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)

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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 68: Together Again Like Peas & Carrots

peascarrotsCan you believe it ! Yes it’s a real Forest Gump moment, the revolutionists are finally back together again just like peas and carrots . They are back to their best discussing :

The Agile Revolution-68 (53 minutes)

Episode 67: A Boys Night Out

boysnightoutCraig and Tony take the opportunity in Renee’s absence to talk about the year that was , conferences and workshops attended and generally cover all things Agile: 

Twitter Quotes: @RonJeffries, @WendyAppell, @drunkcod

The Agile Revolution-67 (60 minutes)

Episode 66: Agile Coaching with Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd

Michael-Craig-LyssaAt YOW 2013 in Sydney, Craig, Renee and Jeremie Benazra catch up with Lyssa Adkins, author of “Coaching Agile Teams” and Michael Spayd, both Agile Coaches at the Agile Coaching Institute and chew the fat on:

  • What is Agile?
  • Lyssa’s “Coaching Agile Teams” book
  • The difficulties in being an Agile Coach
  • The XP Coach
  • Coaching as a more mature version of leadership
  • Where professional coaching fits into Agile Coaching
  • Why Agile Coaches are sought after whereas general organisational coaching is less prevalent
  • The training of managers and its impact on mindsets
  • Michael’s “Coaching the Agile Enterprise” book
  • Team coaches vs enterprise coaches – what is the difference
  • Scrum Mastering an enterprise transformation
  • ICAgile
  • How to teach a pig to sing
  • The coaching oath of non-allegiance
  • Certified Scrum Coach versus ICAgile Coach
  • The myriad of skill sets needed as an Agile Coach
  • Agile Management
  • Agile Coach as term and riding waves
  • Agile Coaching resources

The Agile Revolution-66 (47 minutes)