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 the system, baby!!! :-) Business agility is no team sport – it’s corporate sport!
Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future?
I hope that we leave the team centric focus behind and work on optimizing the whole system by understanding what you’re doing. That’s nothing new, however, Agile frameworks, methods and posters suggest something different. In the future I think the importance of Agile frameworks will decrease. If you take a look at really awesome companies, they don’t use any particular framework. Awesome companies understand their current situation, analyze possible moves and then act because of their understanding and not because “method X says so”.
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?
Nothing I could think of :)

Nikos Batsios