthermore, this disparity undermines global industry competitiveness that would benefit consumers, customers, buyers, and end-users of information technology products and services. Lean and Agile Methods have built-in process improvement phases, stages, and activities, yet many projects fail to achieve their full potential by adapting to the level of best-in-class industry performers. Much of this is attributed to the lack of organizational investments in properly planned and executed Lean and Agile coaching services.

Visionaries of Lean and Agile Methods are now starting to identify, document, and even realize the potential of coaching values, principles, and practices for helping information technology projects reach their full potential. This is evident by the plethora of textbooks, courses, and articles for Lean and Agile Coaching. These benefits are also evident in other closely related fields such as executive coaching, which enjoys hundreds of textbooks to help C-level executives reach their full corporate potential. While these services employ dozens, if not hundreds of coaching practices, one is emerging that promises to be useful for helping information technology projects succeed. This tool is known as the “Power of Habit” Framework. It was codified by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Duhigg in his best-selling textbook that spent 60 weeks on the New York Times Bestselling List. It is a simple four-stage iterative framework consisting of the following steps:

– Identify the Routine
Identify the instinctual, intuitive, or automatic activity, procedure, or action that manifests a desirable or undesirable Lean and Agile Value, Principle, or Practice. That is, identify the enablers or inhibitors to collaborating with customers, exploiting the synergy of self-organizing teams, eating the elephant one-bite-at-a-time with time-based iterations, or constantly implementing stretch goals with frequent retrospectives, process improvement cycles, and other performance enhancements.

– Experiment with Rewards
Investigate multiple, rapid-fire alternative visual, fully-automatic, or manual methods, practices, and tools to enable desirable Lean and Agile Values, Principles, or Practices. Both Lean and Agile Methods have their origin in the Toyota Production System (TPS) that was a visual system of managing entire factories full of ordinary workers to perform well above their individual potential with simple visual aids, tools, and practices. Therefore, techniques should be employed to codify collaboration, teamwork, iteration, adaptive behaviors, and Lean techniques.

– Isolate the Cue
Decode the signal that motivates individuals or teams to exhibit a desirable or undesirable Lean and Agile Value, Principle, or Practice. Research has revealed there are five main cues (e.g., location, time, emotional state, other people, or immediately preceding action). That is, what causes people to collaborate, work in teams, iterate, adapt, do value stream mapping, set WIP limits, and manage queues and bottlenecks, and measure product quality.

– Have a Plan
Identify, develop, and institutionalize principle-base policies, standards, guidelines, practices, and tools to routinize desirable Lean and Agile Values, Principles, or Practices, especially those of high-performing organizations. Once repeatable cues, routines, and rewards have been isolated, identified, and mastered, and then action plans can be codified to systematically realize the vision of Lean and Agile Methods, such as collaboration, teamwork, iterations, adaptability, and other Lean behaviors. However these must be living plans as process and product technologies constantly evolve due to Moore’s Law. That is, nothing ever stays the same, so one must constantly rinse-and-repeat using the Duhigg Framework (as entropy causes even best practices to decay).

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