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)

Episode 164: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #2

Craig and Tony are once again roaming the halls at Agile Australia in Sydney and finding random folks to talk to at the conference:

  • Sarah Romeyn from WorkCover Queensland – enjoyed Pete Steel talk “Developing an Experimentation Culture” and Sherif Monsour talk “The art of building a roadmap
  • Rachel Slattery from Slatterys (organiser of Agile Australia) – 1,200 attendees (a sellout) at the conference, such a good level of goodwill in the Agile community, half of the conference are new people and 60% hear about it through word of mouth, all flavours of ice cream (even coconut apparently…), AgileAus hub for all things Agile in Australia
  • Melissa Perri keynote “The Build Trap“, teal organisations tend to form like that at inception, other organisations have the people but the process to get there is still hard
  • Adam Boas and Andy Kelk from Marketplacer – enjoying the deep dive sessions as a way to talk to speakers you normally don’t get the opportunity to talk to, outcomes over output is a key theme at the conference

TheAgileRevolution-164 (19 minutes)

Episode 163: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #1

Tony and Craig are at Agile Australia 2017 in Sydney and wander the very busy hallways catching up with attendees and with old friends:

TheAgileRevolution-163 (27 minutes)

 

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)

Episode 156: LAST 2018 Brisbane Vox Pop

Craig and Tony are at LAST Brisbane 2018 in their home town of Brisbane and wander the lunch hall speaking with members from the local Agile community:

TheAgileRevolution-156 (36 minutes)

 

Episode 151: Software Craftsmanship with “Uncle Bob” Martin

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are honoured to sit down with Robert C. Martin (aka Uncle Bob), signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and author of numerous books including “Clean Code“, “The Clean Coder” and “Clean Architecture” and they discuss:

  • YOW! 2016 keynote “The Scribe’s Oath” as well as “Effective Estimation (or: How not to Lie)
  • Software craftsmanship has always been the work of individuals – not sure we have really achieved collaboration in programming
  • Pair programming – some surgeons like to wash their hands and some surgeons don’t!
  • Woody Zuill’s talk “Mob Programming, A Whole Team Approach
  • CODE – Uncle Bob’s “terrible” software development process before he stumbled across Extreme Programming and the wiki
  • Kent Beck’s “Extreme Programming” article for the C++ Report
  • The story behind the forming of “The Lightweight Process Summit”
  • The 1995 OOPSLA Scrum Paper
  • Jim Coplien “Borland Software Craftsmanship” paper and later “Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development” – the foreshadowing of Agile as we know it today
  • Test Driven Development is something you learn over very many difficult weeks or months, it is a hard concept to teach, it is becoming more accepted but still slowly
  • “Clean Code” – had to abandon a tradition in software development when writing this book and laid out rules telling people what to do
  • “The Clean Coder” – was a backlog from “Clean Code” about how to be a professional programmer
  • The ranks of programmers are doubling every 5 years, so half the people doing the work have less than five years experience, the industry is in a state of perpetual inexperience
  • Programming 101” on cleancoders.com – we need to understand the basics
  • Craftsmanship movement began as a response to the technical community feeling like they were kicked out of the “agile” house that they built as it became more about people and process – the desire is to bring the two camps back together
  • Kent Beck said “The goal of agile was to heal the divide between technology and business” – the focus has been mostly on the business side
  • We need a set of ethics and standards that define a profession for software development – the agile and software craftsmanship communities are the right ones to do this as it needs to be done by practitioner
  • The Programmer’s Oath – a starting point for the ethics conversation

TheAgileRevolution-151 (45 minutes)

Episode 150: FailAgility – Live from LAST Brisbane 2018

Craig and Tony were privileged to be asked to be the keynote speakers at LAST Brisbane 2018. This is the audio from the keynote with introductions from long time listener Dave Pryce. You can follow along with the slides below:

TheAgileRevolution-150 (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)