Communities of Practice and Agile Transformation with Quincy Jordan


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This week, Dan Neumann is joined by his colleague Quincy Jordan. In today’s episode, they address a fascinating topic: the relationship between Communities of Practice (CoP) and Agile Transformations in an Agile Journey. Quincy shares the components of the typical structure for CoP and its crucial value in an Agile Organization, especially when trying to introduce new ideas and encouraging people to experiment. Dan and Quincy also dive deep into the leadership role in supporting CoP.

Key Takeaways

  • An Agile transformation needs to have a level of sustainability to it.
    • Communities of Practice are vital for installing and sustaining an Agile Transformation.
    • A CoP needs to be a structured and intentional group. It needs to be part of the strategy throughout the organization, a mechanism needs to be in place.
  • Separate or general communities?
    • It depends on how large the organization is and in which aspect of the Agile Journey each particular organization is.
  • How to persuade an organization to invest in a CoP.
    • Sometimes a CoP can be seen as another meeting (on top of many others), which can be a reason for resisting it.
    • Leadership needs to be on board for a successful CoP. A leader has to advocate for the Community of Practice and also has to give permission for people to attend. Leaders must show interest in what happens at the CoP, what people are learning, and how they are experiencing them.
    • A CoP must be a psychologically safe environment.
  • What is a typical structure for CoP?
    • Forums: A forum is an event that happens every six weeks.
    • In each Forum, two to three concepts are introduced for people to get familiar with them and understand their benefits and risks. These forums are more of a lecture than a dialogue.
    • In between Forums, there are Core Practice Talks that occur every two to three weeks.
    • Core Practice Talks are a deeper dive into the concepts introduced in the Forums. The Core Practice Talk is where the dialogue takes place, it is a hands-on learning experience.
  • CoP are great places to introduce new ideas.
    • A CoP is an excellent place to encourage people to experiment.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Listen to “Communities of Practice with Quincy Jordan” and “Exploring an Experimental Mindset with Adam Ulery”

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge

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