At the recent YOW! Night in Brisbane (as well and Sydney and Melbourne), Lindsay Holmwood (the Head of Technology at the DTA) presented “Breaking the Cylinders of Excellence”. It was a rare experience to hear the story of how the DTA is using cutting edge development practices to help the government catch up with, and even exceed, the public sector.
- DTA – aid transformation in government, small agency
- Delivery hubs in Sydney and Canberra – help identify and plug capability gaps in teams
- Prototype of how government services could work gov.au/alpha
- Digital Service Standard – 13 characteristics on what good looks like in government, useful in organisations as well
- Cloud.gov.au – government cloud service, usage growing, continuous delivery pipeline (which is a major change for government who are used to 2 changes per year)
- The unit of delivery is the team – not about individuals, but the team – borrowed from GDS
- Government is slow, but government is designed to be stable, they cannot fail, they have characteristics that are resistant to change
- Myth that organisations must choose between speed and reliability, high performing organisations deploy more frequently, have shorter lead times, fewer failures and recover faster, but they also have a greater profit
- Want to deliver like a startup but be stable like a government
- Not a lot of cross pollination between departments currently
- Read the policy! – quite often the process is not mandated
- Document what works and doesn’t so it becomes a repeatable pattern – ie. running a meetup inhouse, don’t tell me I can’t do it, tell me how I can run it without being thrown in jail!
- Stick with technologies the government is comfortable with if you are changing the delivery engine
- Security matters – prevention is a battle you will always lose, detection is your best defence – aggregate and log in one place, identify threat signatures, etc
- Embed security people on big services so it is part of the architecture
- Proactive testing between different governments around the world on similar platforms
- Simplest security breaches make the most mess – infected excel macros, leaving free USB keys in the foyer that are malware infected
- Need to put user needs first – alpha mockup using tools like Jeckyll, then beta then live
- Lots of people strictly interpret the design and delivery guides – they are guides not rules!
- Create a longer runway by pulling tech forward – turn down the volume of design, turn up the volume of tech
- If it hurts, do it more often!
- Fixed cost delivery with agile is a thing, agile is a way to de-risk in the government
- Don’t put manual testing on the critical deployment path – have special skills on hand for accessibility, performance and security
My presentation from the Agile Brisbane meetup called “Agile 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 his ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ escapades and draw parallels with how much his work aligns with that of an Agile Coach and the goal to successfully drive change and introduce a number of models and techniques that are indispensable in the coaching toolkit.
Here are some tweets and feedback from the talk:
First time to Agile meetup, exceeded expectation, will be back – Steve S
Awesome presentation. Thanks very much Craig! – Emi
This was my first Agile meetup. A great presentation and a well run event. – David Wilkinson
Excellent presentation. Some great reminders! – BronwynSC
This was my first time and it was a great presentation – Arthur
Always a pleasure hearing you speak Craig. I’ll be sharing your slides with the Elabor8 team! – Ryan McKergow
Thanks for a great presentation – Rob Lawes
At the recent Agile 2016 conference in Atlanta, Joshua Kerievsky, CEO of Industrial Logic and author of ‘Refactoring to Patterns’ gave a thought provoking keynote around the idea of Modern Agile.
Source: Agile 2016 Keynote: Modern Agile