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)

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Episode 134: Unicorns, Distributed Teams and Agile User Groups with Mark Kilby

Craig is at Agile 2016 in Atlanta and catches up with Mark Kilby, an Agile Coach at Sonatype and co-founder of Agile Orlando and Agile Florida. Along the way they discuss:

TheAgileRevolution-134 (30 minutes)

Episode 112: Inside Spotify with Anders Ivarsson

AndersRenee and Craig are at the Agile Australia conference and talk to Anders Ivarsson, an organisational coach at Spotify, and learn some of approaches that make Spotify tick:

  • Agile Australia talk “Autonomy and Leadership at Spotify” and workshop “Organisational Improvement: Design-inspired Problem Solving”
  • Agile Coaches spend time with squads versus a new role of organisational coach that looks at the culture, ways of working, vision and systemic wastes
  • Spotify is not a model
  • Original Spotify scaling paper, never imagined the spread or the impact
  • Spotify have shared a lot of the things that have worked well, but they do also have challenges as well – one is alignment across teams as the organisation gets bigger so they have been working on visualisation and prioritisation
  • Spotify Culture videos (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • use microservices to ensure that the organisation can work in the way they want to work – great autonomy but a challenge in keeping a consistent design language and customer journey
  • Agile culture is spread throughout Spotify, use what works rather than one particular approach
  • The Oath of Non Allegiance
  • POTLAC – Product Owner / Team Leader / Agile Coach – leadership cell at Spotify
  • use internal blogging to share Agile approaches and patterns, started to recognise the value of story telling
  • Agile Product Management in a Nutshell video – Henrik Kniberg is a genius at making things simple and understandable

TheAgileRevolution-112 (24 minutes)

Episode 104: Agile Australia 2015 Vox Pop #2

Agile-Australia-2015-LogoCraig and Tony wander the lunchtime floor on day 2 of Agile Australia conference in Sydney, looking for more interesting people in the Australian Agile community. They chatted to the ones who couldn’t quite run fast enough away from the microphone including:

TheAgileRevolution-104 (22 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)