Generative Rules

The epitom e ot sis: pie riles lies within Nordstro m's e mployee handbo ok—a 5x8-inch catd t caf outlines Nordstremis goal o f providing outstanding csstem er ser[ioe and lists the company M rule si

Rule #1:Use your good judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules (Collins and Oorcas 199d) .

Simple pnnciples (o r rules) ase on e iacet ot " swa Am inteiligence" from complexity th eory. TCds is the idea pCat the right set ot si mfe rules, app Hed within a group ot iiighly interactive individuals, generates somplex Id^Uov i ors such as innovation and creaIivity. Jim Donehey, former CIO of Capital One, used four rules to help ensure everyone in his organization was working toward the same shared goals:

1: Always diig n IT act iviti is with the bus l ties s.

2. Use good economic judgment.

4. Have empathy for others in the organization (Bonabeau and Meyer 2001).

Do these four rules constitute everything that Donehey's department needed to do? Of course not, but would a d00-page activity description get the job done? What Donehey wanted was bounded innovation—a depa ttment that tho ught ion itselM in a very volatile business environment, but also one that understood boundaries.

Principles do not define activities that a development group should accomplish. However, the right set constitute' the minimum s et o f rnles that bound innovative and p soductive work. They create an innovative environment by specifying a simple set of rules that generate complex behavior. APM, for example, doesn't mclud e a configu ratioo co ntrol practicei It assnmes tp^t when a team needs configuration control, it will figure out a minimum configuration control practice and use it. Agile methods don't attem pt to des crib e everything that —ny develoc ment effort might need in thousands of pages of documentation. Instead, they describe a minimum set of activities that is needed to create swarw intell^eMce .

Developin g a useps' set of rules .s not a tri vial ex ercis ip s l nco the right combination can often be counterintuitive. Apparently minor changes can have unforeseen results. Changing one practice, without understanding the interactions and the concepts of swarm intelligence, can cause an agile system to react in unforeseen ways. The guiding principles of APM, and its practices, constitute a set of rules that have been shown to work together well.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment