Episode 93: I Like Big Boards

OpenJamCraig and Renee are at Agile 2015 in Washington, DC and in the open jam area team up with Jason Tice and Natalie Simonsen from the “This Agile Life” podcast for a crossover episode. Joining in the roundtable conversation are Stephen Vance, Troy Tuttle, Jenny Tarwater, Abby Bangser and Serge Beaumont.

  • Stephen Vance shares highlights from the multi-team agile framework he has put in place at his organization with Natalie and Renee.
  • Abby Bangser and Jason Tice continue a discussion from Lean Coffee at Agile 2015 regarding the benefits of having a full lifecycle Kanban board (product envisioning thru development thru formal testing and acceptance by the customer).
  • While discussing the benefits of “Big Boards” the excellent session that Lisa Crispin and Emma Armstrong presented on User Interface testing came up
  • Next Jenny Tarwater gave props to John Krewson who did an awesome Improv workshop where attendees (including Jenny and Jason) acted out 3-4 minute Improv sketches of how waterfall could complicate simple activities in life like going to Starbucks, planning a trip to Disneyworld or dating and marriage (there are YouTube videos of these Improv sketches somewhere) but the session was AWESOME – thanks to John Krewson for allowing us to get our Improv on at Agile 2015
  • If you’ve ever played cards against humanity, Jenny Tarwater recommends “Cards for Agility” presented by Bob Payne and and Beth Miller at Agile2015
  • Several present on ThisAgileLife comment on Jeff Sutherland’s “Agile Leadership Patterns” presentation and how he made several comments regarding other members of the agile community during his presentation
  • Jason Tice proposes an experiment (to the organizers of Agile 2016 – Bob Sarni) whereby there would be a video interview with presentation submitters prior to acceptance to confirm that their presentation is focused around learning vs. a sales pitch for a product and/or training.  BTW, the conference chair of Agile2016 is Bob Sarni – Jason mis-spoke in the recording regarding Bob Payne – there just happen to be quite a few Bob’s involved in the planning of agile conferences.
  • Serge Beaumont mentions a few of the activities that provide value in addition to the conference sessions, such as the Scrum Alliance Coaches clinic and Open Jam.  He suggests that the conference conclude with some type of “Open Space” in future years.

TheAgileRevolution-93 (40 minutes)

Episode 92: Agile 2015 Day 1

Agile2015Craig and Renee visit Washington, DC for the Agile 2015 conference and debrief in the Agile Alliance Lounge after day 1:

TheAgileRevolution-92 (23 minutes)

Episode 91: Coding The Architecture with Simon Brown

SimonBrownCraig and Tony talk to Simon Brown at the YOW! 2014 conference in Brisbane. SImon is the author of “Software Architecture for Developers”, creator of the C4 software architecture model and Structurizr. We tracked him down after his talk to talk about:

  • YOW! 2014 talk “Agility and the Essence of Software Architecture
  • Create a software guidebook as opposed to big upfront documentation
  • Tony is an old BA apparently… Explains a lot :-)
  • If you can’t sketch out your architecture, you don’t understand it
  • C4 model was created after observations many archtecture drawings don’t make sense
  • Tony shows his age again by referencing Mr. Squiggle (video)
  • A tiny percentage of architects understand UML – do you teach them UML or teach them something simple?
  • Structurizr replaces drawing boxes in Visio or OmniGraffle, creates the C4 model from Java code and keeps it up to date, other implementations for C# have also been created
  • Suggest updating the diagrams at the end of every storycard
  • C4 starts at system context level, opens up to containers, zooms down to components inside containers and then down to the class level
  • Use the model to understand your microservices strategy versus monoliths (article by Rob Annett)
  • C4 is a drill down per system, does not have much to offer enterprise architects – can add an extra enterprise architecture layer if you wish
  • ArchiMate allows Enterprise Architects to model processes
  • We need Enterprise Architects but architects need to be involved in the day to day architecture including code (REA have a delivery engineering team that they spoke about at YOW!)
  • Roy Osherove’s Elastic Leadership – starting point is one architect but then get more people involved
  • Ask your team what an Architect does and you will probably get conflicting answers, it is a not well defined role
  • System Architect and Tech Lead are essentially the same thing

TheAgileRevolution-91 (28 minutes)

Episode 90: Step Away From The Book

aepCraig and Renee catch up late in the evening to chat about recent Agile articles and events including:

TheAgileRevolution-90 (50 minutes)

Episode 89: Intersecting Service Management, People Development & Agile

IanKorrineJonesCraig gatecrashed the Australian ITSMF / ITIL conference, LEADit in Melbourne and in the hallway chats to Korrine Jones (an Organisational Development Consultant and running late for a plane) and Ian Jones (an IT Service Management expert) about how People Development and Service Management are intersecting with Agile and each other:

  • LEADit is the biggest service management conference in Australia – focus on disruptive service management, Agile, Lean, DevOps, Continuous Delivery
  • Challenges with virtual teams – not everybody is suited to working this way, need to take time up front on shared values and getting to know each other (and this can be done virtually if need be)
  • Measuring good teams – satisfaction surveys, team results, engagement levels
  • Agile Virtual ITSM Teams workshop
  • Opportunity for convergence between Agile and people development areas
  • Issue is how to translate Agile to Service Management – learn by continuous improvement and experimentation
  • Leading ITSM from Scrum to Kanban talk
  • Olanned work (continuous service improvement and BAU) and unplanned work (major incidents) and how to write story cards for service management teams
  • Moving from Scrum to Kanban moved the team from being reactive to proactive but they missed the cadence and planning and did not respect WIP limits, so went back to Scrum
  • Tracked number of points which represents delivered service improvement
  • Showcases are a challenge outside of an IT management team – who should come?
  • Problem Management Analysts use a Kanban wall to track incidents and impacts
  • Buy in increasing in IT Service Management community, but slow uptake
  • ITIL – when implemented well, it provides real benefits to the customer
  • DevOps Days Brisbane – Why You’re Destroying DevOps – many correlations to what DevOps is experiencing now to what ITIL experienced 10 years ago
  • ITIL has nothing about culture, rather it is just focussed on process unlike Agile and Lean, it is also often pushed from above and has a compliance way of thinking due to certifications
  • Nigel Dalton keynote – The Cloud: It’s Not About The Money
  • Need to continue to support and coach the ITSM community and collaborate

TheAgileRevolution-89 (33 minutes)

Episode 88: Scrum Australia Anticast

weisbartsaAdam Weisbart turns the tables hosting an anti-podcast where he interviews Craig, Renee & Tony at Scrum Australia 2014 in Sydney on their highlights from the conference. The conversation included:

* Adam Weisbart’s “Agile Antipatterns” talk and his awesome Agile Antipatterns cards
* Craig Smith’s “40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes” talk (and the methods on the cutting room floor)
* Agile movements are just as important as methods
* Tony mentions the original Winston W. Royce “Managing the Development of Large Software Systems” waterfall paper – why??
* Henrik Kniberg’s “Scaling Agile @ Spotify” keynote
* Matthew Hodgson’s “Backlogs, Story Mapping and Star Wars” talk
* Knowing one of the organisers like Star Wars helps!
* Renee Troughton’s “Darth Vaderless Daily Scrums” talk
* Important to know the expectations that everyone else should be having on each other to have a good Daily Scrum
* Emparting to a new team how to do an effective daily scrum
* Renee and her obsession with origami cranes
* Own the silence…
* David Bale’s “Build Your Own Scaled Scrum” talk (built on Adam’s Build Your Own Scrum)
* Drop Bears 
* Australia has lots of blending, more common to break stories smaller as opposed to tasks, we make proper tea
* Adam’s new project: Agile Adlibs
* Making retrospectives fun…

TheAgileRevolution-88 (27 minutes)

Episode 87: Coffee From The Trenches with Henrik Kniberg

Henrik KnibergRenee and Craig catch up with Henrik Kniberg at Scrum Australia 2014 where he tries coffee for the first time in ten years at the Paramount Coffee Project (the best coffee in Sydney according to Renee). Apart from getting his verdict on the brew, they also talk about:

  • First time back in Australia in a long time to keynote at Scrum Australia 2014
  • Craig’s interview “Henrik Kniberg on Lean From The Trenches, Translating the Agile Manifesto and Living Agile” from Agile 2012 in Dallas on InfoQ
  • Scrum and XP From The Trenches” and how the book was written in 3 days
  • Ivory Tower Syndrome – you can get good at describing crap in a believable way if you don’t have connections to reality
  • Kanban and Scrum: Making The Most of Both
  • Spotify – 25 coaches with 25 pet approaches, the culture and the fundamentals in each cross functional team is the same, the purpose of organisations is not make life easy for the manager, it is to make it possible to deliver and learn fast
  • Tradeoffs – consistency vs flexibility in tools such as version control at Spotify
  • Spotify culture – started with Scrum, was fundamentally healthy, created by the mindset of the founders and the first few people
  • Spotify succeeded because the people who work there are passionate about making a great product – making a product where they also the customer – the new problem is keeping empathy for new users
  • Renee still buys CDs apparently!
  • Spotify is focussed on growth not profit – optimise for users loving the product – there will ultimately be one big player
  • Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds” paper and “Spotify Engineering Culture Part 1” and Spotify Engineering Culture Part 2” videos
  • Scaling Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches – gradual ramp up since 2010, each coach has 2-3 squads, coaches are culure workers (a good example of investing in coaches)
  • On coaches, Spotify has shown it is probably harder to multitask roles than teams
  • Crisp – balance of independence versus freedom, runtime environment for consultants
  • Oath of Non Allegience – come to companies with toolboxes – how they work and which one is appropriate for the environment
  • Need some relation to the craft of the team as a coach – need to be open to blindspots
  • Henrik’s verdict on the the coffee… no spoilers, you will need to listen!

TheAgileRevolution-87 (40 minutes)