Can the Cynefin model help in matters of the heart?
Quite a while
ago, the so-called Cynefin model (from the Welsh word meaning “habitat”)
achieved quite a bit of notoriety. It is a typology of a system or project that
provides a clue as to what kind of explanations and/or solutions apply or might
be helpful in uncertain contexts.
The model is
divided into four categories or contexts: simple, chaotic, complex and
Now from time
to time I too use one of those platforms where you can tell other people
something (about yourself). On this particular platform I was told someone I
knew had updated his or her relationship status to “complicated”.
Are the common approaches to risk management in projects still up to date?
I think not.
In a world
in which more change takes place every day than in the whole of 1880, the
almost exclusive focus on what is known and experienced is de facto pure
arrogance paired with ignorance (and this also applies to Central Switzerland).
iterative approaches such as Scrum, which are rightly said to be better suited
to rapid change and high complexity, provide only partial concrete answers.
Shorter sprints and transparency about the state of the delivery outcomes are
very helpful, but do not turn a turkey into a visionary yet.
But how can
we position ourselves in projects in such a way that we are better prepared for
unknown unknowns, or perhaps even draw something positive from them?
Now, for a
change, a topic in which satirical exaggeration is not so easy for me.
be the reason? Maybe the topic is simply too close to my heart, too important
to me. Also, I have not yet completely penetrated it myself, thought it through
to the end, internalized it. At least that’s what my gut tells me.
question the title again. Shouldn’t it actually be “I” instead of
“you” (or at least “we”)? But it’s OK. After all, I already
have a certain advantage, because I have already dealt with it. That’s enough of
doubt. What is it about? It’s about risk management.
This contribution is a joint production by the harlequins RGE and BCO.
RGE: We enjoyed celebrating at our office. Good deals, for example, or new customers. With bubbly.
business even went much better than expected. From the management’s point of
view, this was not very fortunate because our units were organised as profit
centres. The general demand for business growth was about 5% per year. If it
was actually higher, it automatically increased expectations the following
noticed those stickers? They are proudly displayed on cars – mostly on the back
and often on vehicles like the KIA Carens and the Peugeot 807. Very rarely or
not at all on a Mercedes Benz SLK or an Audi TT. You may think: “Oha! The
latter vehicles are well-endowed with horsepower, while the former are in need
of it.” With this I counter with the Opel Tigra Twin Top, which even with
the largest engine produces a modest 125 bhp. Now you might think:
“Eureka, I‘ve got it. The latter are made by German carmakers and the
former are from countries less skilled in car making.” I counter such a
foolish assessment with a dry “Citroën C3 Pluriel”, a convertible
like SLK and TT, which is built in a country that stands for French bread and overpriced
red wine, and in terms of power potential still lags behind the above-mentioned
often sport small screens at the back fastened to the headrests, which is never
the case for the latter. To all those who now think: “The latter can only
accommodate two people, while the former can accommodate six to seven”, we
can only shout “Brilliant!”
Blame Management (Part 2) Undocumented, but practised processes of project management
Part 1 we introduced ourselves to the significance of this falsely demonised
topic in society and companies, it is time now to become more concrete.
requires a common understanding of what it is all about.
Definition of terms
term “blame” has also been very common in the German-speaking world
for some time, but there it is increasingly used in its progressive form of
“blaming”, i.e. accusing someone of something. In my opinion, we
should expand the definition in the corporate environment in such a way that it
better fits actual practices:
responsibility for negative events or circumstances to the lowest still
plausible, but politically most defenceless hierarchical level.”
Undocumented but practised processes of project management: Blame Management
perhaps even countless approaches and best practices can be found for projects
and for dealing with projects. Often they differ only insignificantly, which stems
from the nature of things, or better said, from the nature of project
management. After all, there is a certain consensus about the most important
aspects and topics in this environment. Only in the weighting of the topics and
then possibly in the details do the different approaches differ. However, one
thing strikes you: not all the important procedures commonly used in practice
are included in these descriptions. And these tried and tested approaches often
make the difference between personal success and personal failure. We need to
bridge this gap.
following is a detailed and process-oriented description of one of the most
important aspects of successful project work: the process of blame assignment
and administration (blame management).
Once upon a
time there was a great king who had ruled his country for many years. He also
had a beautiful daughter, who grew up with frogs and dwarves, but that is
completely irrelevant to this story.
had learned to protect his kingdom successfully against invaders and raids and
had fought many a battle. He had a big, strong army, so nobody dared to attack;
there was peace in his country for a long time.
But more and more travellers reported incredible changes in other parts of the world. Previously unknown kingdoms rose rapidly, while others disappeared into insignificance at the same speed.