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Three Wall Workshop - The Prequel

In providing the impetus to change and transformation programmes, Radtac has developed a generic focus tool called the “Three Wall Workshop” (TWW). This is focussed on the general principles of Vision (Why), Strategy (How) and Tactics (What).

The TWW is to be used where there are needs for team development, project management, product delivery, visioning and strategic planning to name a few situations. The principles of TWW are to reverse common thinking within organisations, the TWW approach focusses on people and their need for a clear ‘Why’ they doing what they are doing, rather than ‘What’ they are doing.

 A lot of processes within organisations are ascribed value e.g. social merit, return on investment, cash flow enhancement, product development, technical solution. What is often missed is the ‘Why’ they are being done. It is not that the task or the ‘What’ is valueless, rather that within the confines of an organisation and its direction they have limited ascribable value to the organisation.

 

To further emphasise this point, all organisations and their transformations are different, hence the need for coaching, and therefore this is not a process to define what is valueless within a market, only what has the least or no value within their organisation. ‘What’ you do should come from the ‘How’ you are to achieve things, the ‘How’ we usually put into personas and stories after understanding the ‘Why’.

 

Often the ‘legacy’ of ‘what we do’ and ‘how we do’ drives a Group-Think attitude to doing more of this ‘stuff’ without questioning Why. You will often find projects and programmes continuing within organisations at great pace and these programmes and projects then start to gather a momentum of their own, what can be described as self-driving projects/programmes. The questions ‘where is the real value?’, ‘Why does this activity support a vision that we value and can achieve?’ are failing to be asked. It is still true to say that much investment and spend is not appropriately grounded or indeed questioned in these situations.

 

A key area of use is to allow a collective recognition by the team of when a project/programme is failing in its value goals and needs to be written off. I am sure that we are all aware of projects that are not terminated because the ‘career cost’ of pointing out the obvious is just too great. Such workshops allow for a collective recognition and a removal of the blame and ‘can carrying’ attitudes that prevent companies from recognising that they need to move on and get to value development.

 

The ‘Three Wall Workshop’ is an excellent tool used in the hands of Radtac to create the emphasis on first the ‘Why’ then the ‘How’ and, finally, then we can discuss ‘What’. These three questions in that order are an iterative tool that can become very flexible to look at a range of situations where what we do has come to dominate why we are doing it.

 

Once we have a high level vision of Why, the How of strategy will follow. This process also avoids long periods of navel gazing at long ‘Strategic Planning’ documents. By taking an iterative, leaner and agile approach to building high level stories and relevant personas we can quickly move to producing a lean-start-up environment under the ‘What’. Here we typically look at the earliest deliverable value, put that to the end user/client as a tactical piece of implementation and allow that to drive the ‘inspect and adapt’ process, shaping the order and prioritisation of the stories and evolving new ones as required. Ordered priority of development of any solution or proposal is a key to leaner Agile progress.

 

Author

Peter Measey

Peter Measey

"What I enjoy most about radtac? Our team ethic. And working with the best people on the market." Peter’s managed and contributed to the implementation of some of the largest Agile project and delivery management transformations in the UK and worldwide: think British Airways, BT, Fidelity Investments, HMCE, NHS, Nokia and Rolls Royce. Peter’s a DSDM Board Director, Certified DSDM Trainer, Certified Scrum Master, Practitioner and Trainer, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner and Prince2 Practitioner. And in between consultation and implementation duties, Peter trains and coaches teams in the UK, USA, India, China and across Europe. Read more