Episode 139: Talking Agile Craft with Steve Elliott

Craig chats with Steve Elliott, the founder and CEO of Agile Craft and they discuss:

  • Dependencies are the number one thing that kills agility
  • Scaling agility across a large organisation is a 5 – 10 year journey
  • Scrum is often disconnected from the portfolio planning layer, the scaling methods are making the program level agile and predictable
  • If you want business agility you have to hinge the technology into the business
  • Sometimes it takes a few attempts for agile transformations, like tipping over a Coke machine (and unlike tipping a cow), you need to lead with results and then work on cultural change to be successful
  • If the leader of an Agile transformation left the organisation, would they go back to the old way or is Agile part of their DNA – if they would go back they have not been transformed
  • The scaling Agile frameworks are relatively new and evolving with major changes, without these though there is a lot of chaos and you need them to do Agile at Scale in a large company
  • The companies that win are the ones where the technology and the business are in sync, you need some process to do that
  • If we do more experimentation with the scaling methods and some of the lesser frameworks get traction, the community will be better for it
  • SAFe is the leader in the scaling space, but LeSS is very popular in Europe
  • Startups are all about business agility, because long feedback cycles are deadly, we need to be able to make decisions and react quickly
  • Amazon is a good technology company that through business agility threatens everyone
  • The technology curve is only going to accelerate; physical, digital and biological is going to come together and the application is going to disrupt many businesses very quickly
  • We still need more data to improve the software process using machine learning to do simulations to get better quality, predictability and value
  • Agile Craft brings together the product strategy, the team ALM tooling and the business strategy together from the top down, and is multi-modal (it works with all levels of Agile maturity) to nudge teams across to Agile practices faste. The tool has automated coaching built in (no, they have not built a robot coach, yet…!)

TheAgileRevolution-139 (45 minutes)

Advertisements

Episode 136: Water-Scrum.org-Falling with Dave West

Craig catches up with Dave West, product owner and CEO at Scrum.org, at the Agile 2016 conference in Atlanta. They talk all things Agile and Scrum including:

  • Water-Scrum-Fall came about because Scrum is often delivered in the context of a organisational waterfall lifecycle
  • Scrum implies a magical Product Owner that is empowered and understands the market to effectively create a backlog and manage it and the Scrum Guide provides very litte guidance around this
  • Nexus is a way of getting multiple teams working from the same backlog and provides an exoskeleton to Scrum
  • Scrum 21 Years and The Future” talk at Agile 2016
  • People don’t get Scrum, it is always surprising how few people have read the Scrum Guide
  • The Scrum Guide is in audiobook form (but not yet in Klingon)
  • The Sprint Review is not a phase gate, it is the opportunity to inspect and adapt at the boundary of the sprint, try running it with continuous delivery and production results
  • The way mono goes through a high school is the way in which Scrum should go through an organisation (according to Dave!)
  • Some of the initial ideas and avenues for Scrum include The New New Product Game, Agile Manifesto, Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance
  • Scrum.org was created to push the focus of Scrum back to the delivery of software (rather than the world of work and LEGO) and to decouple the assessment from the classes
  • Scrum.org assessments include PSM I (I understand Scrum), PSM II (I practice Scrum) and PSM III (I am a coach / mentor around Scrum) to validate your learning as you grow into the role of a Scrum Master
  • Over a million people a day are doing a Daily Scrum!
  • State of Scrum – after 21 years the world is full of Scrum and software is being developed better, but the profession has not improved in the way we had wanted it to (we are not driving to value fast enough and we are not engaging the business correctly)
  • Software is the business now, Scrum cares about product delivery
  • Looking into Evidence Based Measurement in Scrum, how to help people do done (Scrum Delivery Kit)
  • Organisational change is almost impossible – it is hard to change the existing organisation to do Scrum
  • Software in 30 Days” book and section on Scrum Studio (how do you build a persistent studio that delivers innovation on a business level)
  • Pragmatic Marketing

TheAgileRevolution-136 (37 minutes)

Episode 133: Rules Are For Pussies!

Craig and Renee are both in Sydney and catch up around the kitchen table to discuss a bunch of things happening in the Agile universe:

TheAgileRevolution-133 (76 minutes)

Episode 126 – Agile Snotfest

Renee has been busy being sick (and Tony and Craig are sick of being busy) and thus it has been a long time between cough syrup for our Revolutionists…

TheAgileRevolution=126 (64 minutes)

Episode 111: M&Mailbag

peanutmmCraig and Renee, sitting in a shoe-box sized hotel room in Sydney eating peanut M&Ms, decided to rustle through the mailbag and answer a bunch of outstanding questions.

Note: this episode is not sponsored or endorsed by M&Ms but we certainly enjoy their product!

Crossing The Chasm

  • more and more organisations seem to be crossing the chasm to Agile, but too many are still just doing and not being Agile
  • inimal viable product (MVP) is still the trend word, the next stage is Minimal Viable Experience and then Minimal Viable Robustness to Minimal Marketable Product and finally Continuously Evolving Product
  • Enterprise Transformation Meta Model
  • Agile is a true north concept, not sure that you will ever get there

Suggested reading list on where to start with Agile:

What certification should a new Scrum Master get:

Building your own scaled framework

  • Holacracy and Reinventing Organizations
  • need to answer questions around ensuring quality, growing capability, benefits realisation, etc…
  • at what level do the questions need to be answered
  • Minimal Viable Organisations
  • scale on the operational cadence of the problems of the organisation, not following a framework
  • how often do we check that our approach is meeting our needs

Visualising business analysis in a Scrum team

  • 3 Amigos approach
  • call it what it is if you’re sprint length is longer than it is
  • focus more on Kanban flow

Reading List

  • Renee is reading about climate change (and how that applies to Agile) including “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein
  • Craig is reading “CTRL-SHIFT” by  Jessie Shternshus and Mike Bonifer

TheAgileRevolution-111 (71 minutes)

Episode 109 – The Art of Agile Fluency with James Shore

JamesShoreCraig and Tony at the Agile Australia conference sit down with James Shore, best known as for his work as author of “The Art of Agile Development” and co-creator of the Agile Fluency Model and talk about a wide range of Agile topics including:

  • Java Modeling in Color with UML” book mentioned Feature Driven Development (an Australian Agile method!), learnt a valuable lesson to pay attention to the financials and, no matter how much you talk to your customer, seeing is not enough (they need to use it)
  • Extreme Programming Explained“, both editions are the same problem but coming from different experiences with the benefit of seven years of experience
  • the bulk of the “Art of Agile Development” book, particularly section 2, is mostly online, the major thing that probably needs to be updated is the section on customer testing
  • Agile Australia keynote “The Reward”
  • language hunting – there are multiple levels of language proficiency and you can be fluent at any one of them – proficiency is good, but to be really good you need fluency
  • Agile Fluency whitepaper
  • the agile fluency model is not a maturity model, it is about finding the right bus stop
  • Marick’s Missing Manifesto (the things missing from the manifesto) – skill, discipline, ease and joy
  • fluency comes more from the organisational investment than the team, so if you are not seeing fluency look at the organisation first
  • one star is doing Scrum well – with dedicated effort in 2-6 weeks, two stars with mentorship in 3-9 months, three stars takes a lot longer
  • the model is aspirational, so the barriers are high
  • Gamasutra Games Outcomes Project
  • next steps for the model is to share the diagnostics with organisations to help teams compare, contrast and grow
  • “Bloody Stupid Johnson Teaches Agile” with Arlo Belshee
  • the model will work regardless of the method used, its a way of looking at where you are at and not how you do it
  • we should take anybody who fits into the values of the Agile Manifesto
  • Let’s Code JavaScript” started as a Kickstarter, now 300+ episodes
  • Quixote project allows you to test drive CSS and refactor it

TheAgileRevolution-109 (43 minutes)

Episode 108 – SAFe from the Source with Dean Leffingwell

DeanLeffingwellRenee, Craig and Tony (with a lurking Em Campbell-Pretty) in a very busy corridor with random bells ringing, catch up with Dean Leffingwell, author of numerous books including “Agile Software Requirements” and “Scaling Software Agility” and the creator of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) in a very candid discussion:

  • the journey to SAFe included as a developer building the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ride and infusion pumps and generally a mission to make quality better
  • epiphony around Agile was the step change around how teams perform and how they like their work when they perform better
  • not everything that is old is stupid, “we are discovering new ways of developing software” and we need to ask ourselves are we still discovering
  • Scrum is the only method that defines what a software team is (roles and size)
  • SAFe is not a war it is a mission to improve outcomes
  • need to provide leadership to agile learning, SAFe is a body of knowledge and a set of patterns that helps simplify learning
  • the differing viewpoints on SAFe are because the stakes have gotten higher, Agile is a big business and hence other approaches need to defend their turf because we are in a competitive market
  • they don’t defend SAFe – we publish case studies, talk about it and implement it, we have to take the pragmatic approach to help people succeed
  • SAFe is versioned because we record the best knowledge we have at the time and Dean is an author, but it has also allowed change management
  • SAFe will always support two versions in the market, including courseware and the big picture, the blog is kept fully up-to-date
  • SAFe LSE was a fork for SAFe for Lean, Software and Systems Engineering and allows for innovation, most of it has been collapsed back to the main framework
  • the framework is free (and will remain so)

TheAgileRevolution-108 (30 minutes)