Episode 160: Agile Lessons From My Younger Self with John Sullivan

Craig is at YOW! Hong Kong and has a chat with John Sullivan, the CEO at Elabor8, and they talk about his Agile journey in Australia from ThoughtWorks to Sensis to Qantas to MYOB and the challenges and learnings along the way

  • The Agile Revolution episode 159 “What Colour Agile Would You Like Today with Nigel Dalton”
  • Extreme Programming Explained” by Kent Beck
  • Sensis was a very early corporate in Australia that adopted Agile from beginning to end, moved teams out of the building so they could work uninhibited in an Agile way
  • The technology teams almost always aren’t the problem with product delivery – it is the product team taking an idea from the top to the bottom of the organisation and getting it in a form that is fit for customers
  • Not happy Jan! – Sensis had their focus on print and was not willing to disrupt
  • You need sponsorship and objectives right from the top if you want to make change – otherwise there are reasons why you do what you do and you won’t change
  • Do the things that are the hardest to do because then that gives you the freedom to do the things you want to do
  • Need to stop thinking about Agile as an institutional process
  • You can’t focus on the practices, you have to become Agile and then adopt practices that are the right thing to do
  • In relation to feedback, you need to value people’s effort and return something of greater value than what they put in
  • A real Agile digital transformation is about the shift to provide something that people want to use and then we can monetise it, which means you need to build something people need not what you think they want
  • Need to put teams together for a customer journey as opposed to divisional handoffs – that is an Agile digital transformation
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! Hong Kong talk – “A Presentation to Myself on Organisational Agile Transformations”
  • The theory is that the twelve principles were written to be too strict to apply and too heavy to consume at the time – the manifesto was written to be flexible around those principles – now the manifesto gives people too much slack
  • The Agile Revolution episode 119 “Agile (Raccoon) is Dead with “Pragmatic” Dave Thomas”
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! CTO Summit talk “A Common Vision is a Matter of Principle” where he mentions that platform manifesto
  • We need to stop trading off doing the right thing because the shortcuts drag down the productivity and it becomes an anchor – do the right thing right now, pay the cost, take the ownership and don’t give in on the principles

TheAgileRevolution-160 (51 minutes)

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