FAST Book

Embracing Chaos

Fluid Scaling Technology - for Agile and Agile at Scale

Work has started on the Fluid Scaling Technology book Jan 2021.

You can read what the book is about and an introduction below. Once there is sufficient content it will be made available on LeanPub. Keep checking back for updates.

About the book
Title: Embracing Chaos

Subtitle: Fluid Scaling Technology - for Agile and Agile at Scale

Times are A-changin': Paradigm Mismatches and Unintended Consequences

"In a more turbulent and competitively fierce world, the downside is increasing for most enterprises. The number of organizations living on the equivalent of melting icebergs has never been greater." – John Kotter

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." – W. Edwards Deming

Is agile or agile at scale, not working in your organization? Or you've tried and tried but can't get agile adopted? Perhaps you have implemented Agile pattern X, DevOps, or other best practices, and still, things are no better than they were before? Feel like you are banging your head against the wall through trying? You are not alone.


The source of this pain can be accredited to the law of unintended consequences where the desired outcome of your efforts is vastly different from the actual outcome. Instead of agility, you have inertia (inability to change), wasted effort (this is our third attempt at adopting agile), inability to innovate, unable to deliver at the pace of nimbler competitors, low employee engagement, dependency deadlocks, and hostility and/or mockery to the agile term itself.


Corporate agile, and scaled agile in particular, have become their own enemy by trying to get to order and predictability via command, control, and linear thinking. Linear approaches may have worked in the previous era of mass production but no longer work today, particularly so for knowledge work. The symptoms of this paradigm mismatch have become more and more apparent as we go deeper into the turning point of our age. Not all organizations will survive the turning point, and the statistics are already showing this in the decline of average lifespan on the S&P 500. *ref It's time to try a different non-linear approach to corporate agile and agile at scale.


Fluid Scaling Technology (FAST) is a system for shifting your organizational model to one that better makes sense for the times we are in and delivers an effective agile method to boot - that scales! A chance discovery resulted in a pioneering approach to organizing people around work leveraging the liberating structure of Open Space Technology (OST). Be prepared to be surprised - with this simple, elegant system that will not only allow your organization to survive the turning point of the age of disruption but also thrive.

Introduction

Understanding and Embracing Chaos to Survive the Turning Point of the Age of Disruption. Enter Fluid Scaling Technology – a System Built on and for Chaos.

"One must face chaos to give birth to a star" - Nietzsche

"You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete." - Buckminster Fuller


Fluid Scaling Technology (FAST) is a lightweight system that is easy to understand, easy to implement, and easy to master.*Note FAST in two sentences: merge teams together into a tribe, throw the work on a wall, then let individuals self-organize into teams around the work. Repeat the process every two days.

Sound like Chaos? It is, on purpose! FAST creates the circumstances to harness the same creative force that governs the natural world and the universe itself – where order emerges from Chaos. If you can let go of control, you can have order – for free.

If this sounds absurd, know that paradigm shifts often do. Both the agile movement and chaos theory itself when introduced triggered doubt, disbelief, and even hostility before being finally accepted by the majority.

The book is laid out in four sections Why, What, When, and What's Next.

Why - Why FAST has been built on a totally different model. Why companies are unable to innovate and are dying today. Why agile is failing. Understanding chaos theory and the Cynefin model. And why this perfect storm of the turning point and agile fail became the backdrop and very reason for FAST to be born.

What – What the FAST system is.

When – Starting activities and pitfalls to avoid when you are ready to start.

What's Next – Through the turning point of this era lies a very different and exciting world. FAST is riding on the same wave of change that pioneer next phase organizations are. What's Next explores how FAST is as much a next phase or "Teal" Framework, as it is an agile and agile scaling framework.

*The hard work in FAST is also the most meaningful and ever ongoing work of helping humans be more human inside a community – the people and interactions work.

Create a cross-functional tribe of motivated individuals (that are team players). Give them a physical environment conducive to face-to-face collaboration and the tools and support needed for their work. Give them trust and autonomy, allowing for self-organizing teams to emerge. Allow for the emergence of the best architectures, requirements, and designs. Have customers give continual feedback as the tribe gets the job done of incrementally delivering the best product. – A hash of Agile Principles from the Agile Manifesto

(The book will cover distributed/remote
FAST. Don't get caught up on face-to-face in this statement adapted from the Agile Manifesto Principles.)




Book Author - Ron Quartel

Feel free to offer feedback - ron.quartel@fastagile.io