Episode 166: A Trip Down Agile Memory Lane with Jeff Smith

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and talk to their former leader Jeff Smith, EVP and COO at World Fuel Services and former CEO of Suncorp Business Services:

  • Australian Agile journey took him from Telstra, to a small startup and then to Suncorp, and later IBM and World Fuel Services
  • Scale of thought is more important than scale of people
  • The Suncorp Agile Academy was born out of the fact that learning matters, but the idea was for other companies to create content that could be shared in the Agile community which did not happen
  • Suncorp Building Quality In program
  • It all comes down to great people and working through problem
  • It’s hard for companies to build great leaders that are interested in building great teams
  • Jeff Smith keynote “Leading an Agile Company
  • Availability is not a skillset
  • Thinking from a team point of view is important – at World Fuel for example, the MTR dropped 80% due to this approach
  • Don’t waste time on people who don’t want to follow what you want to do
  • Most companies surround themselves with the companies being disrupted, not the disruptors – need to work with people and companies who want to change the game
  • You learn a lot from being around better people
  • For ANZ, the key to their Agile journey has been that CEO Shayne Elliott was willing to spend time outside the organisation and learn
  • You need to be structured to support end to end cross functional teams formed around the work – the structure of the team matters
  • The next disruption is the physical versus virtual world, in particular what happens to things like networking appliances
  • It’s easy when something is new to find ways to shut it down, its harder to keep it going

TheAgileRevolution-166 (33 minutes)

Episode 165: Two Years and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Craig and Tony sit down for a personal chat with the microphone turned on for the first time in 2 years (that is not an interview) (wow, time files…), unfortunately without Renee who was out sick:

TheAgileRevolution-165 (69 minutes)

Episode 164: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #2

Craig and Tony are once again roaming the halls at Agile Australia in Sydney and finding random folks to talk to at the conference:

  • Sarah Romeyn from WorkCover Queensland – enjoyed Pete Steel talk “Developing an Experimentation Culture” and Sherif Monsour talk “The art of building a roadmap
  • Rachel Slattery from Slatterys (organiser of Agile Australia) – 1,200 attendees (a sellout) at the conference, such a good level of goodwill in the Agile community, half of the conference are new people and 60% hear about it through word of mouth, all flavours of ice cream (even coconut apparently…), AgileAus hub for all things Agile in Australia
  • Melissa Perri keynote “The Build Trap“, teal organisations tend to form like that at inception, other organisations have the people but the process to get there is still hard
  • Adam Boas and Andy Kelk from Marketplacer – enjoying the deep dive sessions as a way to talk to speakers you normally don’t get the opportunity to talk to, outcomes over output is a key theme at the conference

TheAgileRevolution-164 (19 minutes)

Episode 163: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #1

Tony and Craig are at Agile Australia 2017 in Sydney and wander the very busy hallways catching up with attendees and with old friends:

TheAgileRevolution-163 (27 minutes)

 

Episode 162: Leadership and Coaching Beyond the Team with Esther Derby

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Sydney and catch up with Esther Derby, co-author of numerous agile books including Agile Retrospectives and Behind Closed Doors. We also ask the question whether Tony is cool or not….

  • Agile Australia keynote “Leaders At All Levels
  • Leadership is the ability to adapt the environment so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem
  • Need to develop the people we are leading as well as the environment
  • Need a bigger overlap of the knowledge in organisations so that we can make better decisions
  • Systemic failure that we assume because you are good at something (like software development) you will be good at management / leadership – they are very different skills
  • Three C’s – clarity (people know what to work on and how it fits into the big picture), conditions (the means to do the work and access to resources required) and constraints (guidelines to know to act and decide) – things you need to consider if you want to move a complex, adaptive system and build empowered teams
  • Need to focus on the work that needs to be done not just on the little boxes or our job description
  • Ask the question to leadership – what are you willing to change?
  • Coaching Beyond the Team workshop with Don Grey
  • Whilst smaller organisations can focus on the team, bigger organisations have to focus on the systemic level to make any visible difference
  • People are interested in the allure of the Agile benefits and what to cherry pick in relation to practices, the same happened with TQM and Lean – need to ask what next shift will help you deliver value to your customers
  • The millenials will be a big disruptor to management practices

TheAgileRevolution-162 (32 minutes)

Episode 161: State of Agile in Singapore with Stanly Lau

Craig is at YOW! Singapore and catches up with Stanly Lau, organiser of the Agile Singapore conference and the Agile Singapore meetup:

  • Bas Vodde was one of the early advocates for Agile in Singapore
  • The state of Agile in Singapore has progressed from “doing a standup” in 2010 to now many companies thinking about how they develop software better
  • A lack of knowledge in design principles by new software developers seems to affect how they tackle problems
  • The art of being able to sit down and pair in a team is an art that is being lost in the Agile community
  • You can learn a lot about a team by looking at their codebase
  • Good agile development practices require know-how and habit – does not come by nature

TheAgileRevolution-161 (26 minutes)

 

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)