Agile

Basketball Systems Thinking #Agile #systemsthinking

So my kids are playing Basketball in addition to playing Hockey this year. My son is 10 and my daughter is nine. They are quite similar players in both sports. My son could take it or leave it, while my daughter is a spark plug and high energy in both sports.

The interesting thing is they do not keep score in Basketball for both of their age groups. Even more interesting, this has had very little impact on my daughter, she is still the high energy spark-plug she has always been. My son, on the other hand has been de-motivated. He certainly is less motivated to give his best without the possibility of ‘winning’ the game. His behavior is not greatly different, but I certainly noticed it enough to have a conversation with him.

I thought it was quite interesting to note how a system change affected my son more as he was extrinsically motivated while my daughter was affected less since she was intrinsically motivated. She just loves the game and competing, no matter if someone wins or not.

Parents

The big change though was how the behavior of parents changed. Totally gone was the aggressive behavior of yelling at their children and the referees. I even caught myself almost challenging a call and then not following through at it would not affect the outcome. Without keeping score, the outcome is totally about being kids enjoyment and helping the kids to get better.

I’m not sure if the model would ever translate to Hockey as goal scoring is much less frequent in Hockey. Because you score 6 times in an average Hockey game versus 90 times in a typical Basketball game, the focus on scoring becomes much more intense.

It is interesting to see how a small change in a system affected the parents behavior so radically.

Something to keep in mind as we set up systems at work.

About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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