Episode 112: Inside Spotify with Anders Ivarsson

AndersRenee and Craig are at the Agile Australia conference and talk to Anders Ivarsson, an organisational coach at Spotify, and learn some of approaches that make Spotify tick:

  • Agile Australia talk “Autonomy and Leadership at Spotify” and workshop “Organisational Improvement: Design-inspired Problem Solving”
  • Agile Coaches spend time with squads versus a new role of organisational coach that looks at the culture, ways of working, vision and systemic wastes
  • Spotify is not a model
  • Original Spotify scaling paper, never imagined the spread or the impact
  • Spotify have shared a lot of the things that have worked well, but they do also have challenges as well – one is alignment across teams as the organisation gets bigger so they have been working on visualisation and prioritisation
  • Spotify Culture videos (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • use microservices to ensure that the organisation can work in the way they want to work – great autonomy but a challenge in keeping a consistent design language and customer journey
  • Agile culture is spread throughout Spotify, use what works rather than one particular approach
  • The Oath of Non Allegiance
  • POTLAC – Product Owner / Team Leader / Agile Coach – leadership cell at Spotify
  • use internal blogging to share Agile approaches and patterns, started to recognise the value of story telling
  • Agile Product Management in a Nutshell video – Henrik Kniberg is a genius at making things simple and understandable

TheAgileRevolution-112 (24 minutes)

Episode 111: M&Mailbag

peanutmmCraig and Renee, sitting in a shoe-box sized hotel room in Sydney eating peanut M&Ms, decided to rustle through the mailbag and answer a bunch of outstanding questions.

Note: this episode is not sponsored or endorsed by M&Ms but we certainly enjoy their product!

Crossing The Chasm

  • more and more organisations seem to be crossing the chasm to Agile, but too many are still just doing and not being Agile
  • inimal viable product (MVP) is still the trend word, the next stage is Minimal Viable Experience and then Minimal Viable Robustness to Minimal Marketable Product and finally Continuously Evolving Product
  • Enterprise Transformation Meta Model
  • Agile is a true north concept, not sure that you will ever get there

Suggested reading list on where to start with Agile:

What certification should a new Scrum Master get:

Building your own scaled framework

  • Holacracy and Reinventing Organizations
  • need to answer questions around ensuring quality, growing capability, benefits realisation, etc…
  • at what level do the questions need to be answered
  • Minimal Viable Organisations
  • scale on the operational cadence of the problems of the organisation, not following a framework
  • how often do we check that our approach is meeting our needs

Visualising business analysis in a Scrum team

  • 3 Amigos approach
  • call it what it is if you’re sprint length is longer than it is
  • focus more on Kanban flow

Reading List

  • Renee is reading about climate change (and how that applies to Agile) including “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein
  • Craig is reading “CTRL-SHIFT” by  Jessie Shternshus and Mike Bonifer

TheAgileRevolution-111 (71 minutes)

Episode 110: Every Voice Engaged via Games with Luke Hohmann

lukehCraig joins guest co-host Shane Hastie to talk with Luke Hohmann, author of “Innovation Games”, founder and CEO of Conteneo, Inc. and co-founder of Every Voice Engaged at the Agile 2015 conference after his inspirational opening keynote and they chat about:

  • Luke’s opening keynote “Awesome Superproblems
  • Innovation Games – the book, the training, the games
  • also author of the “Beyond Software Architecture” book
  • how to sell games to your boss, the goal is not the game but the outcome
  • great resource for learning games is Tasty Cupcakes
  • with serious games, we don’t use the word “fun”, we use the word “engagement”
  • epic scale games with the City of San Jose to solve prioritisation problems, this resulted in the formation of Every Voice Engaged
  • our roots are “agilists” not “methodologists”, as a result we have capacity to solve larger problems
  • “you can’t read a bike”, so we need simulations to help understand Agile
  • engagement trumps the communication mechanism, especially video
  • play two games to change the world, because the world needs us!

TheAgileRevolution-110 (24 minutes)

Episode 109 – The Art of Agile Fluency with James Shore

JamesShoreCraig and Tony at the Agile Australia conference sit down with James Shore, best known as for his work as author of “The Art of Agile Development” and co-creator of the Agile Fluency Model and talk about a wide range of Agile topics including:

  • Java Modeling in Color with UML” book mentioned Feature Driven Development (an Australian Agile method!), learnt a valuable lesson to pay attention to the financials and, no matter how much you talk to your customer, seeing is not enough (they need to use it)
  • Extreme Programming Explained“, both editions are the same problem but coming from different experiences with the benefit of seven years of experience
  • the bulk of the “Art of Agile Development” book, particularly section 2, is mostly online, the major thing that probably needs to be updated is the section on customer testing
  • Agile Australia keynote “The Reward”
  • language hunting – there are multiple levels of language proficiency and you can be fluent at any one of them – proficiency is good, but to be really good you need fluency
  • Agile Fluency whitepaper
  • the agile fluency model is not a maturity model, it is about finding the right bus stop
  • Marick’s Missing Manifesto (the things missing from the manifesto) – skill, discipline, ease and joy
  • fluency comes more from the organisational investment than the team, so if you are not seeing fluency look at the organisation first
  • one star is doing Scrum well – with dedicated effort in 2-6 weeks, two stars with mentorship in 3-9 months, three stars takes a lot longer
  • the model is aspirational, so the barriers are high
  • Gamasutra Games Outcomes Project
  • next steps for the model is to share the diagnostics with organisations to help teams compare, contrast and grow
  • “Bloody Stupid Johnson Teaches Agile” with Arlo Belshee
  • the model will work regardless of the method used, its a way of looking at where you are at and not how you do it
  • we should take anybody who fits into the values of the Agile Manifesto
  • Let’s Code JavaScript” started as a Kickstarter, now 300+ episodes
  • Quixote project allows you to test drive CSS and refactor it

TheAgileRevolution-109 (43 minutes)

Episode 108 – SAFe from the Source with Dean Leffingwell

DeanLeffingwellRenee, Craig and Tony (with a lurking Em Campbell-Pretty) in a very busy corridor with random bells ringing, catch up with Dean Leffingwell, author of numerous books including “Agile Software Requirements” and “Scaling Software Agility” and the creator of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) in a very candid discussion:

  • the journey to SAFe included as a developer building the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ride and infusion pumps and generally a mission to make quality better
  • epiphony around Agile was the step change around how teams perform and how they like their work when they perform better
  • not everything that is old is stupid, “we are discovering new ways of developing software” and we need to ask ourselves are we still discovering
  • Scrum is the only method that defines what a software team is (roles and size)
  • SAFe is not a war it is a mission to improve outcomes
  • need to provide leadership to agile learning, SAFe is a body of knowledge and a set of patterns that helps simplify learning
  • the differing viewpoints on SAFe are because the stakes have gotten higher, Agile is a big business and hence other approaches need to defend their turf because we are in a competitive market
  • they don’t defend SAFe – we publish case studies, talk about it and implement it, we have to take the pragmatic approach to help people succeed
  • SAFe is versioned because we record the best knowledge we have at the time and Dean is an author, but it has also allowed change management
  • SAFe will always support two versions in the market, including courseware and the big picture, the blog is kept fully up-to-date
  • SAFe LSE was a fork for SAFe for Lean, Software and Systems Engineering and allows for innovation, most of it has been collapsed back to the main framework
  • the framework is free (and will remain so)

TheAgileRevolution-108 (30 minutes)

 

Episode 107 – Kanban in Action with Marcus Hammarberg

MarcusHammarbergMarcus Hammarberg, co-author of “Kanban in Action” talks with Craig at YOW! West in Perth in a sometimes noisy coffee shop at the Parmelia Hilton Perth:

  • Craig’s quote on the book! “No mucking around … gets to the heart of kanban from the first page. A must-read!”
  • originally from Sweden, now working for The Salvation Army in Indonesia helping them become more effective
  • bitten by the Agile bug by demonstrating something embarrassingly small at the end of a sprint and yet he found the stakeholders were overjoyed at just seeing movement
  • Agile has changed many things that used to manual to be automated, such as testing and deployment, to fit in short cycles
  • Fred George’s talk “Agile Roots: Use JIT to Go Faster” at YOW! West (slides / video)
  • Marcus’ talks at YOW! West “Kanban in Action – A Practical Whirlwind Tour of Kanban” (slides / video) and “Impact Mapping: Drawing is Not the Point” (slides)
  • other books on Kanban include Henrik Kniberg’s “Kanban and Scrum – Making the Most of Both“, and David J. Anderson’s “Kanban” and “Lessons in Agile Management
  • Kanban slides on SlideShare led to writing the book with Manning
  • recommend “The Goal” by Eli Goldratt, the content is boring but the intriguing story keeps you reading
  • Kanban is trustworthy due to its principles: start where you are, limit the work in process, manage flow from idea to production
  • sprint is a crazy word, when running a physical marathon you should keep a pace that allows you to continue a conversation
  • slack will always occur, so plan for it, idle people is OK, we sell ideas not keystrokes per minute
  • “you can’t be more productive than not delivering a feature” – John Smart
  • recommended books include “Turn The Ship Around” by David Marquet (also see the TED talk) and “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux
  • lessons we can learn from IT – simple visualisations, data that makes sense (you can’t improve what you can’t measure), be transparent on what is being worked on and meeting every day
  • not an Agile Coach but a Social Worker

TheAgileRevolution-107 (42 minutes)

 

Episode 106: Turning the Agile Ship Around with David Marquet

DavidMarquetTony, Renee, Craig and special guest host Tyson Nutt catchup with David Marquet, author of “Turn The Ship Around!” and the “Turn Your Ship Around” companion workbook at the Agile Australia conference and talk about how similar a nuclear submarine and an Agile team really are:

  • leadership is not about telling people what to do and how to do it
  • all investments in human beings are long term
  • the approach spread from the bottom up, now the book is on the official reading list of two Navy’s (including New Zealand)
  • “I intend to” does not mean they get to do it – gives psychological ownership and to spark the conversation
  • thinking out loud is about saying what is going on in our head, this even works when teaching your children how to drive!
  • feed the beast – don’t respond by hiding, feed them with as much information as you can as data puts you in control
  • you can’t empower people, you can only unempower them
  • you give control while ensuring competence and clarity
  • whilst not telling people what to do can be good for their learning, sometimes you just need to tell people what to do (in the absence of competence and clarity)
  • good to have you team hold you accountable when you fall back to old habits
  • deal with the “frozen middle” by giving them decision making authority they previously didn’t have
  • when learning about a new team ask “what do you hope I will change” and “what do you hope I won’t change”, this is easy when you have not created the culture
  • “I imagine a world where we all find satisfaction in our work” – you need embrace your fears, on a submarine that can be fear of death
  • need to seek permission to proceed and embrace feedback rather than pursuing signoff
  • instead of saying “are you sure?”, ask “how sure are you?”
  • David is working on a couple of new books – a book of success stories and a colouring book
  • when talking to yourself, use the third person for motivation
  • signup for a weekly leaderhip nudge on David’s website

TheAgileRevolution-106 (40 minutes)