Episode 179: The Heart of Agile Distilled with Alistair Cockburn

Tony and guest host Phil Gadzinski talk to Alistair Cockburn for a brief overview and understanding about the Heart of Agile (and the link to how it all started in Australia):

  • Scrum training had turned into training wheels and consistency – wanted to get back to the essence of Agile
  • Progression from shu (follow techniques), ha (collect techniques) and ri (fluency) – wanted to move to a fourth stage – kokoro (heart or essence of being a samurai – master the basics)
  • Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect, Improve – simple and direct, just do this and you will get all the benefits out of Agile
  • Normally you start with collaborate (because it’s the easiest and most obvious place to start) but there is no real starting point
  • Deliver is misunderstood – forget software and product, we are delivering decisions, it is the molecule of our work, every decision needs to see the harsh light of day so we can find the bad decisions early
  • What is the smallest that we could expose to review to try and correct decisions early before we build too much (directional decisions)
  • Create a culture of listening

This interview was originally recorded as a video for the Agile Brisbane meetup.

TheAgileRevolution-179 (17 minutes)

Episode 178: YOW! Speaker Vox Pop with Randy Shoup, Dean Wampler, Mark Hibberd, Dave Thomas & Michele Playfair

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and wander around the hallways talking to different speakers, hosts and attendees:

TheAgileRevolution-178 (33 minutes)

Episode 177: The Human Side of Agile for Non-Software Teams with Gil Broza

Renee and Craig are at Agile 2019 in Washington, DC and talk to Gil Broza, Agile Mindset and Leadership Coach / Trainer at 3P Vantage and author of “The Agile Mind-Set“, “The Human Side of Agile” and “Agile for Non-Software Teams” and they talk about:

  • Agile 2019 talk – “How to Help your Non-Software Colleagues Adopt Agile
  • Outside of software, they notice Agile and want what they have – a different team experience and doing things better
  • Focus on a principle based transformation rather than practices – have conversations early and often on how we want to be and how we want to operate
  • The Agile Manifesto principles are partial and software heavy, the values and beliefs are the root and leadership should keep these alive
  • 26 principles in “The Agile Mind-Set” book and includes transparency (which is harder in areas like HR and Finance)
  • Craig’s Agile 2010 talk “I’m The Business & Agile Was My Idea” (and we were before our time!)
  • The practices really don’t matter and there aren’t really equivalents outside of software
  • We are obsessed with the how in Agile (the implementation), Lean has always been about principles
  • We have crossed the chasm of Agile at team level but not at scale – or have we? Nail it before you scale it!
  • Ceremonies mean people turn up and go through the motions (The Scrum Guide says events), use workflow instead of process (which means I do work and send it in for approval), work item or task instead of user story (Scrum calls them backlog items)
  • The common denominator between software and the rest of the organisation is the principles
  • If you don’t think differently, doing differently won’t matter
  • Renee recommends “The Human Side of Agile” as well as “Coaching Agile Teams” for new Scrum Masters
  • Heart of Agile (Gil is not familiar with it so Renee and Craig channel their inner Tony to explain it!)
  • Oath of Non Allegiance
  • Are you coaching around values, principles and mindset or practices?

TheAgileRevolution-177 (57 minutes)

Episode 173: Modern Agile (Is Not A Framework) with Joshua Kerievsky

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and catch up with Joshua Kerievsky, CEO of Industrial Logic and founder of Modern Agile and they talk about:

  • Episode 20: Lean Start-ups with Joshua Kerievsky
  • Industrial Logic and the Extreme Programming Playing Cards
  • If you are a consulting company and don’t have your hands dirty building a product, you are missing out – try it out on yourselves before you try it out on your customers
  • Episode 116: The Heart of Modern Agile
  • Modern Agile recognises that there are other people who are not building software who also want to be agile and want to leverage the agile and lean concepts
  • Modern Agile principles – Make People Awesome, Make Safety a Prerequisite, Experiment and Learn Rapidly and Deliver Value Continuously
  • Lightweight methods movement came out of minimalism, but now we are in the Agile Industrial Complex – Agile has lost its simplicity and lightweight qualities
  • People need recipes to get started but we often get stuck on these
  • Forrest Gumping – stupid is as stupid does!
  • A lot of methodologists don’t pay attend to economics – be too idealistic and you won’t make money
  • We are in the business of helping individuals be agile, not organisations
  • Make people awesome is about being obsessed with our customers and making each other awesome in our organisations
  • Kathy Sierra – “Badass: Making Users Awesome” – focus on making the user awesome, not the product
  • Make safety a prerequisite – anzeneering – you can’t make anyone awesome if you can’t protect them
  • Project Aristotle – psychological safety is important for high performance
  • Modern Agile Meeting Agreements Poster
  • “Modern Agile is not a framework” – sing along!
  • * “The leftovers” – we value the things on the left over…
  • Modern Agile activities catalogue
  • Modern Agile Show
  • YOW! 2017 talk “Modern Agile

TheAgileRevolution-173 (41 minutes)

Episode 172: Business Agility & DevOps Health Radars with Sally Elatta

Craig catches up with Sally Elatta, president of Agile Transformation and the founder of Agility Health Radar and they chat about:

  • Companies struggle to get the metrics to know if their agile transformations are making a difference, hence the creation of Agility Health Radar
  • Business Agility pillars – customer seat at the table, lean portfolio management, organisation structure and design, agile framework, leadership and culture, make it stick, technology agility and agility metrics
  • DevOps pillars – faster value delivery, higher quality, culture of improvement and building the right product

TheAgileRevolution-172 (27 minutes)

Episode 171 – Beyond Legacy Code with David Bernstein

Craig is at Agile 2017 in Orlando, Florida and speaks with David Bernstein, author of “Beyond Legacy Code“, and they chat about agile technical practices:

  • Agile does have something to with software development
  • Agile 2017 talk “Create Software Quality
  • The real value of Agile is in the technical practices so we can build iteratively, but still very few people practice them
  • The future is already here, but it is not very well evenly distributed – the same applies to Agile
  • Companies are being consumed by their technical debt and they don’t even recognise it
  • What is always cheaper in the virtual domain is building quality
  • Continuous Integration makes the most painful thing in software development (integration) our greatest asset – this in turn gives us feedback
  • We don’t necessarily know there is a better way to do things – but there is a better way to do things
  • We traditionally think of software as a write once event, but it is write many – users want it changed
  • We think procedurally so object oriented code often ends up being procedural with a class statement wrapped around it
  • Test First Development – very few developers know how to write a good test because they haven’t been taught, it was intended to assist with refactoring
  • Studies show about 10% of people follow the Agile technical practices like XP, and only 10% of those are doing it correctly
  • The mindset of testing is different to the mindset of coding and they are mutually exclusive (in the same way we need editors when writing a book)
  • Refactoring is at two levels because we learn in chunks – we need to do while doing test first as well as in the large
  • The Art of Agile Development” – spend 10% of your time refactoring
  • Communication – say what, why and for whom before how – we think in implementation
  • CLEAN code – cohesive, loosely coupled, encapsulated, assertiveness and non-redundant
  • Need to understand what quality means in software
  • Troy Magennis talk “I love the smell of DATA in the morning (Getting started with Agile Data Science)

TheAgileRevolution-171 (34 minutes)

Episode 170: Agile Our Way at Flinders University with Kerrie Campbell

Craig is as LAST Conference in Canberra and with guest co-host (and co-founder of LAST) Craig Brown they talk to Kerrie Campbell, the CIO at Flinders University in Adelaide and they talk (amongst some unscheduled cup stacking) about:

  • LAST Keynote talk “Flinders University Transformation
  • Leadership through seeding rather than driving by changing language, building mindset and removing impediments
  • Open the kimono and leaders do Agile by example and muddle through it publicly
  • Story telling to move through the change
  • Eliminating the PMO – don’t need a middle man to get in between the IT and business to slow you down and sort out the projects if the team is cross skilled and cross facilitating
  • Disrupted finance through asking for a five year envelope of money and working and modelling the work that is ready to be done
  • Heart of Agile takes the complexity out of Agile – deliver, trust, reflect and improve
  • The CIO needs to fix the chaos of systems and make them more simple so we can get closer to the customer and work on their innovations
  • State of Agile in Adelaide (and a shout out to the Agile Brisbane and the Melbourne Agile and Scrum meetups)

TheAgileRevolution-170 (21 minutes)