Interview with James Stewart

Interview with James Stewart

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? I’m James Stewart and I help organisations adapt to the internet era, primarily as a partner with Public Digital. Previously I worked for the UK Government where I was Deputy CTO, helping government deliver great digital services and to change its technology infrastructure so it could focus on user needs. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? I’ll be telling the story of the work I did in government. How we helped an old and complex organisation implement massive change, deliver far better services, and begin to recognise that that unit of delivery is the team. Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session? Hopefully our experience will be generally inspiring to people trying to bring about change in complex organisations! But I’ll also offer some practical tips on how to focus your efforts and where to start! Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile? In many of the organisations we work with, we see agile being boxed in as purely a software delivery methodology. Most of the time really delivering value requires you to iterate everything together – the software, the processes, even the business model. That can be a lot to think about all at once! So it’s absolutely vital that everyone on the team have a clear sense of purpose, a solid understanding of the value you are trying to deliver and who it is for. Without that you’ll easily get pushed into that box, or get lost along the way. Q: How...
Interview with Dimitar Karaivanov

Interview with Dimitar Karaivanov

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? CEO and co-founder Kanbanize. Portfolio and Scaled Kanban enthusiast, passionate about efficiency at scale and hard rock. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? We see how the agile frameworks rule the space and many people are deceived into adopting them by the book. I believe that each team and company should discover their own framework and continuously develop it. I will share how we discovered ours and why it’s so effective. Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session? Realizing that there are no quick wins and that agility is achieved through hard work. Also, seeing a very interesting approach to scaling agility through hierarchical use of Kanban boards (from the team to the CEO). Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile? Do not adopt frameworks by the book, or if you do, let that be a temporary solution. The ultimate goal is to create your own framework tailored to your context and needs. Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future? It’s more and more being recognized as a competitive advantage. Many companies are becoming strategic about agile, realizing that otherwise they will not survive. This will lead to the expansion of the agile and lean principles way beyond engineering. Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you? Not really...
Interview with Jon Kern

Interview with Jon Kern

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? I am Jon Kern, aerospace engineer turned software developer. I love designing innovative solutions in software, and trying to build kick ass teams to bring smiles to customers’  faces. I care mostly about the business problem, not shiny new developer gizmos. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? Agile practices work best within a holistic systems engineering framework and a culture of curiosity. There is no magical process for, nor shortcut around, having to use your brain in software development. Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session? I want folks to leave with some new ways to approach their development projects and new questions with which to challenge themselves and their teams/companies. If you are stuck doing agile in name only, I’ll help get you unstuck. If you are a well-oiled machine, I’ll help realize there is always room for improvement. Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile? Though you might introduce an agile practice (e.g., Scrum), that does not make your team agile in the slightest. It just means you are trying out an agile practice. Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future? Maybe a return to agile. Even though agile was revolutionary at the time, it has long since been commercialized and diluted and sometimes even perverted. The true individual freedoms espoused in the Manifesto have been lost to better marketing and mass misinformation about easy ways to be agile with a few simple practices. Q: You have...
Interview with Jonathan Smart

Interview with Jonathan Smart

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? I am leading on better Ways of Working across Barclays, a bank which is 327 years old, with 120,000 employees in 40 countries operating in a highly regulated industry. This includes the application of agile, lean, DevOps, flow, Lean UX, customer at centre, servant leadership, and so on, at scale, in order to deliver ‘Better Value Faster, Safer, Happier’.   Our focus is whole enterprise agility, end to end, not just agile in IT. This includes HR, internal audit, real estate, legal, etc.   We have and are implementing agility at scale across a diverse and complex organisation. One size does not fit all. I am a practitioner, having been applying agile principles and practices since the early 1990s, before it was called agile, spending the first part of my career as a developer on the trading floor in investment banking. This was a naturally agile environment, co-located with the customers, with ‘flow’: small iterations of work, fast feedback, small teams, all knowing the value stream in depth. Results were seen quickly. Later in my career, running business line IT departments, I’ve led many agile transformations in order to deliver better business outcomes. It’s awesome to now be servant leader on agility across a large, complex, old, diverse organisation. Lots of learning, which I will share. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? I will start with sharing my top learnings from the organisational transformation to deliver Better Products Faster Safer Happier. Things that I wish I’d known about 3 years ago when we started. I will also share...
Interview with Klaus Leopold

Interview with Klaus Leopold

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? I am computer scientist and Kanban pioneer with many years of experience in helping organizations from different industries on their improvement journey with Lean and Kanban. My main interest is establishing business agility in a very lean and inexpensive way by improving organizations beyond the team level, especially in large environments from 50 to 5000 people. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? My talk is basically a case study about an Agile transition of about 600 people. They introduced Agile methods across the organization but no significant improvement could be seen, although almost all teams were using Agile methods. I will give answers why this is, what we did to improve the performance and what I would do if I would have to choice to start at the beginning. The whole topic is about local sub optimizing an organization by using a team focused approach. That’s what I see in so many Agile transitions where loads of money is burnt without any significant improvements. I love this topic because using a different approach would be so simple! Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session? Learn pitfalls of Agile transitions so that you can avoid it in your situation. Learn what you can do when you are in an Agile transition which is on the wrong track. Learn how to get business agility in a very lean way with very low budget compared to classical Agile transitions. Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile? Optimize...
Interview with Jeff Gothelf

Interview with Jeff Gothelf

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? I am a coach and consultant working in the lean and agile space. I’ve written 2 books – Lean UX and Sense & Respond. I spend most of my times working companies helping them build better product development teams and organizations. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? Scaling Lean in large enterprises. This topic is a key sticking point for most large organizations. They can get small teams to work together and experiment and learn but how do you scale that up to 50 or 500 teams? This talk will address this. Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session? Understanding that there are key principles, not necessarily processes, that are required for strong agile and lean growth in organizations. Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile? Stick to the values, avoid blink adherence to the recipes. Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future? I hope it ends up simply as “the way we work” as opposed to a branded thing. Collaboration, customer-centricity and continuous learning is the only way to succeed in a digitally powered world. Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you? Hmmm….no one’s ever asked me that question....