SIGS DATACOM Fachinformationen für IT-Professionals

The Conference for Software Architecture
Munich, 03 - 07 February 2020


Talk: Di 9.1
Date: Tue, 04.02.2020
Time: 09:00 - 10:30

Agile Motivation – Why Agility Rocks

Time: 09:00 - 10:30
Talk: Di 9.1


Some companies try to motivate their people with fancy offices and other perks. But somehow, that eventually seems to drain motivation instead. In most companies. There are exceptions, though, that seems to bristle with engaged people, yet there are no bean bags or fruit baskets anywhere in sight. How come? There are scientific explanations for that & some hands-on options for achieving a high motivation level in agile teams.
As motivation is the key to survival for organizations, true agility provides the means for thriving in the unknown.

Target Audience: Agile Coaches, Decision Makers, Team Leads, Team Members
Prerequisites: Interest in fueling that inner engine
Level: Introductory

Extended Abstract
This talk is about motivation, our inner engine. Specifically, it is about the psychology of autonomous motivation and the three levers that enable the development of sustainable autonomous motivation in people. And: true agility serves these three levers astonishingly well! When they are mishandled, however, they can turn highly motivated teams into mobs of zombies who are merely coding according to specification or working to meet minimum requirements.
When we are setting off into unknown territory, though, the type of crew we really need to have on board consists of engaged people who are capable of thinking for themselves. We depend on employees to ask the right questions and be resilient to unforeseeable challenges. They need to be able and willing to make decisions, learn from the situation at hand and apply their new knowledge to achieving a common goal. For this, we need to develop organizations in a manner that attracts and supports these people, so we can trust them to go where they need to go. We cannot rely on people who need some commander knowing the way and giving detailed instructions.
Also, we need to understand how to build or transition to agile organizations and structures that enable people to handle complexity. We need to integrate psychological insights into designing the systems we work in to help people maneuver in ambiguous contexts and overcome silos.
Thus, we need to know about autonomous motivation, how this inner engine is fueled and what it can do for the work context. We need to understand what this means for individuals, how it effects the work in teams and what leaders should know, so they can provide the right settings. The three aforementioned levers can be used as a compass to help our teams thrive.
This talk explains, how carrot and stick systems kill motivation and why working according to the values of agile software development and with a growth mindset reliably delivers value.
The session includes

  • theory parts, explaining the underlying model by Deci & Ryan
  • references to CYNEFIN and conclusions for creating successful work settings
  • an overview of three approaches that enable autonomous motivation
  • examples and short discussions of these examples
  • reflection pauses with optional discussions for individual transfer
  • one micro step to start next Monday (the latest)
  • several occasions for Q&A.