Stop scaling… Start growing an agile organization!
Companies small and large must instead learn to grow their own agility for their own advantage. This sounds simple — and it is, when you know what to look for.
In this keynote, Andrea Tomasini presents guidelines and heuristics for growing an agile organization. You will understand why the first step in any transition must be learning how to change. Small inexpensive experiments and empirical metrics will lead you towards your strategic goal, iteratively and incrementally.
The agile transition never ends — but you know it’s working when transitioning becomes a way of life. This not only lets you adapt to new market conditions: it also allows you to create change in the market, on your own terms.
Using Lean Change and A3 to foster Agile adoption in multinational organizations
In this session I’m showing a model that organizations can use to foster the adoption of agile. This model is «locally» based on lean startup, understandig Agile initiatives from different countries as startups, and «globally» it uses the validated learning cycles of every organization to create a validated learning knowledge base with the performed experiments of agile practices in diferent environments. This «validated learning knowledge base» is co-created by the members of the internal international Agile community and shared through A3 report sheets.
Lean Start up principles as foundations for a change strategy, A3 thinking and problem solving as a support for lean continuous improvement, Agile Journey mapping as a strategy designing tool and Validated Learning Knowledge Base as a support for effective sharing, compose a complete and easy to use framework that can help communities, multisite organisations and groups of Agile leaders to boost Agile adoption in their business units.
This model has being experimented in the Dutch multinational organisation ING to lead the global agile transformation
In the age of scaling, we’re thinking of how to master agile in big teams, with big tools and big processes.
As if we’ve already mastered the small scale.
You know those files with tens of thousands lines of code you were debugging last week? Or the ever growing time to compile and run tests?
How about testing a complex system, expanding faster than your team is able to cover? Or reviewing an endless list of bugs, each matters differently for different stake holders? And then the big question: Should we release or not?
We haven’t even mentioned how all these pesky humans that create a complex network of interactions impact everything. Complexity, and our understanding of it, is at the root of IT problems today.
The impact of complexity on our projects is hard to calculate, but it definitely takes a toll. We see it and we feel it – in stress, confidence level and the bottom line.
Sure, we can and should, inspect and adapt. But let’s make it practical. Let’s talk about how small things we do every day, can remove the vague of uncertainty, and make life easier for ourselves.
Let’s make it simple.
«We have to approve your planning first»: the adventure of introducing Agile in a regulated environment
Fast-moving markets with multiple competitors and frequent need of new features are naturally fertile ground for agile product development, and there are many examples of successful approaches for transforming such companies.
But what about domains which are heavily regulated (eg. pharmaceuticals, air traffic control) where quality assurance & safety are the top values? The classic agile «sales pitch» of delivering software faster, cheaper and more frequently somehow doesn’t find an echo here. When joining the Swiss Air Traffic Control company skyguide, I had to rethink my approach for positioning Agile in order to convince the management that this would be a good idea.
This presentation will allow the audience a «sneak peek» into a safety-obsessed domain (air traffic control), showing how the agile mindset can improve service & software development and still assure the same quality & safety levels. They will discover some concepts which can be helpful for QA in other domains, as well as aspects of Agile which they hadn’t thought about.
I will also share some Lessons Learned with regards to the role of an Agile Champion in a plan-oriented domain which I have picked up during those three years and of course gladly answer audience questions.
In Agile we like to deliver valuable software to our customers on a regular basis. However, while it’s pretty clear what “software” means, we cannot really say the same about “valuable”. The definition of Value in a project (with an uppercase “V”) is frequently fuzzy and confused.
Even within the same project, asking different stakeholders what Value means to them produces different answers; and the same stakeholder will likely provide different definitions of Value, depending on their perception and role in the project.
Most stakeholders will naturally associate Value to money, sometimes through surprisingly creative correlations; but there are other dimensions, equally valid, such as strategic positioning, company image, innovation and learning, and so forth.
Understanding the multidimensional nature of Value becomes therefore critical to drive the project to success.
However, the traditional approach to defining value stems either from a financial mindset or from and engineering mindset, and both may turn out to be incomplete or inadequate to address the complexity of the Agile projects we face and of the ecosystem in which they exist.
In this talk we’ll address what Value means in Agile for different stakeholders; how to map and categorize the stakeholders; how to describe Value on different dimension and how to track it; how to bring system awareness to your project’s definition of value. We’ll also see what happens when we don’t do that.
If you need to start a project, you’ve already failed
I want to be controversial for a moment and propose an end to IT projects, project management & project managers. I propose that the entire project process is flawed from the start for one simple reason. If you need to run a project, you’ve already failed.
By definition, an IT project is a temporary structure to govern and deliver a complex change (such as a new product or platform) into an organisation. However, to be truly competitive, an organisation needs to be able to deliver a continuous stream of change. Managed properly, this negates the need for a project and the associated cost overheads.
This is fundamentally what #noprojects is. The approach, structure, tactics and techniques available to successfully deliver continuous change. At its core, #noprojects is predicated on the alignment of activities to outcomes, measured by value, constrained by guiding principles and supported by continuous delivery technologies.
This presentation will introduce you to #noprojects. You will learn how to define an outcome and create an Outcome Profile. You will also learn how to manage change within the context of an outcome through the Activity Canvas.
- Why #noprojects
- How to define outcomes (rather than outputs) and use this as the key organisational driver of work
- The structure of an Outcome Profile
- How to use the Activity Canvas to manage a continuous flow of work
- How to identify shadow projects
Reprogramming Leadership for Agility
There is a fundamental bug in the leadership program running in most organizations today. How leaders are selected and the sedentary roles they play are mismatched with the speed and complexity of the market these organizations operate. The Scrum Alliance has been undergoing research in organizations in identifying the leadership mindset, behaviors and focus that drive the organizational agility and value delivery required to succeed in this marketplace. This talk shares the discoveries from that research and uncovers the learning objectives all leaders should seek to study and apply in their organizations.
Why do you scale: because you really need or because you don’t know how to organise without scaling?
LeSS, Nexus, SAFe, XYZ — the more years passed since Agile Manifesto was created the more scaled frameworks we get. But is it really the only one way to help dozens of people to self-organise around the single product? What if there are other ways with fewer efforts and more efficiency, meaning, awareness?
I want to tell you the story of our company. One awesome product, millions of users all over the world, several platforms, around 100 brave people and… no backlogs synchronisations, no very special roles, no hierarchical structures, no prescribed aligned processes and no branded scaled frameworks.
On the other hand, there are technical excellence, impact driven development, platform silos absence, meaningful KPI orientation, lean startup culture and teams happiness.
How are we able to do this? Please, come and you will find out. A true HERE Maps team story with a lot of real examples.
How to survive in VUCA World
Short inside in VUCA World:
- Volatility – Increasing rate of change
- Uncertainty – Less clarity about the future
- Complexity – Multiplicity of decision factors
- Ambiguity – There may be no “right answer”
How to operate there, define and achive goals.
Role of leadership skills
Rolling out #noestimates @ XING
Are you still estimating work to be done? Still struggling to figure out is it time or complexity estimation? Which one is better? If complexity, what to do with simple but long lasting tasks? What is a 3? What is an 8? What is complexity anyway?
At XING, in all of the teams I have been working with, we have found an answer on all of the questions above that satisfies us and the stakeholders. We have stopped doing estimation on the small scale.
The talk will explain the whole process from trenches. From getting the buy-in to make the shift till analysing whether the change to #noestimates was successful. The talk with cover the pitfalls we faced, benefits gained after the move to #noestimates. The presentation will also cover different options of doing #noestimates @ XING.
Awareness, empathy and dealing with the emotions: everyday techniques
*Speech in Russian
Coaching and facilitation are the key skills for making changes on all levels, from personal behavior habits to the transformation of the whole company. Both of these skills are based on more basic competence, such as:
- empathy — “how does it feel to be this person? what are his or her feelings?”
- awareness — ‘what is happening now? what roles are coming up? how does the system work?”
- mindfulness — “what would be my automatic reaction? Which reaction suits the best of all in this situation?”
If you have to help people to change not only their processes, but also their relationship culture, ethics, everyday behavior patterns and even points of view, you can’t do this without trying it yourself.
Remember the last time when felt sorry about your words or even worse — your deeds, that you’ve produced in the state of emotional turmoil.
Are you familiar with the situations in your work relationship that can be described shortly as ‘nothing can be undone anymore’? Have you ever thought that though you’re working with the colleague at the same office you can see not only the world differently, but literally live in the different worlds?
By exploring yourself, your emotions and reactions, building distance and increasing the mindfulness of your choices you can help others. Modern research in neuropsychology and experiments with the ‘inner lab’ of the coach can come to the aid here.
What will we do in 45 minutes?
- We will remember typical work situations when emotions have taken over the common sense
- We will take a look at 5 negative feelings ‘inside out’: anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance and indifference (omg!) can be handy if we use their constructive energy correctly
- We will master 3 techniques that help to increase time for choosing right reaction
- We will learn how to expand our ‘mirror system’ for developing empathy to others and higher awareness of what’s happening around us.
- We will think together how to use these skills for transformation company’s culture
Audience: Organizations’ Leaders and Change Agents, Coaches and ScrumMasters and all who wishes to increase understanding of themselves and the others and who want to form a system of habits for more mindful reactions.
Push or Self-organize
Kickstart your retrospectives with the Retrospective Cheat Sheet
Not running retrospectives is easy — just agree you’re good enough or the sprint was OK.
Running typical sprint retrospectives is not hard either — just collect a bunch of problems and spend some time discussing them, there are always things to complain.
Running high-quality retrospectives that make people take ownership of the situation and then do the agree process experiments in between them — that’s the hardest of all.
The «Retrospective Cheat Sheet» (http://retrospective-cheat-sheet.com/) is not just giving you 16 exercises to choose from. It can become your best friend in preparing your next sprint retrospectives as it helps you combine the exercises in insightful agendas with the total of 250 unique agendas. That’s enough agendas probably for the next few years of a Scrum team’s life span.
This workshop will help you get familiar with 16 most-commonly used retrospective activities; will give you hints on when to choose which and make you train your muscle to keep designing unique agendas for make your teams even greater.
- get an experience of a well-designed highly-collaborative sprint retrospective
- get familiar with 16 retrospective activities
- get insights into retrospective meeting dynamics and necessary design to support it
- get trained in creating various retrospective agendas for colocated and distributed meetings
Design Thinking Workshop — The Wallet Project
The Wallet Project is 90-minute (plus debrief) fast-paced project though a full design cycle. Students pair up, show and tell each other about their wallets, ideate, and make a new solution that is «useful and meaningful» to their partner.
>> Note: a topic variation for the project is the «Gift-Giving Experience». You can find the materials for that project on the page The Gift-Giving Project. And you can figure out which topic might be better for you on this page: Project Topic: Wallet, Gift-Giving, or other
What is it?
START WITH THIS SEVEN-MINUTE VIDEO THAT EXPLAINS DOING AND FACILITATING DP0:
A group activity (from 2 to 100+ participants) in which students rapidly do a «full cycle through the design process.» The project is broken down into specific steps (of a few minutes each), and student have worksheet packets that guide them. In addition one or two facilitators (not participating in the project) prompt each step, and add some verbal color and instruction.
What students learn?
Participants get the feel of a design approach, gain some shared vocabulary, and get a taste of each design «mode» (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test). [Note: the activity is great, regardless if you choose to teach «process» with these steps.] Specifically, we hope students see the value of engaging with real people to help them ground their design decisions, that low-resolutions prototypes are useful to learn from (take an iterative approach), and to bias toward action (you can make a lot of progress in a little bit of time if you start DOing).
Kill your product with minimal efforts! Best practices and solutions are to be applied to your management, sales, team, architecture and code approaches ever.
Audience: any not indifferent developer of any product.