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  1. Dec 2020
    1. Here is an interesting text on Slack as replacement for e-mail. As author indicated, it was the right tool for the wrong way to work. In the text, there is also reference to Peter Druker concern that it will be much more difficult to improve 'knowledge work'. Drucker's writings inspired my initial search for hypertext tools (behind LMS) and series of Diplo's conferences on knowledge management.

      This knowledge management hype which came as big wave in late 1990s will return again. This wave had one underlying misconception. It tried to apply 'Taylorian approach' (visualise in Chapplin's movies) to knowledge creation and management. Thus instead of manual worker you have knowledge worker. It won't work this way.

      It is the reason why a smart interaction around text or video or any other artefact created by human creativity/intelligence will be the main way to achieving 'efficiency' in knowledge management. In additions to humans, there will be data and AI (finding pattern in info which humans cannot detect by simple observation or reading).

      In this interplay human - data - AI most of knowledge work will happen. The key challenge will be to have 'cognitive proximity' or reduce 'cognitive distance' between these three elements. In the case of data and AI we will do it by preparing simpel tools (Sketch Engine, AI Baby Scholar, etc.). But, the key challenge will be to reduce 'cognitive distance' among us humans. Practically speaking, it means that I need to know what - for example - Vlada is working on currently. As I read texts or do my research I alert him to specific texts that I come across. In this way we are 'knitting' cognitive space and understandings.

      I am not sure that 'cognitive proximity' can be automated. A few things can be done:

      • reduce administrative tasks around projects and knowledge exchanges (extensive reporting, etc.)
      • reduce hierarchy as a way of organising research and other knowledge activities.
      • reduce 'human noise' (positioning, turf battles, etc.)
      • increase functional communication.

      At Diplo, technology is in place. We are also advancing on organisational/human side.

      If we manage to achieve this type of knowledge organisatin, we will make breakthrough not only in doing better our work but also in pushing 'knowledge management' on the next level.

      For achieving 'cognitive proximity' ||Jovan||

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    1. We have been using an approach which is mix of agility and orchestration. We avoided big up-front planning as risky approach. One rule would be that: we do as much planning as it does not stop us moving ahead. We have a clear vision what we want to achieve (Diplo 5) architecture, but we have been exploring different ways to get there.

      This approach that we have been developing is becoming one of a new mantras: 'Flow Design'. As you know I am very sceptical of management mantras. Sometimes, they pick up reality. But, in many cases, they force reality in Procrustian beds and kill dynamics. Everything looks nice but it does not work. Anyhow, what we do is also becoming 'business mantra': https://www.zdnet.com/article/flow-by-design-a-new-model-for-business-success/

      Our different activities are mature enough. Now, we would need to make two steps:

      • consolidate broader picture before we move on (my question for data model where we can use some sort of UML).
      • increase use with Diplo lecturers, staff and students. It will be next major test for our approach.

      ||dusan||||djordjej||||VladaR||||markodj||||MilicaVK||||NatasaPerucica||||||salacc||||Jovan||||JovanNj||

    2. the people who put together the Agile Manifesto have a ton of experience. We don't likely have that same level of experience. If you look around most scenes now, they're staffed with relatively young people. If we took these super-experienced agile people out of software, and put them into a world they're not familiar with, would they still talk about doing 'just experiment and refactor?

      This is the reason why Diplo's agile approach may work well. We combine agility with tacit experience.

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  2. Nov 2020
    1. Scrum

      More details about Scrum> https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum Atlassian is gigant behind Trello and Jira.

    2. Agile favors “generalists” or “generalizing specialists” who are largely substitutable. This is a good practice, but individuals are still important, and so are experts.

      As a "generalist" myself I completely understand this point. For multitasking teams having "jack of all trades" is a necessity. But you cannot have team built only out of experts for all - again talking from personal experience, because you need specialists and one "head" to keep the multitasking and different tracks together.

    3. The second statement advocates the use of “self-organizing” teams - that is, teams that have no designated leadership or predefined structure. A self-organizing team might select its leadership from within the team, and define its structure, but none is defined from the outside.

      Again, same problem - from my experience, agile fails if the team is asymmetric i.e. have very differently capable individuals. Without a clear leadership it will not self regulate.

    4. The first statement says to “trust the team”. That is fine, except that it says this without adding any qualification, such as “trust but verify”, or “trust but check on them to make sure they are on track.”

      This can work only in ideal world where you have a team of outstanding independent professionals with very similar work ethic and habits.

    5. One of the better explanations of the agile philosophy (better term than methodology). As mentioned in the text, it was a response to a slow and rigid structure, but it is far from ideal. The text advocates some changes/improvements - Agile 2.0 Key points:

      • enable people to focus instead of multitask
      • leadership is necessary -fortunately there are different options/modalities
      • be flexible
      • bringing back focus to individuals from team

      ||Jovan||

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  3. Oct 2020
    1. Kanban

      Trello is using this method, and it is very visual and ideal for overview, less for micromanaging ||Jovan||

    2. Agile

      Here is the very nice explanation of the Agile methodology. It is very flexible by definition, but, as I've mentioned, based on my experience, it is very sensitive to the team structure - this flexibility requires very organised "head". ||Jovan||

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