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 159: What Colour Agile Would You Like Today with Nigel Dalton

Craig is at YOW! Hong Kong and is sitting with Nigel Dalton, Chief Inventor at REA Group and the Australian “Godfather of Agile” and they reminisce about:

  • Anita Sengupta’s YOW! Hong Kong keynote “The Future of Mars Exploration
  • Akin’s Rules of Spacecraft Design – “don’t mess it up, there are people involved”
  • Nigel Dalton’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “Agile is the Last Thing You Need
  • The two early experiments of Agile in Australia – Lonely Planet and Suncorp
  • The success of the REA technology teams today was the move into multidisciplinary teams where the influence comes from product – it was a difficult decision and chaos at the time
  • John Sullivan’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “A Presentation to Myself on Organisational Agile Transformations
  • ANZ is disrupting the power base of senior management – Shayne Elliott video about their way of working and Bluenotes podcasts, inspired by ING
  • The wish for REA is for new hires turn up and say they came to work here “because I heard the managers are awesome”
  • Google Project Aristotle brought honour back to the role of manager
  • The Mythical Man Month” – Frederick P. Brooks
  • Love Spotify for their humility, honesty and contribution to the industry, their high impact video series, “if you had a music streaming startup that was well funded based in New York and Stockholm with 700 people, then the Spotify model is perfect… If you don’t, you need to think about that for yourself.”
  • Data debt is going to be a huge issue in the future
  • Mark Hibberd’s YOW! Hong Kong talk “Lake, Swamp or Puddle: Data Quality at Scale
  • REA solved scaled prioritisation across lines of business works via a product council that meets monthly, they prioritise the work and re-allocate teams
  • Guilds are an internal meetup, taking a senior level interest by turning up and sponsoring a small budget ($2,000) for pizza or to bring in speakers is essential for success
  • Building architecture is a hot topic – open plan versus the Fog Creek “office for every engineer” – have found that you need overhear the conversations as everything moves so rapidly, had to sacrifice flexible work spaces as the number of employees grew
  • It’s interesting to see how some of the early Agile success stories have declined – have a change in leadership and the organisation changes
  • “Change the habits and change the work process and you get culture change for free” – Deming
  • The REA culture is likely to survive a change in leadership because the ownership of the way of working has been spread to all areas of the business and people get tech
  • Transformation doesn’t happen overnight – REA is 5 years in and probably 20% of the way
  • The Machine That Changed The World” blew the lid on the Toyota culture – Jim Womack reflected recently that he really wanted work and workplaces to be better
  • Reflected on why it was so hard to get meetups happening in the new REA Melbourne building and realised that no other professions have meetups, it’s a differentiator of working in tech, a healthy community of free sharing
  • Extreme Programming Explained” – many of the early adopters were inspired by this book
  • Blend of Lean systems thinking and Agile is likely to come back around again – we need to cross the streams
  • The Agilista frameworks methodologies like Kanban, Scrum, SAFe will become LeSS important #dadjokes
  • Starting to get comfortable about having conversations about productivity – immense gain to be had across the whole flow
  • John Shook – “Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping” – need the technical brains to read that book
  • Diversity and Inclusion is the solution to the shortfall of people working in tech
  • Sir John Bagot Glubb – “The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival” – it explains everything!
  • It’s time for Australia to double down on science
  • How do we make our biggest companies be more innovative?

TheAgileRevolution-159 (49 minutes)

Episode 149: Continuous Delivery with Dave Farley

Craig, Tony and honorary Revolutionist Pete Sellars are at YOW! Conference and sit down with Dave Farley, co-author of “Continuous Delivery” and they chat about the following

  • There are anti-patterns with doing XP at scale, continuous delivery was born from the learnings from that
  • Continuous delivery is just extending continuous integration to more of the software development practice (and continuous integration requires test driven development)
  • Continuous delivery works because it is the application of the scientific method to software development
  • If you work in an iterative, imperative, experimental way and you take continuous learning seriously and take cycle time as a serious measurement you will naturally drive out agile, lean, systems theory and DevOps
  • YOW! 2016 presentation “The Rationale for Continuous Delivery
  • Most common two ways to introduce continuous delivery to your organisation – need to get cover from senior management to make change or you do it secretly at the grass roots – the fast feedback cycle is important (build feedback in about 5 minutes and ready and deployable in about an hour)
  • DevOps is a terrible name – we are talking about collaborative cross functional teams and it is more than just developers and operations
  • Continuous delivery is focused on shortening the feedback cycle from having an idea to getting the idea into the hands of users and figuring out what our users make of the idea – that’s software development, to do whatever it takes
  • Continuous delivery is working in a way so that my software is always in a releasable state, continuous deployment is if all my automation says my software is in a working state I can just automatically push it to production
  • We have data to show that continuous delivery makes high quality software faster, creates more money for the organisations that use it, reduces defect rates significantly and makes people working in that environment happier
  • It changes the way you design, approach databases and the way you test
  • Scott Ambler’s “Refactoring Databases” book
  • Continuous Delivery tools still aren’t mature enough
  • The deployment pipeline is a seriously strategic resource because it is your only route to Production – need to be able to version and test it like any other Production code
  • It’s as much about the culture of the team than it is about the technology, it frees teams up to do experimentation

TheAgileRevolution-149 (40 minutes)

Episode 132: Usability Made Easy with Steve Krug

Tony, Craig and Renee are at Agile Australia and catch up with Steve Krug and talk usability and along the way try to figure out whether Tony is lean, agile or just old…

TheAgileRevolution-132 (27 minutes)

Episode 123: Some Principles of Lean and Product Development Flow with Don Reinertsen

8265695783_995186c1ce_hCraig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are privileged to spend some time with Don Reinertsen, who is considered one of the leading thinkers in the field of lean product development and author of numerous books including “Principles of Product Development Flow”

  • Principles of Product Development Flow” book and why there is a waterfall on the front
  • Japanese Manufacturing Techniques was the name before it was rebranded as Lean Manufacturing
  • Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, hated math and thus preferred to sit on the factory floor and tweak processes, hence it was not a theory driven approach but rather empirically driven
  • Need to understand why things work so you can transfer it to other domains, a big shortcoming in lean manufacturing is that they don’t have much of a mathematical view on what they are doing
  • You can use magic in manufacturing because it is highly repetitive
  • People understand iterations are good to do but do not understand why
  • “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better” (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  • Agile software people are doing a better job at lean product development because software people have already crossed the chasm of inspect and adapt
  • There are many sources of variability other than just people, such as the Internet and the fact we are constantly doing things people have not done before
  • To get management to listen about cost of delay you need to benchmark what you are doing today
  • Agile eliminated the economic gene, hence it works well bottom-up
  • Easiest way to introduce quantitive based decision making is to find a project manager who wants an economic model (as they will be fighting for resources and the guy with the numbers will end up winning because they can communicate their needs)
  • Lifecycle pretax profit is far more useful than ROI
  • Start with Chapter 1 in the book – describes what is wrong with what we are doing today, then look for the tree that is ready to be pushed over in your organisation as there is no one way of approaching this
  • The low hanging fruit is: visual control boards, economic model, batch size reduction and WIP constraints
  • The first knob to turn is batch size reduction
  • It is 175 principles in small little batches that add value, it is not the ten commandments!
  • YOW! 2015 talk “Thriving in a Stochastic World

TheAgileRevolution-123 (38 minutes)

Episode 101: The Lean Mindset with Mary and Tom Poppendieck

craig-poppendieckCraig catches up with two luminaries in the Agile and Lean space, Mary and Tom Poppendieck at YOW! Conference to talk about agile, lean, rapid feedback, culture and leadership. The discussion points include:

  • Making the link between lean and software development and discovering that waterfall makes no sense
  • The origins of the first book: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
  • Agile is not lean in software development, Agile is lean in a delivery organisation
  • How long does it take you to put a single line of code into Production?
  • The manifestation of lean really kicked off in 2010 with both the rise of DevOps and the Lean Startup
  • Delivery organisations versus engineering organisations and the journey of Agile
  • Agile has not well addressed delivering the right stuff, solving the right problem and the architecture of rapid deployment
  • Only two goals at ING: Deliver every two weeks and don’t crash production, resulted in rapid feedback loops
  • “The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest” by Yochai Benkler
  • Latest book: The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions 
  • Create centres of good culture and let people find it, to survive in a competitive environment you need to do something different
  • Goal is to create an environment where people enjoy the challenge of developing software
  • The critical resource to be managed is not capital but the passion and energy of bright and creative people
  • People don’t resist change, they resist being changed
  • Build a change platform, not a change program
  • YOW! 2014 talk – The Scaling Dilemma
  • The military model – leaders have strategic awareness two levels down and situational awareness one level up and the concept of working leaders

TheAgileRevolution-101 (43 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)