During the past twenty years, I’ve had the honor and privilege to work with some amazing teams in Sweden (was based there around 8 of those 20 years). So, it is no surprise to me that frameworks and methodologies that emphasize collaboration, cooperation and consensus work so well here in Sweden, for example:
- Scrum – Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber
- Scaled Agile – Dean Leffingwell, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland
- Lean – most trace the origins of Lean to Henry Ford (and his visit to the Butcher shop) and some even to Ransom E Olds (who patented the production line first)
To me, what is fascinating is that these frameworks work well, regardless of national culture, not just in Sweden but also in the Americas, Asia and the rest of Europe. Since the national culture in Sweden has collaboration, cooperation and consensus, agreed-upon values at its core, my Swedish colleagues have a natural head-start over many other regions when using Agile, Scrum and Lean.
When a framework demonstrates that it is useful (and is duplicatable and works) in a local context, then as a business person (that is focused on enabling teams to add the highest possible, sustainable value in each and every assignment) I find that compelling and worthy of additional investigation.
During 2014 – 2019, when I was based in Stockholm, Sweden, I put together this mini-case study during the middle of that time on the results achieved by the AI (Artificial Intelligence) teams using Flow.
Once again, my Swedish team members demonstrated that they are among some of the best in the world at creating not just great business value, but truly remarkable (and sustainable) results. It was an honor to be one small part of these teams.
The reason that I was included on these teams was that one of the senior team members was both an FCP and FCT (Flow Certified Professional and Flow Certified Trainer). In other words, he was very well versed in Agile, Lean as well as the principles of Flow. Back in the end of 2013 he reached out to me to see if I would be willing to support the AI teams in their Agile journey(s) with additional training, coaching and mentoring in Flow.
After a number of discussions, I joined the AI team to encourage and guide them along the way to achieving sustainable high-performance. Here is an overview of what these amazing Swedish team members achieved during these past few years:
The teams were struggling to use Agile to deliver pilots for AI (Artificial Intelligence) “digital co-workers.”
When I arrived and started working with the teams, it took them around eight (8) months with 7-8 people (full time) to deliver a pilot AI project. But, they felt that they could achieve even better results.
As can be seen from the picture above, by the end of my time with them (training, coaching and mentoring the team members), the teams were able to deliver more than two times faster with three times less people (8 months –> 4 months, 7.5 people –> 2-3 people).
Btw, using Flow by the teams resulted in a cost savings of almost 90% to the customer per pilot. That works out to an amount in excess of US $1 million saved for the customer (for each pilot implemented).
Well done and kudos to the teams!
During the team’s journey (since not all of the team members had been trained yet in Agile, Lean or Scrum when I arrived) we started with the basics; and, trained almost all of the them in Scrum and Agile (through the lens of Flow). In the picture above you can get a feel for when they were trained in Scrum, then Flow-based Scrum and then to the FCP level (the horizontal lines. Also, there were two FCTs (Flow Certified Trainers) working with the teams (PJ and AK).
From that point forward, with everyone on the same page in Scrum (as well as having the learned the basics of Flow), this helped the teams move from “Performing” to a sustainable “High-Performing” level in the Aha! Curve:
The timeless principles taught in Flow also cut across cultures (both national and business), just like Scrum, SAFe and Lean:
Each of the following builds on the mindset delivered by Flow:
- Flow-based Agile & Scrum Master Training (Individual and Team)
- Flow-based Product Owner Training (Team and Product)
- Agile Coach and Enterprise Agile Coach (note: The Flow Certified Professional applies to all four areas: Individual, Team, Product and Organizational, but it is optimized for those that want to become an ultimate Enterprise Agile Coach)
When I facilitate courses in the above areas, they are taught through the lens of Flow. As a previous Swedish participant summed it up, “Flow helps everyone (Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, XP, Agile, SAFe, LeSS, Nexus, etc.) play nice together!”
In the Flow breakfast seminars I that I have previously facilitated in Stockholm during 2018-2019, I shared that an Enterprise Agile Coach needs to also be a competent Management Consultant (that understands how to mitigate and/or eliminate politics). Flow (and Flow-based training) gives you the tools you need in your coaching and consulting toolkits to be great at both:
Flow enables Enterprise and Executive Agile Coaches to effectively support Leaders and Executives and leaders in creating the ecosystem and culture that will turbocharge the organization’s teams and stakeholders in their journey up the Aha! Curve.
If you would like to experience the remarkable results delivered by Flow, stay tuned for my next blog post for some exciting news regarding the future of Flow!
And, feel free to contact me directly via www.andrewkallman.com.
For those that are not familiar with Flow, it is what’s next for businesses and organizations that are ready to succeed regardless of the methods, frameworks or management tools that they use throughout their enterprise.
Are you ‘in the zone’ of optimal performance right now as a person, team or enterprise? Did you get there by accident or by focused intentional acts?
“Flow” gives you the tools and practices needed to create and maintain an optimal state of high performance as an individual, team or organization.
Flow turbocharges “business agile” leadership.
Our latest book, “Flow: Get everyone moving in the right direction…and loving it” is available both in paperback and as an eBook on 1,800 sites worldwide
Andrew Kallman is the co-author of Flow, the Flow Leadership Framework, and the Unified Vision Framework.
In addition to “Flow,” his first book, “The Nehemiah Effect” has been a #1 National Best Rated and Best Seller on Amazon.com in the US during six different months since it was published in February of 2014:
”The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects”