Episode 112: Inside Spotify with Anders Ivarsson

The Agile Revolution Podcast

AndersRenee and Craig are at the Agile Australia conference and talk to Anders Ivarsson, an organisational coach at Spotify, and learn some of approaches that make Spotify tick:

  • Agile Australia talk “Autonomy and Leadership at Spotify” and workshop “Organisational Improvement: Design-inspired Problem Solving”
  • Agile Coaches spend time with squads versus a new role of organisational coach that looks at the culture, ways of working, vision and systemic wastes
  • Spotify is not a model
  • Original Spotify scaling paper, never imagined the spread or the impact
  • Spotify have shared a lot of the things that have worked well, but they do also have challenges as well – one is alignment across teams as the organisation gets bigger so they have been working on visualisation and prioritisation
  • Spotify Culture videos (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • use microservices to ensure that the organisation can work in the…

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Episode 111: M&Mailbag

The Agile Revolution Podcast

peanutmmCraig and Renee, sitting in a shoe-box sized hotel room in Sydney eating peanut M&Ms, decided to rustle through the mailbag and answer a bunch of outstanding questions.

Note: this episode is not sponsored or endorsed by M&Ms but we certainly enjoy their product!

Crossing The Chasm

  • more and more organisations seem to be crossing the chasm to Agile, but too many are still just doing and not being Agile
  • inimal viable product (MVP) is still the trend word, the next stage is Minimal Viable Experience and then Minimal Viable Robustness to Minimal Marketable Product and finally Continuously Evolving Product
  • Enterprise Transformation Meta Model
  • Agile is a true north concept, not sure that you will ever get there

Suggested reading list on where to start with Agile:

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Agile Australia 2016 – Coaching Nightmares: Lessons We Can Learn From Gordon Ramsay

Agile-Australia-2016-Resources-Badge-Speaker-600x100pxMy presentation with Renee Troughton from Agile Australia 2016 called “Coaching Nightmares: Lessons We Can Learn From Gordon Ramsay” is available on Slideshare.

When you look for inspiration in the Agile coaching community, the name Gordon Ramsay is probably not the first name to come to mind. He has been known to be belligerent, condescending and downright rude, but underneath this brute facade is a treasure trove of skills and talents that influence change.

In this presentation we will draw insights from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares escapades and explore parallels with how much his work aligns with that of an Agile Coach and the goal to successfully drive change. We will introduce a number of models and techniques that are indispensable in the coaching toolkit.

Here are some of the live tweets from the talk:



Episode 110: Every Voice Engaged via Games with Luke Hohmann

The Agile Revolution Podcast

lukehCraig joins guest co-host Shane Hastie to talk with Luke Hohmann, author of “Innovation Games”, founder and CEO of Conteneo, Inc. and co-founder of Every Voice Engaged at the Agile 2015 conference after his inspirational opening keynote and they chat about:

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Vale Agile Collaborator and Leader Jean Tabaka

InfoQThe Agile community has lost a thought leader, influencer and friend, Jean Tabaka, who passed away earlier this week. She was best known through her work as an Agile Fellow at CA Technologies (formerly Rally Software) and author of the book ‘Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Product Leaders’.

JeanTabakaSource: Vale Agile Collaborator and Leader Jean Tabaka

Episode 109 – The Art of Agile Fluency with James Shore

The Agile Revolution Podcast

JamesShoreCraig and Tony at the Agile Australia conference sit down with James Shore, best known as for his work as author of “The Art of Agile Development” and co-creator of the Agile Fluency Model and talk about a wide range of Agile topics including:

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Episode 108 – SAFe from the Source with Dean Leffingwell

The Agile Revolution Podcast

DeanLeffingwellRenee, Craig and Tony (with a lurking Em Campbell-Pretty) in a very busy corridor with random bells ringing, catch up with Dean Leffingwell, author of numerous books including “Agile Software Requirements” and “Scaling Software Agility” and the creator of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) in a very candid discussion:

  • the journey to SAFe included as a developer building the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ride and infusion pumps and generally a mission to make quality better
  • epiphony around Agile was the step change around how teams perform and how they like their work when they perform better
  • not everything that is old is stupid, “we are discovering new ways of developing software” and we need to ask ourselves are we still discovering
  • Scrum is the only method that defines what a software team is (roles and size)
  • SAFe is not a war it is…

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Episode 107 – Kanban in Action with Marcus Hammarberg

The Agile Revolution Podcast

MarcusHammarbergMarcus Hammarberg, co-author of “Kanban in Action” talks with Craig at YOW! West in Perth in a sometimes noisy coffee shop at the Parmelia Hilton Perth:

  • Craig’s quote on the book! “No mucking around … gets to the heart of kanban from the first page. A must-read!”
  • originally from Sweden, now working for The Salvation Army in Indonesia helping them become more effective
  • bitten by the Agile bug by demonstrating something embarrassingly small at the end of a sprint and yet he found the stakeholders were overjoyed at just seeing movement
  • Agile has changed many things that used to manual to be automated, such as testing and deployment, to fit in short cycles
  • Fred George’s talk “Agile Roots: Use JIT to Go Faster” at YOW! West (slides / video)
  • Marcus’ talks at YOW! West “Kanban in Action – A Practical Whirlwind Tour of Kanban” (slides

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Episode 106: Turning the Agile Ship Around with David Marquet

The Agile Revolution Podcast

DavidMarquetTony, Renee, Craig and special guest host Tyson Nutt catchup with David Marquet, author of “Turn The Ship Around!” and the “Turn Your Ship Around” companion workbook at the Agile Australia conference and talk about how similar a nuclear submarine and an Agile team really are:

  • leadership is not about telling people what to do and how to do it
  • all investments in human beings are long term
  • the approach spread from the bottom up, now the book is on the official reading list of two Navy’s (including New Zealand)
  • “I intend to” does not mean they get to do it – gives psychological ownership and to spark the conversation
  • thinking out loud is about saying what is going on in our head, this even works when teaching your children how to drive!
  • feed the beast – don’t respond by hiding, feed them with as…

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The Secrets to Leading Virtual or Dispersed Agile Teams

AgileBrisbaneAt the April 2016 Agile Brisbane meetup, we were lucky to have Korrine Jones present on Leading Virtual Teams. Korrine is the author of “Virtual Team Reality: The Secrets to Leading Successful Virtual Teams and Remote Workers“.

Check out her slides for the full summary of her talk, but here are my notes from the talk:

  • distance does not make a huge difference once you are not co-located – whether a floor away or across the world
  • challenges – time zones, culture, accountability, multiple competing stakeholders, latency in communication, availability and willingness, no body language

Korrine Korr

  • Albert Mehrabian principle – to interpret meaning it comes from 7% words, 38% tome and 55% non verbals – which explains why we have so much breakdown in virtual communication, on the phone the breakdown is 8% words and 82% tone
  • success factors – top notch leadership, clear goals, periodic face to face, frequent communications, attention to cultural differences, maximised communication quality
  • a virtual leader needs to amp up the skillet of a good leader – communication, listening, open dialogue, goals, team dynamics, culturally sensitive, results focussed, handle conflict
  • need to develop a shared team vision
  • develop a social contract – ask what are the values, then to get around understand and cultural differences ask them to explain what that will look like
  • fave to face inductions for new starters has a better chance for success
  • high clarity processes, the team performance grows as the dispersion grows
  • select people who are self starters, tech savvy, autonomous, actively reach out to collaborate
  • manage by outcomes not activity (as you can’t see them) – so need to agree the objectives, collectively make a plan, collectively monitor performance
  • GROW coaching model works well for remote workers, ask them what the goal is, what’s happening now, where are you at, what could you do, what do you need from me
  • build one on one relationships – regular deliberate contact, focus on those most remote, have purely social conversations to build connection
  • swift trust – trust that builds easily, SES has this because they know others have training, but one breakdown in conversation this breaks down
  • need to move from swift trust to real trust – do you know the needs and expectations that you team needs from you and you need from them, these need to me be met for trust, it’s a simple conversation we often don’t have, you may need to lead the conversation for others to reciprocate
  • virtual meeting – need to amp up how you chair, what are the protocols (eg mute when not speaking, raise hands, etc)
  • virtual celebrations – have lunch or celebrations at each end
  • have a ritual or something at the start of a call – a fun example is 2 truths and a lie or a list of words that can be snuck into a conversation
  • consider the richness of your tools

Korrine alluded to these YouTube videos on virtual meetings, worth a watch!