The Metabolism of a Smartup
When we looked at the Smartup as an organism, we saw a sociotechnical system. When we cut the beast open horizontally we identified the anatomy is a holacracy with the 6 groups of productivity. Now we cut the beast open vertically and want to find out how the metabolism works. What are the processes that a Smartup uses to be self-sustainable and vital? In other words: how are we communicating, exchanging information, making decisions and document everything, inside a Smartup?
The ADM triangle
The core mechanism that is present throughout the 6 groups of productivity and defines our modus operandi is the Attacker, Defender, Midfielder triangle (ADM triangle). This means in every group there is an attacking force, a defending force and a neutral midfielder that streamlines the communication between the attacker, defender and other groups. The ADM triangle facilitates the three core values of a smartup: Collective Ownership, Collective Craftsmanship, and Collective Governance. It provides transparency, structure and control how we work.
How this exactly works we already saw in the task group in the previous chapter. There we saw a worker attacking the task, an assistant defending the task and a software robot as a midfielder that streamlines the process between the two. This triangle, although with different stakeholders, is present in every group.
The ADM triangle is based on the previous discussed Buddy System where there is always somebody that 'has your back'. To streamline communications between the groups we added a third buddy, the software robot (bot). Slack offers thousands of different bots that can perform administrative and communicative tasks that can assist people in their effort to be productive and efficient. The bots take a lot of 'boring but necessary' work out of the hands of the people and are a neutral force that is important when it comes to the transparency and administration of a Smartup.
A worker (attacker) and assistant (defender) are assigned to the task group 'set up a server' that belongs to the objective 'create the backend of the cms'. The worker starts working and can use his/her assistant to help (or can decide not to). The assistant helps if needed but mainly monitors the work of the worker. One of the core purposes of an assistant is to make a human determination if the worker is really making an effort. The bot in the task group checks in every 20 minutes with the assistant to ask for an update. The assistant answers the bot and the bot, in the background, creates a log of the assessment of the assistant. When the worker stops working the assistant notifies the bot with a final update and the bot then sends the report the Mission Leader on duty in the Objective group. The Mission Leader can then make an informed decision on the quality of work, make an assessment on the scale of reward and has to decide how to move forward with the task.
The ADM triangle is present inside each group but each group itself has an attacking or defending character as well. The General Forum (defender) oversees the Workforce (attacker), the Team (defender) oversees the Roles (attacker) and the Objective (defender) oversees the Task (attacker).
Bellow you can see the ADM triangle at work throughout the whole Six Groups of Productivity. Start in the task group at the bottom