Scrum Notes 2013-20

| contents

Business Craftsmanship ▶️

This note is the introduction to my white paper, Business Craftsmanship: A right-brain approach to organizational transformation, published by Cutter Consortium in their Executive Update, January 2013.

Business craftsmanship is concerned with organisational transformation and enlightenment. It can loosely be thought of as a framework—and certainly utilizes one—but "framework" is not quite the right term to describe this approach as the term implies stability, and usually a clearly defined set of rules. Scrum is a good example of an organisational framework. It has well-defined components, namely roles, meetings, artifacts, and values. These are fixed, and failure to embrace the whole usually results in a collapse of the framework. Business craftsmanship in contrast is a shape-shifting container of emergent ideas based on experience and intuition. It offers guidance for different ways we may choose to show up for work, toward the purposeful goal of organisational greatness. These ideas are not requirements, and are better considered as an offer—a springboard for fresh thinking.

I use the craftsmanship metaphor to foster an artisan's mindset toward transformation, moving us away from the more common engineering metaphors, such as business process reengineering, which too often encourage computomorphism—the attribution of mechanistic qualities to living entities. This tendency leads to the depersonalization of the organisation and the degradation of its people, reducing their heartfelt interactions to mere objects and signals. While a systems view is certainly useful, it tends to encourage left-brain thinking, so it is important to balance this with a more artistic, right-brain view. Human colonies are deeply complex. Comprehending this complexity requires the use of the whole brain.

Continue reading this paper here: Business Craftsmanship.

Palo Alto, 20/05/2013   comment