Category Archives: Event

LUNCH & LEARN: EXPOSING UNCOMFORTABLE TOPICS: ERRORS AND OMISSIONS WITH SCALING

 

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LeSS Talks: July 10: Teamwork, great collaboration and performance, for the whole organization, with Ari Tikka

A great talk by Ari Tikka (Certified LeSS Coach) and his colleague Ran Nyman (Certified LeSS Trainer), both of the Finland training and coaching company Gosei Oy: “Teamwork, great collaboration and performance, for the whole organization“:

Materials

 XP2020 presentation (direct link to videos)

Candid, Unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Roman Pichler

I (Gene is here) had the pleasure of having a discussion with Roman Pichler, the author of “Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love” (as well as a few other great publications), who recently wrote “Five Product Owner Myths Busted“, making multiple references to SAFe.  In our discussion, particularly, we focused on the following three myths:

  • Myth #2: The product owner is a tactical role focused on managing the product backlog
  • Myth #3: The product owner is responsible for the team performance
  • Myth #4: The product owner is responsible for writing user stories

Candid, Unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Bob Schatz (CST)



I (Gene here) had the pleasure of having a candid, unscripted conversation with  Bob Schatz – one of the old timers in the arena of Agile and Scrum and early Certified Scrum Trainers (CST), who learned directly from Ken Schwaber (the co-creator of Scrum).  Bob openly shared some of his thinking and sentiments about SAFethe most popular and well-known “scaling model” today.

Candid, Unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Mike Cohn



I (Gene here) had the pleasure of having a candid, unscripted conversation with Mike Cohn – one of the best known names and biggest contributors to what is known today as Agile and Scrum.  Mike openly shared some of his thinking that went into creating L.A.F.A.B.L.E. web page, a few years ago, where he described some of his sentiments about SAFe – in a funny and a bit sarcastic way.

The topics we discussed:

  • L.A.F.A.B.L.E: RUP-like, very process-intense framework
  • “Jambalaya”: Many good ingredients all mixed together: Will they still taste good?
  • Benefits of experimenting with SAFe: learning the hard way what NOT to do 😉
  • Local Optimization: Backlog of backlogs/product backlog/team backlogs/personal backlogs (could mean that product definition is weak)
  • “Stroll master” (ex-manager). “Pair managing”. “Ivory Towers” of Architects. Architects-Kings.
  • Components vs. feature teams. Estimation.
  • “Nailing before scaling”: don’t look for perfection on a small scale before you scale up. But DO pay attention to what has been already done/experimented/experienced

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From Maximum Busy-Ness to Maximum Learning, with Esther Derby & Johanna Rothman

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Questions Asked & Answered
  1. In our organization, there is a lot of emphasis on speed of delivery, efficiency and productivity.  Line managers believe that people work faster and more efficiently, when they are placed on component teams (same skill-set) than when they are placed on feature teams (multiple skills).  What is the best way to convey to our managers that costs and risks of coordination and integration between very fast-moving component teams exceed the benefits of expected speed?
  2. HR norms and values pave the road for heroics and hyper-performance.  Our developers are encouraged to be efficient and fast-moving.  This promotes the ‘I’ culture, as opposed to ‘We’ culture and as such, collaboration and mutual support on teams suffers.  What empirical evidence and education should be provided to HR to stop promoting bad behaviors?
  3. In Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), we are taught to be able to see and hear Local Optimization, everywhere.  There is an illusion that, if everyone stays very busy and moves fast, the system will be moving very fast as well. But frequently, this is not the case.  Are there good coaching tools or techniques to educate senior management that local optimization for speed and efficiency comes at expense of quality, customer satisfaction, etc.?
  4. Today, many job postings still ask for the ability to multitask. This is viewed as a sign of efficiency and proficiency.  This is one of the things that many HR specialists (and managers) still look for. Are there any suggestions on how to manage this expectation, since multitasking and task-switching is not a good idea
  5. Part of my strategy as an SM to encourage self directed teams growth is to give recognition when a member takes ownership “fully” of a task. Do you think this will encourage more “I” culture verses encouraging the team to step up their leadership skills?
  6. In some companies engineers already know that they need to have a SBO (second best offer) to then get counter offers and raise their salary more than say 20% or more. Sometimes when getting that SBO, they actually leave, so this is a big risk. What is the best way to approach HR for them to consider rebalancing compensation to market rates?
  7. Busy people usually are busy for a long time. How much new learning time do they need to start planning in their schedule?
  8. The more I read and learn as an agile coach/Scrum Master, the more I feel at odds with the average manager. Why does this apparent gap about curiosity / emphasis in learning exist? It seems like both roles need to be learning about better ways of working.
  9. How can we evoke a synergy across the organizations to seed the thoughts of Business Agility not just limiting to IT but covering from entry to exit?
  10. What are some specific challenges related to being Remote rather than in office and what are the best strategies to resolve them?

Past events with Johanna Rothman @ LeSS NYC Meetup:

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Candid, Unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Tom Mellor (CST)



I (Gene here) had the pleasure of having a candid, unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Tom Mellor – one of the early days’ Certified Scrum Trainers (CST).  Tom openly shared some of his personal knowledge and views about SAFe, much of which was based on Tom’s many years in the industry experience and the privilege of personally knowing early agile adopters. We tried to keep our conversation as objective and as unbiased as possible.

The topics we discussed:

  • SAFe history
  • SAFe relevance to RUP
  • SAFe relevance to Scrum and agile
  • Overall market success/brilliance of SAFe
  • SAFe strategic alignment with tooling companies
  • SAFe, as a framework of choice by large consultancies (“Why?”)
  • Economics of SAFe adoption: client companies vs. SAFe

LeSS Talks: May 22: Darwin Theory of Agile Coaching Evolution, with Ron Whitebread



Learn how one company iterated on their coaching approach – from experimentation to big consulting “transformation” to systems thinking enablement (transitioning from being supported by one of Big 5 consultancy companies, with their “push agile” model,  to a reputable, boutique agile coaching and training company) – to become more effective in achieving desired outcomes, what pain points each approach was trying to address, and how to become more relevant to the business side of Agility.

Understand how three different ecosystems played into how our focus and approach kept evolving to fit the prevailing context of that period – the environment, goals, pros/cons and reflection on those outcomes for each approach used.

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02/27 – LeSS Talks: Facilitating LeSS events virtually (using Miro, Mural)




Facilitating LeSS events virtually (Ideas, Tips & Tricks)

Tools and platforms shared in the session:

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