Dynamics over Mechanics

Some people get engrossed with focusing on the so-called “hard stuff” (People, Process/Practices/Techniques, and Tools) while others get engrossed with focusing on the so-called “soft stuff” (Language/Communication (and conversations), Relationships, and Behaviors (and cooperate, coordinate, collaborate, co-create)). However, all words have various connotations!

Brad BartonMark Ferraro, and I often emphasize the distinction between Dynamics and Mechanics, a distinction crucially accentuated by Brad over the many years we’ve worked together . . .

Fundamentally, while many people focus on the so-called “hard stuff” or “soft stuff,” the distinction and integration of Dynamics and Mechanics has served us well in practice — by first focusing on the human dynamics, the human mechanics (people) and non-human mechanics (process and tools) emerge more naturally and are what is needed for a more healthy and thriving organization or human enterprise.

Furthermore, this distinction is especially crucial as we are somewhat “amused” but more-so “saddened” by what we continue to encounter in “the wild” (or in practice) — what people inhumanly do to each other!

For example, given the recent popularity of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), we continuously find more and more of the notion of a “descaled agile framework” (DAFe or dSAFe) or “SAFe for a Team” where rather than embrace scale and then de-scale (that is, going from “big” to “small” based on need), one can embrace an essentialism or minimalism then scale (that is, going from “smallest” to “bigger” based on need) — as they say:

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

Again, an example of mechanics over dynamics versus a more healthy dynamics over mechanics!

M&D-2014110100

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9 thoughts on “Dynamics over Mechanics

  1. I think you got something ( big) here , Sinan. Indeed, it is pointless having a perfect tool and no see the intention to use it. So much effort have been spend since the last 80’s in turning IT into factory mode, to ” have it under control ” and to remove the uncontrollable human factor out of the IT chain ! The more I saw the capabilities building, the less it was delivering , especially on large projects.

    On the other hand , agile Raised in late 90s and have been built on tuning in the raw matter of humanity . Attention and Intention . The premises of focusing attention where it matters, by clarifying the intention, and readjusting all the time with conversations. Yes, building process and using tools on the way, but just for what they are, helpers, tools, capabilities .

    So contrasting mechanics and dynamics is a powerful way to (a)dress the conundrum , and redress it !

    More of it, Please !

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