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....
Interview with Jutta Eckstein

Interview with Jutta Eckstein

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself? Hi, my name is Jutta Eckstein and I made my first experiences using Agile (to be exact XP) in 1997. Thus, my first experiences were as a programmer. In 1998 I got independent and started helping projects and teams in different roles – as a developer, architect, yet also as a consultant or coach. In 2001 I dared to scale Agile out of necessity and after some more experiences I published my first book on that topic in 2004. I always try to share the experiences I make in conferences like this one and e.g. in books. I’m currently co-writing a book on Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy. Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic? I will talk about Increasing Productivity by Uncovering Costs of Delay. Very often it is the small things that are slowing us down and these are the things I want to point out. So my talk is full of concrete suggestions you can first consider if they would make a difference in your setting and if yes, try them out. A lot of people in our community have heard (or bought) Don Reinertsen’s book on The Principles of Product Development Flow. Yet, not many people have read (or finished reading) the book. The reason is it is not an easy read. In this talk I want to provide a way that is easy to understand and apply that topic. (And if you want to know: Johanna Rothman and I wrote a small book on that topic –Diving for Hidden Treasures: Uncovering...
When do we consciously slip from Scrum

When do we consciously slip from Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework with very strict boundaries and plenty of freedom and flexibility within these boundaries. Scrum does have solutions to most team dysfunctions. Slipping from scrum should be a conscious decision taken by mature agile teams only! Daily Scrum starting time (Daily Standup) Scrum strongly suggests to never change the time and place of the Standup in order to reduce complexity. One of Standup’s main benefits is synchronization between team members. If a team member can not make it to the Standup, for any reason, its value obviously is less than optimal. We consciously choose to change the time of the Standup to ensure full attendance. This is easier to do in small teams, since in larger teams the effect of changing everyone’s schedule may outweigh the benefit of full participation. Dangers when slipping: On a non mature agile team, delaying the Daily Standup occasionally, may be seen as if it’s not required to be on time. Also, delaying the standup may de-motivate and confuse people who are always on time. Events Maximum Duration All events in Scrum have a maximum duration, strictly set based on the Sprint duration. For 2 week Sprints, the suggested timeboxes are: 4 hours for Planning, 2 hours for Review, 1.5 hours for Retrospectives. We have multiple Scrum teams, that share many common stakeholders. We consciously reduced the timebox of Sprint Reviews in 1 hour, and have all 8 Sprint Reviews from the Scrum Teams of the Department happening in the mornings of 2 consecutive days every 2 weeks. This way it is easier for many stakeholders to attend all sprint reviews. We...