Leaning into Sustainable Pace with Women in Agile

June 21, 2018

Agile Amped producer Hanna Gnann attended the Women in Agile Lunch & Learn at Keep Austin Agile 2018, where the topic was sustainable pace. She was impacted by the speaker Tamara Nation, so we invited her to chat with us about sustainability, how to measure it and ultimately how to achieve it. Nation shares her tips, with Gnann providing color commentary, including:

- Balance and boundaries - making intentional choices about what thing you do not do. (Nation has stopped looking at her phone first thing in the morning)
- Connect with nature daily - simple as stepping outside and breathing deep
- Stop and eat - actually making meals a time to care for yourself and build rapport with colleagues
- Take stock of your feelings - track how you are feeling in intense moments; meditation and prayer can help bring you back to center
- Take time off - 50% of Americans don't use their allotted vacation, so this can be as simple as actually using your vacation or taking the weekend to do nothing

Accenture | SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Keep Austin Agile 2018 in Austin, Texas.

To find out more about Women in Agile visit womeninagile.com/

Reach out to our guests:
Tamara Nation: tamara@scaledagile.com
Hanna Gnann: Twitter @hannagnann

Read more about Nation's Women in Agile session: www.solutionsiq.com/resource/blog-p…stainable-pace/

The Agile Amped podcast is the shared voice of the Agile community, driven by compelling stories, passionate people, and innovative ideas. Together, we are advancing the impact of business agility.

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To TDD or Not to TDD, That is the Question

June 14, 2018

First off, Mark Waite is a test-driven development (TDD) proponent. But - and hear him out - TDD may not actually be needed every single time you write code. Waite shares his discovery that the developers of Git - the leading version control system today - didn't use any tests during the first year or so of development. But why? Waite argues that testing is a quality assurance measure - and sometimes you don't care about things like longevity, breaking the code, or even shoddy value. For example, "Sometimes I need a tool to do something once" and never again. He goes on to point out that TDD is most useful when there is significant risk, or you need to understand the code better, or when there is a benefit to intentional variation.

Accenture | SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Mile High Agile in Denver, Colorado.

Reach our guest on Twitter: @MarkEWaite

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Preparing the Next Generation for the New Agile World

June 7, 2018

Are educators doing all they can to prepare students for the real world? High school teacher and CSM Bret Thayer feels we could be doing better to give today's students - digital natives - the soft skills that modern businesses need. These include critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, innovation, collaboration, adaptability. Thayer is all too familiar with the struggle of getting smartphone-obsessed teenagers to acknowledge, let alone learn from, other people - teachers as well as other adults and peers. He uses Scrum and Agile technicals and mindsets to get students involved in their own education.

Accenture | SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Mile High Agile 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

Reach our guest:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/teacherswhoscrum/ 
Twitter: @bathayer
Website: agileintheclassroom.com/

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4 Steps to Change with the ITC Map

May 31, 2018

Drawing from the work of Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan, Henry Dittmer shares his experience using the Immunity to Change (ITC) map to help participants of his session identify what is keeping them from achieving a desired change. Dittmer used the four-step ITC map to demonstrate why - paradoxically - he doesn't like presenting at conferences. The four steps are:

1. What One Big Thing do you want to commit to changing?

2. What are you doing or not doing that's keeping you from doing this thing?

3. What worries and fears (hidden competing commitments) arise when you think about doing this thing?

4. What assumptions make these commitments real for you?

From here you can test assumptions: are they real, are they silly? Do you really believe them? Dittmer finds that some difficult assumptions can open the door to coaching, for individuals and teams and even organizations. "It's really most powerful when individual leaders are getting leadership coaching," and then after they arrive at their One Big Thing, the team can look at itself collectively and decide what is their One Big Thing, specifically in terms of the company they are leading.

Accenture | SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Mile High Agile in Denver, Colorado.

Reach our guest
Twitter: @hcdittmer ‏
Email: henry.dittmer@agileforall.com
Website: agileforall.com/

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Round Table Roulette - Keep Austin Agile 2018

May 25, 2018

Round Table Roulette time! Daniel M. Lynn, Candase Hokanson, and Audrey Scheere are our "victims" today. The questions coming out of the hat were:

  • What was your favorite conference keynote/session ever?
  • Mile High Agile (Uncle Bob) - We're gonna get screwed into oblivion if we don't do engineering better.
  • Agile2016 - 5 Dysfunctions of an Improv Group
  • Scaling Agile: A Guide for the Perplexed
  • What's the worst thing you've seen that people thought was Agile?
    People saying they bought/use an Agile tool, so they're Agile
  • What is beyond Agile?
  • How do you know if someone is a good/great agile coach?
  • If you could only give one piece of advice to a new ScrumMaster, what would it be?
  • Know your stuff.
  • Come in with a positive attitude.
  • Talk less, listen more.
  • How did you get started in Agile?

Accenture|SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Keep Austin Agile in Austin, Texas.

Find our guests on Twitter:

@rawrdrey

@candasea2006 ‏

@Daniel_M_Lynn

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Teams of Heroic Learners | Diana Larsen

May 22, 2018

Diana Larsen is the Chief Relationship Builder at the Agile Fluency Project and she has a simple compelling message: software development is learning work. Knowledge work is what everyone is talking about - but Larsen argues that learning is really what we need to be doing today. She talks about "heroic learners" - people who have the courage, compassion and confidence to learn everywhere and all the time, because as Larsen puts it, "We have to get good and learning - or we get left behind." And this goes beyond just individuals - she discusses how teams need to learn together.

Accenture|SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts at Mile High Agile in Denver, Colorado.

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Hacking Agile for Digital Agencies | Dave Prior

May 17, 2018

Dave Prior is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) with Leading Agile, a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a podcast host. He got his start in project management at digital agencies. The problem he saw with the agencies was that they were willing to bend over backwards for the client, which made it difficult to stay profitable. The key to making digital agencies Agile, according to Prior, is to “get everyone trained together, make sure sales is part of that, figure out how to rewrite your statements of work, figure out how your company is going to bear the cost of teaching your client [Agile].”

Prior also addresses the question: Should I still get a PMP, does it have any value?

Howard Sublett hosts.

To reach our guest:

Twitter: @mrsungo
www.leadingagile.com/
drunkenpm.blogspot.com/
www.projectmanagement.com/blogs/264092…tant-Agilist

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Round Table Roulette - Agile in 10 years and more!

May 15, 2018

Where will the Agile space be in ten years? This great question kicks off this edition of Round Table Roulette with our guests Aidee Fischer, Corey Post and Steve Kovach, three experienced Agile coaches here at SolutionsIQ. On the topic of the future of Agile, our guests are unanimous: "Agile will be everywhere."

Other questions and conversation topics that host Howard Sublett guides our guests through include:

  • Can Agile work at any scale? If no, at what size does it break down? (Fischer: "Depends on what we mean by Agile. If we're talking about the idea of delivery value quickly to customers, being more customer-centric... making our people or products the best that they can be, then I think that, yes: it could work at any scale.")
  • What do you tell managers that want to compare Agile teams to each other?
  • Is there a "Dunbar Number" for Agile?
  • How do you know if someone is a good or great Agile coach?
  • Share a story about Agile outside of software. (Kovach was moved last year by a session he attended at Mile High Agile by the teenaged Aaron Vadakkana who has been using Scrum at home for years. Listen here: Agileamped – Using-scrum-at-home-with-aaron-vadakkan)
  • If you could only give one piece of advice to a new ScrumMaster, what would it be?

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Distributed Agile Teams: Collaboration over Collocation at Red Hat

May 10, 2018

Neil Smith and Chuck Copello from Red Hat sat down with us to discuss how an Agile mindset can overcome the 6th principle of the Agile Manifesto:

“The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”

Red Hat is a large open source software company with 11,000 employees globally, 2,000 of whom work from home. Both Chuck and Neil have team members across different continents, and they provide practical advice for how to be a distributed Agile team and still feel united. They even shared with us tips for helping distributed teams collaborate more effectively.

Howard Sublett hosts.

Get in touch with our guests:
neil@redhat.com
ccopello@redhat.com

Access the Google Doc mentioned here: https://www.solutionsiq.com/resource/agile-amped-podcast/distributed-agile-teams-collaboration-over-collocation-at-red-hat/

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The Four R’s: A Model to Transition to Lean Thinking

May 3, 2018

When Agile coaches Nidhi Sharma and Michael Callahan are looking at changing someone’s mindset and changing the way that they behave and work, they want to start with a purpose. The pair tied it all together in their Four R’s model for transitioning to Lean thinking:

- Why are we doing this work? (Right Reasons)
- What work would fit that purpose? (Right Work)
- Who needs to be in the room to have those conversations? (Right People)
- What is the last responsible moment for doing the work? (Right Time)

Howard Sublett hosts.

Get in touch with our guests: michael.p.callahan@accenture.com and nidhi.t.sharma@accenture.com 
And find our podcast host on Twitter: @howardsublett

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4 Steps toward Agility at Ableton | Business Agility Series

April 26, 2018

Agile coach Ashok Mohan and IT Product Owner Burkhard Lustig sit down with Agile Amped to share their stories working at Ableton, a business focused on making software and hardware for music makers. In particular, the duo discuss an pivotal learning experience with a difficult trade-in program. Although Product teams had already been leveraging Agile development and practices for 10 years, this was not the case for the Business. When the trade-in program revealed gaps in organizational capability, they decided to make changes, specifically taking four major steps:

1. They introduced team planning.
2. To make work visible, they organized "expos" - demos more suited to their laid-back culture.
3. Because WIP was too high and not enough was getting to done, middle management was brought together to own the work and the process, with coaching from Ashok and Brendan (another Ableton coach).
4. After too much WIP, the second top impediment was lack of alignment, so they focused on establishing a shared purpose.

Mohan echoed Marsha Shenk's sentiment (in this podcast - Agileamped – Limitations-opportunities-of-neurophysiology) that "as humans, every one of us wants to contribute... They don't know how to contribute in a system... [but] it's almost always about 'how can you get to people to contribute in a way that's meaningful for them?'"

Leslie Morse hosts in NYC at Business Agility 2018.

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Limitations & Opportunities of Neurophysiology | Business Agility Series

April 19, 2018

Marsha Shenk, coach, consultant and founder of The BestWork People, takes us on a whirlwind tour of how the brain affects everyday interactions. Shenk believes that people fundamentally want to contribute - to be part of meaningful interactions, which is what life - including business - is made up of.

Our favorite quote: "Business agility is not for the faint hearted."

More nuggets of wisdom Shenk offers:
- "People get dumbed down by having imperatives imposed on them."
- "Fear shuts down the prefrontal cortex, which is where our executive function is... so nothing new happens"
- "Business is a social activity. Some people now think that itʻs happening between computers - no. Thereʻs somebody out there making a decision and that person has a beating heart."
- "I recommend respecting the limitations of technology and ... physiology."
- "In order to keep learning after puberty, you have to develop the skill of building new neural pathways."

Hosted by Leslie Morse in NYC at Business Agility 2018.

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Transforming GE into a Lean Startup | Business Agility Series

April 12, 2018

Lars Bruns and Sudhir Nelvagal started working together in GE Healthcare 13 years ago. In this episode, they share their experience helping GE with their Agile transformation. GE, being a long-standing business giant with its fingerprints in virtually every infrastructure domain and every industry, is still traditional in many ways, but it is transforming itself to become a lean startup. Bruns and Nelvagal share their experiences applying innovative Agile and Lean techniques across GE’s traditional hardware and physical engineering-oriented business units. Other topics touched on include failing fast and leadership buy-in.

Hosted by Brent Barton in NYC at Business Agility 2018.

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Driving Social Change in Agile & Business | Business Agility Series

April 5, 2018

Natalie Warnert is an independent consultant and the founder of Women in Agile, which started five years ago and has spread far and wide. Since then, Warnert has written her theses about why women are less involved in the Agile community. In her research, she has uncovered interesting biases that men and women have about themselves and each other. She briefly touches on current social movements that show how views on equality, inclusivity and diversity are converging. She's also excited about the grassroots pop-up chapters of Women in Agile that people are starting: "It's been so great to see people taking initiative to do these things... I can't do it alone and I don't want to." Other topics include globalization, UX, and AI.

Hosted by Leslie Morse in NYC at Business Agility 2018. Morse mentions this podcast: Agileamped – Limitations-opportunities-of-neurophysiology

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Beyond Budgeting 101 | Business Agility Series

March 29, 2018

“Everybody knows going into the budget process that people make up the numbers because they know they’re going to get cut, they’re going to get manipulated, they’re negotiating for their bonuses, so it’s already a bad document to begin with,” says Nevine White. White and Mike De Luca from Beyond Budgeting Round Table of North America sat down with us for a deep dive into Beyond Budgeting, including a definition of what it is and some history. They also walk us through two real-world examples of implementing it.

De Luca says Beyond Budgeting requires a different philosophy around leadership: it needs to be very decentralized and is intended to drive decision making to the lowest appropriate level. He points out that the process of implementing Beyond Budgeting doesn’t really end since learning organizations must continue to refine and adapt. However, a lot of the heavy lifting can take anywhere from 6-18 months. Listen to find out what that entails, how to get started, how to measure and successfully transform financial planning in your organization.

Leslie Morse hosts in NYC at Business Agility 2018.

This episode of Agile Amped is part of a series in partnership with the Business Agility Institute. businessagility.institute/

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Modernizing Business Analysis with AI & Experiments | Business Agility Series

March 22, 2018

Angela Wick is the founder of BA-Squared and in this episode she talks about how business analysis is shifting drastically and how leaders are championing the charge. Wick discusses how important it is for business analysts to collaborate with Product Owners to focus on building the right products: "Agile can't happen without analysis... If you're building the wrong thing, it doesn't matter how fast you are." But what is really exciting to Wick is how much the world and her field is changing as a result of AI and machine learning. What might take a BA weeks to produce, an algorithms today can do at a fraction of the cost and time. But the complexity in the world means that you have to pair vision with rapid experiments - and a dash of curiosity - to make sure your business is on the right path.

Leslie Morse hosts in NYC at Business Agility 2018.

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Agile Contracting and Procurement in the Federal Government | Business Agility Series

March 15, 2018

Joshua Seckel is an Agile coach and also Sevatec’s Chief Solution Architect for Agile and DevOps. Joshua drives the the adoption of business, technical, and management agility both internally and at client sites. His presentation at Business Agility Conference 2018 is called "Agile Contracting in the Federal Government" and in this podcast he shares his experience helping USCIS not only contract Agile teams but also to evolve the procurement process to be more Agile. With a focus on enabling experimentation and cross-department collaboration, Seckel helped stand up 20 Agile development teams who are able today to deliver to production 4-5 times a week - in a federal environment!

Some recommendations that Seckel wants to share are:
1. Many changes are risk-driven, which is directly related to the corporate culture. By adapting the business to allow a little more risk, you can unlock a lot more learning and success.
2. Learn fast. Succeed either in learning (e.g., from failure) or in execution.
3. Meet people where they are.

Hosted by Leslie Morse in New York City at the Business Agility 2018 conference.

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Agile HR: Bringing Humanity into Human Resources

March 8, 2018

Allison Flaten is an HR practitioner (and one of our favorite people) with over a decade of experience in working with and leading HR departments in variety of industries, five of which she has spent in an Agile organization. She walks us through the differences between traditional HR departments where the focus tends to be on risk mitigation, compliance, and policy-driven communication, and Agile HR that focuses on how to make the organization the best place for its employees.

Flaten’s advice includes: 
- Ensure HR can adapt and shift with the needs of the business, as well as with the employees. 
- Share your HR backlog 
- Get feedback from employees and leadership to get buy-in before releasing policies 
- Provide fast performance feedback which can result in immediate adjustment, rather than waiting for an annual performance review

Howard Sublett hosts. Find him on Twitter: @howardsublett

Get in touch with our guest: allison.flaten@accenture.com

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Job Interview Techniques for Agile Teams | Business Agility Series

March 1, 2018

Why should a job interview for a role on an Agile team follow the traditional interview format with high anxiety and low level of psychological safety? How do you find people who are natural collaborators? Jason Tice, VP of business innovation at Worldwide Technology, spoke with Agile Amped about using collaborative activities, or games, during job interviews to gather feedback and assess necessary skills. Tice says creating a safe space where candidates are willing to be vulnerable is a game changer for finding the right candidates for high-performing teams.

Hosted by Howard Sublett.

This episode of Agile Amped is part of a series in partnership with the Business Agility Institute. Register for the Business Agility Conference in New York March 14-15, 2018 and use code solutionsiq-founding-member to save 25% off registration: businessagilityconf.com/

Find Jason Tice on Twitter: @TheAgileFactor 
And find our podcast host: @howardsublett

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Foundational Engineering Practices for Agile

February 22, 2018

We chat with SolutionsIQ's Dave Wylie, a seasoned consultant, manager and developer with 35 years of experience. Wylie wants to make sure that, while Agile has expanded beyond IT, people especially in IT remember that good engineering practices are foundational for a successful Agile transformation. Agile software development approaches, techniques and mindsets are drivers for business value and make it possible for Product Owners to ship when they're ready to ship.

Dave argues that foundational development practices - writing tests as well as reviewing, integrating and continuously improving code - are important for everybody. Unfortunately, according to Wylie, ”There's lots and lots of people in the software development world that [have] had zero formal training or informal training or mentorship on these practices.”

Howard Sublett hosts.

Get in touch with our guest: david.wylie@accenture.com
And find our podcast host on Twitter: @howardsublett

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Ghosts of Company Past and Future | Business Agility Series

February 15, 2018

Once upon a time, Melissa Boggs worked for a company where their mission was central to everything they did. This podcast is a story about using mission, vision and values as a beacon for Agile transformation.

Boggs is an agility culture and leadership coach with Agile42. As a Certified Enterprise Coach, she is fascinated with company cultures and how they inspire, or conversely demotivate, individuals to become amazing. In this episode, Boggs walks us through concrete steps for how to not only create a mission statement, but how to live and breathe the mission, vision and values every step going forward, and how to avoid the ghosts that sometimes get in the way of an Agile transformation.

Our favorite quote is one that resonates with so many organizations:
“They already had a mission statement, but quite literally the only person who could tell me who could tell me what it was, was the sweet lady in marketing who wrote it five years ago.”

Hosted by Howard Sublett.

This episode of Agile Amped is part of a series in partnership with the Business Agility Institute.

Register for the Business Agility Conference in New York March 14-15 and use code solutionsiq-founding-member to save 25% off registration: www.businessagilityconf.com/

Contact Melissa Boggs via email: melissa.boggs@agile42.com
Or follow her on Twitter: 
@HmngbirdAgility
And find our podcast host:
@howardsublett

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Lynn Winterboer Talks Test Automation for Data Warehousing Teams at Mile High Agile 2016

February 12, 2018
Many of the data warehousing problems of the world have been tackled and solved--yet data warehousing and business intelligence teams in Agile settings still struggle with technical practices that better enable Agile. One example is test automation. Lynn Winterboer discusses with Agile Amped at Mile High Agile 2016 in Denver, Colorado, her conference presentation and why she thinks it's hard for such teams to do test automation and how the industry's vendor focus contributes to the problem. 

The bottom line? Don't wait for the right tool or vendor. Just jump right into test automation.

Lynn Winterboer coaches DW/BI teams on applying agile principles to their work. She has filled many roles on data and agile teams for 20 years. Lynn understands the unique set of challenges faced by data teams who want to benefit from Agile project delivery. You can reach Lynn via her website: winterboeragileanalytics.com
 
SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett hosts.

About Agile Amped
The Agile Amped podcast series engages with industry thought leaders at Agile events across the country to bring valuable content to subscribers anytime, anywhere.
 
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Becoming an Agile Leader with ICAgile

February 8, 2018

The International Consortium of Agile (ICAgile) is a certification and accreditation body with presence in more than 100 countries, with close to 70,000 people holding credentials thus far. Recently Agile Amped spoke with ICAgile leaders, Managing Director Shannon Ewan and Director of Learning Programs Shane Hastie about their new Agile Leadership track.

Ewan shared with us that fundamentally ICAgile enables “becoming an Agile leader, as opposed to teaching Agile for Leaders. If you’re not interested in changing yourself, then it’s not the program for you.”

According to Hastie, “The ideas embodied in this leadership track are built on that respect of people, and that people are the primary source of value in our organizations.”

Our favorite quote from this podcast?
“It’s about transforming organizations to be more human-centric. The impact is to truly, fully unleash the potential of people within organizations. Creating cultures of learning; making organizations a place where people continue to learn and thrive and they truly are their best at work.” - Shannon Ewan, ICAgile

Hosted by Howard Sublett.

Find out more information about the ICAgile Leadership Track:
http://www.icagile.com/Learning-Roadmap/Business-Agility/Agile-Leadership

Contact ICAgile: info@icagile.com

Find our guests on Twitter:
@ShannonEwan
@shanehastie
@ICAgile
And our podcast host:
@howardsublett

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Company-Wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy | Business Agility Series

February 1, 2018

What do the Brazilian dance Bossa Nova and company-wide agility have in common? According to Jutta Eckstein and John Buck, both are created from a combination of different elements. While the dance is a synthesis of samba and jazz, company-wide agility can be created using the following elements: Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy and Agile - BOSSA nova for short.

Jutta is a coach, consultant and trainer with a M.A. in Business Coaching and Change Management. John Buck is a Certified Sociocratic Organizational Consultant. Listen to how they encourage organizations to use these time-tested concepts to begin experimenting at your company to become Agile, and how sociocracy can ensure that the power structure of an organization will uphold company-wide agility, not hinder it.

This episode of Agile Amped is part of a series in partnership with the Business Agility Institute.

Register for the Business Agility Conference in New York March 14-15 and use code solutionsiq-founding-member to save 25% off registration:
businessagilityconf.com/

To find out more about Jutta & John’s book in progress, visit: leanpub.com/bossanova

Follow our guests on Twitter: 
@JuttaEckstein
@johnabuck
And find our podcast host:
@howardsublett

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The Rise of Business Agility

January 25, 2018

SolutionsIQ Business Agility Lead Kat Conner and CTO Evan Campbell discuss the rise of business agility, the challenges and opportunities before today's organizations, and some advanced topics like adaptive management, Agile portfolio management, and innovation as organizational capabilities.

Notable quotes:
"Annual budgeting is irritating and wasteful and not very efficient in the things that we use it for. The hard part is coming up with more effective substitutes for the various purposes that we use annual budgeting."

"Instead of thinking of projects as the primary means of asset allocation and organization of people, we look at the critical streams of value that are flowing from technology to business leaders or customers, and we create long-lived, persistent, capable delivery units."

"One of the things that makes innovation safe and cheap and ultimately more efficient is taking an experimental mindset towards what you're doing."

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Retrospectives | David Horowitz

January 18, 2018

A retrospective is an opportunity for us as a team, as an organization, to ask ourselves what are we doing well, what are we not doing well, and how can we improve going forward. A retrospective is the catalyst for the continuous improvement that Agile promises. David Horowitz is a co-founder and CEO of Retrium, the world’s first and only enterprise-ready platform for Agile retrospectives.

David shared these tips (and more) for having successful retrospectives:
- When should or shouldn't the manager be included
- Why “What happens in the retrospective should stay in the retrospective” might not be the most effective approach
- How to drive engagement during retrospectives
- Why you shouldn’t only think about running a retrospective at the end of the Sprint
- Why minimizing scope is powerful

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User Story Mapping over Backlogs | Mike Clement

January 11, 2018

Co-founder and Principal Software Craftsman of Greater Sum, Mike Clement is passionate about raising the bar of technical excellence in the software development community. One way to do that is by using user story maps. While Clement doesn't advocate for getting rid of backlogs altogether, he believes that user story mapping helps bring the story and user journey out of disparate tasks. The problem is backlogs don't immediately show how different user stories work together, and prioritization doesn't always help. Clement describes how user story mapping helps the business and teams to think about slices of value that can then be turned into a backlog for an upcoming iteration. This helps limit work in progress (WIP) and drive toward delivering real value.

Howard Sublett hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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The Human Side of Software | James Byars

December 21, 2017

Senior Technical Consultant at SolutionsIQ James Byars has noticed that many teams undergoing Agile transformation only focus on the new frameworks and processes. This makes it difficult to focus on the type and quality of the work being done. Byars, who is presenting on the human side of software at Southern Fried Agile 2017, believes that this tendency contributes to the business thinking of software developers as resources instead of people. When teams focus on outputs, such as how much code are written or how many tasks moved to "done," they lose track of why they are doing these things. When teams understand the "why" it allows them to be more creative about problem solving and providing solutions. This helps teams deliver business value and in turn increases the trust between software teams and the business. James says we need to stop "hiring smart people [only to]... tell them what to do" and instead hire these smart people, set some guide rails and set them free.

Howard Sublett hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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ATDD & BDD - What’s the Difference? Ken Pugh

December 14, 2017

Ken Pugh, author of "Lean-Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development: Better Software Through Collaboration", gives us a lesson on Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). And guess what? They aren't as different as you may think. It comes down to whether the tests are written based on acceptance criteria or on the behavior that a system must meet. Pugh reminds us that the important thing is getting the customer representative, the developers and the testers together to write the acceptance criteria in plain human language before a line of code is even written. More kernels of wisdom from Pugh:
- "Fixing a defect is valuable, but preventing a defect is even more valuable."
- If during development you can't ship until a particular test passes, then that test is a requirement. "Testers aren't writing tests, they're writing requirements."
- "If you take more than half an hour to write the tests, then your story is probably too big."
- "If you feel like you need a defect tracking system... you've got too many defects. I have been in places where they actually have just one defect! "

Howard Sublett hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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History of Southern Fried Agile | James Collins & Neville Poole

December 7, 2017

The Southern Fried Agile (SFA) conference has come a long way since its inception. James Collins, SFA chairperson and a technical leader at Wells Fargo, and Neville Poole, SFA chairperson and Agile Practice Lead for Products at SolutionsIQ, sit down with us to share their experiences going from a literal shoe-string budget to major conference venue. James and Neville touch on some horror stories and victories - and joy - that they have experienced in this fun and energizing conference which may or may not have had a chicken for a mascot once upon a time.

Billie Schuttpelz hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Prototyping Smallsats at NASA | Thomas Friend

November 30, 2017

How is a cellphone like a satellite? Says Tom Friend, Agile consultant at Duke Energy who is blowing our minds with his work at NASA, "If you think about it, a cellphone is a micro satellite [without] stabilization [or] propulsion." Tom walked us through using Scrum and other Agile practices in a satellite mission simulation to create a roadmap and a backlog and to produce a paper prototype of a to-scale small satellite (smallsat), which Friend calls a cubesat. Of the experience, he says, "It creates a shared mental model that everyone can see. It's not what you get out of the paper, it's individuals and interactions."

Howard Sublett hosts at Southern Fried Agile 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Building Great Teams | Richard Kasperowski

November 16, 2017

Richard Kasperowski is the author of "The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness", a book in which he describes how to use the Core protocols developed by Jim and Michele McCarthy, an Agile mindset and practices, and Open Space Technology to create high-performance teams. In this podcast, Kasperowski defines for us what he means by "high-performance teams" thus: "High-performance team is a team that gets objectively better results than other teams doing similar work. It's something you can observe and something you can measure." To achieve this end many times over with different clients and customers, Kasperowski has over time devised what he calls a "protocol stack" whose four layers - Positive Bias, Autonomy, Self-Awareness and Connections - he argues is foundational to all high-performance teams.

Howard Sublett hosts at Agile Arizona 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Agile Metrics You Should Use But Don’t | Cat Swetel

November 14, 2017

Ever asked your team, "How's our KPIs? Are we hitting our numbers?" Cat Swetel says that the answer you get may not be very useful for determining actual value delivery. In her Agile Arizona 2017 session "Agile Metrics You Should Use But Don't," Cat shared some metrics that everyone in Agile knows they should focus on, but for whatever reason get set aside. These include: Start date ("when a story crosses the line of commitment"), End date (when the acceptance criteria and definition of done have been met), how many things in progress, time in process (AKA "cycle time" - which in Cat's experience has different connotations in manufacturing), throughput (units of value per unit of time, AKA velocity).

Cat also shares a powerful story about how a delivery team radiated information to their business representatives about the negative impact expedite requests would have on eminent customer satisfaction and how this sharing of information had a profound, positive impact on communication and delivery flow.

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett at Agile Arizona 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Blockbuster Product Management | Derek Neighbors

November 9, 2017

Derek Neighbors is the CTO of Tanga, whose Daily Deals make online impulse shopping even more dangerous. Derek dives into the metaphor that they use at Tanga to make product management more fun and, more importantly, more effective. They call it "Blockbuster Product Management": it maps the many product delivery and release processes to similar processes in movie-making. For every strategic initiative, there are pitch scripts, executive directors and directors (the latter being the Product Owner), screenings, and even a cast of characters who "star" in the movie that is developing and delivering a particular product. The cast will include developers, designers, operations people. For the last two to three years, Tanga has been reaping the benefits of this movie metaphor, releasing posters that gets everyone excited - and completely clear - about what products are being released and when. Derek also shares stories about the power of this metaphor - and, yes, there have been sequels and even "straight-to-DVD" products.

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett at Agile Arizona 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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The Business Value of Joy | Author Rich Sheridan

November 7, 2017

People don't always use the word "joy" to describe a place they would like to work, but Rich Sheridan thinks we should start. Author of Joy, Inc. and CEO of Menlo Innovation, Rich shares how he created an open space for delivery teams where computers and code were shared – an idea that one respondent said would result in “blood, mayhem, murder.” Instead this approach was what led Sheridan to recognize joy as the very thing that makes a place worth working in. 18 years after starting, Sheridan's mission to bring joy into the workplace is stronger than ever.

Memorable Quotes:
- "It's okay to say, 'I don't know.'"
- "We have intentionally created a culture focused on the business value of joy."

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett at Agile Arizona 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Round Table Roulette - Agile Arizona

November 2, 2017

In this edition of Round Table Roulette, we sit down with SolutionsIQ's Alan Dayley, Reece Schmit from Agile Velocity, and Jeremy Wood from Matrix Resources. Some questions and head-scratchers that our panel wrestles with include:
- Where will Agile be in 10 years?
- What's your favorite retrospective technique?
- How do you know if your pace is sustainable?
- Describe the high-performing Agile team you've ever seen.

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett at Agile Arizona 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Tribal Unity and Scaling Human Relationships | Em Campbell-Pretty

October 31, 2017

Author of the book "Tribal Unity" and SAFe Fellow Em Campbell-Pretty holds the claim to fame for launching the first Agile Release Train (ART) in Australia. Em believes that book clubs are a great vehicle for deep learning, scaling is about building the social fabric of the organization, and that companies get better results by starting with culture. Her session at SAFe Summit 2017 is called "Tribal Unity – The Heart of Scaling Agile."

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Leslie Morse at SAFe Summit 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

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Imposter Syndrome | Billie Schuttpelz

October 26, 2017

Ever feel like, despite all your hard work and achievements and the praise that people sprinkle on you, you aren't good enough? That the successes in your life are accidents, chance, flukes? If this sounds like you, you may be feeling "imposter syndrome," a term coined in 1978 by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, and that's what SolutionsIQ's Billie Schuttpelz is elucidating in this episode. People suffering from imposter syndrome may actually be high achievers, Billie says, sharing some insights from her experience in the field as a senior Agile coach. Turns out that many, many people have experienced or will experience imposter syndrome. Billie dives into how this is affecting business and Agile transformations today and preventing innovation. And, she says, quit watching your blooper reel.

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Howard Sublett.

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Project “Addiction” | Brian Watson

October 24, 2017

Agile veteran Brian Watson urges companies to get over their addiction to projects. He remembers when, at a year-end awards banquet, someone won an award for consultant who billed the most hours. Brian says that you want to reward individuals going above and beyond, but it creates the wrong competitive environment where people one-up each other for number of projects. Instead they should focus on actual value delivered. He also reminds listeners to go read the Phoenix Project for a refresher on the power of small-batch releases.

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Leslie Morse at SAFe Summit 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

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Continuous Delivery & Technical Excellence | Inbar Oren & Daniel McGlynn

October 19, 2017

SAFe Fellow, black belt-holder and father of two sets of twins Inbar Oren chats with Accenture's Daniel McGlynn on several topics concerning Continuously Delivery and technical excellence, what's next with SAFe, common challenges and myths preventing mindset shifts about Agile and development, and more!

Hosted by SolutionsIQ's Leslie Morse at SAFe Summit 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

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