THE EDGEMastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.1the edge- where life diversity is the greatest- where I was pushed emotionally and physically last year- I was frustrated about my work, that it was so hard to help organizations fully achieve the excellence they should- death and drama around me- and oh yeah, I almost died!

But believe it or not, the heart surgery for me was not a big deal. this was not my scare with death.I knew the statistics for the heart surgery (mitral valve repair) I was having --- and the results had been very good (0% mortality was a verymeaningful measure to me!)The Surgeon had done this lots of times! I had the best in the world. This was also meaningful.So, yes, my heart was stopped for long time, and they poked around in there, etc, but I was confident.And I was visiting a starbucks within 36 hours of surgery.(full story at Status/Blog/Blog.html )

“I thought it would never end”It was months later that I realized that I had almost died.- It wasnʼt the surgery.- I was watching a program on TV about football players that lost all the millions they made- One person said “I thought it would never end”- This hit me between the eyes and sat me right down- If I had missed my Doctor appointment and missed the problem with my mitral valve, death was likely- I realized that it was time to rethink my journey

MASTERING THECOACHINGOF EXCELLENCEAlan WillettTSP Symposium 2011Atlanta, Georgia, USACopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.I had this title for this talk for a while. What the talk track was originally going to be was 100 hints and tips to Coach teams better.But as I prepared, It became transformed. to be about the journey of mastery that I myself was working.I am interested in helping people, teams and organizations master the journey of excellence.I would be thrilled to see whole organizations transformed. I would love to be part of that.I deeply care about this. I really do want to see people with a fire in their eye, where they are actively owning their own journey of excellence.Yet, I have also actively worked at being detached from this outcome to instead focus on my own process at helping others.This is my story about this journey thus far.I hope others can find value in it.

MILESTONES IN A JOURNEY A Beginning Practice the Fundamentals Learn and Improve Make Measures Meaningful Push The Edge of Personal PerformanceMastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.5The talk centers around these milestones in my journey of working on introducing Excellence into organizations.It centers around my coaching of teams and organizations in the Team Software Process.Every project I do has been an opportunity not to just do something meaningful, but to learn and improve myself.So this is also my own journey of learning about myself.

A BEGINNINGIF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE. PSP’s sole purpose is to help you improve your software engineering skills. It is apowerful tool that you can use in many ways. For example, it will help you manageyour work, assess your talents, and build your skills. It can help you to make betterplans, to precisely track your performance, and to measure the quality of yourproducts. Whether you design programs, develop requirements, writedocumentation, or maintain existing software, the PSP can help you to do betterwork. Humphrey, Watts S. (2005-03-03). PSP(sm): A Self-Improvement Process for Software Engineers (KindleLocations 447-451). Addison-Wesley Professional. Kindle Edition.Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.6I took the Personal Software Process course about 14 years ago.The course was amazing.I wrote the software programs. I recorded and analyzed all my data.I was startled by my data. I couldnʼt believe how many mistakes I made in writing the code, how many defects I injected.It made me realize that I had some bad practices in my own discipline in writing software.I found it depressing until I came to a stunning blinding flash of the obvious.

? Miles to MasteryI CAN IMPROVEI can improve.And with PSP I can make changes with a predictive improvementI Can MeasureI can Prove it with Data!AND I DIDI used defect prevention techniques and actually cut my defects injected in 1/2.I decreased my rework by 60% and increased my rate by almost 2x.I could contribute.Yet even more importantly - I DID IMPROVE.And it had started on my ownership of my journey, my quest for mastery.

Before GQM - What Learning Can I apply? Deming -- Good, Fast, Inexpensive -- you can have all 3 through a focus on quality (plus ofcourse the Deming points of management)Margaret Wheatley (Leadership and the New Science)-- immerse yourself into data out of itemerges patterns You canʼt control data points, but you can influence the overall systemDaniel Quinn (Ishamel, and other books) -- There is no one right way. The wrong way is onethat doesnʼt work for you (or your community or your culture )Tich Naht Hahn (Zen teachings) --- Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.Covey (the 7 Habits guy) -- Slow is Faster.CMM - level 5 -- the beginning.M Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) On community building --- do things completely,donʼt try to work until all the relationships are clear, and complete, no matter how painful goto the bottom and develop an understandingJanice Kim (Go Master) --- From a good opening you can lose, from a bad opening youcannot win.Alan Willett -- when in doubt about the next move, make the most beautiful one.Feynmen -- something doesnʼt look quite right hereLuther Standing Bear (Lakota Chief 1800s) - I walk in beauty and harmony with every stepThis slide is a from a presentation I did after I completed the PSP Course.I had been doing studying of various gurus on the subject of mastery.This course brought it all together for me.It started my own journey towards my thinking of helping organizations change.I had no idea how many miles to mastery I had to go.

PRACTICE THE FUNDAMENTALS10 Miles to MasteryWith each team, help them Do TSP launches Do TSP Checkpoints Collect historical data Do project and cycle Post-mortems Learn and improveMastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.9I became authorized to Coach teams with the Team Software Process.I did many TSP Launches, checkpoints, retrospectives, individual coaching, and management coaching.My teams were getting good results, but I found that it wasnʼt “sticking” the way it should and it seemed that management often did notunderstand.And although this was hard work, I kept thinking if I JUST WORK HARDER.until.

LEARN AND IMPROVE AS A TSP COACH20 Miles to MasteryWORKING TOO HARD ON THE WRONG THINGMastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.10I realized I was WORKING TOO HARD ON THE WRONG THING.I was teaching a PSP Class with Watts Humphrey. I worked hard to solve the students problems for them.Watts simply pointed to the problem the students were having, explained why it was a problem and told them to fix it.They would struggle and fix it - and they would understand.I realized that I was doing too much work for the teams on solving their problems for them.I realized that they needed to own the problem and the solution.I could help them a lot -- but I actually need to work hard on helping them own their problems and solutions.For Example

EXAMPLE: CHECKPOINT INTERVIEW EVOLUTIONSimple QuestionsFocus on DataFidelity. What concerns do you have? What is going well? Lots of Questions Lots of On the SpotCoachingWhat ideas do you have todo better? Show me your data. Do youhave questions about it? Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.11On the TSP Checkpoint, lets talk about the Interview section where we sit down and talk with each team member.The goal is to help the team members get better data fidelity and do better with plan management.My original approach followed the book pretty closely.I would do lots of prep and study each team memberʼs data.I would then go into the interview and show them each of the problems and explain exactly how to fix them.I would ask lots of detailed questions about the project.I would provide lots of ideas on how to do better.(I really like to think that I didnʼt do it this Badly, but I think sometimes I really did!)Now, I go in and I basically ask these 4 questions.It still is good idea to know their data ahead of time to guide the conversation to problems you know about.However, I find as you listen to the team member talk, they cover all the problems you have seen and more.I have also found it very important not to give answers unless they have directly asked me.presentation.Even then I might wait for the detailed answer until theThe team members then have a day to think about our conversation.In the presentation that wraps the checkpoint, I give the overall thread of the interviews and the ideas that have come up for improvement.

EXAMPLE: CONCERN MANAGEMENT What am I worried about this week? Write the worries down. Whose concern is it? Give it to the owner!Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.12This is another thing I have learned. In some ways this goes beyond risk management.I think most people think of risks as technical.This is actually thinking about what worries you have.For example before a launch think about what concerns or worries you have about the upcoming launch.Write them down.You may find there are things that you can do -- and even better - you find things you can talk to the team leader about so they can SHARETHE worry.I have often found this helps the team solve a problem well before they actually occur.These techniques and more have enabled me to help many more teams with less work on my part. And I find the process sticks for the team,they OWN IT.but still in the last few years I noticed that whole organizations that are ALMOST there backslide -- sometimes amazingly quickly.What is missing?

MEANINGFUL MEASURES40 Miles to Mastery Useful Used Objective Meaningful Objective Measures Individual, Team, Organizational Meaningful Subjective Measures Correlate well to meaningful subjective measures (WHAT!)Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.13This section suggests one of the things that I think is missing. Most likely, there is more, but I think this idea will really help.I believe that I had mastered the understanding that the concepts and measures I had been teaching were working for individuals on teams,and for the teams and team leaders.However I, and I believe our community, have not been providing Meaning Objective Measures for organizational performance.organizations senior management.For theAlso, for senior management it also important to have meaning subjective measures, such as some form of customer delight. It is notsufficient to say "our projects our finishing on time"And it would be best yet if our objective measures (such as quality) correlated well with meaningful subjective measures.I think it is imperative that our TSP coaching community begins to provide this type of information to organizational leadership.

ORGANIZATION PERFORMANCE CHARTSSchedule Error140Percent Errot120100806040late200early-20Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.14This is the start of what I think should be a series of Organizational Performance Charts.Each data point represents a team and itʼs project performance for a specific objective - such as schedule, quality, features delivered (planversus actual), etc.In this chart it is clear that all projects finish late.It is a hope that the management team would quickly recognize that it is their responsibility to fix this.And hopefully they would use the TSP as a way to do so and the get the results changed to look like this.

ORGANIZATION PERFORMANCE CHARTSSchedule Error140Percent Errot120100806040late20early0-20Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.15Ah, when you see the performance suddenly change like this it is clear that there was a significant process change. In this case they didapply the TSP.And on the next chart, the same.


A FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP?Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.17This chart is perhaps projects across 2 years where teams are consistently delivering on schedule.Although this is indeed a good thing in many ways, I ask the question if this is a FAILURE IN LEADERSHIP?I ask this because I believe that organizations should periodically review their results, and the reasons for the results, and look for ways toimprove, to innovate on products and process.This would naturally lead to variance. For example, I have made significant updates to my “presentation creation process” 5 times over thelast 10 years. Each time has resulted in a change in my “slides/hour” rate.This has effected my schedule performance.The chart above indicates a very stable process.So if you are going to innovate process what do you need?

That is CORRECT! As in the Personal Software Process course for advanced students, we should conduct an Organizational“PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS PROCESS” and create a report.We should most likely help members of the management team do this (It is THEIR DATA!) (and it would be working hard at getting them toown it!)No one has presented any of these reports/data at the TSP Symposium. I challenge us as a community to be able to do a report on one nextyear!The checklist above is based on the PSP do one.Would the one we do for an organization be different? I think so, but to find out we needEither way I am sure the outputs, the goals for this report are the same ---

Organizational Performance Analysis Process OutputsThe report identifies improvement opportunities.Realistic and challenging improvement goals have beenset.Appropriate actions to achieve the improvements goalsare identifiedLets do THIS!*****But before I leave measures and organizational performance, I think there is one more interesting question ---

SUBJECTIVE MEANINGFUL MEASURES How about these questions for a start?“How beautiful was the customer experience with ourproduct?” (thanks to Mark Turner, Tektronix)“Level of Trust in Organization” (thanks to Bob Munson, Microsoft)100 Miles to MasteryMastering the Coaching of Excellence20Copyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.Could Quality Measures (defects/KLOC or QPI) ever correlate with beautiful ?questions.I donʼt know.But I do think it could be useful to ask theseIf there was correlation that was very meaningful, would that help drive leadership behavior?It is the quest of these questions that makes me realize I have long way to go to the mastery I desire.

MY JOURNEY REVISITED100 Miles to MasteryMastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.21Going back to the start of this talk, my challenges of last year, my renewed realization that this ride is finite, has taken me back to revisit mycareer, my aspirations and goals.As Monty Python put it “What is My Quest?”I have wondered how good I am? I wondered if this is possible? I wonder how far to mastery it really is.And I remembered and embraced that one big thought again.

I CAN IMPROVEI have a good record of most of my experiences with coaching teams across the last 12 years.I have data from many of them.I can study, them, I can measure. I can think.I can determine new data I need.I can build processes that help guide me.I can do a personal performance analysis report.I can improve.

EMERGING PERIODIC PERSONAL LEADERSHIPPERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROCESS Every year or two (?) do some SCARY INVIGORATING STUFF retrospective of all leadership / coaching projects completed performance chart analysis what are my meaningful measures? establish performance goals review PIPs Generate new PIPs deep review & thinking & reinvigoration of personal mission establish meaningful personal long term objectives (3-5 years) create and achievable short term plan (a TSP self launch) What is my quality plan? What are meaningful defects? Collect Them!Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.23I do not know exactly yet what a personal performance appraisal process would look like.I did one for PSP as discussed at the start of this talk. But that was about “how do I write good software”This is about “how I coach teams to EXCELLENCE”For Example, what is a meaningful defect in doing coaching? I am thinking it is way more than the the typical mistakes such as typos, mixedfonts, different colors on this slide that have no meaning to the audience!I think a defect would be related back to the goal, back to meaningful measures of success.I want to do all of these steps. I already did one of them -- I revisited my personal goals and mission.I am part of Watts vision of vastly improving the world of software, but I think it is important for each of to reconnect with this in “what is MYcontribution”

INTENTIONSpread Fire!Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.24When my wife and I were first married we made a “50 year plan”.Part of that plan was personal missions. After lots of work, my personal mission was simply “spread fire”. I wanted to help other people.

INTENTIONoxseeker äks'se̅k'ǝr (noun)Spread Fire!1. A person dedicated to the calm pursuit ofexcellence.2. A person who consistently brings out the best inothers.Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.This year I revisited this mission.It is the foundation of the name of my new business.I realized that I can control, well at least influence, my own personal journey of excellence.And I can hope to achieve the 2nd part, which is to help bring out the best in others.25

Before EnlightenmentChop Wood, Carry WaterAfter EnlightenmentChop Wood! Carry Water!So after all of this work towards mastery.After re-thinking lots of how I do my work. After revisiting and revising my personal mission.I realize that the most important thing to do is to help teams master their own journey.I need to help them do Launches, Checkpoints. Post-mortems.I need to help people with their own journeys.Thank You.

?Mastering the Coaching of ExcellenceCopyright 2011 Oxseeker Inc.Questions?Also one last word afterwards27

a master of the journeyThis is Watts Humphrey.He learned to play piano in the last two years of his life.I took this video clip while I was visiting him in florida. he knew that he was in the last few months of his life.He is a true master of the journey.

Life ! an Adventure,Have an Excellent one!

Alan WillettPresident, Oxseeker Inc.Phone: 607-592-7279E-mail: [email protected]: you.

this was not my scare with death. I knew the statistics for the heart surgery (mitral valve repair) I was having --- and the results had been very good (0% mortality was a very . And I was visiting a starbucks within 36 hours of surgery. . I had no idea how many miles to mastery I had to go. Mastering the Coaching of Excellence