Unlocking the Human ‘Full Stack’ and other Observations from Agile Australia 2018

Unlocking the Human ‘Full Stack’ and other Observations from Agile Australia 2018

Insights | 01 August 2018

Perspective-expanding topics were no surprise at Agile Australia 2018 (AgileAus), but one in particular caught our eye for its unique approach. It introduced the concept of the “Human Full Stack”[1], which takes the so-called “full stack” (all layers of software development) and applies it to how teams can thrive during highly disruptive times.

This model, presented by James Brett and Marina Chiovetti, seeks to provide “a framework to help us understand why some teams (and individuals) are able to create change, challenge the status quo and continually adapt to achieve sustained success and why others fall by the wayside – even when they build great software.”

So, what can the human full stack mean for you?

Humans can be understood much like a “full stack” of technology, Brett writes. The front end: Actions and communications. The back end is personality, made up of experiences, memories, motivations and fears. The middle, also known as “meta-programs,” encompass “filters, values and beliefs” on the positive side, but also “distortions, deletions and generalisations” on the negative side.

Leaders need to understand what’s important and meaningful to them, the basic concept of authentic leadership, and what their teams value as individuals. If you can’t articulate what drives and motivates the people you manage and lead, you won’t be able to create change, Brett writes.Tweet: If you can’t articulate what drives and motivates the people you manage and lead, you won’t be able to create change. https://ctt.ac/Mpu9c+

At PM-Partners we share similar guidance. Yes, agility needs to be articulated at the top. But the ability to capitalise on that change will always come through by harnessing the innate motivations of individuals and teams.

According to Brett, disruptive teams tend to do four things quite well:

  • There is actual time set aside for disruption
  • They share wider perspectives and contexts
  • There are ways in place to measure their disruption
  • The team, considers if a feature is “expected, enhanced” or “the product of exceptional leadership”

The “human full stack” presentation was just one of many seeking to connect the art of modern leadership to the practice of agile, particularly as it matures.

At PM-Partners, we noticed there was a focus on several timely themes at Agile Australia: the importance of fit-for-purpose governance baked into agile engagements, the need to bring emotional intelligence into our work as business leaders and actionable advice on leveraging the maturity of agile for better business results and much more.

Matt Sharpe, Agile Consultant at PM-Partners, urged leaders to embrace diversity in their teams in all its forms, from heritage to the way we think as individuals. “It’s clear that these human stories are what the agile mindset represents – individuals and interactions, collaboration and responding to change. Agile is a more natural way to tap into our humanity, and when we embrace this then we become superheroes, and begin to truly understand the real value of tightly working together for better outcomes.”

In all, today’s business environment is simply too competitive and full of disruption for the old ways of doing things to work. Leaders must connect on the human level and provide a compelling narrative not just for how things will get done but why.Tweet: Leaders must connect on the human level and provide a compelling narrative not just for how things will get done but why. https://ctt.ac/kAr3E+ Only then can teams thrive when the road ahead is largely unknown.

Does your company need assistance with your agile transformation journey? Call us today on 1300 70 13 14.

[1] https://www.slideshare.net/JamesCuriously/creating-disruptive-highperformance-teams-using-the-human-full-stack

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