Is the Process Fix In?

March 17, 2016 Mark Des Biens

In the best selling book Who Moved My Cheese?author Spencer Johnson tells the fictional tale  of two mice, and two humans who must deal with the inevitable changes happening in their “cheese” environment.cheese-150x150

Two of the key lessons about changes from the book are that in work and life, you must:

  • Monitor Change:  Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old.
  • Adapt To Change Quickly: The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy the new cheese.

Source: Wikipedia

Anticipate Change

The need to accept and anticipate change is a recurring theme surfacing in all agile teams looking for better ways to try to manage uncertainty. The good news is that there are team-tested ways to make even minor improvements that can pay valuable
VersionOne is helping agile teams collaborate at all levels, as well as anticipate and manage changes using Conversations, and Community Topics to manage their lean change process documentation efforts. collaboration-e1457969535204

Monitor & Adapt Using Conversations

Conversations allow agile team members, stakeholders, and others to actively collaborate about anything related to different assets, such as releases, epics, work items, tasks, and community topics. Because they are automatically associated with the various items, you can easily find and keep track of related discussions. This is a key way for your organization to be able monitor, track, and trace changes including all the important discussions leading up to the change.

As teams adapt more quickly to changes, they become experts at exclusively using the correct dosage of VersionOne Conversations to document all the important decisions for the work they are doing. This provides transparency for the team to see what was done, along with the tracking history behind the change decision.  Guest collaborators can also be included in the conversations, allowing your customers and suppliers to interact directly with the teams. This capability does not give them access to the work in VersionOne, just to the conversations they are included on. This also does not count against your license usage.

Benefits with Conversations

  • Monitor change where it happens
  • Eliminate inefficient communication vehicles like email
  • Consolidate and collaborate directly on the work items
  • Provide transparency at all levels of the enterprise
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders on the work being done
  • Track accountability via the changed date and member name

Real-World Conversation Example

A great use case for VersionOne Conversations to use them to track, monitor, and understand changes made to Community Topics. Conversations are used as the “confirmation medium” for your changes.  Here is how that looks in VersionOne:Lean process Change - CU


A. Lean Process Changes Made

  • Change ExampleA new process change for checking in fixes surfaces at a team retrospective. This spawns a proposed update conversation related to the Community Topic for “How We Check In Fixes.”
  • The change follows the lean change process and is documented in the topic, as well as a conversation for further discussion. With the topic updated and discussed, it’s ready for consumption by the teams, but is it understood?

B. Understanding Confirmed 

  •  Start a conversation on the changed topic to “Check Understanding (CU)”.  The Check Understanding topic can instruct the correct roles (e.g., ScrumMaster) to confirm that their team has adoptedCheck Understanding the change, and to use the conversation to ask any additional questions for clarification.
  •  The organization can then review the CU conversation for that change to verify that all the teams are “on board.”
  • These changes are integrated with your Agile ALM solution and help drive team and organization lean-process thinking.

The end result is your ability to quickly adapt to and efficiently monitor changes.

So the answer to the question “Is the Process Fix In?” is all in the conversation, when it happened, why, who agreed to the fix, and who understands the change.


The post Is the Process Fix In? appeared first on VersionOne Blog.

About the Author

Mark Des Biens

Mark Des Biens is currently working as a Solutions Engineer and Implementation Consultant at CollabNet. Mark has more than 20 years of project experience and has worked with dozens of companies looking to improve their enterprise agility. He has been a Scrum Master and agile program manager and is one of the founding members of the Midwest Agile Community Meetup group. Mark has presented at numerous PMI, Agile Alliance, Agile Day Chicago and Agile Meetups.

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