Agile beyond IT and beyond just doing it, but rather being it requires experimenting continuously in order to learn continuously. Thus more important than failing fast is learning fast.
In this workshop we will learn what learning fast means for every individual and the organization as a whole and we will define experiments for you to use in your company for becoming agile truly. This will allow you to create an environment for continuous innovations.
• Learn how to conduct experiments, how to learn from them, and how to scale them
• Understand the prerequisites for creating your own experiments
• Learn how to design experiments dependent on the outcome you aim for in respect to the environment you are in
• Understand that everyone in an organization can foster learning (faster)
• Develop strategies for the application in your own context
@JuttaEckstein | agilebossanova.org1
Jutta Eckstein | @JuttaEckstein
Learn Fast don’t Fail Fast!
Workshop on the Essentials of BOSSA nova
@JuttaEckstein | agilebossanova.org2
Set the Stage
◼ Why are you here?
◼ What books you read, you recommend?
– Please write your recommendation in the chat
@JuttaEckstein | agilebossanova.org3
Goal for the Workshop
◼ Learn how to bring a culture of experimentation into your
– Learn how to conduct experiments, how to learn from them, and
how to scale them
– Understand the prerequisites for creating your own experiments
– Learn how to design experiments dependent on the outcome
you aim for in respect to the environment you are in
– Understand that everyone in an organization can foster learning
– Develop strategies for the application in your own context
@JuttaEckstein | agilebossanova.org4
◼ Welcome & set the stage
◼ Defining the context
◼ Values & principles for learning fast
◼ Enabling continuous learning (through probing)
◼ Creating probes: hypothesis, experiments, measurement
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Is Trust Cheaper?
– Traditional travel expense procedures are burdensome and
assume people can’t be trusted.
– Such procedures cost more than they save and are
– Pre-survey and audit. Try for three months in a few units
with other units as controls. Post-survey and audit.
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Would it be worthwhile to establish mindful partnerships
between production and support service teams?
– Many support service teams such as quality control, HR, or finance, tend to be
more controlling than supporting and tend to come in too late in production
– If support service teams understand that production is their direct customer, or in
other situations vice versa, they can be proactive in working together to serve the
company’s external customers.
– For a specific project, production invites the applicable support service teams at
the lift-off and treats them as stakeholders. Measure the results by asking “How is
the support service team/production relationship going?” in every retrospective.
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Definition of a Probe
◼ Probes are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments
based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the
current situation as well as on theory.
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Design a Probe
◼ Name of the Probe:
– <A question that reflects your hypothesis, your curiosity>
– <Define the context of your situation>
– <Define what you expect to happen>
– <Observable impact>
◼ Safe-to-fail experiment:
– <Define what do you want to try and how you can (dis) prove the
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Hints to: Name & Background
◼ The name:
– Should be a question reflecting the hypothesis
– Often is defined last
◼ The background:
– Should be observable and
– Fact based as opposed to speculation (so you can use it as
pre-measures for the experiment)
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Reflect On Your Situation
◼ Take time to think about the situation of your top
– How are we thinking about the situation?
• E.g., what are we assuming?
• What would it be like if we didn’t make that assumption?
– Don’t focus on something big – the smaller the more useful
• What do you observe?
• Can you validate the observation – how would you do that?
◼ Take notes on the jamboard
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Hints to Hypothesis & Experiments
◼ The hypothesis
– Should be an assumption / a statement about
• What you expect to happen
• Under such and such conditions
◼ The experiment(s):
– Its purpose is to test your assumption stated in the hypothesis
– Need some kind of measurement (pre-/post) or comparisons
with control groups
– Need to be actionable by the author
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◼ In your groups
– Jointly create a probe for your top challenge
• You can also split up and (individually) create different probes
– Come up with:
• Name (will be triggered by the hypothesis)
• Background (should be the outcome of the reflection on your situation)
◼ You can capture your probe(s) either on the jamboard or
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Measurement & Control
◼ Without comparison you won’t know what you learned
– Pre- and post-measure for comparing results:
• Measure your observation (stated in the background)
• Use the same measurement after conducting the experiment
– Controls for comparing results
• Use two (or more) comparable groups
• One group conducts the experiment the other one (control group) not
◼ How will you assign people to groups & when will you measure?
◼ How long will the experiment go?
◼ What will you do to keep the experiment safe?
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Hints to Measurement & Controls
◼ Hawthorne effect (in the 30ies)
– Using better lights in the factory led to:
• higher productivity
• higher motivation
– Yet… the reason was
• more care
• more respect
Don’t mix causation & correlation
Knowing about a measurement triggers specific behavior
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Importance of Publication
◼ Collaborative learning depends on
◼ Publishing also contributes to the
– as an author you need to reflect and
look at your learning from a different
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Hints to Publication
◼ Internal vs external
– Company confidentiality might prevent external publication
– Internal collective learning is still important
◼ Keep reflecting on what happened
– What are the outcomes?
– What additional changes have been triggered?
◼ Make your experience extremely clear
– There is no way you can explain later to the reader what you meant
– A publication has to “stand by itself”
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Learning fast means:
◼ Never stop probing, that is never stop…
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Links & References
◼ Our jamboard: https://tinyurl.com/NDC-LearnFast-Jam
◼ Our google doc: https://tinyurl.com/NDC-LearnFast
◼ Abbreviated probes from book: https://www.agilebossanova.com/book/
◼ Published probes from peers: http://www.agilebossanova.com/#probes
◼ Link to the possibility of joining a Narrathon that is a peer learning experience
based on experiments for continuous learning & innovation:
◼ blog by the first Narrathon cohort including also their developed probes:
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Many Thanks and… Stay in Touch:
Jutta Eckstein, @JuttaEckstein