Fresh eyes, old habits, new practices.

Heather returns to the lab and ponders her practices.

futuristic city behind glasses on a stone tablet
This is what the AI image bot, Mid-Journey, thinks about my blog.

Fresh eyes on business agility: an expected twist.

For a bit of context, the “digital” domain is where the Lab started. Increasingly, the problem space that “Agile software development” occupies is being crowded by the emerging need for “business agility” more broadly. I’m not surprised.

Old Habits

As there’s a lot of newness around me, I’m in desperate need of situational awareness. So I’m getting re-acquainted with old habits.

  • make sense of the current state-of-play,
  • tease out what the realm of change might be, and
  • orient teams toward clear outcomes in that landscape using maps.
I tried to get the Mid-Journey AI art machine to craft something that felt like fun, facilitation. At least it looks cool.

Three Practices

I’m going to pitch a few useful practices I’ve foreshadowed that nest together. It’s one of my minimum-viable-bureaucracy practice combo hacks. I’ll also share a few resources, if you’re keen to dig into some of the methods.

Be human centered.

There is a growing, good portion of internet, written by people much more expert than I, dedicated to this. So I won’t dive in too much. (But please do check out Martha Edwards’ highlights from the recent Service Design in Gov Conference.)

  1. Make a list of the people that need your service.
  2. Explore what you know about their experience and how to validate that knowledge.
  3. Go validate and refine that knowledge.

Mapping the real and imagined stuff together.

I referenced service journey and value chain maps earlier. These are simply lists of experiences a person might have, and the things that lead to those experiences that service providers offer, create, or access.

Facilitate groups to muddle through the complexity.

Do you want to build an organization that can deliver on business outcomes? Do you have multiple lines of services or functions that feed into the value chain for your clients that should be nicely coordinated and continuously improving? Easy to write, hard to do.

Something tells me these people aren’t exactly being asked to group facilitation for navigating complexity.
Now that one on the top…”collaborative innovation; Policy Analyst, Facilitation”: I may be making a phone call to inquire about that job profile.
Loopy is a fun systems thinking tool I’ve hung onto since my early days in the Lab. It can help illuminate functions and relationships in a system. Here, I’m trying to illustrate why facilitation is important. You can play with and remix this loopy here.

Where to next

My leadership team is preparing to have an expert-facilitated Wardley Mapping session. We’re going to inspect what we know about the people we serve, what the inputs to those services are, how the world is changing, and what we might need to do next.

  • Collaborating with our Digital Academy to sort out how to offer human centered service design training (stay tuned).
  • Planning a peer Wardley Mapping session for more people to learn this practice (reach out if you’re in the BCPS and interested).
  • Networking with people that know where the facilitators are and how they are doing so that we might elevate their practices.

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Heather-Lynn Remacle

Slow to judge, quick to suppose: truth and alternatives I’m keen to expose. Open by default. How can I help? https://bit.ly/32Fmz2l