Linking Team Modes to RightShifting

What is Rightshifting?

When I looked at the program for Lean Kanban Benelux 2011 I found a couple of sessions talking about something I wasn’t familiar with – RightShifting. Since I had to speak at the same time, I didn’t have a chance to go check it out. Come Lean Kanban Central Europe 2011 I saw another session on RightShifting, again a conflict – this time with my Pecha Kucha talk. But I was curious enough to try and check it out, have a chat with Bob Marshall and think about it for a bit.

Yesterday, at home already,  a couple of thoughts clicked.

One of them was that my post about Lean/Kanban Team Modes might fit into the RightShifting model. I won’t go into what it is, if you’re interested go see the movie from Lean Kanban Benelux 2011:

Bob Marshall – Grant Rule – Understanding Effectiveness: Rightshifting and the Marshall Model from AGILEMinds on Vimeo.

Now, assuming you have some idea about RightShifting, here’s my thinking…

Team modes and RightShifting

Well, thinking about the ad-hoc phase I have in mind a start-up / small group where everyone is one big happy family, without any rules, hacking it out. No teams there for now.

At the dawn of the analytical phase, the group is too large, seems like we must introduce some discipline. Part of it is creating functional teams, and discussing the interfaces between the functions, roles and responsibilities, RACI, etc. This is the starting point for my previous post, and what I see in most organizations I start working with.

The synergistic phase seems to align pretty well with initiative/project teams and maybe work cell teams at it’s border with the Chaordic phase. These teams are more synergistic based on their cross-functionality and focus on business value purpose. Work-cell teams are more flexible, which is why I think they are a bit right-shifted from initiative/project/product teams. One interesting point is that some organizations wishing to go to “Agile”/”Scrum”/”Kanban” don’t always understand that this will pull them right dragging along the cultural mindset… They want this agile thing as a plug-in to their analytic mindset… That is always lots of fun to deal with :-)

Where do we go from work-cell synergistic teams? Well, I think the return to on-demand teams, this time within a bigger group that already has wide any to any communication bandwidth so strong dynamic teams can be setup and tear down with minimal coordination cost, might be a good fit for a chaordic mindset. I have a few organizations on the verge of this transition, maybe exploring the framework with them will help formulating a vision / rationale for what is going on.


I’m no RightShifting expert. Far from it. Just some thoughts I’m putting out there, with the hope they will enrich the conversation, and maybe interest a couple of my readers in RightShifting.