Episode 179: The Heart of Agile Distilled with Alistair Cockburn

Tony and guest host Phil Gadzinski talk to Alistair Cockburn for a brief overview and understanding about the Heart of Agile (and the link to how it all started in Australia):

  • Scrum training had turned into training wheels and consistency – wanted to get back to the essence of Agile
  • Progression from shu (follow techniques), ha (collect techniques) and ri (fluency) – wanted to move to a fourth stage – kokoro (heart or essence of being a samurai – master the basics)
  • Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect, Improve – simple and direct, just do this and you will get all the benefits out of Agile
  • Normally you start with collaborate (because it’s the easiest and most obvious place to start) but there is no real starting point
  • Deliver is misunderstood – forget software and product, we are delivering decisions, it is the molecule of our work, every decision needs to see the harsh light of day so we can find the bad decisions early
  • What is the smallest that we could expose to review to try and correct decisions early before we build too much (directional decisions)
  • Create a culture of listening

This interview was originally recorded as a video for the Agile Brisbane meetup.

TheAgileRevolution-179 (17 minutes)

Episode 178: YOW! Speaker Vox Pop with Randy Shoup, Dean Wampler, Mark Hibberd, Dave Thomas & Michele Playfair

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and wander around the hallways talking to different speakers, hosts and attendees:

TheAgileRevolution-178 (33 minutes)

Episode 175: Self Selecting Teams & Olympic Lessons with Sandy Mamoli

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and chat with Sandy Mamoli, Agile Advisor and Coach at Nomad8 and co-author of “Creating Great Teams” and they chat about:

  • Nomad8 is a managerless agile coaching collective in New Zealand, based on the Crisp model
  • The lost podcast
  • Kanbanfor1 (and Jim Benson – Personal Kanban)
  • “Creating Great Teams” book with David Mole – based on the journey at Trade Me, if people can organise themselves for a Ship It day it should work for everyday work
  • You do not need to change reporting structures to make self selection work nor does the size of the organisation matter
  • Original paper on Self Selection
  • Larger companies should probably split to tribes of no larger than 150-200 people
  • Heidi Helfand – “Dynamic Reteaming” book and podcast
  • Should do self selections again every 6-9 months
  • Team structures can change during a self selection as required
  • You usually need multiple rounds of self selection, rounds are usually about 10 minutes long
  • YOW! 2017 talk “How the Olympics Can Make You a Better Person” and Agile Australia talk
  • “Be the worst player on the best team that will take you” – allows you to amplify learning
  • AgileWelly
  • State of Agile in New Zealand – along with Australia are ahead of the USA due to smaller companies, age of companies, less fear and more innovation
  • Agile Principle and Modern Agile  and Liftoff cards
  • Holocracy – pushing decisions into circles has allowed fast and good decisions, this will continue to evolve
  • #JAFAC conference

TheAgileRevolution-175 (40 minutes)

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 167: Unlearning and the Improv Effect with Jessie Shternshus

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and with guest revolutionist Toby Thompson (who was sitting at the table and initially didn’t want to speak on the podcast but then we couldn’t keep him quiet!) catch up with Jessie Shternshus, CEO at The Improv Effect and author of “CTRLShift“:

  • Agile 2015 keynote “Individuals, Interactions and Improvisation
  • CTRLShift – 50 games for different types of days you might be happening
  • Agile Australia keynote “Unlearning: The Challenge of Change
  • When you are facilitating you need to know your audience and believe in what you are doing – to get people involved, do things in small groups in partners so nobody has the attention on them initially and then build them up to group activities
  • Make people safe and get them to laugh – then you have them for the ride
  • Tony imitates a dinosaur (which we keep telling him doesn’t work on a podcast)
  • Introduction Tiebacks – introduce yourself as the facilitator and then when it comes to your turn tie your introduction back to the person who came before you
  • Game ideas come from twists on old games or from things people say
  • Last Letter Conversation – use the last letter from what someone just said to be the first letter of what you say
  • Improv Encyclopedia and a bunch of books are good resources but are usually made for actors (so you need to amend for the workplace)
  • Improvisation For The Spirit” and “Improv Wisdom” are books more geared towards people and everyday life
  • Agile Australia keynote from Martin Fowler “Agile in 2018” around faux agile
  • Our brains have a hard job letting go, need to help people figure out what’s in it for them (the haveta versus the wanna)
  • The Backwards Brain Bicycle
  • Helping people change comes back to listening and empathy
  • Walkshop – 4 day hike for leaders to help them unlearn and connect
  • Unlearning – need to find experiential learning that helps people unlearn – backwards number game or name things around the room differently
  • Mayor of Weirdsville – dealing with pushback, pretend you are the mayor, make a proclamation and then the rest of the town has to poke holes in your idea

TheAgileRevolution-167 (25 minutes)

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)