All Posts by Mathias Tölken

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About the Author

Digital Sensei | Abundance Thinker | Helping Mid-Market Companies Evolve through Digital Transformation - As trained Industrial Engineer with close on 25 years' experience as IT Professional and Business Executive in the mid-market IT industry, Mathias Tölken loves to share his experiences and expertise with others.

Sep 29

86. Kanban Maturity Model

By Mathias Tölken |

86. Kanban Maturity Model

Starring: Teodora Bozheva (Lean Kanban Trainer and Coach, Berriprocess)
Episode Type: Business Agility 5x5

Abstract:

In April 2018 Kanban University launched the Beta release of the Kanban Maturity Model. Since then, for more than a year already, it has been validated in several companies of different size, domain and country. David J. Anderson and Teodora Bozheva are now using the acquired knowledge to update the model and make it more straightforward to use for developing the agility at enterprise level.

Release 1.0 is expected in November this year.

We talk with Teodora Bozheva about what is new in the model.

Individual Sessions:

All organisations go through similar maturity levels when implementing Kanban. Where are you at? And how can this model help you to make better decisions as to the next steps? In this first of five 5-minute videos, Teodora gives a quick overview what the KMM is all about.

How, what, when and why? In this second 5-minute video, Teodora gives some insight into how she has seen the KMM used by the beta testers and what the most profound outcomes were.


SDMs, PMs and similar roles probably get the most value out of KMM according to Teodora. How so? Find out in this third 5-minute video in our mini-interview series.



KMM Version 1.0 is going to be launched in November 2019, but much of the visual material can already be downloaded. In this 5-minute video Teodora gives an overview of what is available, where to find it, what you will get and who will probably like which tool most.

Now that we know what the KMM is about, the next question is how to get started! In this last video – this times 7 minutes long – Teodora gives some very practical advice on how to start with and and how to strengthen the application of the KMM.


Listen to the podcast:

Sep 23

85. Persona Value Mapping

By Mathias Tölken |

85. Persona Value Mapping

Starring: Craig Armour (Principal, K C Armour & Co)
Episode Type: Business Agility 5x5

Abstract:

Persona Value Mapping is a concept that Craig Armour has coined. In this series of five 5-minute videos Craig himself gives us an introduction into what this is all about, how it is built on the Jobs to be Done framework and also gives a few examples on where you can best apply PVM.

Individual Sessions:

What is Persona Value Mapping and why should we care? Everybody perceives value differently and in this first of five 5 minute videos Craig gives a bit of an overview why it is so important to understand who your stakeholders are and what is valuable to them.

Those who know him will know that Craig is well known to always ask what the “jobs to be done” are? In this 5 minute video Craig gives an introduction to the 4 forces, and 3 types of needs defined under this framework that was originally created at Harvard Business School.

In this third 5 minute video Craig goes into the meat of the matter and (literally) sketches what PVM is all about.




But how do we practically apply Persona Value Mapping? In this fourth 5 minute video, Craig shows us how to go about creating an “outside-in” view to mapping and aligning needs of the stakeholders around the business.


We in the previous video looked at applying PVM to an external business setting. Can it also be used internally for projects? In this last 5 minute video Craig is showing that this method lends itself to this as well.


Listen to the podcast:

Sep 11

84. Right to Left: The Digital Leader’s Guide to Lean and Agile

By Mathias Tölken |

84. Right to Left: The Digital Leader’s Guide to Lean and Agile

Starring: Mike Burrows (Founder at Agendashift; Coach, Consultant and 3-time Author)
Episode Type: Business Agility 5x5

Abstract:

Mike's third book, Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile, came out on August 15th. A series of 5 tweets gave us the perfect opportunity for a series of mini interviews, covering: 1) what makes digital different; 2) why Lean and Agile come together so well in Lean-Agile; 3) why rollouts are problematic when it comes to Agile transformation and similar exercises in cultural change; 4) the state of Agile and why the "Right to Left" perspective of the book is so timely, and 5) on the enduring need for leadership, even in this digital age. Whether you’re a manager or a practitioner (two important kinds of digital leader), there’s plenty here to enjoy.

Individual Sessions:

What makes Digital different? Success in digital means integrating delivery, development, and strategy – continuously identifying and addressing impediments to flow, alignment, and anticipation. This is clearly a learning process; a successful digital organisation is a learning organisation

Do you have concerns that flow inside your company is stunted? To Lean's "strategic pursuit of flow" (after Modig & Åhlström), we bring from Agile a safe default assumption, that in knowledge work, most failures of flow are rooted in failures of collaboration.


It is quite embarrassing that many Agile rollouts are done in Waterfall fashion… There's good in frameworks, but blindly rolling out a process framework is more a recipe for pain than a guarantee of success, especially when done at scale.


Left to right or right to left, that is the question… Starting "from the left" with solutions, frameworks, backlogs of work items, etc is a terrible way to explain or experience Agile. Always keep the things "on the right" – needs met and outcomes realised – ahead of all else.

Leaders and managers often get a bit of a raw deal in Agile. Does it have to be that way? The need to clearly & strategically identify, articulate, & stand for outcomes will never grow old. Neither will removing organisational impediments, freeing people to pursue purpose, and developing the next generation of (servant-)leaders

Listen to the podcast:

Sep 07

83. Remote Meetings Don’t Have to Suck

By Mathias Tölken |

83. Remote Meetings Don't Have to Suck

Starring: Judy Rees (Author, Speaker, Consultant, Trainer and Coach)
Episode Type: Business Agility 5x5

Abstract:

Remote meetings don’t have to suck. You don't have to be baffled or bored. You don't have to struggle through talk-over-PowerPoint.

Remote working and virtual teams are becoming the norm and effective remote meetings can help you get more done and generally increase your business agility.

You really can connect with real human beings remotely, using the technology that's available to you. This eXpander Episode gives you a few action points you can directly apply.

If this has whet your appetite, you can join the Remote Meeting Masterclasses by Judy Rees and Lisette Sutherland at bit.ly/RemoteMasterclasses … and if you missed them, don’t fret – go to judyrees.co.uk for more information on this topic

Individual Sessions:

In this first session we are discussing the reason for meetings in general and then we go a bit deeper to look at the differences and similarities between physical and remote meetings. Lastly Judy gives some important directives on how to make a remote meeting significant.

In this session Judy is giving some advice on what a great online meeting looks like and how one could measure the quality. If you are successful, people might even stop calling it a meeting altogether…


Are you a good in-person facilitator, but don’t believe that online meetings you host can come even close? In this session Judy is providing some tricks how to use your facilitator superpowers online and how to get your attendees to contribute to the overall meeting success.

The single biggest problem of online meetings is probably that it is so easy for people to do other things. This is a challenge you have to overcome. But there are others and Judy is touching on several in this session.


What constitutes a hybrid meeting and why do they tend to be horrible? In this session Judy is exploring this topic and gives some advice on how to overcome the natural barrier that exists and how to make the meeting valuable for all attendees.

Listen to the podcast:

Aug 14

Should I Take On the ERP Project?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Tactical IT Leadership

It is common that especially in a mid-sized company, any project with a technology component does inevitably land in the lap of the IT Leader.

In the case of a new ERP or any other far-reaching, company-wide project this could potentially take up 80% or more of the IT Leader’s time.

But it is still expected that the normal IT function keeps on delivering.

How should one approach this?

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Aug 03

How Does IT Get the Necessary Attention from Other Managers?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Tactical IT Leadership

IT tends to be a very low priority for other managers in the business.

It feels like everyone expects IT to respond immediately, but when IT expects something in turn everyone is always way too busy.

This happens even when IT communicates clearly, engages 1-1 with other business leaders about their technology needs and of course delivers on all the many expectations others have of the IT function.

How then, does the IT leader get the airtime to move forward with IT's true agenda of generating more business value?

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Aug 03

How to Handle Partially Implemented Software?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

It is not uncommon that organisations buy software packages and initially only implement a fraction of the available functionality.

After deployment, business leaders often keep asking for new projects, with new budgets, instead of analyzing the full extent of what has been purchased and what else it can be leveraged for.

Considering how expensive the initial purchase was (and often continues to be due to ongoing software maintenace), this seems utterly wasteful.

How should the IT leader approach such a situation?

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Aug 02

Getting Started With POPI

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Tactical IT Leadership

For South African based companies, the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is fast becoming a reality.

Consultants are driving this heavily and it seems that non-compliance could result in severe penalties for every transgression.

Your external board may even have requested that this new requirement is to become a priority on your list of governance items. IT along with your internal Audit & Risk department have been tasked to commence with this undertaking.

But how important is this really and how to approach it?

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Jul 27

What Role Should The COO Have In Our Project Coordination Meetings?

By Mathias Tölken | Mastermind Digest , Operational IT Leadership

We have established regular project coordination meetings between team leads in our company and have had great success to streamline project delivery.

Should our new COO be invited to the project coordination committee (he is currently outside of it)?

Due to the role and the fact that we currently don't have a VP2 leader, should this person become the champion for other VP2 opportunities?

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