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InfoQ Homepage Articles Q&A on Doing It - Management 3.0 Experiences

Q&A on Doing It - Management 3.0 Experiences


Key Takeaways

  • Management is too important to leave only to managers; management is everyone’s job.
  • Management 3.0 is about understanding you need to change the environment. Manage the system, not the people.
  • Management 3.0 fits perfectly in Teal, but it can also be used in other color organizations.
  • Talking about Management 3.0 practices is fun but don’t talk too long, just do it.
  • Don’t copy ideas from this book, but use them as a start to experiment with Management 3.0.

In the book Doing It - Management 3.0 Experiences Ralph van Roosmalen shares his experiences from using Management 3.0 as a manager and as a coach. He explores how he experimented with ideas and practices like moving motivators and kudo cards from Jurgen Appelo’s book Managing for Happiness to find out what drives people, help them to become happier at work, and empower self-organizing teams.

InfoQ readers can download Doing It - Management 3.0 Experiences for free from the author’s website (registration required).

InfoQ interviewed Ralph van Roosmalen about how Teal and Management 3.0 relate to each other, why management the responsibility of everyone, his experiences from using management 3.0 practices, and why copying a model into an organization doesn't work and what’s the alternative.

InfoQ: Why did you write a book about Management 3.0 experiences?

Ralph van Roosmalen: There are many ways to become a better professional. One of the most effective ways is to visit other organizations, meet people at conferences or read experience reports. As manager I always encouraged people to go out and learn about the other organizations. Furthermore, I often get questions during Management 3.0 workshops about how people should use the ideas and practices.

I used many Management 3.0 ideas and practices as a manager, and still do as a coach. By sharing my experiences I hope to give people the opportunity to learn more about Management 3.0.

InfoQ: Who should read this book?

Van Roosmalen: Different audiences could read the book. First of all, anyone who wants to know what the role of management in an agile organization is. People often say management is not necessary anymore- I disagree. Managers may not be necessary, but management as a task is still is.

Secondly, people who read the book Managing for Happiness or Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, but are struggling to implement the practices. I am not saying I have the solution, but maybe my experiences can help them to get up and running quickly.

Lastly, people who just want to know more about Management 3.0. The book describes my experiences but also describes what Management 3.0 is, and which practices there are.

InfoQ: What is Management 3.0?

Van Roosmalen: Management 3.0 is an ever-changing collection of games, tools and practices to help any worker to manage the organization. Management 3.0 is not just about games; it is a mindset. A mindset where you understand it is hard to change people; you need to change the environment. This will help people in changing their behaviour. You manage the system, not the people.

It is called Management 3.0 because Management 1.0 is about Taylorism; looking at people and organizations as machines. Management 2.0 is about understanding that people are the most important assets in your organization, but still command and control in place.

InfoQ: How do teal and Management 3.0 relate to each other?

Van Roosmalen: Management 3.0 ideas fit perfectly into teal organizations. For example, Management 3.0 believes organisations should grow; you can’t plan how to make your organization bigger. Many of the Management 3.0 practices also fit perfectly into a teal organization.Teal looks at organizations like living organisms. Management 3.0 does the same, based on the understanding that we work with complex adaptive systems. Management 3.0 can also be applied in green organizations, even in red. A practice like delegation poker can make it clear to people that you don’t delegate anything.

InfoQ: Why is management the responsibility of everyone?

Van Roosmalen: Management can make the difference between a so-so organization and an organization where you really want to work. Management is very important. Some organizations hire dedicated managers, other organizations hire dedicated testers. Does this mean only testers are responsible for the quality of the products? No- everyone in the company is. The same goes for management; everyone is responsible for management. Management 3.0 identifies six views: Energizing People, Empower Teams, Align Constraints, Develop Competence, Grow Structure and Improve Everything. Everyone can set up a Kudocard wall to compliment each other; everyone can implement a Celebration Grid. As Jurgen Appelo saids: Management is too important to leave only up to managers. Management is everyone’s job.

InfoQ: What's your favorite Management 3.0 practice? Why?

Van Roosmalen: My favorite practice is Moving Motivators. Talking about motivators is always personal, and it gives you the opportunity to really connect with people; what drives people, and how can you help them to become happier at work. It is also something people often don’t think about: what really motivates people to come to work every day? By practicing Moving Motivators, you also give people more insight into themselves.

InfoQ: How did you use moving motivators to find out what motivates people?

Van Roosmalen: I used it for example once in a coaching meeting. There was a team member who did not perform well in his current role. We were considering firing him. While testing a new release, he took ownership of coordinating the release testing activities. He showed initiative, took responsibility and was also happy in this role. I could have asked him to move to this new role. However, I played moving motivators with him. It turned out Acceptance, Relatedness and Mastery were very important motivators for him. In his role where he did not perform well, people didn't want to work with him, and ignored him. When in his temporarily role as a release testing coordinator, he was accepted, could learn new things, and people appreciated him again. By playing moving motivators and giving him insight into his personal motivators, he realized he needed to switch roles. In the end he was happy and the organization was happy.

InfoQ: In the book you described implementing kudo cards in your company. How did you do it and what did you learn?

Van Roosmalen: Just by starting to use it… Sometimes you can talk for hours about new ideas, but talking about it won’t teach you anything. Just do it, start experimenting, learn by applying it. We just made a small announcement that there was a new experiment, a Kudobox and a Kudocard wall. We just waited to see what happened. People liked it and started to use it, and it became popular. We also connected a small gift to every Kudocard, and in the beginning I sometimes thought to myself: “Is this really worth a Kudocard?” I learned that you just need to trust people; if they think it is worth a Kudocard, it is worth a Kudocard. The second thing I learned, is that these kinds of experiments have a limited lifespan. A Kudocard wall can work for months, maybe even years, but at some point you need to introduce something new, a new experiment.

InfoQ: What's your advice for giving feedback when working with remote or distributed teams?

Van Roosmalen: Always assume the best intentions! Working with distributed teams can be challenging because of timezone, different backgrounds, communication tools, etc. It is therefore so easy to get upset by other people. However, when you always assume they have the best intentions, it will make your life much easier.

Describe your context. People always appreciate positive feedback. However, when you provide negative feedback it can become tricky. For example, when you rush into a team member’s office in the morning and you tell him he did something wrong, he can see that you are late, and sweaty maybe. So he knows that you were in a traffic jam and ran to the office to be on time for the meeting.

There are things you can’t see when you provide feedback by email. You need to describe the context and how you feel when you write the feedback. The person who receives the feedback is able to understand in which context you wrote the feedback. If you just returned home from a red-eye flight, your feedback could be perceived as more agitated than when you are sitting relaxed on a terrace.

InfoQ: Copying a model into an organization doesn't work. But what does work?

Van Roosmalen: The reason I wrote the book is to share my experiences; experiences that can give people ideas, and maybe prevent them from making the same mistakes. However, maybe mistakes are not mistakes for them. There is only one way to find out, which is by starting to experiment. Execute as many experiments as possible and learn from the experiments. There is nothing wrong in using certain ideas from organizations like Spotify, but don’t just copy Spotify. Calling your teams squads, your department a tribe, or calling Scrum Masters Agile Coaches doesn’t make you agile. Thinking about changing names in your organization to support a change is definitely a nice experiment.

About the Book Author

Ralph Van Roosmalen has been working in IT since 1997, working with Scrum since 2004 and Management 3.0 practices since 2011. He has had different roles, including developer, tester, scrum master, agile coach, lead, manager, vp, etc. However, what he always liked was working with people to improve the process and the environments they work in. He loves to learn new things, and figure out how he can apply them in new situations. Additionally, he loves to share his knowledge and experiences on conferences and via blogs. Van Roosmalen is currently a Managemen 3.0 facilitator, Agile Coach and expert in remote working. More information about Van Roosmalen can be found on his LinkedIn profile or his website.

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