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How to avoid SharePoint becoming a wicked problem - Presentation Transcript
“If you can tell me why you say that plan A is great, and I understand your judgments, you have succeeded in objectifying your space of judgment to me. And although I might not share your judgment and might not be convinced, I understand you now.” Horst Rittel
“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” Charles Kettering (1876-1958)
How to avoid SharePoint becoming a wicked problem CIO229 Paul Culmsee, MCT, MCSE, CISSP Seven Sigma Business Solutions www.sevensigma.com.au email@example.com Author of cleverworkarounds.com blog SharePoint architect, Trainer, Dialogue and Issue Mapping practitioner, author for SharePointMagazine.net & EndUserSharePoint.com Reformed tech geek, Metalhead
Session Agenda Understanding wicked problems and social complexity The “SharePoint paradox” and paths to SharePoint wickedness The power of Issue Mapping and IBIS based collaboration How to leverage the best of SharePoint and Issue Mapping
Project Success/Failure Factors Failure Factors Lack of user input Incomplete requirements & specifications Changing requirements & assumptions Lack of executive support Technology incompetence Lack of resources Unrealistic expectations Unclear objectives Unrealistic timeframes New technology Source: Chaos Report (1995)
Project Success/Failure Factors Failure Factors Lack of user input Incomplete requirements & specifications Changing requirements & Lack of shared assumptions understanding Lack of executive support of the p r o b le m Technology incompetence Lack of resources Unrealistic expectations Unclear objectives Unrealistic timeframes New technology
Project Success/Failure Factors Failure Factors Lack of user input Incomplete requirements & specifications Changing requirements & Also a lack of shared assumptions understanding Lack of Executive Support of the p r o b le m Technology Incompetence Lack of Resources Unrealistic Expectations Unclear Objectives Unrealistic Timeframes New technology
Project pain “They don’t know what they want!” “The requirements are too vague!” “If only they had listened to me” “Not another %$%$% meeting!” “I was never consulted” “This is ridiculous – it won’t work” “It was in the minutes – did you read it?” “Well if everyone actually followed the process…” These are examples of the forces of “social complexity” and “wicked problems”
Social Complexity The more parties involved in a collaboration, the more socially complex The more different these parties are, the more diverse, the more socially complex The fragmenting force of social complexity makes communication very difficult This extends to collaborative technologies too!
Wicked Problems Defined by Horst Rittel in 1973 Problems in planning and social or public policy Highly resistant to resolution A number of “distinguishing properties” compared to “tame” problems
Wicked Problem Properties The problem is not understood until after formulation of 1. a solution Cognexus Institute www.cognexus.org
Wicked Problem Properties The problem is not understood until after formulation of 1. a solution Wicked problems have no stopping rule • You cannot prove that all solutions have been • considered Solutions differ based on interests, values and ideology • of participants
Wicked Problem Properties A wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways 1. (serving the intentions of who is explaining it) It can be hard to go back – “one shot operation” 2. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a 3. symptom of another problem There is no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked 4. problem
Dealing with Wicked Problems There is no quick fix No “tame your wicked problems in seven easy steps” “Constrain Scope” Strategy Have you really solved the problem if you don’t consider the solution in the original context? Authoritative Strategies Decision is made for us and we agree to abide (Supreme Court) Competitive Strategies Win-lose outcome (politics and lobbying) Collaborative Strategies SharePoint?
The SharePoint Paradox To deal with wicked problems we have to collaborate SharePoint is a collaboration tool We use a collaborative tool to improve our collaboration Therefore, why do many SharePoint projects have wicked elements to them?
Strategic SharePoint Pitfalls Do not “boil the ocean” 1. “Too much too soon” is a magnet for wickedness The organisation has to be ready to come too Have a clear strategy 2. SharePoint should not be a “tool looking for a problem” Do not paint with the same brush 3. Gen Y think everyone wants web 2.0 Engineers think everyone wants wikis Record managers hate wiki’s and think *everything* should be classified Marketing think that people will use it if it looks good Some will never break the folder habit
Strategic SharePoint Pitfalls Understand the inherent conflicts within application 1. requirements Records management vs Collaborative Document management WCM vs Collaborative Portal Branding before anything else Account for “soft” factors 2. Organisational culture Individual learning styles and behavioural styles Vertical Market/Sector
Signs of SharePoint wickedness... Arguments over accountabilities and ownership Excessive rework of custom development Poor performance and scalability SharePoint mushrooms (site sprawl) No history of modifications made What, when, who and why A service pack installation is a “War and Peace” effort You have decided you should attend a best practice conference :-)
One “best practice” to rule them all Ensure a shared understanding of the problem among all participants “The ‘Holy Grail’ of effective collaboration is creating shared understanding, which is a precursor to shared commitment” – Jeff Conklin
Will this solve a wicked problem?
Issue Mapping Horst Rittel created a planning/design method called IBIS Issue Based Information System Complex group discussion broken into basic artefacts – questions, ideas, pros, cons Issue Mapping is crafting an IBIS based map of discussion It makes critical thinking visible. Shows the deep structure of an issue
We are demonstrating the power of issue mapping over conventional techniques to manage the complex dialogue required to manage problems with wicked elements. ISSUE MAPPING IN ACTION
Benefits of Issue Mapping Simple, intuitive, adds clarity to discussion Limited short term memory means exploration of a complex problem unaided is confusing and error prone All participants have an organised point of reference Democratic - Acknowledges all contributions Disarms “truth by repetition” Disarms “grenade lobbing” (topic shift) Takes the interpersonal “sting” out of supporting or objecting to an idea Faster - allows a group to achieve shared understanding with much less pain
The Craft of Issue Mapping Issue maps can be sketched on paper, but usually crafted using software Compendium bCisive. Issue Mapping is a craft based skill – you need some training and practice! Don’t fall for the panacea effect!
Issue Mapping with other best practices Maintain your other standards or frameworks IM emphasis at the problem/requirements definition phase Compliments any methodology or practice (PMBOK, Scrum) Leverage IM with Agile methods Agile/Scrum is a *process* based approach that rejects the waterfall approach Agile processes and methods implicitly support shared understanding, but IM goes beyond software engineering IM and Agile are a great fit
Leverage IM and SharePoint Use Issue Mapping to understand the problem Ensures shared understanding and shared commitment among participants Use SharePoint to manage and track the solution Documents and reports still need writing Data needs to be managed, maintained and distributed Holy Grail - Present issue maps within SharePoint sites SharePoint project sites containing the latest *thinking* via an integrated issue map
Summing Up Wicked factors are very common in IT projects SharePoint is especially vulnerable Achieving shared understanding among participants is *paramount* Later best practices can be undone by failure to achieve this goal IBIS and Issue Mapping are a key complimentary tool Designed *specifically* to tackle social complexity and wicked problems When used to their strengths, Issue Mapping and SharePoint can be a very potent combination
More Information Seven Sigma Business Solutions (www.sevensigma.com.au) firstname.lastname@example.org Issue Mapping and SharePoint specialists CogNexus Institute “Designated Partner” Dr Jeff Conklin – creator of Issue Mapping (www.cognexus.org) Issue Mapping & Dialogue Mapping training and services Book: Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems CleverWorkarounds Blog (www.cleverworkarounds.com) SharePoint Project Management SharePoint Strategy SharePoint Governance Compendium Software (http://compendium.open.ac.uk/)