Lateral Intake – when gamification is misleading

I beg to differ —

Against gamification when it comes to team practices
Gamification has popped up a lot lately on my social medias as a way for a team to improve. More precisely, it’s about using achievement badges and scores. That’s where I beg to differ ✋🏻.
I see how attractively fun it seems, but in my experience it encourages a misleading pursuit that many passionate practioners fall into. In gaming linguo let me call it “practice hunting”. New automated testing framework, new iteration retrospective format, more elaborated kanban, higher “done” criterias, catch’em all!

This pursuance contradicts several high performance principles

  1. do not fix what is not broken
  2. repetition and consistency lead to mastery

On the later, the more you do something the better you get at it, and in this sense boredom is to be seek for a technique to be mastered. If you’re out for novelty, disciplined practice means the novelty is to be found first in the evolution and betterment of a known technique, not in the discovery in yet another technique.

Practices are not pokemons, you don’t need to catch them all

What’s keeping me busy these days —

I’m trying to reach a new type of clientele and be more differentiated but that gets my work a bit all over the place to be honest so I’m having a hard time prioritizing my next steps. On top of if

  • sorting out the most sticky messages for my talk on Doing Transformations Right at Voxxed Days 2019. Only 30 minutes, dang
  • crafting a set of services for startups in a more biteable size, like workshops and one time coaching sessions
  • adapting an Agile Management program I’m running to be more relatable to an asian / non-westerner audience

oh gosh, there’s so much more on this list. Well, you know my struggle now

Questions I’m trying to sort —

I have the intuition that bringing an army of Agile coach is counter-efficient to scale up a transformation, but I’m still not deadshot clear about why. I feel it’s violating a couple of change principles but I want more practical examples of what’s wrong with it.

My best work in scaling Agile was solo or in teams of 2 or 3 coaches when there was no option to bring more coach. Our options were limited to adapting our approach and leveraging more on the people of the organisation themselves. Am I biased by that experience?


This was Lateral Intake, your weekly dose of lateral thinking by Giom
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Agile Dojo Singapore – practice is learnt by practice

My long due project of Agile Dojos in Singapore have started and I’m so thrilled. It’s the first Tuesday of every month and anyone can register on

I believe that at some level, practice can only be learnt by practice. In this regard I’ve been longing for a meetup where I could exercise with other Agile practitioners and learn by comparing our approaches. In short: an Agile dojo.If you want to review the various sessions and register on meetup, here it is

To ensure the focus will stay on practice, here’s the charter synthetising the spirit

  • it’s a place and time focussed on practice
  • we favour transmission of knowledge by practicing together (companionship) instead of being taught
  • the dojo belongs to attenders. Act like it’s yours, make it interesting, bring ideas, raise your thoughts, convey people to join
  • not confidential: what is said and seen can be shared outside
  • diversity of practitioners improves the learning: brings your teammate, your colleague, your client, experts _and_ beginners

Agile Dojo Singapore

Singapore, SG
66 Agile practioners

We believe that Agile practices are better learnt by practice. Ever wonder how others do their Story Map? How many styles there could be to write a user story? To prioritize a…

Next Meetup

Agile Dojo – June

Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019, 7:00 PM
4 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

3 reasons why Agile Transformation are too complex for a Big Plan approach

Have you heard of the Stacey matrix? Stacey has described the relationship between complexity in solving a problem and the different approaches that are effective.

A detailed plan can only address a situation where response to your actions remain predictable. Beyond this level of simplicity, plans don’t work. Solving your problem means “dancing” with it: entering a dynamic, engaged, and highly adaptive approach. That’s exactly the level of complexity of an Agile transformation.

What makes transforming an organisation to Agile so complex? 3 key factor comes to my mind

Your organisation will evolve all along

After your first step, the organisation has already evolved to something new. Mindsets have changed, new habits have formed, structure and processes have been changed. Heck, even people will change. It’s already a new territory, and many other steps are due.

Your organisation will react to the change

Your organisation is a living being. Every single individual, every team, every division, branch has their own context, processes and personalities, each one will respond differently. Some changes will be easy here, while extremely difficult there. Variants will appear.
This can’t be predicted.

Some fundamentals will be rocked: culture, beliefs, habits

You are going through an approach that challenges how people work together, how your organisation is structured, and how you do business. I can’t enumerate how many aspects of a business is touched, and I’m discovering new ones with my clients as we go. And so will you.

So what do you need instead of a plan? You need a vision and a strategy, and a system.

Also, you can call me 🙂

Traditional TV becoming digital heroes in 3 years

Context – national TV under pressure to be on the forefront of digital media while facing bare

  • Weekly crashes on production, low level of software and devops practices, distrust between IT and media branches
  • Digital productions under political scrutiny, asked to grow N-fold
  • Working directly with the CTO of the digital division
  • Coaching for 3 years with a pair coach, Jean-Claude Grosjean

Approach: Accompanying Digital division as a whole into an organic transformation

1. Change strategy hand in hand with the CTO

  • Change management addressed early on (establishing urgency, vision, strategy)
  • Weekly strategic follow up

2. Approaching Teams and stakeholders as one

  • Addressing media and IT as joint teams
  • 1o1 coaching of organisational roles: sponsors, agile managers, product managers

3. Organic and adaptive Agile transition in the organisation

  • Going product by product, with consideration of opportunity and strategic consideration
  • Starting with one pilot project, then
  • Coaching of every new projects to run inception and delivery the Agile way
  • Audit of existing projects, on-demand coaching when necessary
  • Always waiting for buy-in from IT and media branches, then both included in the coaching

4. Stabilization and resilience of Agile practices

  • Using simplified Agility metrics to review progress and eventual plateaux
  • Expertise and coaching on-demand with advanced teams to refine and adjust their practices
  • Training internal coaches
  • Creating Circles of Practitioners for various roles and topic of interest

Outcome – state of the art tech and practices help reach several national top audience

  • 300 people coached (IT+business)
  • Several websites and apps becoming Top 3 national audience (FranceTVSport, FranceTVInfo, CultureBox)
  • Achievement praised by government sponsorship
  • Teams now sharing their experience at Tech and Agile conferences
  • Fun fact: a channel asked for an Agile coach in the design phase of a new TV show