The Miscalibration Principle

Do the “right” people do the “right” things “right” in your organization? If not (which is most probably) – then you might suffer from the miscalibration principle. The latter states that the discrepancies between what work is expected by a given individual and what is actually delivered / desired by / competent for increase with time. These discrepancies are defined as operational / motivational / competential miscalibrations respectively (with a joint name of occupation miscalibration) and further quantified through the so called occupation dominoes and occupation accordions. Hopefully by being aware of the miscalibration principle and by having the needed toolset (to capture and measure it) you might be able to outrun time and keep your organization calibrated.

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The Occupation Vectors

The Occupation Vectors are universal way to describe in a simple and practical way any position or role within a company (at least in the context of Software engineering). Their main purpose is to allow: (1) the determination and examination of the consequences of combining or splitting corporate positions and roles, transferring, promoting and demoting employees, etc. (e.g. due to organizational restructuring, implementation of employee reward and recognition programs, etc.); and (2) the mapping (or calculating the similarity) of different positions and roles (e.g. due to transitioning to new software development methods as Scrum/XP/DSDM/etc., mergers and acquisitions, etc.). Moreover the occupation vectors might be used as an instrument to roughly assess the efficiency of performing various positions and roles in a given company, branch, department, workgroup, etc. (through the so called Occupation Efficiency Metric).

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The Teamwork Oscars

The Teamwork Oscars is an exercise created for practicing Benne and Sheats’s group roles (although it might be adapted for any other similar classification). It does so by asking teams to resolve text puzzles (derived from popular teamwork fables) while at the same time team members are acting various group roles. Based on their performance the teams (as well as the individuals) might be awarded Oscars. The exercise could be also used to discuss the importance of group roles on team dynamics and teamwork.

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The Workplace Equations

The Workplace Equations is an exercise that drives a meaningful discussion on what satisfaction and motivation is in the workplace. It does this through the metaphors of Heaven and Hell, organizational storytelling and various elements of gamification. Furthermore the exercise could be used by teams to derive their own Workplace Equations (based on their specific understandings / perceptions of satisfaction and motivation) and then use these equations to continuously monitor and assess how close their workplace is to Heaven and Hell through the Workplace Signboard.

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