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.

The talk was also recorded and is available to view on InfoQ.

Here are some of the live tweets from the talk:

 

 

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 101: The Lean Mindset with Mary and Tom Poppendieck

The Agile Revolution Podcast

craig-poppendieckCraig catches up with two luminaries in the Agile and Lean space, Mary and Tom Poppendieck at YOW! Conference to talk about agile, lean, rapid feedback, culture and leadership. The discussion points include:

  • Making the link between lean and software development and discovering that waterfall makes no sense
  • The origins of the first book: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
  • Agile is not lean in software development, Agile is lean in a delivery organisation
  • How long does it take you to put a single line of code into Production?
  • The manifestation of lean really kicked off in 2010 with both the rise of DevOps and the Lean Startup
  • Delivery organisations versus engineering organisations and the journey of Agile
  • Agile has not well addressed delivering the right stuff, solving the right problem and the architecture of rapid deployment
  • Only two goals at ING: Deliver every two weeks and don’t crash production, resulted…

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David Hussman on the Uncertainity Movement

InfoQDavid Hussman shares his thoughts around the Uncertainity Movement and moving from progress to product, as well as NonBan, Dude’s Law, Cardboard and the horizon of electronic card boards.

David-HussmanSource: David Hussman on the Uncertainity Movement

Em Campbell-Pretty on the Journey of SAFe and Thawing Middle Management

InfoQEm Campbell-Pretty shares her journey from being a business leader to an Agile Coach and early adopter of the Scaled Agile Framework, as well as how to best thaw middle management in organizations.

Em-CampbellSource: Em Campbell-Pretty on the Journey of SAFe and Thawing Middle Management

YOW! 2015 – 40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes

YOW_2015_Conference_-stacked-PNGMy presentation from YOW! 2015 called “40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes” is available on Slideshare. The video is also available on YouTube.

With 73% of the world using Scrum as their predominant Agile method, this session will open up your eyes to the many other Agile and edgy Agile methods and movements in the world today For many, Agile is a toolbox of potential methods, practices and techniques, and like any good toolbox it is often more about using the right tool for the problem that will result in meaningful results.Take a rapid journey into the world of methods like Mikado, Nonban, Vanguard and movements like Holocracy,Drive and Stoos where we will uncover 40 methods and movements in 40 minutes to help strengthen your toolbox.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Software developers, Agile coaches / Scrum Masters, technical leaders, business analysts, testers and anyone with an interest in the variety of approaches available to Agile teams and organisations.

It was a privilege to be invited to speak at YOW! 2015 which is considered to be the leading software development in Australasia. The talk was delivered in 3 cities: Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It was also an honour to have some of the most influentional people in the Agile community attending including Dave Thomas, Dan North and Don Reinertsen.

Here are some of the live tweets from each of the 3 conference talks:

Sanjiv Augustine on Scaling Agile, No-Management and Agile 2015 Executive Forum

InfoQSanjiv Augustine talks about his new book “Scaling Agile: A Lean JumpStart”, reinventing organizations and the implementation of no-management at LitheSpeed and the Agile 2015 Executive Forum.

SanjivSource: Sanjiv Augustine on Scaling Agile, No-Management and Agile 2015 Executive Forum

Episode 87: Coffee From The Trenches with Henrik Kniberg

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Henrik KnibergRenee and Craig catch up with Henrik Kniberg at Scrum Australia 2014 where he tries coffee for the first time in ten years at the Paramount Coffee Project (the best coffee in Sydney according to Renee). Apart from getting his verdict on the brew, they also talk about:

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Lean Metrics & Time Tracking

Lean MetricsAt this month’s Agile Brisbane meetup, Ben Starr presented on Lean Metrics. His talk was based on metrics that they tracked at his previous company on an operational support team. A couple of points from the talk:

  • used Kanban – work item types to allocate capacity and 3 levels of service (standard, coordinated, expedite)
  • JIRA was the tool but was not the most ideal choice and not really up to the task
  • reported by type on backlog, work in progress, throughput (number of work items not size), velocity (throughput and velocity were similar which showed average size), cycle time, class of service mix, due date performance, estimation accuracy, cancelled WIP (started and then cancelled work) and demand balancing (clearing out the backlog)
  • flow efficiency – percentage of time you work on an item versus in progress, also referred to as touch time – using time tracking in JIRA to do this
  • time allocation – value add, failure load (defects), transaction cost (overheads of planning and releasing), coordination cost (management), used percentage of time spent rather than actual hours

The one things that got me thinking during this presentation was the flow efficiency report.

Early on my journey of being an Iteration Manager, my teams used to track times per card. We used to use XPlanner which had some reasoanbly easy functionality for tracking time (one of the good features was as the Iteration Manager I could enter time for my team if needed, tools like JIRA require the developer to record that data if you want it assigned to that developer). We used to use thee metrics for comparing estimates to actuals but over time I came to the conclusion that we would be much better off just making sure that the cards were completing on time (an average of 3 times) and splitting cards out if they appeared to big.

Lately, a number of people in my Agile classes have been arguing that time track is beneficial. My usual response to this (like for all metrics) that it is OK if it adds value, but my recommendation is not to waste your time. Even more so, this opens up the estimation debate that I also believe that a lot of time should not be wasted on (#noestimates), but that is a discussion for another post. My main reasoning is often we need to track for other sources (like timesheets) in different systems, and the overhead does not justify the effort. If teams need time metrics (often to see if time is being wasted away from the core work of the team, say on production support or corporate meetings), I suggest they are done at a team level and rounded to the nearest hour, and collected as time not spent not on project work.

In the graph above, flow efficiency is a good way for showing waste in the system (in this example, the team could potentially be way more effcient), but it relied on the team tracking time (in this case using the time tracking feature in JIRA against each card). I really like it as a graph, I am just not sure the effort to produce it is justified.

Some discussion in the Q&A revolved around recording time tracking (or similar metrics) is OK if the team understands it is an incentive for better metrics, and I can’t disagree with that thought. Just in my experience as an Iteration Manager, getting reliable and timely time and effort metrics ha been painful and the reward outweighed the effort.

Episode 79: Vomit Value with Jim Benson

The Agile Revolution Podcast

14491375311_22bf182a39_zAt Agile Australia 2014 in Melbourne, Jim Benson of Personal Kanban fame takes some time to talk with Craig, Renee, Tony and (a very silent) Kim Ballestrin and along the way they talk about:

  • early work implementing David J. Anderson’s Agile Management which resulted in Jim focussing on the person (Personal Kanban) and David focussing on the organisation (Kanban method) – two different viewpoints on the same solution set
  • XP, Scrum, Kanban method and Personal Kanban exemplify the people who created them
  • The Oath of Non Allegiance
  • Scrum vs Kanban
  • Why Limit WIP and Why Plans Fail books out now and working on an upcoming book about meetings
  • Individuals and interactions is redundant – relevant in 2001 to shake people out of complacency
  • Agile is anti-manager
  • Agile in knowledge work
  • WIP limits and avoiding “death flow”
  • Vomit Value – user stories with spurious and arbitrary value in a…

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