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© Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Agile2009 Groups Relations & Social SystemsGroups Relations & Social Systems –Instructor:

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1 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Agile2009 Groups Relations & Social SystemsGroups Relations & Social Systems –Instructor: –Instructor: Dan Mezick –Email: –Email: info@newtechusa.com –Phone: 203-234-1404 –URL: –URL: NewTechUsa.com

2 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations- 45 minute RoadMap Group Relations Described Where it Fits in Agile Practice Group Relations Overview Group Relations Detail What to Do About It Resource List

3 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations- RoadMap This topic is “edgy” The pace is FAST (45 min, 45 slides) Warning: I brake for questions Slides available here: NewTechUSA.com (when you reach the home page, scroll down a bit)

4 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations Described Group Relations History Wilfred Bion Book: “Experience in Groups” First published in 1961 Details the main theories

5 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations (GR) Described The primary, hidden motivation of a group is to SURVIVE as a GROUP This motivation causes the group to seek leadership that can accomplish this goal The seeking of “survival” oriented leadership creates a hidden, latent, dual “group-within-the-group” that is emotionally primitive and mostly irrational.

6 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group-level Survival

7 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Where GR Fits in Agile Practice Distractions generate waste Undertone GR effects cause distractions from explicitly stated goals and objectives GR effects can produce tremendous amounts of waste If you are aware of GR dynamics, you can help maintain group-level focus on stated tasks

8 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Distractions: A huge source of WASTE Agile practices like Scrum are absolutely superb “attention managers” –Scrum leverages the effects of “Inattentional Blindess” to short circuit inattention and drift…using these items: 3 Ceremonies: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Retrospective 3 Artifacts: Product backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown Chart 3 Best Practices: user stories, planning poker, Scrum board

9 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group-Focused Attention to Task Clarity Focus Results

10 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Inattentional Blindness BOOK by Arien Mack and Irvin Rock Findings: –No conscious perception without conscious attention –You see what you expect to see; hear what you expect to hear. –Can be leveraged tp maintain focus on stated goals and objectives

11 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Inattentional Blindness Findings Paying conscious attention builds conscious perception Attending to a specific area of focus can make you ‘blind’ to other stimuli –Focusing on distraction=waste –Focusing on tasks=production

12 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Inattentional Blindness Agile teams develop and GET new insight by starting ( “paying” attention) Withholding predictive judgments allows more perception. Planning vs Prediction –Prediction is a judgment Judgment is a belief –Belief is a FILTER »FILTERs can distort REALITY

13 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Scrum Manages Attention Scrum does not discriminate. All distractions are equal: THEY ARE ALL WASTE. Scrum defines 3 roles, 3 ceremonies, 3 artifacts (and 3 best practices) to focus on. Failure to execute Scrum (per NOKIA Test) creates openings for all kinds of distractions.

14 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Distractions are Evil Sources of Waste Distractions from core Scrum are Impediments The Scrum Master’s Impediments list is never really complete Certain impediments (distractions) are just under the surface –EXAMPLE: Group Relation’s ‘basic assumptions’

15 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Distractions are Evil Sources of Waste We execute Scrum- “but”….. –Distractions grow like weeds when if are not focused (why?) –Scrum relentlessly focuses attention; –Failure to execute on Scrum at the level of the Nokia Test (the minimal Scrum starting point) provides openings for all kinds of distractions Group relations theory’s ‘basic assumptions’ can become influential sources of distraction and WASTE

16 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1895: The CROWD by Gustav LeBon Observed that individuals lost much of their individual identity on a crowd or mob And are thus much more easily influenced Observed that crowds exhibited system- level emotions that are inherently primitive (Anger, Fear etc) Observed that crowds seek strong leadership (dependence)

17 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1920’s: Writing of McDougal on Crowds and Groups Studied and detailed smaller “organized groups” (task oriented) as opposed to “unorganized groups” (crowds) of LeBon Book: The Group Mind (1920)

18 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY: Founded the Research Center for Group Dynamics at MIT in 1944 Helped found National Training Laboratories in 1947 ‘Experiential Learning’ pioneers Pre-cursor to the modern-day Group Relations Conference Lewin’s work influenced Group Relations researcher Wilfred Bion

19 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY says: All behavior is a function of the then- current social context A FIELD is “the totality of coexisting facts which are conceived of as mutually interdependent” Example: Scrum co-located room, Scrum roles, Scrum artifacts, Scrum ceremonies constitute a FIELD. A FIELD is both situation and attendant social effects

20 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY terminology: T-Groups: therapy groups. “The task of the T-group is to facilitate learning for its members” Isn’t this (also) the stated task of the Scrum retrospective? Scrum is full of dotted lines to the social sciences

21 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY terminology: Feedback:A term borrowed from Electrical Engineering and applied to social sciences Feedback is information: From here-and-now observations; Following the generating event as closely as possible; Features a “check by the recipient of the observation with other group members to establish validity and reduce perceptual distortion”

22 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY terminology: A true group has ‘interdependence of fate” Group: “A group exists when people in it realize their fate depends on the fate of the group as a whole”

23 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY terminology: A true group has ‘interdependence of task” Stated that “if a group’s task is such that members of the group are dependent on each other for achievement” then a powerful group dynamic is created

24 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Research Influencing GR 1940’s: Kurt Lewin’s FIELD THEORY “…the group to which an individual belongs is the ground for his perceptions, his feelings and his actions” Social context absolutely matters with respect to perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions

25 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Early Group Relations Research: WWII Wilfred Bion @ Tavistock Early 1960’s, originator of GR Theory Book, “Experience in Groups” Defines a group as “an assembly of persons brought together to perform a task”

26 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Bruce Tuckman The “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing” guy The concept is circa 1965 Paper, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” Mentions Bion’s work no fewer than SIX TIMES Modern Tuckman Theory now includes ‘Adjourning’ (terminating) which is interesting in light of Group Relations assertion that system- level SURVIVAL is a key motivation of all groups

27 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Bruce Tuckman- 5 th Stage “Adjourning”- added circa 1977: We reviewed 22 studies that had appeared since the original publication of [my] model…These articles, one of which dubbed the stages the 'Tuckman hypothesis' tended to support the existence of the four stages but also suggested a fifth stage for which a perfect rhyme could not be found. We called it 'adjourning'. (Tuckman 1984)

28 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Bruce Tuckman Adjourning Added to Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing as 5 th stage…… Associated with mourning, loss, sadness Tends to support the Bion research on group motivation Bion and Group Relations theory says that primary, latent, unspoken motivation of a group is to survive AS a group

29 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Building on Tuckman: Robert Bales Forming-(Storming-Norming-Performing) is a cycle, not a pure linear model See Bales, R. F. (1965) “The equilibrium problem in small groups” in A. P. Hare, E. F. Borgatta and R. F. Bales (eds.) Small Groups: Studies in social interaction, New York: Knopf.

30 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved The Work Group The Work group The group that is presumably assembled to complete a given task Task-oriented Example: Football team, Scrum Team, or Management Team

31 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved The Basic (BA) Assumption Group Main motivation of BA group is to SURVIVE as a group SURVIVAL motive drives need for leadership Leadership of the latent, hidden BA group takes 1 of 4 basic forms at any given time Dependence. Fight/Flight. Pairing. Oneness.

32 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved The Basic Assumption Dependence Basic Assumption Dependence occurs when the group behaves as if it has met in order to depend on someone or something. The essential aim of this level of group functioning is to attain security and protection from one (sometimes two) individual(s), either the designated leader or a member who assumes that role.

33 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption Fight/Flight The group will act as if it has met to fight or run away from something The group perceives its survival as dependent on either fighting (active aggression, scapegoating, physical attack) or fleeing from the task (withdrawal, passivity, avoidance, ruminating on past history).

34 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption Flight/Flight Anyone who mobilizes the aggressive forces of the group is granted leadership Persistent bickering, in-fighting, and competition make most leadership efforts short lived. –In flight “mode”, leadership is usually bestowed on an individual who minimizes the importance of the task and facilitates the group movement away from the here- and-now. (towards past or future)

35 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption Pairing Based on an observation of the way in which two people in a small group may come to dominate its process by talking to each other Creates an ‘expectation’ that a solution will be produced from the 2-party discussions, a solution that will solve the problem of surviving as a group.

36 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption: Pairing Pairing phenomena including bonding between two individuals in a group, 2 who express intellectual harmony, leading to perceived bonding and closeness. Can be any 2 persons with membership in the group Pair is intellectually active in discussions in front of the group; when this happens the rest of the members GO INACTIVE-- and do not contribute to the conversation.

37 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption: Pairing When in this mode: Group perceives that its survival is contingent on the “expectation” that the pair will produce a “deliverer”(an idea, solution or panacea) to save the group and help it complete its task. This mode is all about ‘expectation’ solution or product…..not ‘delivery’ of said solution or product.

38 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Basic Assumption Oneness Visible when group members seek to submit to a cause or movement larger then themselves, and thereby seek to feel well-being and centeredness The group commits itself to a "movement" - a cause outside itself- as a way of survival. Leaders who offer “methods of joining in” become attractive to the group in this last type of basic assumption function.

39 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved One Cast of Characters, 2 Groups: The Work Group- comes together to focus on and complete a task Example: Scrum team The basic-assumption group- coexists in the same time and space At any given time, is prone to exhibit on of the 4 basic assumptions Is a tremendous source of WASTE because basic- assumption behavior diverts energy AWAY FROM task completion Why? What happens when the task is complete?

40 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Unconscious Group-Level Behaviors The latent, underlying focus of a group is to seek leadership that can satisfy immediate gratification of one of 4 ‘basic assumption’ ways: Dependency, Fight/Flight, Pairing, Oneness Group can ‘draft’ leaders (non-verbally) who can give expression to group-level, basic- assumption impulses Group seeks immediate gratification of the impulse to be dependent, or fight or flee, etc You can be DRAFTED by group without even being aware of what is happening (Danger for Scrum Masters here)

41 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Unconscious Group-Level Behaviors Oscillation- the group can cycle between all 4 modes of unconscious functioning in a single period of observation, oscillating between: Dependency Fight/Flight Pairing Oneness All of this produces waste by diverting attention away from tasks

42 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved The Unconscious Group-as-a-Whole The basic assumption life of any group is ‘always on’ If the above is true, then: It is imperative for a work group to rid itself of its basic-assumption strivings and provide structures and vehicles to channel these strong, primitive feelings. Dictators and patriarchs satisfy dependency needs; The military and industry promotes and leverages “fight/flight” motivation;

43 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved The Unconscious Group-as-a-Whole The basic assumption life of any group is ‘always on’ If the above is true, then: The aristocracy and the political system – with emphasis on breeding and succession - build on basic assumption “pairing”. The interest in causes, religion, mysticism and cosmic consciousness suggests expression of basic assumption “oneness”.

44 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations Conference Details Explores Group-level process Boundary, Authority, Role, Task Mechanics include: Small Group membership Large Group membership Retrospectives- with staff experts Dynamic Group (self organizing)

45 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved GR and Waterfall/SLDC Projects Scrum is an “attention harness”. You cannot drift very far from stated task in Scrum IB effects eliminate distractions Such as basic-assumption behavior at the group level Waterfall is not an “attention harness” in any sense of that term All sorts of attention is diverted away from stated task, lengthening task (and group) duration All kinds of basic-assumption behavior can result from “not paying attention” to stated desired results

46 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Implications of GR theory for Agile Pure Scrum (per NOKIA TEST) is the starting point for a complete ‘attention harness” for your team With no distractions (GR-BA behaviors) allowed, waste is reduced Agile itself (as a “movement”) may employed as a kind of ‘cause’ that gives voice to the basic assumption Oneness

47 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Implications of GR theory for Agile Scrum Masters face particular challenges from BA impulses from Team….as leaders…. May be unknowingly “drafted” into a role where Team wants to “depend on” the SM “Basic assumption Dependency” May be unknowingly drafted into a role where Team wants the SM to give voice to Fight/Flight impulses during Sprints All group-level basic-assumption phenomena is wasteful and diverts attention AWAY FROM STATED TASKS.

48 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Next Steps Scrum treats all distractions as the same: THEY ARE WASTE Implement pure Scrum per NOKIA TEST Scrum Master: Consider attendance at a group relations conference Group Relations Conferences NOT your typical conference Explores leadership and authority in groups

49 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Resource List Book: Bion, W.R. Experiences in groups. Website: grouprelations.com Google: “Washington Baltimore Center for Study of Group Relations” wbcgrouprelations.org Good list of resources and explanations

50 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Thank You for Attending !! QUESTIONS… Group Relations & Social SystemsGroup Relations & Social Systems –Instructor: –Instructor: Dan Mezick –Email: –Email: info@newtechusa.com –Phone: 203-234-1404 –URL: –URL: NewTechUSA.com

51 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations

52 http://www.NewTechUSA.com © Copyright 2002: All rights reserved Group Relations Spiral


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