Logi Helgu

Being Agile

Agile Ísland 2013

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013

agileis2013
The sixth Agile Ísland conference. I really like what Sprettur have done for the Agile community in Iceland, kudos guys =)

Stop Writing Software and Start Making Products (@Jeff Patton – comakewith.usslides)
jeff_drawingI’ve been waiting for Jeff to come again. He came in 2009 and you can see how much knowledge and good thinking he holds just after a few moments of watching him on stage.

  • Product?, its not about software, it’s about learning
  • Think about software (box 2 lines 2 rows)(see slide)
  • Product owner must attend to the products: Valuable (prod. mngr., bis per), Usable (us person, ba), Feasible (lead eng or arc)…TRIAD
  • The whole team has ownership…
  • Many hands raised when @JeffPatton asked how many used #JIRA, #Atlassian should be pleased with Iceland 😉
  • Estimates stopped meaning estimates a long time ago…it now means commitment
  • Client: I got what I asked for…but not what I need.
  • Projects end after delivery A product’s life starts after delivery
  • Atlassian has 4 POs for Confluence…they know they need them.
  • IT must be brought to the table just a any part of the product and treated as manager of that part.
  • It’s not about software…it’s about changing the world
  • It’s about the outcome, the output, the delivered stuff…the product…measured by how people are changed by its existence
  • ROI isn’t the “right” measurement
  • Minimize output and maximize impact
  • How many people are still awake…almost half 😉
  • Deliver benefit…know what benefits whom.
  • Build a learning culture
  • Design thinking…common sense…right?
  • “There is nothing more uncommon then common sence”
  • Discovery is missing from Agile…(Design thinking and Lean startup)
  • Your first solution is probably already there…and not really a solution since it’s already been done
  • Make sure it’ll work before investing big – test early – (do this too late and you’ll be unpleasantly surprised)
  • It’s about ONE team doing it all and coming up with the “solution”…not delivering to the next person/team
  • Leah Burley on design
  • Stop worrying about velocity and start focusing on success
  • …validated learning over working software…
  • Lean startup loop … (idea) Build – (test) Measure – (data from measuring) Learn …
  • Measuring is a double edge sword, measure the wrong thing and you’ll go the wrong way…
  • “When your done depends on how much time you have” (Nordstrom innovation labs learning loop – video online)
  • Build a culture that tolerates/values learning and accepts fails
  • Don’t hide from your customers (learn from them)(slide)

Scaling agile from small startup through rapid growth (
@AndersIvarsson – slides )

  • Spotify Growing fast…(we are here to change the world)
  • 3,5 years, from 30 to 400 emp, 10 fold
  • Rolling their own Agile
  • Squad – mini startup, self organixing, cross function, 5-7 engineers >10
  • One squad own the startup page of the desktop client
  • Autonomous squad( -dedicated PO, sits with the team, works with it, -agile coach, challenge and improve, -influencing work, -easy to release, -process that fits the team, -a mission, passionate about, understand and work after, -org. support )
  • Focus shifting to flow from iterations (Kanban from Scrum)
  • Squad surveys, feedback on the list items and how its trending…
  • Chapters are the skills team (UX people, backenders) that meet up and share, Chapter Lead
  • Personal Development…plan? Training addon, Couch addon, speaker addon (like the addon cocept)…Scrum addon, Play addon…
  • Boot camp for new people, work there for a week with new people and create something that will be put into production…
  • Tribe is many squads working on similar “stuff”…your tribe is your family and you work tightly with them but you work with other squads…constantly changing
  • Dependencies on other teams vs. collaboration (guess what worked better 😉
  • Guild…all the X guys together (UX, backend)…how is this different from chapter?
  • 2 weeks talk from the CEO – talk about our vision
  • PO are part of the product team, road map, future…
  • OKR – objectives and key results every quarter, measured time-boxed
  • Top sets the directions and the teams work towards that goal
  • Road managers – project managers, supports every team and keeps everything going…the “road manager” keeps track of “everything” for something…label of good behaviour, the road manager keeps on track that the “item” goes along as plan and lets know if it doesn’t

The Mythical Product Owner, Implicit Design & Decision Fatigue (Gus Power)

  • Design is not graphical design
  • How can we use user stories to capture Design
  • no slides…this feels a little all about…what’s the real point…the red line…?
  • Very small whiteboard…should get a whiteboard on the laptop
  • Single point of failure = PO
  • Democracy isn’t enough, you need consensus when agreeing on “items”
  • “Failing fast” is a real problem when the design isn’t given the time needed
  • People don’t challenge the process and what they do when they are payed X in salary and keep on billing their time (focus on billing not thinking)
  • “I’m talking way to long, ok, I’m gonna cut to the chase”…with only 2 min. left, ok, finally 😉
  • Single PO = Single Point Of failure…
  • There is no thing such as “the biz”
  • If there is hierarchy in the org. ask every level!!!

logi_gusGus didn’t have any slides and the lecture felt a bit “loose”. I found him afterwards and told him how I felt since I though he must be a great guy…and he was, we talk about a lot of things in a short period of time and I met his team that followed him here. Really like him but I didn’t like this talk…I’m guessing his next one will be much better 😉

Beyond Value Streams (Claudio Perrone – slides )

  • Fun slides – drawing, I’ve seen things only (blade runner), Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why not?
  • Mgmt beats down on the workers
  • Also in agile, only the SM keeps it running
  • Agile not about being fast but changing directions
  • What they need to see is not visible
  • Monsters Inc. -the monsters scare, we have quotas…changing the system…
  • The good manager helps the team get where they all want to get
  • The A3 Thinker’s Action Deck
  • We don’t celebrate enough
  • Retro – ask for approval to help and change the process
  • Validated learning
  • Problems before solutions…
  • a3thinker.com/deck gamecards and app…people use it…
  • what did i learn, now will that help my org.

    Coaching Teams Through Change (Rachel Davis – slides)

    • Changes take time…take it slow
    • listen with focus & interest
    • Interest in a topic – Not int. to Very, write your initials on the line…
    • Tech academy – teaching new things (or tools) and approving/certificate…
    • I was drifting…No very precise on the topic…or I was getting tired…coding silence – day X, F2, no talk/sound, headphones only (on low volume)…

      The open space was pretty good and talking to Gus really nice…would have like to been part of more and meet all these great people and all the guest for longer…but there’s always next year 😉

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