Redefining Success: Transforming Metrics in the Digital Age

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Almudena Rodriguez Pardo

Are you frustrated by metrics that promise insight but fail to deliver real understanding?

In this episode of “Happiness at Work,” we dive into the intricate world of Metrics in the Digital Age with Almudena Rodriguez Pardo, a renowned consultant in Agile transformation and a Management 3.0 facilitator.

Discover a groundbreaking approach that transforms traditional KPIs into true indicators of success, providing actionable insights that guide and inspire organizations. Tune in to learn how redefining metrics can pave the way for more informed decisions and strategic growth.

Key Points

  • Challenges with Traditional KPIs: Traditional KPIs often fail to capture the true essence of progress and effectiveness within organizations, leading to metrics that may not accurately reflect reality.
  • The Importance of Redefined Metrics: Redefining metrics can provide clearer, more actionable insights that align better with organizational goals and the nuances of digital transformation.
  • The Rodriguez Model: Introduced by Almudena Rodriguez Pardo, the Rodriguez Model incorporates elements like OKRs, the ADKAR model, and Toyota Kata to measure and drive successful cultural and operational changes in organizations.
  • Implementation Challenges and Solutions: The model addresses common pitfalls by emphasizing the importance of starting small, setting achievable goals, and progressively scaling efforts based on initial successes.
  • Visualization and Communication: Effective use of tools like Kanban and Miro for visualization and maintaining clear communication are crucial for the successful implementation of new metrics and models.

More information about Almudena here. 
More information about her work here. 


Does your workplace feel stuck in a rut? Are silos and outdated leadership styles stifling creativity and collaboration?

At Management 3.0, we understand these frustrations. That’s why we offer tailor-made training programs designed not just to enhance skills but to transform entire organizational mindsets.

With our expert guidance, envision a workplace where barriers are broken down and everyone is empowered to contribute their best and leadership not only manages but motivates and inspires.

Ready to create a thriving workplace culture? Visit our website at and see how we can help your organization build a happier, more productive workplace. 



*Please note that the transcript has been automatically generated and proofread for mistakes. But remains in spoken English, and some syntax and grammar mistakes might remain.

Elisa Tuijnder: [00:00:00] Frustrated by metrics that promise insight but fail to deliver real understanding? Today, we delve into how traditional KPIs often miss the mark in capturing genuine progress. We’ll discover a groundbreaking approach that transforms numbers into true indicators of success. Offering not just data, but real actionable insights.

We’ll explore how [00:00:30] redefining metrics can better guide and inspire organizations in the digital age, paving the way for more informed decisions and strategic growth.

Before we dive in, you are listening to the Happiness at Work podcast by Management 3point0. Where we are getting serious about happiness.

I’m your [00:01:00] host, Elisa Tander, happiness enthusiast and Management 3point0 team member. In this podcast, we share insights from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders about what it takes to be happy, motivated, and productive at work, so that loving your job becomes the norm and not the exception.

We will be publishing every fortnight on Friday, so be sure to tune in and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.[00:01:30]

On today’s episode of happiness at work, we delve into the intricate world of metrics in the digital age with the highly regarded and sought after consultant Almudena Rodriguez Pardo, Luminary Agile Transformations and a Management 3point0 Facilitator. We’re so happy to have you here Almudena, welcome.

Thank you very much. Very happy to be here Elisa. Yeah, I’m super excited to dive into this topic, which is super important, but hard to disentangle sometimes. But here on the podcast, we always start with the same [00:02:00] question and that is what does happiness mean to you? What does happiness

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: mean to me? It’s about getting up in the morning with a smile on your face.

It seems simple, but sometimes I open my eyes. By myself, sometimes it’s my dog springing on me and for one second you could kill him and then you smile.

And if it’s very, very cold outside in Germany right now in the middle of spring, we can still smile and we’re happy. [00:02:30]

Elisa Tuijnder: It’s funny how animals can make us super happy at the same time. It’s really annoying in the middle of the night and you want to sleep.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Used to be the kids jumping on me. Now it’s the dog, but you still smile.

And if you’re smiling in the morning when you get up, you’re happy.

Elisa Tuijnder: That’s perfect. Here on the podcast, we always like to understand the person that I’m talking to or for our listeners to understand who you are. So do you want to share a little bit about your journey that’s shaped you into the business consultant that you are [00:03:00] today and some of these, you know, key moments that drive your why?

Well, I’m a peculiar

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Spaniard, I will say. I was born and grew up in Bilbao and Basque, then went to high school in the United States, then went to college in Germany, got stuck in Germany, uh, um, ended up working for Ericsson for 22 years in the R& D staff. development center in Aachen, in Germany. It’s La Chapelle, [00:03:30] Aachen has several names, this city.

And because of family reasons and different reasons, I, we stayed there. So we made it here home in Aachen. And, uh, after 22 years working for a big multinational in very different roles, I started as a developer. So I’m a software developer, 15 years developing code. Actually, when you’re speaking on the phone, you’re still using my code and it’s working.

I was running quality at the PMO. I was doing [00:04:00] market introduction. And, uh, I supported also an IL transformation, a huge IL transformation. And at some point, seven years ago, together with two of my colleagues from Ericsson, we look at each other and we said, let’s create our own company with all the experience we have.

The three of us together had 75 years Ericsson experience. We said, come on, let’s move on, let’s, let’s, uh, do something else. So we created this company, Rodríguez Pardana Socks, uh, seven [00:04:30] years ago, and we’re supporting companies in all over Europe and South America in agile transformation, whatever that is.

So whatever a company needs to solve their problems, we mostly solve the problems of a company by introducing agile practices. Yeah, but we are not religious or married to any special framework. We have a very wide toolbox. We’re, of course, safe trainers, but I’m also less certified. We’re involved, very strongly involved with unfix.

I [00:05:00] just saw Juergen two days ago. So we have a very wide toolbox. toolbox, because it’s not about being involved in some framework. It’s as Management 3. 0 says, using different practices. And if one works, great. If it doesn’t work, take another one. So, um, this is the way we work in Western Europe and, and South America with our customers.

Yeah. Fantastic.

Elisa Tuijnder: Uh, yeah, I, I think, and that’s what I like about Management three one oh as well. We’re not a, we’re not a framework. We are a mindset and we fit on [00:05:30] all of those different little frameworks, , uh, and, and that, that you can

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: beautifully combine Management three Zero with the sales transformation.

We can also combine Management three Zero with the list transformation, and you even have a Spotify transformation, even if Spotify model doesn’t exist. But still, there are transformations going on with that model. And you can combine it. I did it at the customer. I combine it with management three zero.

So this is the beauty about management. Three zero is not coupled to any special framework.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. When did [00:06:00] you actually do the Agile transformation for Ericsson? I was just wondering when you were, when you, when, when you were speaking that. ’cause that must have been. in the early days of when Agile was coming out, right?

Not that early.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: 2011. Not that early. But you have to consider Ericsson was 150, 000 employees in 180 countries. It was not a company in a garage. So until 2010, every company under 100 people was applying Scrum all over the place. And you might have [00:06:30] three, four or five teams. teams at the same time, but suddenly Nokia had 2000 scrum teams.

So you went into another stage, IELTS at a scale, and IELTS at a scale for big multinationals with a legacy was a huge challenge. And Ericsson was one of the first ones to say, let’s give it a try. And it was here in Germany, in Aachen, where we were the guinea pigs. I was part of the first, of one of the first scrum teams.

And my colleague was [00:07:00] one of the first Scrum Masters. So we, we had a beautiful,

Elisa Tuijnder: experimenting

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: phase.

Elisa Tuijnder: A steep learning curve. Very, very, very. How they call that so nicely sometimes. A very strong learning curve. There’s probably a lot of Lindt chocolate eaten, right? Because Lindt is made of chocolate,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: isn’t it?

Yes, it’s right there on the corner. So we had to solve it with chocolate. Perfectly.

Elisa Tuijnder: Fantastic. I mean, [00:07:30] that’s a great base and a great knowledge base that you have there to help your customers. And today we really want to talk about one of those things that you’ve probably seen all over the place. And that is, you know, metrics and you seeing or seeing, and it’s not only just you, but other people see this as well.

That traditional KPIs kind of fail. to capture really what’s going on because they sometimes are arbitrary or they don’t have enough data to actually set the right KPIs. So we just work towards something that’s not necessarily [00:08:00] actually make sure there is progress on the ground. So do you want to dive a little deeper in, in what you saw there happening?

And I remember a story you told once before at a forward summit about everything was green and then the, the the CEOs and the C suite was, we were heading in the right direction, but in the, on the ground, everything was falling apart. So tell us what is, what is wrong with KPIs?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Very good question.

Actually, right now I’m taking a deep dive in that subject because the question keeps coming up, you [00:08:30] know, KPI versus OCARS, OCARS plus KPI, what’s the difference? And we have a clear definition what an OCAR is, it’s not that clear what the KPI is in the literature, in the history. I’ve been taking a deep dive, actually, I went back to Peter Drucker right now.

He was the one who introduced management by objectives, but he did not introduce the subject of KPI. Okay. So KPI sort of came with the balanced scorecard. I so far, I couldn’t find anywhere where it is [00:09:00] KPI. At some point they were there. Now,

Elisa Tuijnder: And everybody was using them. Which is good,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: which is actually good to have KPIs if you have clarity, where do they come from?

Why are they set? And who came up with this number and why? So, the idea behind KPI of management by objectives is not necessarily wrong, it’s what we have done with it. Yeah, it’s often the case. And that is the problem we are facing, so, and we keep having it, I told [00:09:30] you this one story which I saw at one customer, but I’ve seen many stories of some manager putting some number and saying you have to reach it or else.

And then it’s where we completely misuse the point of KPIs. We need KPIs. We have to know where, uh, I mean, any company needs a KPI on, on how much revenue you’re getting, because if you don’t get the central amount of money, you cannot pay the salaries. So fantastic to have some KPIs. If you’re aware, what do they mean?

And if you explain Every [00:10:00] single employee, what’s the goal of this KPI? Why do we need to reach it? And we never got this information. We got some numbers, we’re supposed to reach them. And I was two years quality coordinator, and I was keeping control of these numbers. And I had some very deep learnings.

I’m also Latino. So what I learned is Do you want the number? I give it to you, my friend. So, and completely legally, by the way, [00:10:30] you can always reach a number. Yeah. Now, what was the goal behind the number? And we have been facing this so many times up to the point you could have people running the company against the wall to reach that number.

That was the danger that you had. If we don’t reach this number, I don’t get my bonus. I’m going to reach it. I couldn’t care less about my team, about my company, about the rest. That is the bare version of the [00:11:00] KPIs. The concept was not bad. They are still needed, but we

Elisa Tuijnder: have killed them. Yeah. You saw the, you saw the number in your dreams or in your nightmares.

Yeah, absolutely. I always like to. you know, the concept of why I don’t understand why it’s so hard to grasp to explain people, right? You know, we all know that feeling. We were talking about trains earlier. If we don’t know why there’s a delay and no one’s giving us any information, it is horrible. But if someone tells us, okay, there’s been an accident or [00:11:30] a barrier is broken or something like that, you’re already like, okay, all right, I can deal with this a little bit better.

Just, but somehow in companies, the why doesn’t only. Does not get communicated often.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: I think it’s where Management 3point0 help us because the traditional management, they have to bring the solution. It was their position. It was their status. I have the number. So we had some really cool situations. I had an IELTS release training in a company where the managers wanted to set as a [00:12:00] KPI that the trains produce 200 user story points in a quarter.

I said, Oh, for God’s sake, why not 300? So management had not understood what use of points were for, but they saw numbers. They saw less to a KPI I thank goodness we could still hold them up and say, please don’t, but all those managers don’t listen. And with Management 3. 0 with approach of higher leadership, we can have managers going to the employees say, Hey, we need to [00:12:30] set a goal here.

Let’s say for software, we need the quality goal. What do you think? And then the developers, they are the experts, can tell you, why don’t we measure this? Why don’t we look into the software quality, even the numbers from SonarQube? Why don’t we check on code coverage? Why don’t we? These are the ideas which we need.

Developers can give to the manager, out of this conversation, they can say, okay, with this information, let’s say it’s a useful KPI for all of us. And as a software developer, I got once a really stupid KPI. [00:13:00] We all knew it was so easy to reach and the manager was really, really very proud of his KPI. And we were all smiling because we knew It was so easy to reach.

Of course, we didn’t correct it. We didn’t say anything. Yeah,

Elisa Tuijnder: no, because then you have an

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: easy quarter for once. I say, you are convinced this is the right thing? Okay. If he would have been the, the, the, the, he would be humble enough to say, what do you think about this? What’s your opinion on the, on the number I have created?

Maybe we’ll have to say, you know what, [00:13:30] I need five minutes to reach it. Don’t you want to make a better one? So, uh, these conversations were not there. And I think Management 3. 0 helped us by bringing the managers into this IAM leadership and, um, help us to have these conversations with the people who have information.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. So on the one hand, it’s actually two sides of the same coin, right? You’re saying that KPIs are important, but it’s the misuse of the people that are using them. But also, on the same hand, It’s the data that is not [00:14:00] always, I wouldn’t say correct, it’s the arbitrariness of, let’s reach this target, or just 20%, but they don’t have any of the other information, you know, underneath it.

Um, every quarter we need to go 10 percent up, okay, well, maybe this quarter we need to run testing or whatever. And then next quarter, maybe we can go 20 percent up. But without that information, without that conversation, it’s not, yeah, it’s not there, or it’s

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: arbitrary. I give all my customers the 12 rules of metrics of Management 3.

[00:14:30] 0. Okay. Yeah. Because don’t trust numbers. Yeah. Yeah. Don’t trust numbers. We need numbers. Yes. But never trust just the number. Uh, the KPI is five. Okay. And? What does this mean? Yeah. We had set it to four. Now it’s five. So we got it. Yeah. We’re going up 10%. We went up 20%. It sounded beautiful. What does this mean?

What’s behind? So metrics are very important. Careful with metrics. If you’re only looking to the numbers, you might miss something else. [00:15:00]

Elisa Tuijnder: So you created something that you’ve now dubbed the Rodriguez model, and I love that. Me too.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: It’s a very, very unusual name, Rodriguez.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, and I assume, you know, when you call, make a phone call and you’re like, Oh, that’s my code.

And now you’re going to hopefully hear about the Rodriguez model everywhere. You can die happy in it at the end. Um, first, maybe let’s explain to the listeners what the [00:15:30] Rodriguez model is and what it tries to do, what it tries to mitigate, and then we can go deeper into it. Why and how? Yeah.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: I think what we did is due to a customer where we had.

to face the challenge, how to measure the success of a cultural change. I mean, nothing more difficult in the world. We hear that a lot,

Elisa Tuijnder: yeah.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Than to measure if we have had impact in the culture. And everybody look at me, being the external consultant, and then I just took some [00:16:00] things which were laying around.

I mean, we have it in, we have had it in Management 3. 0 laying around. We’re going to look at the Objective Key Results, the OCARs, we took the ADCAR model and we took the Toyota Catas concept, put the three of them together, so that the initiatives driving the key results of the Objective Key Results, these initiatives are key.

CATAs, we secured a small pieces of experiment in a not huge project. [00:16:30] That’s for many customers, very different, difficult to, to, to make an elephant carpaccio of activities. So I very much push for this Toyota CATA, uh, concept. And then we put colors in the initiative side and the key resource so we could observe in which phase of the Adcar model we were.

I always be very careful when I’m going to a company to do some management, a cultural change Not to start with training, because that’s knowledge. If we’re just training managers, we have to start with [00:17:00] awareness and desire. How do we secure the knowledge is arriving to people who want to change something.

If I do a beautiful Management 3. 0 course, Foundation Workshop with managers who don’t have any Need to change and don’t have any awareness. They need to change something. It’s gonna be two beautiful days. Good for nothing. Yeah. Yeah. It’s gonna be fun, but it’s not gonna be, yeah, it’s gonna be fun actually.

And that is what I try to avoid by mixing up all cars. And at car model, you say before we start running courses like crazy. [00:17:30] Mm-Hmm. . Is there an awareness? Did we have some awareness talks? Some some awareness workshops? Is this a scientist? The people want to change something and then we can train them and tell them how to do it.

Um, so this help us to put the things in place and not as I go to many transformation, okay, we’ve trained everybody at Modena, say, and, and, um, so this is a bit what we try by combining these three, um, and we were [00:18:00] surprised ourselves how successful it was, how well it is going.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, that’s fantastic. That is fantastic.

Because you know, you hear that a lot, right? And also, especially this, this, this metrics around cultural transformation. And on the one hand, it’s also, you know, culture is also not quantifiable necessarily, but we still have to showcase somehow the progression that we make. And, and especially, you know, for, you know, for the stakeholders, for the C suite, [00:18:30] etc.

to make sure that we have this impact. And it’s very funny because it’s often the unspoken things that are the impact, um, and then we’re trying to quantify them. But it’s great that it works like this.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Well, I mean, the objective can be A dream. The objective can really be a dream. I have a friend who had this personal OCR.

I want to be happy. What’s his objective? Perfectly okay. We set key results. And at the beginning, that’s something with hers. The key results have to be proxies. Have to be very simple things, which [00:19:00] together might be measuring. As you said, you cannot measure cultural change at the first. You cannot measure happiness at the first.

But if you measure five, six different things, together, each of them doesn’t say much. All together, give you a hint, we’re moving in that direction. So that’s the beauty of Ocars. No KPI in the world will let you know, are we happy or not? And any KPI can be manipulated, but five key results together, even if they are very [00:19:30] simple, each of them looks stupid, five stupid.

Key results together can give you already some information, at least at the beginning, until there’s a maturity level, until the things are running. At the very beginning, OCARs. They wait. We’re creating awareness. Key result could be simple one, number of awareness workshops run this quarter. Almudena, that’s so stupid.

It’s like, yes, but it’s the first thing we can measure. And the next key result will be more beautiful, don’t worry. We will improve the quality [00:20:00] of the key results. Keep it simple and start where you are. You have a very traditional organization where you are trying to measure things like cultural change.

Don’t try to have exotic metrics. Start with the simple ones. Look for metrics which help you and not the fancy ones from Silicon Valley, which you cannot apply in your organization.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, that’s like people trying to adopt a Spotify model immediately and and think

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: everything changes with it. Especially, I [00:20:30] mean, the, the beauty of the Spotify model is that it doesn’t exist Exactly.

it’s a 12 pager from 2012 and, and, but okay. If you adopt safe, you have to pay licenses. If you adopt Spotify model, you have to pay no licenses. Yeah. You have 12 pages that can work. And you can, and they are open sourcing in, in, in Google. The problem is it was never planned to be a model. And they said that themselves, as Spotify says, this is not a model.

So [00:21:00] we introduced it in a huge multinational and we had huge problems because it was planned for 500 people. So careful. I, I’m, I have nothing against frameworks. If you need one, please use it. And things like SAFE is helping us in many traditional companies. Because if you have a startup, anything will work.

If you have a company with 100, 000 people in 180 countries. And 200 years of legacy. Not everything will work [00:21:30] right away. So you need the framework. Fair enough. Take it. But don’t be religious.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Be, be a bit flexible around it. And, um, I guess that’s the case, like, especially with this company, companies with lots of legacy and lots of bureaucracy, we can’t go from, you know, we completely devolved now the next day.

There is no, like, you know, that is very, that is very hard. So these, these frameworks are definitely there. to hold on to. At least give you,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: you can hold like [00:22:00] when you’re swimming and you have, how do you call it? This, this, uh, how do you call this? This, uh, things you put in there? This, this, yeah, Flügel in German, Alitas in Spanish.

We don’t get the English one. Anyway, you put around your arms some balloons. Yeah, well,

Elisa Tuijnder: I’m sure people, people listening by now have figured out what

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: we’re talking about. Of course, if you need at the beginning, take them. There are kids who don’t need them at all, then don’t put them, but we all had them as kids and now [00:22:30] I’m a fluent swimmer, which don’t carry them anymore.

So this is a bit of, of the point of the framework. And I must say some frameworks are really helping, but framework or not framework, whatever you do, you do need metrics and you do need KPIs and you do need objective key results. That is my personal, my humble opinion. So if you just have KPIs, For God’s sake, you need both.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, that was going to be my next question. Do you, [00:23:00] because the model is OKR, ATKAR, Toyota, Kata, do you put your, do you put KPIs under the, the KRs then, or, or is that sort of, or do you mesh them all together in that, in that, in that,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: for me, the KPIs are in parallel. Those are metrics the company requires.

If I’m driving a car, I have a dashboard. And then I have metrics. I see the temperature of the oil. I see the amount of petrol I have. I see the velocity I have. Those are the KPIs. If the oil is getting [00:23:30] very hot, uh, I get an indicator that I have to react. And if I’m running out of petrol, it’s very good to know

But even having perfect oil temperature and all the petrol in the world doesn’t mean I’m gonna get to my target. I’m gonna get to where I want to go. Mm-Hmm hmm. , I’m might beautiful, be driving, arrive in Rome, but I wanted to go to Helsinki. . . Yeah. So KPIs are important. You need this dashboard like you have in your car.

Yeah. Uh, I have a dashboard for my company, but that doesn’t mean that the [00:24:00] company’s successful. Yeah,

Elisa Tuijnder: yeah,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: yeah. To secure the success of the company. I have the old cars.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I love, I love that analogy. You arrived in Rome and you wanted to be in Helsinki. And that is your But we had petrol. were perfect.

Yeah. Yeah, the KPRs were perfect. Velocity was fine. Yeah, exactly. Cruising at 120 kilometers an hour. Yeah, isn’t it great? Smooth. Yeah, wrong [00:24:30] direction. That’s perfect. Does your workplace feel stuck in a rut? Are silos and outdated leadership styles stifling creativity and collaboration? At Management 3point0, we understand these frustrations.

That’s why we offer tailor made training programs designed not just to enhance skills, but to transform entire organizational mindsets. With our expert guidance and vision, our workplace where barriers are broken [00:25:00] down and everyone is empowered to contribute their best and leadership not only manages, but motivates and inspires.

Ready to create a thriving workplace culture? Then visit our website at www. management3o. com and see how we can help your organization thrive in the workplace. Build a happier, more productive workplace.

I love this analogy. Do you maybe have an example, obviously you don’t have to name any [00:25:30] names, of any of the clients that you’ve worked with where implementing this system really helped with getting to, let’s say, getting to Helsinki?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Yeah, like I mentioned, we had this governmental institution in Central Europe, which they had KPIs, of course, which we had to respect because they were.

So it’s nothing you can change overnight if you don’t call the president of the country. So those KPIs are there in parallel. But we also wanted to measure is everything we’re doing here having any impact on the [00:26:00] culture? And this was a huge challenge. And that’s what I said. Okay, let’s set an objective.

Cultural change is possible. part of our cool has, has impact our culture. That’s the objective. And then we created some areas. So employees, customer providers, uh, work council, you have to, and for this area, we created, it’s, it’s, it created some critical results for the first, very simple. And then we put the actions.[00:26:30]

in colors regarding the ADKAR model. This way, this way I could prove that they were doing too many trainings and too little of the rest. And this way I could also prove that all the actions were huge. I said, you need Toyota Katas. You need the small things. We can do in two weeks. And Modena in this company, you can do nothing in two weeks.

Say, whatever you can do in two weeks, we want to see it. So we created these small pieces of change. That was the huge [00:27:00] impact to make them change their mindset. When we started visualizing, we created the Miro board where you could see. Unfortunately, we had COVID so we couldn’t see each other much, but we could see the whole movement and the things which running.

And then the initiatives. we had created with Toyota Kata in the colors of Hadgar started moving through a cam and so every two weeks I said, okay, what did we finish? Did it impact any key result? It took six months until you could see [00:27:30] some movement, but this is really a governmental institution, central European.

I was really proud of them. I was very proud. That’s amazing that you got something done in six months. You could already see some key results moving, some very simple. Very simple proxy key results moving a bit, but hey, we are little by little, at least in the right direction. Can not guarantee we’re going to impact the culture, but at least we’re moving in that direction.

And that’s, it’s about OCRs. [00:28:00] With OCRs, you have no guarantee of reaching that number or that goal, but you can see you are moving in that direction or not, you’re doing something else.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. The good thing with the OKRs as well is that you can, you know, you have the aspirational ones and the committed ones and like, I mean, you can play with them a little bit more and they’re not as rigid in, in, in that sense.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Yeah. At least give us the opportunity. Now, another customer I have, we set the OKRs, they had hundreds of things going on at the same time with very little [00:28:30] capacity and I said, okay, whatever is not on the OKRs, right? Yeah. Yeah. You are stopping to do it now. And they look at me and say, Modena, we cannot. I say, yes, you can.

No, but that, that is a lot. I say, I know you have more going on than you can handle. Capacity. Yeah, yeah, the resources. Yeah. So you’re going to stop anything else, which is not in the OCARS. No, but this is also important. I say, why is it not in the OCARS? If

Elisa Tuijnder: it’s super important that it needs to

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: be there.

The [00:29:00] super, super important occurs and the importance are not okay. Say, well, then it’s not that important. Sorry, drop it now. So it did hurt a lot. It’s still hurting. We’re still working on that. But I could, I could prove what everybody knew. We had far more going on than the capacity we had. And by creating the focus, we could at least manage to that that projects could move on, not that they will finish, but at least they will move on.

Nothing was moving on out of the 80 things going on [00:29:30] at the same time. And that is where Okars are helping me a lot with customers. You couldn’t be small customers and big customers. Everybody has far too much on the table. And this discipline, yeah, this discipline of saying, okay, I’m not going to do that now.

because there’s something in the Okaras which is more important, which has to be trained.

Elisa Tuijnder: It’s the over caring and the over over, you know, overloading ourselves. Do you have an example for me of one of the katas? I really kind of want to [00:30:00] understand some of these, like, too weak I don’t think you’d call them sprints, but almost like you said, you moved them to Kanban.

Like what kind of, how did you narrow it down that much? I’d love an example

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: of it. I tried to get some sort of result, even if it’s the smallest one. If there’s, for example, an elephant in the room, a big problem, everybody knows and nobody speaks about it. I said, okay, could we have a conversation with the top manager about this problem?

Well, he’s very busy. I said, yes, I am very busy too. [00:30:30] We all are. Yeah, we’re all busy. Now, this seems to be a huge problem we have, and it is out of our influence area. That’s something very important when defining Cata’s. Is this in your influence area or is outside your influence area? So people don’t run with the head in the head.

So, uh, as sorry as I am, we are, we are not going to solve the war in Ukraine in this context here. No, we don’t. It’s outside our influence area. Let’s not hit our head against the wall and let’s focus on what [00:31:00] we can reach. And say, if this elephant in the room in Case it was outside our influence area. Say, okay, we need to scale it and make it visual and make it clear who is gonna talk to the top manager in this two weeks about this.

And it’s okay. Somebody volunteer. And this conversation took place. The problem was not solved, but, but it was made aware. Awareness was there. We created awareness and escalation. That was for me, a. is not solving the problem. Cata is a small step in the right direction. And maybe you need to have a second [00:31:30] conversation with the manager and a third one.

I had this grandmaster in Ericsson, he was six months with one escalation working. He, he was Basque like me. He didn’t give up. Um, but he was. Six months scaling a problem and going on and reporting every two weeks. I talked to this one and this one and now it’s up in Stockholm and now we have done this.

So it took a while to solve the problem, but we had the smallest steps for where we could see. We could see things moving or not moving, also failing, but at least you [00:32:00] tried. And you know what doesn’t work.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. You’ve done some learning at the same time as well. And that’s, yeah, that’s a really good one.

I think it’s sometimes people, yeah, I’m studying these. That’s the good thing about Katas, obviously, like setting objectives, you always, we always think too big. I mean, we’ve been going through this process with Management 3point0 and the core team a few times, and we still can’t get them properly right.

Like every single time we have this learning, like, okay, we did, we should have made them more. If you need an OCR coach. [00:32:30] If you need an external OCR coach. I think I might have your number somewhere. But it’s hard. This is the thing with OKRs, right? They sound so simple. That’s the beautiful thing about them.

They are simple, but they are incredibly hard to get right. Yes. They are incredibly hard to get right.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: I always count on a failure the first three months, so I always count on, but it’s a beautiful learning. So retrospective from the first quartile, it’s beautiful. It’s okay. What did everything go wrong with is not going to go wrong again.[00:33:00]

And if you fail on the second time, then you have to be a bit hard. So I say, Hey, what are we doing here? Uh, you know, like you’re trying to lose weight, but in the evening you drink a glass of beer and then you eat a sandwich and then you do sports, say, wait, that’s what, that’s what happening there. Yeah.

Do you want to lose weight or you don’t want to lose weight? So, uh, so creating this discipline, the discipline of these other things. Right now my table is full of stuff I have to do, but if I don’t focus on the goals we have, then I [00:33:30] will fail. So these are the disciplines we have to train and it takes a while.

It takes a while.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, it’s tough. And, and, you know, these tools, I mean, I started using a new to do app recently, but it’s great. It took me two days to set it all up and I feel so much better now because I feel like I can leave some of my things in there and I’ve set up this whole system for myself and kind of like an OKR system, right?

But for personal goals and it’s already helping me significantly and that’s just on my small little level of, of, of just [00:34:00] meme. Now,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: maybe one tool we didn’t mention is Kanban. which is where all the catas move in Kanban. So actually I should expand the model by a, by a fourth, more element. I should make the Rodríguez model advanced.

And actually I, every morning when I sit in my office, if I’m in the office and not at the customer, I meditate in front of the Kanban with my coffee. So I stay in front of there and think, does it fit the Oka Air’s is the most important one today. [00:34:30] This has to be finished right now if we want to reach the point.

So that is for me this visualization, even if we have it online in a tool, I have my paper work here in front of me and it’s a huge help. So to, to, to reflect. Am I going in the right direction? I

Elisa Tuijnder: have all of these images of you going a beautiful mind and like all the numbers springing out at you or the tools going bloop, bloop,

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: bloop.

Well, I don’t know if you want to see me mornings in the pyjamas with the coffee, but that is really my [00:35:00] 10 minutes meditation exercise for me, looking at the Kanban of the company or my own Kanban. What is the most important thing I have to finish today for the company and for the goals we have? And that’s hard.

It’s a very hard exercise because you have like 20 things laying around and that’s where OKRs, not KPIs, that’s where OKRs really help. At the same time, I keep an eye on the KPIs. Mm-Hmm. .

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Yeah. There your, there’re your, if they’re completely down. Yeah. If the, if the kilometer te thing is [00:35:30] saying 20 and you have to be 120, then you have a problem.

But Exactly. Um, you’ve mentioned this a few times, right? This, the visual tools like Miro and the board and, and the colors, et cetera, they’re important for, for your. Probabilism, but they’re also really important, I’m guessing, for the team collaboration and the visualization of the progress. Like, is that for everybody?

Like, is that really important that we have this, this, this thing going on? This movement is this looking for every, and to get everybody on the same [00:36:00] page.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: There is some studies on agility and neuroscience. And, uh, I was, there was one lady, one neuroscientist, biological neuroscientist presenting in the conference in London, um, how important it was to finish the sprint and to move the tickets in the campaign done because our brain needs to have things finished.

We’re still in the once upon a time 2, 000 years ago, we got up, we cut some good [00:36:30] and made the chair and you had your chair in your hands. Nowadays you have nothing. And this finishing a ticket in the board is something where anthropologists, our brain requires this. And this is this feeling you have when you move this ticket to Dawn.

Ah, beautiful. Jira and Co. are amazing tools, but they are not visualization tools. Yeah, they don’t visualize. They have the information. You can store [00:37:00] a huge amount of information there.

Elisa Tuijnder: I’m always sad when I have to archive things. I’m like, where did it go? Why can’t I see it anymore? Somewhere in Jira, it’s

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: dropped.

It is somewhere. I’ve never found it. Jira is huge. But we don’t visualize. So I’m back to the roots. Keep it simple. What I have here, which you can see is a very simple small post its paper board with a small note, of course, the information somewhere else recorded with small note on what I’m supposed to do.[00:37:30]

And then I, see it on paper in front of my nose and I can think. And, uh, we’re all distributed nowadays. It’s still have some teams we are together in person. I always say, please use it. If you are together in their same room, use the paper. Duplicate slightly. duplicate slightly the ticket. And I have a company in south of Austria, they have done amazing things.

They’ve put the portfolio on paper on the wall and it’s paper post [00:38:00] it has the QR code of the Jira ticket. So they have just the name of the EPIC. And if you want to know more, you can scan it and see Jira all the details, but the truth is on the wall. And it’s amazing because you see right away without asking one question, there is more going on than we can handle.

We cannot see that in Jira, but we can see it with the posits on the wall. So they have done such an amazing work and that creates so many conversations. All this [00:38:30] paper on the world is having so many discussions. You don’t discuss in front of Jira. So yes, visualize what you can visualize. If it’s possible in paper, if not in Miro, but please visualize, make things visible.

So, um, the truth. You don’t need to say it, you can see it.

Elisa Tuijnder: I’m happy that Miro also is, and Jira also, they’re very well aware of that lack and the last, um, I don’t know what the conferences are called, that was the last Miro conference, a virtual conference, and their [00:39:00] roadmap for Jira integration and visualization is is massive.

So the integration of both of those applications and making that even more easier that you can see, and they can see progression and they, so that they understand how important that is for us as, as, yeah, as human beings to see that.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: And there’s one beautiful functionality in Jira called filters. If you filter and you don’t see the, the complete information, I had I have to filter.

I have otherwise too much on the board to say, that’s the problem you have. [00:39:30] You have too much on the wall on the board. You shouldn’t filter it. You should solve it. And a Miro board does not filter or the paper on the wall. You cannot filter. You see the naked truth. And that’s what I do when I come here.

coach or when I’m consulting, I try to make visible what everybody knows. Yes. And that’s so, it’s a

Elisa Tuijnder: lot of time, the case everywhere. Yeah. That’s the same in politics. That’s the same in things. It is trying to move and getting people to address it instead of ignoring the big pink [00:40:00] elephants in the room. So, obviously, with all of this, and that’s also why you’re a Management 3point0 consultant, you know, culture and human centric is at the core of this, is at the heart of this.

How do you continuously take that with? Is that already, is that at every stage, every OKR you said, every kata, is the human sort of element in there, or how do you kind of maintain people at the center of all of it?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Depends. There’s this one book, The Secrets of Consultancy, [00:40:30] Bildberg, I think it was his name.

It’s an amazing book. It’s from the 80s. It’s amazing. And it says rule number one, it’s like 35 rules, and rule number one, behind every technical problem there’s a human problem. Yeah. Rule number two, even if you still think a technical problem is still a human problem. Even if you say the server is down, which sounds like a technical problem, you dig deep into it.

There’s a human problem behind. So when I arrive to a [00:41:00] company behind any issue we might have, like there are too many projects which are not finished or we’re too expensive or which are technical problem, I very, very quickly dig. behind. For example, I had companies were opening up a new project, didn’t have any negative consequences.

You can start a new project anytime because they had no negative consequences. Why shouldn’t I not do it? I said, that’s the problem. Or there’s you made some commitment for the sprint, but you didn’t meet it. And who cares? I said, that’s the problem. [00:41:30] We are getting a lot of things finished because we commit and then we don’t do it.

And who cares? So those are the things I look at behind any technical issue or project issue or process issue. There is always a cultural factor, a human factor, or maybe two mayas who don’t get along and they give two different instructions to the people. So I try to dig. I work a lot with my customers in person as far as possible.

So I travel a lot, listening, listening, listening, listening to people and observing, looking into [00:42:00] their eyes, looking into their eyes, trying to find out what is he not saying. Sometimes the most important information is the one which is not spoken. So that’s where I always recommend to consultants, if possible, until you set up a small trust with your customer.

I still travel and do it in person. So online consulting is possible if there’s already a very strong relation. So going back to your questions. Depends, but always think [00:42:30] whatever the problem is, there’s a human problem behind.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, there’s something behind that. That’s interesting. Again, I knew this, but you were being a very good consultant there by laying it bare and saying, making it more obvious, um, and, and making me think about that.

That’s fantastic. Wonder if there was anything in your journey of creating the Rodriguez model that kind of was unexpected. I mean, you already said in the beginning, sort of like, The success of it is beyond what we thought it would be, but was there anything [00:43:00] that it managed to do that you’re like, Oh, I didn’t see that coming.

This is a nice or not so nice addition to this.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: No, to be honest, like I said, I was surprised how easy we put it together and how successful it’s been with our customers. At some point, what I already mentioned is we had all these catas where we’re finished and they were piling up in a corner. And that’s where I realized, oh, we need Kanban.

Yeah. Excuse me, we need Kanban. So I should actually, the next version, revision of the model will be with Kanban [00:43:30] on it. And so that was the first mistake I did, not realizing that all the first learning, all the piling of Catastone, of these small pieces were piling up in a corner of the Miro, and we didn’t know what to do with them.

Elisa Tuijnder: I love that. Literally a little visualization of like little. Trash pile in the corner of the mirror, posits in the corner. I don’t know what to do with these, but they go there. I think. for, [00:44:00] for digital transformations, but for any transformation, cultural transformations for all of these kinds of things, this is going to be super important continuing in the future.

Um, I also think with AI, I see a lot of synergy here as well. So where do you see the model

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: evolving? Well, out of my experience in the years I’m running consultancy, everything’s about change. Whether you want to paint the walls of the offices in green, Or do you want to introduce a new framework? The problems you [00:44:30] face are the same.

Yeah. Yeah. So that is any change you introduce, be in the process, in the product, in the, in the office setup. I remember when our offices in Ericsson were changed from a small offices to big open office, the change process behind was huge and we’re all angry and we had resistance all over the place. And, and then when I remember the situation, I think I’m going through it every single day of my life, but my customers, no, it change.

So we have to abstract. [00:45:00] So I do think we’re going to need this model to the next generations.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, change is, change is there. Change is constant. I do feel it is accelerating, although I don’t know whether that is actually the case. Like, it is, that’s an inherent feeling, but I mean, I get that.

people moving from, you know, from fire to electricity or from the train to the plane is also pretty big, right? Um, and so we all, I guess every generation has this feeling that, Oh [00:45:30] God, it’s going too fast.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Yeah. If you read, if you read, uh, uh, Peter Drucker, where he says how much change were going on in the eighties.

Or you read Cota and he complains about 90s. And 2011, when we introduced Scrum, we thought the world was going down. We thought that’s, that’s, that’s, I remember myself, me going around talking to Amanda, you’re saying that this is never, ever, ever, ever going to work. I remember myself saying this. [00:46:00] So, um, I do think all generations are facing change.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I mean, it’s also a bit silly to kind of almost to go and think about, are we changing faster? It’s not the point. We’re changing.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Probably the only change we have to consider we should do is the one which should happen faster is the one regarding sustainability. Yes, absolutely. That is the one we really, I mean, velocity of change of, of artificial intelligence.

I’m not [00:46:30] worried about that one. I say it’s the next change, period. But I think sustainability is the one we will have to be aware of, about the one planet we have left.

Elisa Tuijnder: There is something about an existential threat that should get us going, right?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: And the other changes we had, like when computers were introduced, so maybe they felt as existential, but they were not.

Elisa Tuijnder: No, no, this one is the, this one is the main one, right? But maybe with the Rodriguez model, we can put an actual world [00:47:00] KPI, a metric and an objective, you know, that would actually work quite well. If we then all would have worked towards that same sustainability goal, that would be fantastic.

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: I will be happy to introduce it at any organization, also non profit organizations.

We’re working with non profit organizations. We’ll be happy to introduce it in any setup. So we’re happy for any challenge to introduce the Rodriguez model.

Elisa Tuijnder: So next time I’m talking before the UN, I will, I will let them know I’ll pass on your number. Please pass my number. [00:47:30] Hey, I’m Dana. So on the, on the podcast, we’re super big fans of tangible practices.

You know that from Management 3point0 yourself. We always want to leave our listeners with something they can start trying. And I know the Rodriguez model in itself is also powerful. Pretty practical. But what do you want to highlight from, from what we just discussed? What concrete advice would you like to leave our listeners with today?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: I will say start small. [00:48:00] Think big. Think big and start small. Yes. Because you run into very motivated people say, Oh, great. I heard this podcast. Fantastic. I’m going to set up the model for the complete company. And now we’re saying experiment. Apply it in a corner of your company for one department. Make an experiment, see what happens, how the company reacts.

Make very low ambition key results that you can easily reach to see how the whole thing is going up. So [00:48:30] start small. Because it’s not like running 100 meters race, like who’s involved, it’s a marathon we’re preparing for. So if the first day you run out of the door and you run 10 kilometers non stop, you will choke.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, and the next day your legs will be

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: flat. Yeah, and you will hate it. So start small, have a big plan. Yes, we’re going to run the marathon. Perfect. And now, you. run three kilometers and take a break. So, um, take it [00:49:00] as a long run thing and not as something you could introduce tomorrow within a couple of days.

Elisa Tuijnder: The running analogy is actually pretty good. There’s all these like apps that like are start to run, right? So the first day you run, you run one minute and then three minutes of walking and then another minute. So that’s perfect. That’s exactly how you should be doing this as well. And in implementing These models.

Yeah, I love that. That’s a great advice. Almudena, when people, obviously they can find you on the Management 3point0 website, but [00:49:30] anywhere else, where can they find you? Where can they find some more things that you’ve written around the, I mean, there is some more information on our website as well, but what else can they find around the Rodríguez model or just, you know, else that you’ve written?

Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: Well, we have published already several articles in InfoQ in the United States, in new business in Austria, and we are planning some new articles now. And we have, uh, with my name, you can find me very easily, link in, there’s no way to miss me. Uh, [00:50:00] and of course, over our webpage, www. rodriguezpardo. com, we’ll be always happy to hear from you and we’re always open for a talk.

Elisa Tuijnder: Fantastic. What I’ll do is link some of these in the show notes as well so that people can find more information about the model and the implementations of it. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I’ve been intrigued by this model for a little while, and I’m so happy that you wanted to come and talk to our listeners as well about this.

It’s a pleasure. It’s a pleasure to be here. All right. Thank you so much. [00:50:30] Thank you, Lisa. Have a nice day. Bye. Bye bye.

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