Episode 167: Unlearning and the Improv Effect with Jessie Shternshus

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and with guest revolutionist Toby Thompson (who was sitting at the table and initially didn’t want to speak on the podcast but then we couldn’t keep him quiet!) catch up with Jessie Shternshus, CEO at The Improv Effect and author of “CTRLShift“:

  • Agile 2015 keynote “Individuals, Interactions and Improvisation
  • CTRLShift – 50 games for different types of days you might be happening
  • Agile Australia keynote “Unlearning: The Challenge of Change
  • When you are facilitating you need to know your audience and believe in what you are doing – to get people involved, do things in small groups in partners so nobody has the attention on them initially and then build them up to group activities
  • Make people safe and get them to laugh – then you have them for the ride
  • Tony imitates a…

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Episode 166: A Trip Down Agile Memory Lane with Jeff Smith

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and talk to their former leader Jeff Smith, EVP and COO at World Fuel Services and former CEO of Suncorp Business Services:

  • Australian Agile journey took him from Telstra, to a small startup and then to Suncorp, and later IBM and World Fuel Services
  • Scale of thought is more important than scale of people
  • The Suncorp Agile Academy was born out of the fact that learning matters, but the idea was for other companies to create content that could be shared in the Agile community which did not happen
  • Suncorp Building Quality In program
  • It all comes down to great people and working through problem
  • It’s hard for companies to build great leaders that are interested in building great teams
  • Jeff Smith keynote “Leading an Agile Company
  • Availability is not a skillset
  • Thinking from a team point…

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Episode 165: Two Years and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony sit down for a personal chat with the microphone turned on for the first time in 2 years (that is not an interview) (wow, time files…), unfortunately without Renee who was out sick:

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Episode 164: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #2

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are once again roaming the halls at Agile Australia in Sydney and finding random folks to talk to at the conference:

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Episode 163: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #1

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Tony and Craig are at Agile Australia 2017 in Sydney and wander the very busy hallways catching up with attendees and with old friends:

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Episode 162: Leadership and Coaching Beyond the Team with Esther Derby

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Sydney and catch up with Esther Derby, co-author of numerous agile books including Agile Retrospectives and Behind Closed Doors. We also ask the question whether Tony is cool or not….

  • Agile Australia keynote “Leaders At All Levels
  • Leadership is the ability to adapt the environment so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem
  • Need to develop the people we are leading as well as the environment
  • Need a bigger overlap of the knowledge in organisations so that we can make better decisions
  • Systemic failure that we assume because you are good at something (like software development) you will be good at management / leadership – they are very different skills
  • Three C’s – clarity (people know what to work on and how it fits into the big picture), conditions (the means to do the…

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Agile Australia Then & Now (AgileTODAY)

AgileTODAY is a publication associated with the Agile Australia conference. In the May 2018 edition I was invited to reflect on one of my past presentations and how it stood the test of time.

Craig spoke on “The Speed to Cool: Valuing Testing and Quality in Agile Teams” at Agile Australia in 2011. Craig is an Agile Coach and Director at Unbound DNA and works as a Trainer and Consultant at Software Education.

In 2011, my talk highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the changing role of testing in Agile environments and the need to build quality into our solutions from the beginning.

Fast forwarding to 2018, the community is improving in this space but still has a long way to go. The rise in popularity of DevOps has helped immensely in this area, although it astounds me how many teams and organisations I work with still do not have some of the basic building blocks in place (like continuous integration or sometimes, worryingly, version control). Many organisations still have a large focus on manually testing via the UI which becomes increasingly riskier and slower as the importance of digital continues to rise.

In my talk, I spoke about what is now referred to as the “three amigos” concept. In the ‘conversation’ around a user story, three key principles outline how to actually implement the work:

  1. When developers and user representatives collaborate we get a better understanding of the specification or the requirements.
  2. When testers and user representatives collaborate we get a better understanding of the acceptance criteria and how we will meet our agreed definition of ‘done’.
  3. When testers and developers collaborate we get a better understanding of quality, but also get the value of pairing on automated testing.

Approaches such as Behaviour Driven Development have risen in popularity and support the above model well but, as I highlighted in the talk, this requires behavioural changes across the team. Mainly:

  • User representatives need to have a greater testing involvement, working closer in real time with testers.
  • Testers need to build technical knowledge and work closer in real time with developers, understanding developer tests and interfaces to avoid rework and improve quality.
  • Developers need work closer with the user representatives on the requirements collaboration, as well as with the testers to ensure that testing artefacts are left behind.

We need to appreciate testing as a team skill set and not as a job or an anchor. While this now occurs more frequently in the Agile community, many organisations still have a long way to go. Testing remains an important skill, but mindsets and skill sets need to change to fully embrace an Agile way of working.

Agile Australia 2017 (AgileTODAY)

AgileTODAY is a publication associated with the Agile Australia conference. In the May 2017 edition I was mentioned in the thank-yous for helping Agile Australia behind the scenes as a reviewer and a shepherd (as well as in the picture for the Agile Australia dinner).

Towards The Agile Country (AgileTODAY)

AgileTODAY is a publication associated with the Agile Australia conference. In the March 2016 edition I was invited to share my vision for the conference theme as part of my role as a conference advisor.

“Towards an Agile Country means that the Agile community can truly lead the charge in transforming Australia into an innovation and technical leader. By living the Agile values and helping others to find better ways of working together, focussing on delivery, focussing on the customer and keeping up with change, our size and diversity means we have the potential to become a world leader in many innovative fields. Our challenge is to move beyond software development teams and start solving the big problems.”

Agile Australia 2015 to Focus on the Art of Simplicity

InfoQThe Agile Australia 2015 conference is running in Sydney on 17 – 18 June with its theme around the art of simplicty. The conference has been running since 2009 and is set to attract over 1,000 delgates representing over 250 of Australia’s leading organisations.

Agile-Australia-2015-Resources-Badge-Speaker-600x100pxSource: Agile Australia 2015 to Focus on the Art of Simplicity