XOIT – Nikon, my D810 camera and why any company needs some level of self management.

Photography is one of my hobbies (you can see my work at http://www.nattygur.com). Before taking three weeks of vacation to Israel, I bought a new D810 so I could capture the landscape as I traveled across the country. Regretfully, after two weeks of taking pictures the camera stopped working.

Upon returning to the states, I followed the instructions on the Nikon support site and sent my new camera in for repair, which is a pretty normal sequence until now. The twists in the story start when I received my camera back. After eagerly opening the box, I was both disappointed and surprised to find that Nikon had shipped me a D800 camera instead of my D810. Quick observation of the D800 camera revealed that the camera I received actually belonged to the US Navy.

So, with an increasing level of dissatisfaction (and decreasing level of confidence) with Nikon I called their customer support and asked for a new camera, since I did not have a clue who had my camera. The customer service representative that I spoke with told me that to return the camera I had received from them and once they have it, then they will ship me my camera. Undeterred, I made my point for getting a new camera, but the representative simply reiterated Nikon’s official policy. You could hear in her voice that she felt differently, but her voice conveyed the Nikon process.

After several days a supervisor called and assured me that there was nothing else that could be done but me other than my receiving my old camera back. His proposed agility solution was for Nikon to return my old camera and once I received it back, then I could return the US Navy’s camera. At this point I had lost all interest in Nikon or in using Nikon Cameras.

From here my wife took the lead and, upon receiving my D810 she returned the US Navy’s D800. You will understand that when I arrived home from work that evening I was NOT surprised to find that my “repaired” camera was still having the same symptoms that it had when I had sent it to Nikon almost 3 weeks ago. So my better half then called Nikon support, only to hear from the representative the official version, which is that we needed to send the camera back and that and we were not eligible for a new camera. The representative promised her that she will escalate the issue to her manager.

At this point in time they lost me completely. I have gone from happy customer to a most unsatisfied customer. Nonetheless, we shipped the defective camera and this time received a brand new D810. Obviously that didn’t make me a happy customer, it was too late at this point.

Why am I telling you this story? Because I’m sure that if Nikon would have implemented self-management into their Customer Support Team their Customer Support Representatives would have the authority to make decisions to fulfill the roles they fill and would have sent me new camera when I called the first time – keeping a happy customer.

new-d810

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XOIT – Self-management is not coming easily

After several weeks of exercising XOIT we found out how difficult is for people to get rid of old habits. Although we communicate more than once that every associate that filling a role have complete authorization to make decision to perform his role the best that he can, we are still getting messages like the following:

chat

I’m sure that it will take a while for people to get comfortable with the fact that they can make decision, that they are accountable for those decisions and that they need to inform all affected roles.In the meantime it’s our job to make sure they aware of it and to support them when it’s needed.

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XOIT (Self-management) implementation road-map

I took three weeks of vacation, but our XOIT initiative kept on running while I was having fun. Before I left we converted our strategy into a tangible plan with timelines and outcomes. Our current schedule looks like this:

Tasks Training Communication
Jun 1 Operate existing SCRUM meetings using Tactical meeting approach
2
3
4 Tactical Video

QRC for Tactical

Establish the groups, learning and practice tactical meetings, roles and accountabilities. HR processes will be in effect in Jan/2017

 

We want to start practicing tactical meeting in current structure. Including the QRC and link to the video

Jul 1 Live with SS tactical (Sec, Soft, Compute, Connectivity) Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC
2 (Collaboration, Authentication, DB) Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC Mention Community in all team event
3 Community engagement. Going live with Tactical & Gov. meetings

 

(BCP,EA,End user)

Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC
4 Communicate Rep election and his responsibilities
Aug 1 Elect Reps for SS Starting Crucial conversation Why we need to understand team dynamic and communication in Self Mgmt team
2
3
4 Start Rep. group and discuss the role of a Rep. Invitation to Rep group meetings
Sep 1 SS goes Live with Governance (Sec, Soft, Compute, Connectivity)

All Groups live with Tactical(Create new Assets, IT strategy)

1) Tactical Orientation  Practice Governance meetings & QRC

2) Governance Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC

 

Starting next step by practicing Governance

 

Mention working in different group in IT meeting

2 (Collaboration, Authentication, DB)

(Customer support, Cost Ef., Operations)

1) Tactical Orientation  Practice Governance meetings & QRC

2) Governance Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC

 

3) Start Self development

3 (BCP,EA,End user) Governance Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC
4
Oct 1
2
3
4
Nov 1 All groups implement Governance
2 Governance Orientation (Roles and accountabilities) & Practice operational meetings & QRC
3
4
Dec 1 HR processes Orientation
2
3
4
Jan 1 Begin HR processes

So far we have the training for the Tactical meeting in place and delivered it to most of our associates. The training is a clear indication to people that this change is going to happen.  Once they understand it, they become more opinionated.  So if I were to do it again, I would start with training sooner.

We have also set up around 12 groups that have started executing tactical meetings. Most encouraging to me is that all of this happened once I was on vacation.

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Our strategy for XOIT implementation

Practicing XOIT within the current leadership/management team has built a strong supporting team as well as a desire to have a clear roadmap for implementation. After brainstorming different alternatives for the XOIT implementation strategy with our supportive HR group we ended up with the following strategy:

  1.  Using tactical meetings in our current SCRUM meetings.
  2.  Implementing teams for one of the main groups (we chose Shared Services) and practice tactical meetings.
  3.  Implement all Community Engagement groups (responsible for most of the HR Administrative processes) and run them using tactical and governance meetings.
  4.  Implement all groups and run them using tactical meetings.
  5.  Implement governance meetings to the Shared Services group.
  6.  Implement governance meetings to all groups.
  7.  Implement all of our HR administrative processes (all the XOIT apps).

We started with the first step in June and we want to start with the last one in Jan 2017. That gives us 6 months of slow implementation. We also identified all associate training materials and communication with each and every step. If someone is interested, I’ll be more than happy to post this as well.

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Exponential IT (XOIT) – Tactical meeting and Strategy in XOIT world

Our coaching approach for Leads and Representatives has been working very well for the tactical meetings. We now have 3 leaders that are able to run tactical meetings in 15 to 20 minutes, while covering all major IT activities , while processing and/or triaging 2-6 requests for help, or issues. We now feel that we can start full implementation of tactical meetings.

That said, we are still struggling with the governance meetings, however the main reason is simply that we haven’t had enough opportunities to practice it. While we can run a tactical meeting every day, we just currently do not have enough tensions to processes to practice governance meetings on a daily basis. Since governance meetings are one of the main requirements for full implementation of any self-management system, this lack of governance meetings is naturally becoming a concern for us. So, a takeaway is this: be aware of the time and difficulty of implementing governance meeting.

Implementing XOIT requires you to adjust processes that you used to perform by yourself. One good example is IT strategy. Every 3 years I used to spend time defining the IT strategy for the next 3 years. Now with XOIT, my vision is for the strategy to be a byproduct of all of our IT strategy teams. So to be able to support it I changed our current process; now instead of me doing all the work and presenting it to the group, I create a presentation of trends for the next 3 years in the business world, automotive industry and technology. Based on this presentation, each group in our IT strategy group works towards creating a strategy to address the presentation finding. Finally, the global IT strategy group then fuses all of the proposed strategies into one IT strategy, which is then presented to our business leaders and the entire IT group.

 

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Exponential IT (XOIT) – Recording meeting and our instructions for Governance and Tactical meetings

Our first trainee just finished his first week as Captain, with me as his Right hand. One thing we found to be very beneficial was to video record our meetings and provide feedback based on the play back. This practice helped dramatically improve our trainees abilities to run tactical meetings. Since he runs tactical meetings within a different group we also discovered that the personas that create a particular group has a major impact on the flow of the meeting and the role of the Lead or Representative that is responsible for running the meetings. While the Holacracy process truly focuses on updates, getting things done, and changing the group structure while simultaneously enabling everyone within the group an equal opportunity to speak and share their thoughts; this approach is not so convenient to those individuals that like running the show and having control of the meeting.  Not surprisingly, those are the same individuals that find this process hard to adopt.

While Tactical meetings are easier to learn and adopt, on the other hand Governance meetings are very difficult, so we developed the following instructions for running a Governance meeting.  The intention being that it will help with the adoption of more Governance meetings and even more so the process of validating objections. Hopefully it will work for others as well:

Governance meeting

Slide2Slide4

 

 

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Exponential IT (XOIT) – Training Leads and Representatives

One of the main obstacles that you are going to encounter as you begin any self-management practice is the availability of resources that can facilitate and train new subject matter experts (SMEs) for the system that you put in place. This is something we learned the hard way when we tried to add more teams into our self-management (XOIT) practice, however we found that we were missing SMEs to continue the momentum.

Our approach for training and education has taken several different streams:

  1. Videoing our Tactical/Governance meetings and publishing the good ones to the entire team.
  2. Using training materials around the book Crucial Conversations with XOIT as a training to all of IT.
  3. Using Captains and Right Hands to increase XOIT SMEs. This approach has two main roles:
    • Captains run all meetings (for the training duration we are doing operational daily and governance at least once a week)
    • Right Hand(s): existing SMEs (used to be Captains) who are responsible for coaching the existing Captain.
    • Captains run the meetings for two weeks and then serve as a Right Hand for another two weeks. After 4 weeks that individual who served both as Captain and Right Hand is experienced enough to be an SME.
  4. Utilizing our Organizational Development team to train Representatives.
  5. Embedding self-development practices in our IT culture.
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