Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

This in first instance is a place to collect interesting documents about "Agility" and how it fits to SF and how Agility and SF may profit from each other.
For discussions about this topic I prefer to do it in the SOLUTION-List: For me it is much comfortabler to write mails with a mail client compared with the restricted textbox-size in "ning"
with the list much more persons can follow the discussion in a well known and very simple way directly and not with alerts only....

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I tend to disagree to your analysis of non-accountability: Teams that build life-critical systems are personally and legally accountable if their software does any harm. They have extra process steps, do full code reading and sign off their code before release. I know teams that develop life-critical systems using an agile approach, not though but because they are accountable: Agile techniques help them to produce the quality they need to feel safe with the accountability they have. Have a look at Klaus Marquardt's article "Zeus: Innovation in Life-Supporting Systems" in the Cutter IT Journal May 2007, "Exploring the Agile Frontier".
Welcome, Jens, at SOLWorld!

To your reply:
The point about accountability is not from be but from B. K. Lau (Arlington, MA USA). He also asks: "What is Software Engineering and does it makes sense?".
This is a very interesting question and Alistair Cockburn wrote some pages about it in his book "Agile Software Development, 2nd Edition" on p. 53 ff.
The essence for me is, that "engineering" focus on simple or complicated systems which can be analysed and exactly reproduced. Software is such a system only on the technical level which is the computer where this software is running. But if software is used by humans then it becomes a "hybrid" socio-technical system which is complex. Such a complex system cannot be analysed and reproduced with the means of that kind of "engineering" we are used to apply for technical systems based an "cause-effect-relationships".

So: The term "Software Engineering" may mislead to a only technical view not supporting the "hybrid" character of software used by humans.
Had a good time reading all sorts of stuff about agile (development) projects and scrum. Here's a great site about the book The Art of Agile Development by James Shore. It features a nice preface of the first half of the book. Although Alistair Cockburn offers great language-philosophy,I really like the more practical approach of this book: how to organise agilty...

By the way Brad Appleton turns out to be a pretty good guide.... here's his booklist.

have fun, Bart
Well, maybe my comments on Alistair Cockburn focused too much on language-philosophy ... for which he is not the creator. He quotes only Pelle Ehn's book "Work-Oriented Development of Software Artefacts" (1988).
In his books Alistair Cockburn describes a lot of very practical stuff "how to do agility". And he created the "Crystal Methodology" as a "how to do", especially Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams.

Concerning The Art of Agile Development by James Shore: Yes, it is a great book - and it focuses on "XP" (Extreme Programming) which - aside Scrum and Crystal - also is one of the "agile" methodologies.

Thank you for providing Brad Appleton's book list! It's really very useful!
Complexity-Based Agile Enterprises:
Putting Self-Organizing Emergence to Work
Lee Dyer and Jeff Ericksen
Working Paper 2008 – 01
Cornell University
School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies
download here:
Sharon McGann received this from one of his University colleagues and kindly forwarded it to me.
This paper IMHO is a very comprehensive collection and reflection 
upon theoretical findings of the complexity sciences and and practical
experiences concerning different aspects of "agile" enterprises. In
paper also unanswered questions and open fields of research are
presented - not as deficits but as areas for future  scientific

Organizations competing in hypercompetitive marketplaces have two possible paths to
potential success. They can attempt to transform traditional bureaucracies into more nimble,
adaptable, and resilient entities, which clearly is the path most traveled. Or they can try
pathbreaking, which involves adopting a completely different organizational paradigm: the
complexity-based agile enterprise (C-bAE). C-bAEs have no a priori hierarchies, no a priori
organizational structures, and no a priori business strategies. They rely instead on ongoing
interactions among self-organizing participants operating at the edge of chaos to form and reform,
strategize and re-strategize on the fly. Does this work? We don't know for sure, although
there is some solid theory and a little bit of evidence to suggest that it might - that under the
proper conditions, these progressive dynamics may well engender a stream of novel and yet
coherent products, services, and solutions capable of delivering a series of temporary
competitive advantages and, thus, the possibility of long-term survival. This paper explores the
promise, with particular emphasis on the process of mobilizing or creating the conditions that
foster the constant co-creation of emergent organizational forms and innovative outputs.

Some Key Concepts From The CAS (Complex Adaptive Systems) Literature
Key Concepts
CASs at Work
Strategizing and Organizing
Strategizing: Co-Evolving Emergent Outputs
Organizing: Co-Evolving Emergent Forms
Coevolving Shared Mindsets
Co-Evolving Participant Populations
Participant Inflows.
Participant Throughflows.
Participant Outflows.
Work Load

Creative Commons Resources for the Scrum Community can be found here as blogs:

For instance:

* Scrum and the German V-Modell
* Scrum Breakfast in Zürich
* Comparison: Scrum and Lean Software Development
* Creative Problem Solving for Scrum Teams
* Surviving SOX with Scrum
* Leuchtfeuer: Introducing Scrum to an Enterprise by Lighting Beacons
* Test-Managment und Queuing-Theorie
Who is doing Scrum in the German speaking region?

Here is a quick poll to answer this question:
How is it possible to use a "high-ceremony" PM-method (like the German V-Model) in an agile way (e.g. based on Scrum)?

This was discussed on January 19th, 2009 at the Agiletuesday, the Munich Scrum group.
Krishan Mathis contributed a short text about this topic ==> here

The V-Model is one of the high-ceremony low-trust document-centric project management methods. Why should anybody want to bother viewing it from an agile perspective?
The reason (aside from the model’s role in the German market) which might make curious is that the new version “V-Model XT” (XT for eXtreme Tailoring) claims to provide a variant with „agile fulfillment“.
After an overview on the V-Model it is assessed in which degree the V-Model can be made “compatible” with agility (= Scrum project).
A less than 6 min video about Scrum useful for all kinds of projects:

Here: I found a IMHO very nice introduction how to do Agile Project Management based on "Scrum" as one of the most used frameworks.
On the right side of that Youtube-page you find a lot of other useful videos about "Agility" and "Scrum"

When you watch you will see, that there are a lot of things which are in line with SF.

And you will maybe also see chances how improve scrum with SF.

For example:
There are 3 questions a team should answer in the daily scrum:

1. What did you do yesterday?
2. What will you do today?
3. What is blocking your progress?

I suggest to add/change the questions in a SF-way:

1. What did you do yesterday?
2. What did support you?
3. What will you do today?
4. What do you need for this?
5. When was this help previously available?

transitioning process towards an agile organization

This video: (lasting about 1.5 hour) is a presentation done by Mike Cohn filmed during Agile 2007. He talks about the transitioning process towards an agile organization, why the process is inherently difficult, and what it takes to see self-organization emerging in a previously tightly controlled environment.

It is IMHO a "golden nugget" for all who are interested in organisational change out of an SF view. Of course; Mike (I suggest) does not know the term "SF" .... anyway: He is arguing in a quite SF way.... without being aware of that....
So, he might be a very interesting speaker on one of our future SOL-conferences...

Mike Cohn is the founder of Mountain Goat Software. He is the author of Agile Estimating and Planning and User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, as well as books on Java and C++ programming. He is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and serves on the board of directors for the Scrum Alliance. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer and a member of the IEEE Computer Society and the ACM.
Workshop at SOL2009 at Texel:
Keeping Projects on Track with Solution Focused Agility

Presenter: Hans-Peter Korn & Josef Scherer
Place and time: Sjans, friday may 15 2009 at 11:45

This workshop will show you a widespread practical proven concept how to deal with
projects in complex environments like IT-application development or other types of
projects in an “agile” and SF-compliant way:
“Agility” in project management shares many of the basic principles of SF, escpecially
those: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools - Working products / results
over comprehensive documentation - Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan.
And doing “agility” in an even more SF-way will enhance the power of agility.
Coaches, consultants, trainers, educators, managers with any level of experience in project
management are welcome as participants. The focus is on processes and methods
to manage projects in any area.
The benefi t of this workshop to the participants will be:
1. seeing “Agility” as one of the widespread practical proven concepts
how to deal with projects in complex environments in an
SF-compliant way
2. increased motivation and confi dence to apply SF in project
3. some ideas how to make projects in the own workplace more SF
and agile
How will it be done?
After giving an impression how “Agility” works and how it fi ts to SF we will demonstrate
it with a typical project managed with “Scrum” (which is one of the most common
frameworks of agility) and will refl ect what and how it can improved by using
even more SF-specific elements.

Attached you find the handout.

And the short video explaining the fundamentals of "Scrum" you can find here:
IBM: Success of agile methods for a world-wide project with hundreds of developers delivering a market-leading product.

In the recent edition (Okt. 2009) of "Informatik Spektrum" I found this very interesting article, see:
Free preview here:

IBM WebSphere Portal 6.1: an agile development success story
(by Thomas Stober & Uwe Hansmann)

Agile software development techniques are promising to deliver software faster, in better quality, and at a lower cost. Most examples relate to small, co-located teams working on a completely new project, with no legacy. This article focuses on applying Agile methods to a world-wide project with hundreds of developers delivering a market-leading product.
In contrast to projects starting from scratch, existing customers have natural demands for support, bug fixes, and new features that focus on their particular needs.
This article provides an overview of the most important Agile software development methods in addition to presenting ideas and solutions on how to apply Agile ideas to a large, existing product or solution. Important aspects that should be considered while deciding on what the Agile setup for your next software project should look like are explained.






Jumpstart into Solution Focus

You want to learn more about "Solution Focus"?

You prefer a "step by step" introduction instead to start with reading some
voluminous books?

You would appreciate to have a complete "helicopter view" on SF after the first step…


Created by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009 at 10:25am. Last updated by Mark McKergow Nov 3, 2014.

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Welcome to the SOLWorld Resources section.  This part of the site features information about the SOLWorld network, our past events and materials from our previous website.  It will take some time to update all the information, so thanks for your patience. 

Information in this part of the site is 'read-only'.  If you want to start discussions, please go to the Forum or Groups. …


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