P4 Paradigms, Principles & Practices

The P4 framework unites and integrates values ​​and principles from the areas of Lean, Agile and New Work.

Pragmatic values

The basic values ​​of Lean and Agile also apply to P4:

  • The Attitude and Mindset of a positive view of people that everyone wants to make a positive contribution to success
  • Openness, respect and trust enable personal safety and courage to improve & innovate
  • Transparency and a Growth Mindset enable continuous improvements (products and organization)
  • clear prioritization enables focus
  • intrinsic motivation (autonomy, perfection, sense) enables dedication and commitment

An introduction of P4, which takes place without these organisational-cultural values, will not be successful in the long run and will end up in an “agile theater”. It is the management’s task to introduce these values, to demand them and to live them up!

Pragmatic paradigms

  • Motivated and well-trained employees are the basis of any long-term success
  • Strict customer focus and continuous improvement are more important than beating the competition
  • One for all, all for one. The overall success is more important than the individual success. Heroism is counterproductive.
  • Effectiveness first, then efficiency. Continuous flow of work and value is more important than the aggregation of work packages and the elimination of waste
  • Avoid local optima, strive for a global optimum
  • A fully loaded system is clogged; Flow needs slack

Pragmatic principles

P4 extends and substantiates some of the principles from Lean & Agile:

  • The principle of separation of powers or the “trinity of agile management”: decision-making powers of areas are divided into.
  • Consistent iterations and fixed periods (timeboxing & cadence)
  • Principle of reducing complexity by planning at the level of stable teams, not at the level of individuals
  • Principle of responsibility of teams, not individuals
  • Musketeer principle “All for one, one for all”: The overall success is above the individual success.
  • First principle of the workflow: work flows to stable teams, controlled by the Team Backlogs, not by the constantly recurring realignment of project teams
  • Second principle of workflow: cadence, prioritization and focus
    • Topics that need to be worked on, discussed or decided on are taken into the appropriate recurring event (depending on the topic and the group of people). A separate appointment is only organized if this is not possible or does not make sense. When introducing agile working methods in an organization, all previous meetings should ideally be deleted and the topics distributed to the P4 events.
  • Principle of the greatest possible self-organization, freedom and choice
    • Pull: Teams pull the work at their own pace.
    • Principle of local decision (inversion of the hierarchy pyramid): transfer of a large part (80%) of responsibility to the Working Teams and only a little (20%) to the next higher level.
    • Teams have the opportunity to choose their own tools
    • Customer / supplier principle: Application and system teams can choose which version of a Module (or technology) they use in a system. Module Teams therefore always support at least one older version of a Module when a new version becomes available. In extreme cases, application and system teams can also buy Modules externally if they are not offered suitable internal Modules.
  • Principle of reuse (knowledge, models, designs, drawings, Components, supplier relationships).
  • P4 organizations strive for trusting and long-term cooperation with suppliers.
  • Principle the single source of truth, also known as the principle of avoiding redundancy or DRY (Don’t repeat yourself)
    • Example: It may make sense to manage backlogs or Kanban boards both digitally and analogously, as physical cards on a wall. It must be clearly agreed which of them represents the “truth” and that all other representations are only copies of it and are updated.
    • The same applies to the storage of information and decisions
  • Principle of self-similarity and simplicity: When scaling Scrum, several Teams form a Cluster as a larger unit. The Organization is made up of several Clusters. All rules and relationships are still based on the Scrum principles; they are retained when scaling.
  • Principle of overlap: When self-similar (fractal) organizational structures are formed, representatives of the teams below form the groups at higher levels (also known as “Scrum-of-Scrums” in Scrum). This allows information to flow unfiltered from a team to a group and back to the teams.

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