The TameFlow Performance Leadership Training is an intensive, hands-on on-line course for leaders and their teams and direct reports of up to 16 people who collaborate on complex knowledge work such as: product development, software engineering, financial services and similar.
The course consists of 12 Modules. The leader and the team are expected to deliver tangible, observable and measurable improvements in their organization to earn their stripes.
Agile Transformation at Warp Speed
Businesses all over the world are adopting Agile methodologies, in all sectors, and in all functions. Flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness are what allow businesses to quickly adapt to emergent customer needs and fulfill their demands. Business Agility means to be able to change direction at high speed.
It is when seeking that higher speed that overall organizational performance becomes the winning factor. It is all about performance in: meeting customer needs, making decisions, executing, adapting to change and in learning.
This course is all about organizational performance. It will set the founding stones for its overall improvement. Yet the course addresses you as a team leader and your team, because leaders and teams are the building blocks that best can acquire the new mental models, mindsets and attitudes that are necessary for superior results.
The course is for teams, but its scope is a vertical cross-section of the entire organization. The CEO (assuming you are not the CEO yourself) and all management layers in between will be involved in this performance improvement training.
The course targets specifically the team leader who will be coached to introduce and nurture a performance mindset in his team, and work together with all management layers to support the business’s Goal.
Course Learning Objectives
By attending this training, you, your team and your managers will learn how to:
- Establish a clearly articulated Goal with the full buy-in and support of your CEO and all management functions.
- Cultivate a performance mindset and transform that into decisions and actions.
- Improve performance – dramatically – to deliver more value with less work and in less time.
- Develop an ecology of ideas and develop your team’s and your organization’s collective intelligence and decision making ability.
- Improve speed and quality of decision making based on shared mental models.
- Deliver a tangible positive result on your company’s bottom line.
- Employ flow metrics to make quantitative, economic and actionable decisions.
- Apply constraints management to increase performance even more.
- Systematically identify and address root causes that negatively affect your team and your organization’s performance.
- Uncover hidden or wasted capacity.
- Create the conditions to improve organizational learning.
- Unleash creativity and innovation.
Is this Course for You?
This course is for anybody who is in charge of leading teams performing knowledge work. The reason for this is that one of TameFlow’s foundational performance patterns is that of the Inspired Leader.
Without such a leader, a comprehensive TameFlow transformation will not be possible. The course will teach you how to become such a TameFlow Leader by your effectively performing hands-on work directly with your team and in the context of your organization.
The course is addressed to you if you identify with one of the following professionals:
- Executives , Managers, Directors, CIOs, CTOs, and VPs.
- Development, QA and Infrastructure Managers.
- Program and Project Managers.
- Product and Product Line Management.
- Portfolio Managers, PMO, and Process Leads.
- Team Leads and Scrum Masters.
A Certificate of Achievement and a Certificate of Practice
Those who successfully complete the course will learn how to deliver more value with less effort and in shorter times, while creating a more relaxed and pleasant working environment. Yet to earn the certificate, they must also provide evidence of real improvement.
For this purpose, we distinguish between two certificates. A certificate of achievement is for the team leads who successfully leads a team through a TameFlow improvement transformation. A certificate of practice is for all team members that were part of that journey.
Accredited TameFlow Leader
The team lead who attends the entire training will earn a Certificate of Achievement with the title of Accredited TameFlow® Leader (ATFL). The accreditation is awarded only if the participant is able to produce, within the organization he/she is responsible for, a tangible performance improvement and provide observable evidence in terms of the metrics taught about the training.
Accredited TameFlow Practitioner
In any case, all participants (the team lead and all team members) who attend all sessions and perform all the assignments will earn a Certificate of Practice with the title of Accredited TameFlow® Practitioner (ATFP).
Notice: The ATFL and ATFP accreditation entail no further fees on top of the course fee. However, the ATFL accreditation is qualified with the year of achievement. Anyone with an ATFL can re-qualify for any further year, by submitting evidence of further measurable improvements, and for a renewal fee of Eur 499.
How Does it Work?
The Module Cadence
The course is based on achieving practical results. Every module defines one or more Expected Effects, which are outcomes that you are expected to achieve before you can progress from one module to the next. While each module nominally takes one week to complete, the time restriction is less important than actually achieving the module’s expected effects.
Depending on your particular circumstances, a module could also require more than one week to complete. Focus is not on hitting deadlines, but on delivering outcomes, and resolving any difficulties you might encounter on the way.
Each module will also require you to hold a concise meeting with your CEO (and any intermediary managers). In the meeting you will brief the CEO (and managers) about how the previous module’s expected effect have been realized (or not); and, if you are ready for it, you will introduce the objectives of the next module. It is important that executive management is involved in every step so that the governing decision making models are shared and validated with them. If management expresses any objections about the decision making models and the objectives that are proposed by any module, you will have to resolve the objections, naturally with your instructor’s assistance.
Every module starts with you (and your team) learning about some important aspect of TameFlow. Typically this involves reading the course material and lectures. Once you (and your team) have absorbed the material, you will have a short on-line live session with your instructor, so that you can discuss about any doubts and establish what next improvement actions you intend to undertake. Also, if you are still struggling in producing the previous module’s expected effects, you will receive direct support by your instructor.
Structured and Flexible through Pattern Theory
This course was born out of field practice, and it is thus very practical and hands on. Nonetheless it is grounded in Pattern Theory which will be guiding all activities.
The first effort will be that of establishing a Goal Tree together with executive management. The Goal Tree will identify the areas of improvement, and establish the primary measure of success of your improvement programme.
In particular the performance improvement programme will be driven by identifying and resolving Performance Patterns. Resolving a performance pattern means finding the solution to a specific performance problem in a well defined context. Details about the approach will naturally be explained once the programme is started. The improvement journey will be broken down into a number of discrete steps. Each step corresponds to the identification and resolution of a specific performance pattern.
The resolution of a pattern might in turn require the resolution of other patterns, creating effectively a hierarchy, a tree of logically dependent patterns. The leafs of this tree will be actionable patterns, and the analysis of which will result in specific actions or activities that need to be performed in order to resolve the pattern.
Scientific Observation and Expected Effects
The execution of such actions or activities will be compared to predetermined Expected Effects. Once the expected effects are effectively detected through observation, then that specific pattern will be considered as resolved, and focus can be shifted to the next pattern. Until the expected effect is not observed, different courses of actions might be experimented. If the pattern cannot be resolved (which is extremely rare), then the learning outcomes will be incorporated into a new, evolved pattern that will drive the actions in a different direction, until a resolution is effectively found.
Active Use of Metrics
The majority of the chosen patterns will have expected effects that are not only observable, but also measurable. In these instances, the measurable variables will reveal how much the pattern resolution is effectively contributing to the overall programme and to the improvement objectives. The whole course has a very strong focus on such metrics.
Iterative Process of On-Going Improvement
Generally speaking, every module and step of the process will be structured as follows:
- Observe the current situation of the organization.
- Identify the underlying patterns, forces and counter-forces.
- Learn about the mental models and thinking processes needed to understand why the patterns happen and how they can be resolved.
- Develop an action plan to resolve the patterns.
- Establish what are the expected effects and (if applicable) what metrics can be used.
- Execute the activities to resolve the pattern.
- Observe the outcomes of the activities, validate the expected effects and/or metrics, and reflect on the next steps.
If the expected effects/metrics are not observed/measured in Step 7, then focus will go back to Step 4, and the iterative process is repeated until the pattern is fully resolved. Occasionally, the resolution will be out of reach; then focus will return to Step 1 and the learnings will be applied to a new direction of resolution (i.e. a new pattern).
If the expected effects/metrics are effectively observed/measured in Step 7, then the process will be repeated again; but this time to tackle the next identified pattern.
After a series of pattern resolutions, then measurable improvements will be seen, and eventually the improvements will be concretely observable in the primary measure of success established early on with the Goal Tree. At that point the improvement programme achieves its intended result.
The process is naturally one of iterative ongoing improvement based on scientific observation. Once the primary measure of success is achieved, and the programme is declared as concluded, the company will not only have achieved the desired improvement as such, but it will also have learned how to apply the methodology to keep on improving thereafter, autonomously without further support.
Requirements to attend the course
This is not an easy course. You and your team will be working hard for 12 weeks. At the very outset, the first assignment is for you to gain the attention and commitment of the CEO and all managers in between, and at the end your results will be validated against the expectations agreed with your CEO. The validation will be based on effective measured improvements and on the observation of expected effects. Therefore, the first requirement is that you need to feel comfortable with taking a hard and demanding course.
Further requirements are as follows:
- Any person who enrolls is expected to be in a team leader role.
- The participant’s team — up to 16 people — is also expected to participate fully in the training. (If your team is larger, get in touch with us and we will help out to manage the circumstance.)
- The participant is expected to have access to the CEO of his organization. (If you are the CEO, even better!)
- The CEO (and other managers) will have to commit a couple of hours of their time during the very first module in order to establish and agree upon your improvement initiative’s goal and objectives. Then they will have to dedicate approximately 20-25 minutes a week for each of the remaining 11 modules of the course.
- You will need a Google Account to access Google Hangouts.
- All supporting documents, worksheets, etc. will be available via Google Drive.
- You (and your team members) will need a webcam and microphone to fully participate as the interactions with your instructor is mainly delivered on-line.
In general, the approach is inspired by the ideas described in the TameFlow series of books:
- Hyper-Productive Knowledge Work Performance, by Steve Tendon (J. Ross Publishing, 2015).
- The Essence of TameFlow, by Steve Tendon (TameFlow Press, 2016).
- TameFlow Patterns, by Steve Tendon (Draft, TameFlow Press, 2017).
It is not a prerequisite to have these books — because all concepts will be effectively introduced in the course itself — but, naturally, having them will help you gain an even deeper perspective.
The 12 Modules
The course is divided in 12 Modules. Every module consists of:
- Lectures and study material
- Hands-on field assignment for you and your team to realize
- Expected effects or outcomes
This is truly a hands-on course where you will have to apply the notions that you learn in practice, in your organization. You will be allowed to proceed with any module only if you have achieved the expected outcomes of the preceding module. The expected outcomes can be based on metrics, on observations or both.
Module 01 — Introduction to TameFlow
♦ Describe what TameFlow is and why it benefits organizational performance. ♦ Understand how patterns are used to guide all activities. ♦ Explain the basics of the economies of flow. ♦ Justify why a team in a vertical section of the organization is the starting point. ♦ Define the role of leaders and leadership.
♦ CEO and (possibly) other executives and managers become aware of the course. ♦ CEO understands the benefits of the course. ♦ CEO agrees to participate in a 2 hour Goal Setting workshop that will be facilitated by you. ♦ CEO gives his commitment to dedicate up to 20 minutes for review and feedback at the and of each module ♦ CEO understands that this is not only for your team, but is the foundation for improving the performance of the entire business.
Module 02 — Setting the Goal
♦ Understand the principles of constraints management. ♦ Explain the critical role of management. ♦ Outline the consequences of limited management attention. ♦ Facilitate the emergence of thinking alignment. ♦ Know how to create a Goal Tree. ♦ Recognize critical success factors and necessary conditions. ♦ Construct a Goal Tree with a group of people.
♦ A shared Goal Tree with the buy-in and commitment of all participants, including your CEO and any interested managers.
Module 03 — Flow Time and Flow Time Distributions
♦ Define the start and end of the Flow Time measurement. ♦ Explain why Flow Times make sense from a Business Perspective. ♦ Understand why variability needs a probabilistic approach. ♦ Interpret Flow Time distribution charts. ♦ Create Flow Time distribution charts.
♦ Your team’s Flow Time data is presented as a Flow Time Distribution Chart. ♦ CEO is shown your team’s Flow Time Distribution Chart and understands how to interpret it. ♦ CEO agrees to use the Flow Time Distribution Chart as a performance indicator.
Module 04 — Visualization of Work
♦ Explain why visualization is necessary. ♦ Understand what are actionable signals. ♦ Visualize work with a Kanban board.
♦ Have a Kanban Board in place for your team. ♦ CEO understands the benefits of visualization of work. ♦ CEO is shown your team’s Kanban board. ♦ CEO approves of your team using Kanban boards.
Module 05 — Visualization and Measurement of Flow
♦ Distinguish between different ways that flow can be measured. ♦ Interpret the different diagrams and charts. ♦ Explain Little’s Law and its assumptions. ♦ Illustrate how Little’s Law affects predictability.
♦ Your team adopts Flow Visualization using Cumulative Flow Diagrams, Scatter-plots and other diagrams too. ♦ CEO and managers understand and know how to interpret such diagrams, and in particular how to recognize when performance improvement is occurring. ♦ CEO approve of the usage of Flow Metrics and Flow Visualization.
Module 06 — Flow Efficiency
♦ Distinguish between Touch Time and Wait Time. ♦ Measure Touch Time and Wait Time. ♦ Understand how Flow Efficiency affects the bottom line. ♦ Recommend why focusing on Flow Efficiency is beneficial. ♦ Explain why conventional improvement initiatives often fail to deliver tangible results.
♦ Your Kanban board is instrumented so that Touch Time and Wait Time are measured. ♦ Flow efficiency is measured and monitored. ♦ CEO and managers become aware of the benefits of focusing improvement initiatives on Wait Time rather than on Touch Time.
Module 07 — Managing Work Ageing
♦ Identify Flow Time percentiles. ♦ Handle ageing signals. ♦ Relate ageing signals to common and special cause variation. ♦ Explain the rationale of a reason log. ♦ Produce a reason log to support long term improvements.
♦ All work items are qualified in terms of age. ♦ A reason log is put in place and used. ♦ Escalation policies are instituted. ♦ CEO and managers understand and approve of the escalation policies, and commit to being responsive accordingly.
Module 08 — Managing Work in Process and Constraints
♦ Understand why it makes sense to limit work in process. ♦ Choose how you can limit work in process. ♦ Explain how to recognize and achieve process stability.
♦ Work in process is limited and evidence thereof is observed through flow metrics and flow diagrams. ♦ CEO and managers appreciate how limiting work in process supports predictability and helps them to keep their promises to clients and markets. ♦ CEO and managers accept the policy of postponing commitment and limiting work in process.
Module 09 — Prioritization, Forecasting and Execution
♦ Understand why Minimum Marketable Releases (MMRs) make business sense. ♦ Explain how smaller batch sizes favor flow. ♦ Select a prioritization strategy. ♦ Outline when Little’s Law can be used for forecasting. ♦ Describe the usage of buffers.
♦ Work is organized, partitioned and prioritized according to MMRs. ♦ Buffers and Buffer Management is in use. ♦ CEO and managers understand the rationale of Buffers and Buffer Management. ♦ CEO and managers accept and approve of extended escalation policies, and commit to being responsive accordingly.
Module 10 — Root Cause Analysis
♦ Understand how to use a reason log. ♦ Construct a cause-effect tree. ♦ Distinguish between span of control and sphere of influence. ♦ Manage the levels of disagreement to improve influence.
♦ Root causes are identified and addressed. ♦ Escalation will occur when such causes are outside your span of control. ♦ Concerted actions will be agreed upon with the CEO, managers and stakeholders.
Module 11 — Developing a Collective Brain
♦ Explain what a learning organization is. ♦ Model Feedback Loops. ♦ Prescribe when and why to have meetings. ♦ Produce effective decisions in meetings. ♦ Facilitate the emergence of both individual and collective mental flow states. ♦ Understand the utility and limitations of ceremonies and cadences.
♦ Collaboration between executive and operational people increases and is documented with decisions logs. ♦ Number and duration of meetings (generally) decrease.
Module 12 — Coordination and Synchronization at Scale
♦ Interpret Bubble Fever Charts. ♦ Construct Bubble Fever Charts. ♦ Explain how how to manage multiple teams, initiatives and stake-holders. ♦ Outline how to coordinate initiatives and people across the entire organization.
♦ Executive management realizes the larger picture and needs. ♦ Executive management undertakes scaling decisions.
Here you can find replies to common question about the course. If you still have questions, get in touch and let us know what you might be wondering about.
Why involve the CEO and all managers?
TameFlow is an approach that aims at significantly increasing the performance of an entire organization. However, one must start somewhere. There are many approaches used in business. On the one side there is executive coaching which is targeted at top managers. On the other extreme, typically with Agile transformations or initiatives, attention is on all teams in an organization (or division). Then there are approaches that roll out changes across the entire organization at once, like Lean or Theory of Constraints. They all have advantages and disadvantages. Some have disconnection between top and bottom. Others require a significant amount of time and lots of effort to affect the whole organization. Others yet are perceived as impositions and don’t get the buy-in and engagement of all people involved.
TameFlow’s scope of action starts with one team and all the managers between the team up to and including the CEO. The intent is to create a Unity of Purpose that moves the entire organization, from top to bottom: the whole organization needs to be on board, and nobody can be left behind. TameFlow also builds on the concept of Inspired Leadership, and the CEO has to be the first Inspired Leader to act in that role.
The reason that the scope of action is a vertical slice of the whole organization is that in such way the organization’s entire “nervous system” can be rewired to convey the ideas and the information that are needed to support superior performance. Many of the activities of the course will address the informational flow, and especially the one that moves information and calls for decision making across the organization.
Typically, once a first vertical slice of the organization has acquired the TameFlow mindset and attitude, it becomes much easier and much faster to roll out the approach “horizontally,” one slice at a time. The subsequent iterations will move much faster, because by that time top management will have learnt what TameFlow means, and will be able to support the transformation in a much more mindful and energetic way. Other slices will be able to learn from the experience of the earlier ones. All in all, the whole organizational transformation happens much faster than with other approaches — while remaining successful.
Is the training available for individuals?
High-performance organizations are all about team sports. The training is offered to a team leader and his or her team, and not to individuals, because otherwise it would be impossible to exercise the leadership activities and the team dynamics would be missing.
The training is hands-on: real work has to be done with a real team, in a real organization.
If you are an individual and would like to know more about TameFlow in general, you can read the TameFlow books.
Why is the course so expensive?
This course cannot be compared to courses that address individuals, because this course is for a team of up to 16 people. If you add up the amounts that it would cost your company to send that number of people to individual trainings, you will see that it is actually very affordable. Additionally, the course will also, through the activities performed by the team leader, teach about the TameFlow approach not only to the team members, but also to the organization’s management, from the CEO to the team itself.
Furthermore, the course typically lasts three months, and will deliver results that ordinarily are achievable only by engaging a full time enterprise transformation coach or consultant engaged with direct field work in your organization. Typically such an engagement would cost you 7 or 8 times as much as this course.
If you see no benefits during the first 30 days, you have the option to withdraw and exercise the 30-day, full money back guarantee; and your risk of not getting value out of this course is negligible.
Your instructor will work closely with you and your team. The course is structured in such way that you will develop the same kind of outcomes and get the same kind of benefits as if you had a full time consultant standing by you all the time. The instructor will work together with you and ensure that you can really “tame the flow.” The programme is limited to only a few participants at a time. It will be a privileged cohort that will gain access to some very exclusive and actionable advice. This is as effective as engaging a consultant directly for field work, but for a fraction of the cost. Since there will not be many companies who will receive this privilege, having access to this knowledge will effectively be a competitive advantage for you. This is simply because we want to ensure that we can deliver training of high quality which delivers effective results - and one obviously cannot do that with mass participation. This is a “concierge-like” training programme, where you progress under the supervision of your instructor, rather than just passively absorbing information from some e-learning platform. The instructor will tailor the course to fit your context as appropriate, and according to the Patterns approach (described in the How it works section above.)
What if my team is more than 16 people?
The TameFlow approach works even with the largest of organizations, which count thousands of people. However, for the training to be effective, training classes need to be more limited. If you are responsible for more than 16 people, you can still take the course; though we will need to discuss about how to do that most effectively. You can still fill in the form above, and indicate the number of people in your team. We will get in touch with you to discuss about the special arrangements. Naturally, if there are more people to train, then we will of course provide a discount. For further details, please get in touch with us.
The instructor of this course is Steve Tendon in person. Steve is the creator of the TameFlow Approach and the Managing Director at TameFlow Consulting Limited, where he helps clients create high-performance organizations and teams. The focus of all his research and work is on creating breakthrough performance innovation. If you enroll into this course, Steve will coach you personally. He will teach you how you can be the leader taking your organization to the next level of business agility performance through his ground breaking approaches.
Note: Steve can only run a few of these training simultaneously. Places are limited! Claim yours!
This course presents the content and the formats of numerous workshops that Steve has run with a multitude of clients, from small startups to multinational corporations with thousands of employees. It is a very demanding course. It is not the usual passive training; you will really have to produce tangible, measurable and observable results in your own company in order to progress and earn your certificate; but the outcome will well be worth your and your team’s effort.
I want to Know More
The price of the Performance Leadership Training is €9.600 for up to 16 participants.
What Will I Get?
- Twelve on-line training sessions.
- One-on-one coaching sessions via live calls.
- Access to your personal coach for the duration of the course.
- Lifetime access to training material.
- Access to private community forum.
- 30 day guarantee with full refund if unsatisfied.
- Free 90 day trial of Kanbanize Enterprise with Premium Analytics.
Is it for Me?
The course is for you as an organizational leader and your entire team (up to 16 people). If you are leading a larger organizational unit, a comprehensive training programme is available at a discount. Get in touch indicating the size of your organizational unit to receive further details which also include an extended overall approach.
If you are not satisfied during the first 30 days you may claim a full refund.
Get in touch with us; and you can expect us to contact you via email with further information regarding the availability, schedules, payment options and also the specific approach with respect to your team’s or organizational unit’s size.