After a long period without in-person events, the Agilizer® Network hosted an exciting gathering for its members and interested parties on 10/29/2022. It should be a day full of community activities, sharing, fun, good food from Blue Sheep and learning. With almost 50 guests, the event was a complete success. The highlight was the appearance of our internationally known guest, Joe Justice, who is experienced in the field of agile hardware development.
After a short welcome, the first networking activity started right away. Speed networking: For this purpose, the participants first created a personal map. This should include two special or fun facts, the best event of the current year, and your role or position. Afterwards, the participants got together in small groups of four people and first exchanged ideas about their roles. Then it was changed and changed again, until after three rounds all the information had been discussed in different groups of people in each case. A great activity to get to know each other and initiate conversations.
After a delicious and lively lunch, in the second slot we reflected on the future world of work and our role in it with the help of Lego. We were thrilled to see the creative results the participants came up with and how different they were.
In the third slot we continued with our guest Joe Justice. He presented his learnings and experiences from working at Tesla and SpaceX. He let us in on how the division of labor, agility, motivation & enthusiasm, as well as the use of Artificial Intelligence and working in cross-functional teams for faster decision-making processes workin Elon Musk’s companies :
1. agility already starts in the morning. All employees can choose which station they want to work at. It looks at where people are needed, what skills you have, or what you can contribute yourself that day. This can also mean that employees spend a day or part of a day on innovation work or training. There is a lot of trust placed in each individual. The expectation of the organization and Elon Musk is that people are motivated and enthusiastic, and that routine and mandatory tasks are completed. Failure to meet these requirements may result in termination. The goal is to ensure that no one interferes with others at work, holds them back too much, or demotivates them through lack of drive.
2. all work is carried out in mobs. Mobs are cross-functional teams in which there must always be at least one “driver”, one “navigator” and one mob member. All focus on one task at the same time. While the driver does the actual work (e.g. programming), the navigator gives rough or very detailed instructions on what to do and how to do it, depending on the level of knowledge of the driver. Meanwhile, mob members review the work, provide support through research or the like, make suggestions for improvement, and consult with the navigator. The mob members’ tasks may also include cheering the driver on, cheering him/her up, or confirming what he/she is doing. Change every 3 to 7 minutes. All mob members must know what is being done at all times and be able to take over at any time.
In the cross-functional teams, the roles (driver, navigator, etc.) are permanently swapped again. Even if a member has no experience in what is being worked there. In this case, the navigator’s work instructions will be very detailed and the other members will look at how they can encourage or support the driver. In this way, knowledge, learning and the necessary skills should be spread as widely as possible. It should increase motivation and enthusiasm, through the success of learning and the certainty of having accomplished something, even if you could not do it before.
4. unnecessary decision-making processes stop and are outsourced to artificial intelligence. Decisions about vacation, for example, are made by AIs. These are faster and more efficient. This leaves more time for essential work and more capacity for innovation. AIs are good at describing givens and using them to draw simple conclusions. That’s exactly what they’re being used for in Elon Musk’s organizations . used. This gives people more time to process and assess complex issues. This increases efficiency.
5. the no-wait policy stipulates that nou should wait. This means that anyone:r can make changes and improvements at any time. There is only the specification that for this so-called adapters must be built at the same time. This way, individual stations and mobs don’t have to wait for all subsequent or preceding mobs to have time to implement changes and innovations as well. This is to actively promote innovation.
6. definition of done can lead to different results. If an object or work product meets the Definition of Done, it can be used and installed. This means that not everything always has to look the same or be processed the same way. The benchmark is not perfect uniformity, but the fulfillment of the Definition of Done.
7. there are no hierarchies with higher salary, prestige or title. Every day, anyone:r can come forward and take responsibility, accountability. These positions are responsible for reporting should it become necessary. This ensures that everyone is equal and that there is no competition. This puts the focus on collaborative work and collaborative success.
Since the concept of working in a mob (mobbing) was still little known, Joe led just that as an interactive workshop with the event participant:ing. Each:r was divided into a mob of at least three people and the task was to compose an email that would convince a CEO to adopt work practices like those at Tesla. Here, just as Joe explained earlier, only the driver should write, the navigator should give instructions, and the mob member should watch carefully, documenting errors and supporting the driver in any way possible. Changes took place every three minutes. At the end, the results were presented to the participants and Joe, and the successes and obstacles were discussed.
Following Joe’s workshop, there was a Q&A where he answered any lingering questions. Afterwards we dined and Joe signed his books, talked to each:r individual and took time for photos.
The following evening program was musically accompanied by Adam Janosch with his terrific raps about agility and Scrum. Everyone was excited and Joe Justice took the opportunity to give us a breakdancing performance and then also grabbed the mic himself for karaoke.
The evening ended at 10 pm with many happy and enthusiastic participants over wine and beer.