Many organizations know what to build, how to build it, and to a lesser extent, why. Tons of features go out of the teams who are creating wonderful products. But when it comes to ethics, we don’t incorporate that much into our products.
Anthony Murphy is an active advocate for bringing in ethics back into our products. Whether that’s the accessibility of people with a disability, minorities in ethnicity, or other aspects, they should become a part of it.
What you’ll discover in this show:
– We talk a lot about the why, how, and what of product, but rarely about the ethics
– How topics like accessibility should be taken into your product
– We’re on the verge of change on the human aspect of work
Product Coach & Director of the Association of Product Professionals
Anthony is a Product Coach, Director of the Association of Product Professionals, and Founder of Product Pathways.
As a coach, Anthony helps organizations be successful in product. His experience spans several industries, from Healthcare to even AI and Machine Learning. He has shipped products at every stage of the product life-cycle (even sunset them!) and has worked across start-ups, all the way to large enterprises.
An international keynote speaker and writer. Anthony is also a coffee lover, beer lover and a father to two cats and a little human.
Association of Product Professionals: http://productprofessionals.com
Product Pathways: http://productpathways.com
Sander Dur (host)
Scrum Master, Agile Coach, trainer, and podcast host for ‘Mastering Agility”
Sander Dur is a Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org, podcast host of Mastering Agility, Professional Scrum Master and Lead Agile Consultant and trainer at Xebia. Besides this, he’s an avid writer for predominantly Serious Scrum on Medium.com. Sander has a major passion for the human side in complex domains. Ensuring a high level of psychological safety therefore is a critical part of his work. Organizations in complex domains can only survive when innovating. Innovation can only take place with the right balance between low social friction and high intellectual friction. While most organizations now understand how to apply Agile frameworks, they struggle with delivery of value. Psychological safety is the next step in this evolution and Sander has a huge drive to help organizations reach that step.
He gained experience as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and Leadership consultant in many different top-tier organizations, including Nike and ASML.
Sander is enthusiastic, open-minded, and ambitious. He finds interpersonal relationships and intrinsic motivations very important in team dynamics. Besides his work, Sander loves to spend time with his family, enjoys sports and eating healthy, barbecuing, riding his motorcycle, and traveling.
Let’s connect! Sander is always up for new connections and discussions!
A11y – https://www.a11yproject.com
Ethics canvas I was talking about – https://www.threebility.com/post/the-digital-product-ethics-canvas
Mastering Agility events: https://www.meetup.com/mastering-agility/
Discord community: https://discord.gg/6YJamBJxUV
Ethics come to play
Is it the right thing to do?
How to start incorporating ethics into products
Leading by example
people, types, part, organizations, ethics, decision, product, accessibility, bias, companies, create, thought, guess, talk, build, prioritizing, sprint, aspect, blind, called
Sander Dur, Anthony Murphy
Sander Dur 00:00
Hey guys, welcome back to an all new episode of the mastering agility podcast. This series aims to inspire you and others by bringing in the best of the business before going into the content, a little announcement, and that is that the mastering engineer the platform has started to set up events both virtual as well as physical events to connect inspire Angeles like you together as well as with really awesome guests. We’re starting with that tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow already the 14th of April where we have an ask me anything any event with myself with professional scrum trainer Ryan Brook and Leslie J Morse of Scrum that org. You can ask us anything about becoming a professional scrum trainer about the entire process from beginning to the end? Why you should want to be a part of that. What comes to play? What kind of aspects are they looking for? Anything you name anything about the process of becoming a professional scrum trainer, you can ask us there will be way more events in the future at least once a month. Just be aware that this is that you can sign up through meetup.com through our Discord channel, mastering agility discord, hope I can see you there, as well as through LinkedIn find us there. Now for today’s episode, we have Australia’s Anthony and Murphy, a product guru. And we’re talking about product ethics. An aspect that we both feel is vastly overlooked. I really enjoy talking to him. I hope you guys do do. Let’s welcome out. Anthony Murphy, thank you very much for joining us from the other side of the world today. How are you doing, man?
Anthony Murphy 01:46
I’m doing really well. Thanks for having me. Yeah, a bit miserable. Probably European weather right now.
Sander Dur 01:53
Well, yeah, at the moment, this weather goes up and down. One day, it’s 20 degrees Celsius. And the other day we had snow. So for some reason, it’s all up and up and down. I haven’t snow as well.
Anthony Murphy 02:07
Sorry, what was that I literally actually just cut out a little bit. Are you having snow as well? No, not snow, White Rain, lots of rain.
Sander Dur 02:16
Either suck. Hey, today, we’re going to be talking about a little bit more of a of an angle that’s less discussed. I mean, we were just discussing Scrum and frameworks and the whole, the mechanical part of product delivery and product. The way that we create products are very much discussed. There’s a crapped on written about that there are a million books on it. But the other aspects that were less discussed is ethics and products. And how do you actually create value? What does value mean? What makes it such an interesting topic to you?
Anthony Murphy 02:58
Yeah, I mean, so breaking that down into two pieces, which are somewhat interlinked as well. Valued to me is super interesting, because we use the word all the time. I mean, I remember my first gig as a product owner, there was an Agile coach and said, we’re talking about prioritizing and you know, your your, you know, we often define the roles of product owners maximizing the value as like, Okay, what do we mean by value? And they’ll just prioritize by value? Okay, well, what do you mean by that? Or business value? Okay, what do you mean by that? Well, you know, what, what, what’s going to provide value to the business what our customers want? Okay, well, what do we mean by that? And, and it’s just very vague term that we use all the time. And, and really, I guess I reflect on that. And I think it was pretty, pretty crappy advice that was given to me, but and how do you go about that? And then ethics comes into it, too, because sometimes there’s things that are, you know, there’s a question about whether we should do something. So there’s not even like, is it? Is it valuable or not? There’s also, is it the right thing to do? Should we do it all night and, and, you know, working in our businesses, particularly as product people were the arbiters of crafting things that have that people use in their everyday lives, and that can have a huge impact on their lives. And there’s a element of responsibility that goes with that, which I think is often overlooked or not talked about, at least.
Sander Dur 04:21
Why not? What makes it so hard to discuss these kinds of things? So not necessarily hard, but why do we not talk about this? Because if you explain it like this, it sounds like common sense, right? This is the thing that we should be doing. But why aren’t we?
Anthony Murphy 04:35
Yeah, I mean, from an ethics point of view, I’m not sure why we’re not talking about it. Maybe it’s something that I believe it’s something on the rise, we’re seeing it already. There’s companies that are you know, even even like what I’m wearing, I’m wearing that added us hoodie at the moment, and they have a huge sustainability thing, right as a company. It’s one of the reasons why I bought this hoodie. And there’s more and more companies doing that right? Try not to Sustainability angle, you can see how many companies moving away from, you know, fossil fuels and all that type of stuff trying to be more greener. So I think it’s on the rise, people are becoming more conscious about it. So maybe that’s one aspect. I’m not sure. Perhaps we haven’t been as conscious about it. I think there’s another aspect, which is, it’s probably an unsexy thing, right? Like, we love building these beautiful experiences. And then we start to talk about things like, Well, okay, that app is great, or whatever it is, it’s beautiful that it works well. But how does somebody who’s blind use it? How does somebody who’s, you know, maybe lost their hand use it? Those types of things? And then it’s yeah. Oh, you’ve now made my really cool thing. Not so cool. I mean, maybe maybe that’s another angle I yeah, I’ve done yeah.
Sander Dur 05:50
But why? I mean, we have the scrum values, right? Those are more or less understood, even though less lived up to now psychological safety seems to be one of those things. That’s more upcoming. How does ethics in products? How does that differentiate from these aspects? Just for the listeners as well, to understand what we’re exactly talking about you?
Anthony Murphy 06:13
Yeah, I mean, like, it’s, it’s, it’s not really covered inside the values, right? I mean, we values certainly given the Agile Manifesto, individuals and interactions, those types of things over precedent tools, but there’s nothing really explicitly calling it out is probably one part of it. And it differs, because like we can, we could do unethical things within the scrum framework, right? We can, yeah, Scrum is just the framework does that how do we determine what we do, which is where our value piece of the puzzle comes into it is something that, you know, by and large lives outside of it, or can work within the framework, but it’s not? Like tied to it is what I guess I’m getting that. So yeah, we do you can do you can be unethical within the scrum framework is probably my thing that
Sander Dur 07:06
do you think that has, as something to do with the short term focus of quite some organizations of many organizations? Like we need to have business deliver value delivery right now? Don’t care how, but we need to get it done, then other aspects? get overlooked?
Anthony Murphy 07:26
I absolutely think that’s a huge aspect of it. You know, one of the things that often happens, that I’ve experienced as well, working in companies, especially profit driven companies, is we tend to not want as well always cut in scope, right? Like, we’re always trying to what’s the cheapest, nastiest way we can do something that’s going to give us you know, the maximum bang for buck? And I mean, I, I exaggerate there, of course, but, you know, spending more time to make something assessable, as an example, can often be something that’s often described, right? Or we can live without that, because 90% of our users don’t have a disability. And, and therefore, it’s, you know, what, Kate? You know, that’s, that’s even being data driven, right, like I’m being a data driven product owner there. But the ethical question comes into it is that the right thing to do is that how you should be prioritizing, because just because 90% of your users are like that, should we be discriminated, and this is where the whole equity piece of the puzzle comes into it too, which is, well, we should be actually spending more time and effort for that 10%, to help give them the leg up in the world that they need, as opposed to catering towards the masses. And obviously, profits come into it. Yeah, time to value we want to get something out quick. MVPs never include accessibility. And when you are in an organization that is very short term, focused, often you ship MVPs, or some variation of you never go back to it right. So you never gone back to add all those extra things and or rarely, you’re going back, I should say. So that’s a huge dynamic. An example of the flip side of that I worked for a did some work for ABC here in Australia, which is a broadcast there the basically equivalent of the British BBC, and obviously, they’re government funded, and we had a huge, it was part of its values, which was for all Australians, and therefore there was a huge pillar inside of our strategy that was all about accessibility. And I was proud to work on products that we spent a lot of time building these types of things in and we thought about the ethical dilemmas and impacts of our decisions as it pertains to our strategy and mission for for all Australians. And as a result, we would spend a lot of time on that but it’s so hard to justify in a more profit driven companies because you’re spending twice as long to build something because you’re building all this extra stuff in that day, just save money right
Sander Dur 09:59
now Yeah, of course. And in a way there is there’s an argument for you mean, you still work for an organization that needs to make money. But there are less tangible parts to this as well, that doesn’t necessarily bring the revenue in right away. But it’s also like you were just discussing the Adidas fest, I’m wearing a Nike hoodie. I’ve worked at Nike, that region like Nike and what they stand for, and the way that they have been elevating their, the way that they make their products, as well as in the countries ensuring that the salaries are on the right level, they’ve been having their fair share of challenges, of course, but they really are there to overcome those, because of the good of the company not necessary. And for the, for the people who create those, not just because it makes revenue, but it’s the right thing to do. And I think that’s that’s the question that you’re trying to dig in here as well. Is this the right thing to do? And if not, what is but how do you make that more transparent in an organization that focuses on way too much money?
Anthony Murphy 11:09
Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely hard inside a company that focuses solely on the money. I mean, you bring up some good good points there too, because there are some, I guess, part of the challenges, these things are more lagging, metrics, or lagging outcomes that you’ll get out of it. But there’s lots of data and research on the rise around even employees, right, like people want to work for a profit, a not a profit, a purpose driven company, right? We’re looking for that. So you think about employee satisfaction, employee retention, all those types of things, you definitely if you’re being if you, if you’re not just saying you have to go over your your being it and showing it to displaying it in certain ways, you’re gonna have happier employees, those types of things. And same with on the other end with more loyal customers, right, like people will stay as opposed to going shopping around and find finding something else. I think that’s something that’s really recent, though, and that’s, again, why it’s probably hard to really put your finger on and say, and point to and say that that’s given some, you know, success, and that ultimately, if we do this, we will lead to better profits in the future. Because I think it’s only really we’re becoming more conscious as to what as a society. So I think it’s only on the rise 100 approved, but part of it is, is making that cell and making that transparency towards your stakeholders. And, and part of it and that’s part of the argument with a prioritization right, is making the impact of our decisions visible so we can make smart choices? Do I choose a over b? What’s the consequence of that, and not just a consequence, from a return an investment point of view? And, you know, how hard is it to build and dependencies and all the usual things that we go through? But also, well, what’s the, there’s an impact, potentially, I like to talk about negative value. So there’s a negative value aspect there, which is, well, what’s the reputation on the company, if we do something that’s potentially not good, we would hate, you know, to have to be in the front page news. Because, you know, somebody who’s blind can’t even access their bank account as an example, because we haven’t built any accessibility in and they can’t access their money, that’s a pretty bad thing to end up on, you know, current affairs or 60 minutes or whatever kind of news program you got going on. And equally, some really good value, add be at night dollar figures would be winning an accessibility award, or you know, those types of things and people raving on about it, and then getting the benefits from that.
Sander Dur 13:50
Yeah. So I was reading this book today, the four stages of psychological safety written by Dr. Clark, which I can highly recommend. The first thing that you see is all of those first stages of those four stages are inclusion, safety. And in which it doesn’t matter what the person is like whether the whether that’s race, sex, sexual preference, but also disabilities come to into account. And I guess that’s, that’s the absolute basic of feeling psychological safe in an organization. But that goes just as well with the sentiment with products people should be feeling safe around New York products should feel included. This is he describes this as the absolute first thing yet only now after a million years of evolution. Way more, but you get you get my gist. Only at this point. We’re starting to get to this discussion. Why?
Anthony Murphy 14:54
Yeah, there’s actually one model which is not backed by science at all, really, but it’s sad that I left I very interesting is talking about levels of consciousness. And, in fact, the LELO culture model, which he wrote the book, reinventing organizations, that was based on that were inspired by that. So they believe that there’s different levels of consciousness. Basically, a spectrum from, you know, I have my basic needs, I just need to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, reproduce that type of stuff, and then we start to elevate up, we start to identify ourselves as a human being, and what does that mean, I start to have an identity, and then we start to want to belong, we, and that’s where tribalism and that type of stuff comes in. And then the next thing is, we start to, you know, elevate above that, and we start to not what I mean by elevating above that is we don’t associate ourselves with our tribes. So that level of consciousness is often aligned to akin to again, I said tribalism but also things like gangs, and, you know, you see it in, you know, certain colleges and, you know, people like are proud of their, their identity becomes who, I guess that thing of belonging, yeah, a sense of belonging, and then we kind of elevate above that, where we can kind of exist above a sense of belonging, and we, we, we no longer associated with it, and we can kind of make more choices amongst ourselves. A good examples of that are people who are like, born in really, you know, strict religions or something, and then they grow up, and then they leave it all and like, the Amish life, or whatever, and they leave that. And then the last one is they believe, is essentially like transcendence. And that’s probably some crazy spiritual Nirvana that we may never reach. But I guess, that part of the thing, the reason why I find the model so interesting is because they believe that as we’ve evolved, we’ve slowly moved up these levels of consciousness. So if you think about the transition between you know that more tribalism, you know, that belonging to the next stage, we start to, for example, we no longer associate ourselves with anybody who just looks like me, we start to think about, well, what about all the people who don’t look like me? They’re just as important as as me. What about just because I believe in a certain religion doesn’t mean all the other people who believe in other religions aren’t just as important as me. It that’s what happens when you move between those levels of consciousness. So I guess the thing that is interesting what as it pertains to this is, if we are moving to that level of consciousness, that means there’s a larger number of people in the population moving to that level of consciousness, which means we become more conscious about ethics, about inclusivity about equity about everything right, you know, things they used to be taboo, same sex marriages, all that type of stuff, where you become more open to it. And yes, I think that’s, that’s the thing that immediately comes to mind when you when you say that.
Sander Dur 17:51
Yeah, exactly. Do you feel that has a lot to do with? Or does it tie it together with the complex environments that we’re working on? With business agility, for instance, because there is so much more needed than just following a strict procedure, and therefore, we need a whole lot different aspects. Do you think that ties together?
Anthony Murphy 18:08
Absolutely. And I that’s basically what liteblue they call home culture model. That’s basically what he what he the case that he makes, he built that culture model based, inspired by as far as I understand it, spied by the levels of consciousness, and he buckets organizations into essentially colors for those who are familiar with it. And he’s basically saying that those more, I guess, hierarchical command and control environments, work very well. Inside simple work, that’s more procedural, you can have one person making all the decisions and and then you have the worker bees, who who do the work, and they just follow orders and procedures, and that works well. But when we move into the complex nature of work and things, more complex, fast paced, you know, classic, uncertain, we need more people thinking we need more people making decisions, we need less worker bees, and we need more, you know, scientists thinkers, like right people who are willing to challenge the norm and one that side yeah, I definitely think there’s, there’s an alignment there and, and, you know, maybe, maybe just thinking out loud to maybe technological advancement, and the ever increasing complex world that we’re creating for ourselves might be one of the things that is driving us up those levels of consciousness. I mean, I look at my four year old, and how well he can use an iPad and, and everything right. And it’s Yeah, and you’re just also very good us age already. That’s he’s Brian is yeah, it’s just gonna extend from there.
Sander Dur 19:40
But there’s very good UX as well and user interface design. The four years, four year olds are able to pick it up. And then of course, there’s this part of mimicking, right, they see us how to use that and sometimes I don’t let my kids steal my phone too often, but if they if they do, they immediately go with their fingers and They’re swiping, they’re doing everything. And then all of a sudden, I have a million pictures that I didn’t take with their happy little faces. But it’s that’s indeed part of that evolution, where, you know, the decentralized decision making brings in more perspectives, and more, it unlocks creativity, it lock unlock innovation, therefore, you also have to have these discussions, how are we going to improve and if someone doesn’t feel included or whatsoever, or, for instance, the accessibility to people with a disability or anything else, those things will pop up? How would you make that more pragmatic and practical for people who are now listening to think, Hey, we should do that, too? Where can they start?
Anthony Murphy 20:44
Yeah, I mean, one of my, one of my favorite places to start, and there’s a brilliant book called The mum test. So that’s one of them, I actually learned my version of the mums test. From the military, we used to call it the 60 minutes test. 60 minutes is a very popular current affairs program in Australia. And basically, the thought is to anytime you’re making a decision, so let’s say you’re prioritizing some work, we’re going to do a certain piece of functionality or will go into prioritize something a over b, to just pause for a moment and think about and the 60 minutes test is essentially think about how this would look on front page, this current affairs got a hold of it, what type of story would they make about it? Is it a positive story? Or is it not? If it’s not a positive story, maybe we should rethink our decision. And the mum test is essentially a variation of that, which is, if you had to tell your mom about it, let’s say you’re going to go to their house for dinner tonight. And you had to tell her about your day at work? How would she feel about that? Right? We should be proud of you about that decision? Or would she be disappointed and, and really, that’s a really simple place to start. But what that invokes is the habit to basically pause and just think about some of the consequences of the decision. Sometimes these are unintended consequences. So you know, we don’t, and sometimes we can’t always say to future things, we tend to do things with the best intentions. And that’s a dad, I truly believe. And sometimes mistakes happen. Or sometimes you just can’t tell but to just pause because sometimes if you just think about it, I think there’s a lot of haste in organizations. Sometimes agile sometimes makes it a bit worse. Because agile tends to want to speed things up and speed up decision making. And, and that’s sometimes it’s a good thing, because we can make decisions that are reversible. But sometimes even if we reverse the decision, that negative value that I talked about has already happened. And that’s harder to regain from you know. Yeah. So I think pausing thinking about it, build that habit, do the moms test, or even just alright, what is somebody? Like, let’s just put out Debbie Downer hat on? And what are all the what are all the negative things that can come out from this? And you kind of just do that for 30 seconds or 10 seconds? And you’ll be amazed?
Sander Dur 23:10
Is it by the way that agile wants to speed things up? Or is it the organization that wants to use agile to speed things up?
Anthony Murphy 23:17
Yeah, I mean, there’s a bit of both, in my view, so I definitely think organizations always racing the move quicker. And, you know, they love to throw words around, like be more efficient and cetera. So trying to do everything quicker, but I even there’s, there’s even some elements, right, like, time boxing, I’m a big fan of time boxing. So don’t get me wrong there. But sometimes we hit the time box, and we just kind of alright, that’s the time box that’s done, but you might be in the middle. And this is part of a facilitative Dr. Facilitation rate, and being a good facilitator, being able to read the room and work it out. Sometimes, hey, we’re not all came to a conclusion yet. Or maybe we all don’t have a shared understanding yet, or, or whatnot, and actually talking for a bit longer is actually going to yield better, better results. And, and, you know, even little things with sprints and daily stand ups and things kind of being short and rapid, and try to make those rapid decisions on the fly. Really, really good. But, you know, we need also be mindful that we can’t have too much bias for action that, you know, no, of
Sander Dur 24:26
course, sometimes, you know, we’ve, I’ve been talking and discussing this with our mutual friend Martin, they don’t mind quite frequently that we lose pragmatism in some, some areas, they’re the sprint itself, I would say that that’s a good time box. And I teach the scrum courses as well. And quite often people ask me, Well, can we can we extend the time box if, if we, if we’re not completely done yet, but consider this now you have that you have your financial year, let’s say that ends December 31 and someone comes to you December 26. Here We’re almost done. But can we extend 2022? With just a week? So not 53 weeks, but 54? Yeah, that’s not going to work either. You can just extend everything just for the sake of extending and finishing stuff. Now making this discussion on that, why didn’t we finish? What can we do to ensure that we will finish or use the time box mindfully and purposefully? I think there’s we’re still losing a little bit of pragmatism sometimes. And also going into these these zombie frameworks, if you will. How do you think how do you feel about that about the pragmatism part?
Anthony Murphy 25:35
Oh, absolutely agree. I mean, when he talked about extending the sprint is a perfect example of it. i i To also agree, let’s not extend the sprint, but sometimes we will rush to finish something in order to get it into the sprint. And sometimes we could do that at our own detriment, right, or we just have quality issues we just had, and we talked about these things are baked in quality and, and we got, we got measures to help protect us against things like definition of done, you know, if we’re doing, you know, quality, quality engineering very well, we should have, you know, tests and those types of things that are going to help protect us. But sometimes we do kind of squeezed things in. And as a result, sometimes we might deprioritize things that, and this exact topic, right? Well, let’s not do that accessibility thing, even though, you know, we’re supposed to, and it’s in our definition of Done. And just so we can try and get it in when we’re better off saying, No, we’re not going to get it done this sprint, it’s going to kind of go over and have it to your point have a discussion about why that happened? Did we bite off more than we can chew? Did we you know, those types of things? Yeah, I think that’s where the those time boxes become come dangerous. And we try and rush things in order to meet them. The time box exists where I often say we’re time boxes, and this goes for the sprint, every single time box you use. The end of your time box is not like, we’re done. We’re moving on. It gets treated that way a lot. It should be a inflection point, right? It should be a point to reflect. Okay, we have been discussing for 15 minutes. Do we just want to love Lean Coffee? Right? We’ve been discussing it for however long you want to be running your Lean Coffee, eight minutes. Do we want to continue on this topic? Or do we want to move to the next topic? Right? And it’s a decision point? It’s not a? Yeah, we’ve hit a time box, we need to make a decision. And we’re moving on to the next thing. It’s it should be? Do we need to talk more about this in order to make the decision? Do we need to create more time to make the decision outside of right now? Yeah.
Sander Dur 27:31
That’s funny to see and very contradictive that these time boxes in the end of the sprint, is being used to rush things out, create more output, while the whole purpose of a sprint is to deliver value. But by rushing it, you diminish your value. So it’s very, as you call that, counterintuitive to that point. Yeah. So now what what do we need to do now?
Anthony Murphy 27:57
Yeah, I mean, like, I think the pregnancy ism part is something that I guess we talk a lot about and stuff. And I always, I always try and be as pragmatic as possible, you know, steer as much away from, I guess, dogma and doing things by the book, it’s, I always just treat any framework anything as a guide, right? It’s, it should be a guide. And, and you need to, you need to engage your own thinking and understand when that makes sense. And when that doesn’t make sense. And I think the same goes for for you know, value and ethics too. I like you need to think about these things. And just make sure that you are making a conscious decision about it. Does, you know, you can even create, try and create things inside your organization to help facilitate more, I got exposed to this meetup that was actually out of I think Switzerland. And this gentleman was actually created an ethics canvas, I’ll have to try and find it to dig it up. In fact, and I was very interested in it for this exact reason, because I’m interested in this topic. It’s like ethics canvas. This is really cool. I want to say this, but you could do something similar, right? Like, maybe just, you know, build a canvas, jot some questions down, or even some bullet points. Anytime we’re, we’re doing something build his body a definition of done or something have we thought about these things have we thought about, you know, we thought about, you know, minorities, those types of things? Are we letting data drive us too much? Because that also happens I used that example before well, but 90% of our users don’t aren’t colorblind. So who cares about colorblind people less? You know, are we are we are we doing that? Are we letting our own biases kind of kind of come through? I think the other thing in this whole thing as well you can do is create diverse groups. This is something that we just talked about, right like part of the whole diversity of thought and getting people in a multiple inputs and, and part of that being a, a puzzle piece to solve for complex work and complex organizations. Well, it also is part of what we need for for ethics. building things that are inclusive and equitable because I know I have my own biases, right? Like, you know, I think about things like, colorblind because I used to work with somebody who was colorblind. In fact, we used to have to draw borders around our poster notes that we stuck on our Kanban wall because he couldn’t differentiate between the green poster notes and the blue ones. And I never thought about that until I worked with him. Right. And I’ve got a one of my best friends. He’s his sister’s blind, in fact, so. So I think about those things a lot, because I’m exposed to it. But you know, I don’t know anybody who’s in a wheelchair, I don’t know anyone. There’s a whole list of kind of things, right. And I’m blind to those things. So I’m conscious about that. But how I can expose myself or we can expose our team to it is by building more diverse teams, the more diversity we have in our team, the more we will we will have somebody who’s exposed to it, who’s thinking about it. And and that’s how we, we we strengthen it, right? Like diverse organizations, diverse teams, everything that says one of the reasons why diversity is so important. Yeah.
Sander Dur 31:06
Well, yeah, I think there are a lot of unconscious biases as well that, like you said, you’re blind to you just don’t know. But if you never asked those questions to your team members have, as anyone ever treated you bias on unconscious, the bias for some reason, or make this transparent discussion, you’re not going to choose it and transcend beyond this point. I’m not sure which company it was, I don’t really want to shame them. But there was this organization that wanted to take out the bias in their hiring process, right. And they made an made in machine learning AI tool for this, that would scan the resumes that they were going through. And then they would the machine would take over. Ultimately, the the algorithm would take over based on whatever their own sales and hiring persons people were doing. They found out that this tool became racial bias, because of the unconscious actions of those people doing that. They would ultimately only pick white people, for some reason, unconsciously. But they would only pick white people. Therefore, the tool made it very transparent, that this bias was there instantly shut down the entire program, and had a good discussion on what’s going on here. What do you need to do to fix this, but there is so much unconscious bias in that way that we conduct our business the way that we live? You just don’t know. But I hope that no one my hopes are that no one else should feel excluded because of whatever bias there is. Would you say, because retaining is back to do the ethics board, I can imagine that people in teams and developers and teams are like, there’s another this that we need to take into account when she plays this, for instance, under non functional requirements as well, to make it a little bit easier.
Anthony Murphy 33:06
I mean, you definitely can, I think that’s probably up to you and your team. And what makes sense. If you find that easier to put it there. I’ve put it in definition of done before. It’s definitely like another consideration. But I guess what I’ve tend to tend to found find in the best teams I’ve worked in is definitely true for the best teams. Everyone’s so passionate. They’re passionate about the work that they do. They’re passionate about the impact that it makes. And, and they care about these things. And sometimes you say it, and they’re like, Man, I didn’t never thought about that. But that’s that’s so true. And we shouldn’t be caring about this. And, and then suddenly, they start challenging everything. They’re like, well, you know, that last group of customers we interviewed, was that a diverse group? And then you’re like, Well, I’m not actually show let’s actually look at that I didn’t didn’t think about that. Have we actually done any user testing with people who are colorblind? Oh, no, in fact, we haven’t. That’s a really good point, etc, etc. So, you know, if you kind of, I guess passionate, the people who care about their work will care about this. And they will, they will actually want to do it as at least be my my experience. And that example of the higher one you just made me think of it. There’s an excellent book called hello world. And it talks about all these types of examples where technology has gone wrong, and the truth is garbage in, garbage out, right. So if you base it off, hundreds and 1000s of biased inputs, then a machine will be biased it won’t not be biased because that’s how and they some even more examples about like in China do people sentences and stuff in the United States so which is even even worse than then then hiring people right later just sending people to jail? Yeah.
Sander Dur 34:59
Cuz you’re mad Imagine being in jail. And I’m 100% sure this happens way too often. And more than that’s been discussed, that you’re in death row or another terrible sentence. Because of this while you’re innocent, just because you fit a racial profile or some other buyers profile must be absolutely terrible.
Anthony Murphy 35:22
And I mean, this is a really good example of why these topics are important, because this is exactly what I said at the beginning, like the products and services we build, have an impact. And we often don’t talk about it is probably where I said, and I think we should talk about it more. You know, I’m sure that people who built that never intended that to happen. And I truly believe that, but it did happen. And we should be conscious of that. Well, let’s actually think about or how do we how do we do even de risk, right? How do we how can we test this a bit before we even put it into production. And he is another thing that agile, I guess, is at odds a little bit with some of the agile, the speed that agile wants to push sometimes, because, you know, we talk a lot about ship things as fast as possible, fail fast fail, often all those types of things. But sometimes shipping something to production, too early, you can, again, negative value, right? detrimental effect. And I’m not saying that it means we need to go against any of the Agile values, because the core values still stand true, which is all about learning, right? Why don’t we want to do this because we want to learn as quickly as possible. And we want to learn as much as possible, and only through, you know, trying something and not going right, where we really really uncovered the right way to go. But you need to also think about the context or the confines that you’re doing that in? Am I doing it too? Am I Am I it’s like the saying about? Experiment with your users not on your users. So don’t ship it and just have them all try and work it out and have all the good stuff happen. Yeah, exactly. Find ways to do that in a safer way in a smaller scaled way. This is where prototypes and user testing comes in this is were shipping to, you know, a beta group or a 1%. And then scaling from there, because then that impact is more contained. And as Yeah, cetera. There’s plenty of other tools. But yeah,
Sander Dur 37:17
yeah, release when it makes sense. Instead of release for the sake of releasing, I think that’s, that’s still a vastly overlooked thing, because people need sometimes just want to speed up for the sake of speeding things up, not because it makes sense, not because it adds value. Because then we have the metric with which we can show, we’re releasing very often, which doesn’t it releasing itself doesn’t add value. That you get to such a culture and building this into your product is one, that’s one aspect, but there’s also another hook to it. And that’s the the value just to create this as a vanity metric that’s like that, that we say we’re very inclusive, that we’re having a psychological safe product, blah, blah, blah, while our organization and our team doesn’t fit that. So where we pretend to be so for the outside world, while internally we’re not. How does management and leadership fit into this? From your perspective?
Anthony Murphy 38:19
Yeah, I mean, the best organizations that I’ve worked with, that have truly kind of baked this in, and it’s not just been the talk is all about the actions and, and those things break down, for example, they would have, like, diversity, right as something that they truly value and that truly working towards right. And not just diversity as a vanity metric, as like, we truly want to make sure that we’re hiring diverse people. And we have diverse teams, and we’re making sure that the teams are quite balanced and, and all those types of things that are talking about it. And and I think from leaders to just leading by example, is a huge part, the more you talk about it, the more you know, if you’re in a sprint review, as an example, and you see something and you think about something, you should talk about it and those company, the best companies that I can think of that I’ve worked for, that are like that, it is it’s in the culture, everyone calls it out that like, Oh, what about this? What about? What about the impact of this? What about the legalities around this? And, and there’s constant conversation and debate around it. And then I think there’s ways to break it down. Diversity is one part of it. Because as I said, that’s a huge part of the puzzle. Diverse teams will tend to build more inclusive products than non diverse teams, just because of unconscious bias. But other parts are things around like, well, do we actually have on our strategy, and something around outcomes or goals for us around things like accessibility, right? Like you can break it down? Is it is it maintenance and accessibility standards, is it not? That’s a pretty clear cut thing and if if everything needs to meet that then everything should make that and And there’s plenty like Ali, a one one why that’s a great website for accessibility and stuff. And they’ll they’ll even do. Essentially, they’ve got a program that will run your website or your app and tell you how accessible it is and give you benchmarks and those types of things. Like, are you doing that? Is that potty taught gone back to non functional requirements? Is that part of your definition of data? Is that part of your your non functional is? Is everything that you build being run through that? Do you actually put it as part of your CI CD pipeline? Right? Did you actually always run in that, and things have been flagged when it comes when when it comes comes out of that? Yeah, that’s what it’s called. It’s called alley, but it’s a one one, why not? Lol? Why? I think it’s accessibility pawn to be honest. Yeah, so So yeah, it’s, it’s, I can’t remember if it’s dot com or not by dads. That’s a
Sander Dur 40:56
great reason to check it out. And included in the show notes. sound sounds very useful.
Anthony Murphy 40:59
Yeah, definitely. Awesome. Yeah. I mean, those companies, they have that in there. They’re using it. And that was part of our definition of Done. So everything ran through it, and we got a benchmark, and were we within the threshold or outside of it, if we’re outside, and we’re not shipping it, like, we need to fix this before we, before we put it out there because it’s not meeting certain accessibility standards. They look at standards around like colorblindness, but also blind. So you know, like things like old texts and all that type of stuff. Do you have old texts on everything? Is? Is it done in final Dr. Fontan images where you know, the tax rate is calibrated, like the native rate is the browser rate is calibrated? Those types of things? Yeah, yeah.
Sander Dur 41:38
That resonates with me very well, what you were mentioning and why because when I notice, for instance, when you’re more exposed to these, these aspects, you’re going to take care of take that into account more often than you’ll ultimately you’ll take them up in your personal life as well. But I see with people, for instance, who have different passports, have lived in different countries are more prone to be open to different cultures, and therefore inclusive a lot faster than people are stuck in the same place and have only a very singular perspective. So I guess that’s also what you’re referring to here, opening yourself up to those different aspects to do accessibility. So if for the better of both for the product, and I think it has a lot to do, or ties together with personal growth as well, right?
Anthony Murphy 42:31
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a fundamental thing. I mean, again, I come back to the responsibility in that guest, a duty dad, at least I believe we have, as product people with the products that we build, that we are thinking about these things. So if you haven’t before, that’s okay. I’ve exactly to your point, spend some time, go on to the website, go on to the ally website, they’ve got heaps of resources on there, learn more about it learn. Yeah, just spend some time understanding it. Because that’s, that’s part of it. If you’re not exposed to it, then it’s hard to that’s where the bias comes in. Right. So get more exposure and just learn more about it. Because the products that we build, we have a responsibility there, right. Like the things that we build have an impact on people and Yeah,
Sander Dur 43:15
exactly. Hey, now for the last question. Where can people find you? Where can people interact with you?
Anthony Murphy 43:20
Yeah, definitely. I mean, socials is probably one of the first places to come to mind, LinkedIn, Twitter, easiest, easiest places to find me, both an underscore Murphy, and my website as well. And murphy.me is probably another place you can find me. I’m also director of dissociation and product professionals. So if you go to product professionals.com, you can also find me there as well. So yeah, one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about this topic and, you know, product professionals as well. I hope that through that we can also do some great work around this as well and exposing more product people to these things. And yeah,
Sander Dur 43:58
awesome. Thank you very much for being here. Man. I hope this is very useful to a lot of people. I think this is going to be an eye opener for quite some. I hope you guys enjoyed it listening. Thank you very much. Enjoy Damon.
Anthony Murphy 44:10
Yeah, thanks for having me. Thanks, everyone.
Sander Dur 44:14
That’s it for today’s show. I hope you liked it just as much as I did. Again, as I said in the beginning, with the mastering agility platform, we’re now creating and organizing meetups as well both physical as well as virtual ones. So I hope I can see you there I can welcome you there as well as on the discord. You can find both on meetup.com in the show notes as well on LinkedIn, you can find this everywhere. But I’m really looking forward to to interact with you to engage with you and to connect you to all the other inspiring agilus around the world. I hope you’ll join us again in the next episode of the mastering agility podcast. See you guys then