Agile Academy Innaugral Meetup

MeetupAgile AcademyI attended the first meetup of the Agile Academy tonight to hear Jeff Smith (CIO of Suncorp) share his story of the agile journey.

Here are my takeaways:

  • students have passion, conviction & coherence of thought but it is not necessarily youth that gives them this it is more an acessible learning environment
  • the premise behind agile is simplicity
  • the job of a leader is not to motivate people, it is to inspire them, your staff should come to work with a passion
  • there was not much in the way of agile training out there, so decided to develop within and then share with the community
  • intention is to get others to contribute to the Agile Academy, to make it better and fill the gaps
  • have learnt there is value in coaches
  • good leadership is scarce

Key success factors according to Jeff:

  • use passion and ideas not threats and bureacracy
  • tell a narrative of who you are and what want to become
  • entrepeneurship is not for the few
  • need resistance and humility, have courage to change our mind (never give up the right to be wrong) and proviude an environment for this to happen
  • create a good listening organisation, you have to ask!
  • change almost never fails when it is too early
  • connect and challenge people for the collective wisdom – the one thing youy can’t copy is culture
  • aim for success not perfection
  • do what you believe in and paint a good picture of it (then people will follow)

From the Q&A sessions:

  • needed a simple way to describe agile to the business and the board, painted a picture and a simple message. Need to train the business and seed successes in different places and put a support structure behind it. You also need the courage to stop projects.
  • “…better to piss people off in the beginning than try and make them happy in the end”
  • listen to the leaders (they are not necessarily at the top)
  • you need to balance people, technology and processes
  • the challanege for the first year was to change peoples belief processes, now Suncorp need to mature
  • Scrum can be used anywhere in the organisation (it was used to roll out eLearning by the HR area)
  • a project over 6-7 months means that you visibility of what you are trying to achieve
  • the less people on a project the better it works
  • have to accept what you have and not use that as an excuse for not inventing
  • decided the best approach was to aggregate people by business people skill, by technical skill and then by city (as opposed to one centralised testing centre for example)
  • the entire team needs to be part of a connected ecosystem
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2 thoughts on “Agile Academy Innaugral Meetup

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