Becoming Agile vs Doing Agile (Research Talk)

schedule Mar 19th 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM place Jupiter 2

After 20 years since the manifesto, the latest state of agile reports more than 80% of organizations as "still maturing" in their agile practice. As agile methods expand beyond small teams and software itself, we are still struggling to answer these questions:

  • Why is it that some teams are more 'agile' than others even though they all claim to be practicing agile methods?
  • What all dimensions need to change as teams, managers, and entire organizations attempt to become agile?
  • How do these dimensions interact with each other?
  • Overall, what does it take to become agile and how does that differ from doing agile?

This talk is based on my original theory of becoming agile developed from 10+ years of industrial research of agile practice in New Zealand and India, which received the distinguished paper award at the IEEE/ACM international conference on software engineering (ICSE), in 2017.

In this session, I will explain the key dimensions that need to transition during agile transformations, using industrial examples, and highlight what you can do to progress beyond simply doing agile, to harness the most from your agile transformations.

This keynote will add a unique research perspective to the conference program, sharing agile research in an industry-friendly format and delivery style.

 
7 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 8 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  • How we currently understand agile adoption
  • Questions that remain unanswered (see list in the proposal above)
  • Key dimensions of becoming agile (based on my theory of becoming agile)
  • How the dimensions interact
  • Takeaways for teams, managers, product owners, and senior management

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the difference between becoming agile and doing agile
  • Become aware of the responsibilities of teams, managers, customers, and senior management in enabling effective agile transformations

Target Audience

Anyone practicing or looking to practice agile methods (teams, managers, product owners, senior managers, stakeholders)

schedule Submitted 2 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Submission
  • Alhad Akole
    By Alhad Akole  ~  1 month ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you Dr Rashina for your talk. Wanted to understand

    1) Your research was 10 years long and I assume results of it are relevant in current context and proven.

    2) Also sample group is only 31. Does it really represent the views of the larger Agile community across the globe?

    3) Based on the slides, 5 dimentions of transitioning are known to agile change agents/ coaches etc. in different formats. Does it offer unique approaches which are predictable - irrespective of scale of transformation.

     

    • Rashina Hoda
      By Rashina Hoda  ~  1 month ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Alhad,

      Thanks for your comments. In response to your questions:

      1. I have been researching various aspects of agile teams and management for over a decade. All my research studies have been industry based over time which makes them relevant to then current contexts. For example, a paper resulting from a study in 2010 is representative of the agile trends and practices at that time. Similarly, one published in 2018 is relevant to the now, while also being able to reflect on how the field has evolved over time. A good example of this is my latest article "The Rise and Evolution of Agile Software Development" in the 50th Anniversary of software engineering special issue of the IEEE Software (https://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/so/2018/05/mso2018050058.html
      My entire body of work, captured in multiple studies over multiple years, has in many ways informed the theory of becoming agile. 

      2. As much as we'd like, researchers cannot write papers that say here's a theory because I've researched this area for 10 tens years. All findings are contained within finite studies, rigorously peer reviewed by the international research community. Also, interview-based studies are typically more intensive than surveys, making such a sample size comparable to larger surveys.

      3. This is not a theory about scaling agile. Scaling agile is a non-trivial practical and research problem. My colleagues and I are studying some specific aspects of scaling, for example, the role of planning misalignment and dependency awareness in inter-team coordination in Germany, and the nature of self-organization in large-scale agile product development at Volvo cars.

      Hope this helps.

      If you have read/seen the theory and the main findings, does it fit/explain your own experiences of transitioning to agile? 

  • Chandan
    By Chandan  ~  1 month ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you Rashina for your proposal. I am curious to know as a participant which team/project/context this has been applied and what outcome has been realized by the team/end users.I hope your session will add these dimensions.

    • Rashina Hoda
      By Rashina Hoda  ~  1 month ago
      reply Reply

      I will provide details of the contexts studied which in turn provides a reference for where it can be applied. A study in UK extended my theory in large scale agile settings by applying/testing it Cisco I believe. The theory itself is grounded in/based on a study of multiple participants from industrial agile teams.

  • Prasad
    By Prasad  ~  1 month ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you Rashina for your proposal .. it is interesting to see an  academic research paper. In addition to Thatagat’s comments; our conference normally attract lot of industry practitioners and influencers who are in their journey towards agility. I have not seen much academia representation, it will be interesting to hear on what experiments academia is doing to prepare talents with agile mind-set and practices and their impact in early employment..

     

    • Rashina Hoda
      By Rashina Hoda  ~  1 month ago
      reply Reply

      Sure, happy to discuss agile research and teaching efforts. Been leading both for over a decade :)

  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  1 month ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks for your proposal Rashina. It is very relevant to the agile community. I would like to understand the following:

    • You say that you have developed your original theory of becoming agile. How have you tested the theory for real-world industrial applications? 
    • Your talk describes some prescriptive aspects of being agile. In general, these ideas are known the practitioners, and especially change agents. Does your ideas offer a diagnostic, and also a predictive capability? If yes, it would have great to share the test results from it
    • Rashina Hoda
      By Rashina Hoda  ~  1 month ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Tathagat. The theory of becoming agile is a “grounded theory”, what this means is that the theory was derived based on research of real world industrial agile practice in multiple teams and companies across different countries. In other words, it is grounded in practice. 

      It is predictive to the extent that it shows the likely dimensions to change, there order of occurence, and their inherent influence on one another.

      I will go over these aspects as well as how it can be used for team self-assessment of their agile transformation, using examples of two industrial teams.

       


  • Liked Jutta Eckstein
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jutta Eckstein - CD – Continuous Delivery and Cultural Difference

    20 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    DevOps and continuous delivery is typically elaborated technically - what kind of tools, technologies, or skills are necessary for being able to deliver continuously. Often it is forgotten that continuous delivery requires also a culture change - in development, operations, marketing, sales, and not least for the customer.

    This can be recognized for example, that although it is technically possible for a team to deliver continuously, but it seems that this delivery isn't welcomed. This means the actual system will not be directly used.

    Therefore, in this session by taking into account the necessary cultural change, I want to answer the question how to implement continuous delivery successfully and what kind of pitfalls you need to be aware of when doing so.

  • Liked Scott Ambler
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Scott Ambler - Choose Your WoW! How Agile Software Teams Can Optimize Their Way of Working (WoW)

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    We like to say that agile teams own their own process by choosing their way of working, their “WoW.” This of course is easier said than done because there are several aspects to WoW. First, our team needs to know how to choose the appropriate lifecycle for the situation that we face. Should we take a Scrum-based approach, a lean/Kanban-based approach, a continuous delivery approach, or an exploratory/lean startup approach? Second, what practices should the team adopt? How do they fit together? When should we apply them? Third, what artifacts should the team create? When should they be created? To what level of detail? Finally, how do we evolve our WoW as we experiment and learn?

    There are several strategies that we could choose to follow when we tailor and evolve our WoW. One approach is to bootstrap our WoW, to figure it out on our own. This works, but it is a very slow and expensive strategy in practice. Another approach is to hire an agile coach, but sadly in practice the majority of coaches seem to be like professors who are only a chapter or two ahead of their students. Or we could take a more disciplined, streamlined approach and leverage the experiences of the thousands of teams who have already struggled through the very issues that our team currently faces. In this talk you’ll discover how to develop your WoW without starting from scratch and without having to rely on the limited experience and knowledge of “agile coaches.”

  • Liked Jutta Eckstein
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jutta Eckstein / John Buck - Using Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy for agile-friendly performance appraisals

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    There are many suggestions dealing with Agile-friendly performance appraisals, which promise to rely on trust, honesty, respect, safety, and servant leadership. The Agile Manifesto does not address performance appraisal although it does generally mention regular and frequent feedback, which can also be applied to performance evaluation. Two related methods that share the same values as Agile, Beyond Budgeting, and Sociocracy, have worked out interesting approaches to agile performance review. In this session we want to present these two different performance appraisal approaches and want to invite the participants of this workshop to discuss the strengths and drawback of both and the possible synthesis of the two approaches.

    Similar to the Agile Manifesto, Beyond Budgeting is founded on values and principles. Two of its twelve general principles focus on the topic of performance appraisals. Where the first principle asks to “engage and inspire people around bold and noble causes; not around short-term financial targets,” the eleventh principle advocates: “Evaluate performance holistically and with peer feedback for learning and development; not based on measurement only and not for rewards only.” Thus, the main strategy of Beyond Budgeting is to separate (financial) bonuses from performance evaluation and to use relative and not fixed targets as a foundation for the evaluation.

    Sociocracy suggests holding 360 degree in-person meetings. The person being reviewed should request it when needed, not just on a rigid annual basis, and perhaps not just once in the year. In the 360 degree meeting, the organization itself can be critiqued in the review - “the way we are organize is causing performance problems.” Similar to Beyond Budgeting there is a focus on the vision and mission of the specific department as well as the overall company as a source of inspiration and motivation. The output of the performance review meeting should be a development plan that the immediate group of supervision, peers, and subordinates consent to.

    The type of measure is important - should we look at feedforward (leading indicators) as well as at feedback (lagging indicators). Financial bonuses can be set up - a lagging indicator. Sociocracy says consider the group performance when giving bonuses but you can also consider individual performance within that context.


    In this session we will summarize Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy for the participants and then invite them to explore with us different strategies for synthesizing. Participants will take away insights that they can use in their organizations.

  • Tobias Anderberg
    Tobias Anderberg
    Developer/Coach
    Agical AB
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Ever wondered why some people prefer to work alone? Or why some people cringe when pair programming is mentioned? It might be that that person, like me, is an introvert. But is is really that simple? Can we really put every person in a box labeled "introvert" or "extrovert" or are we all just ambiverts?

    During this session I will talk about introverts, extroverts and everything in between.
    Drawing from almost 15 years of personal experience being an introvert on agile teams I will talk about the differences of being an extrovert
    or an introvert, how to foster an inclusive team environment, and the importance of psychological safety.
    You will hopefully leave this session better fit to help EVERYONE on your team to reach their full potential!

  • Liked Ellen Grove
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ellen Grove - Asking Over Telling: Using Humble Inquiry to Build Great Teams

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    More asking, less telling. As an agile leader, adopt the approach of humble enquiry to build relationships, increase trust and collaboration, and deal with the challenges of organizational transformations.

    "Humble enquiry is the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person." - Edgar H. Schein

    Working in an agile way asks us to rethink how we relate to each other as we tackle complex problems and challenge the traditional structures of our organizations. Humble enquiry - the art of asking instead of telling - is a critical skill for agilists who seek to improve collaboration and address difficult problems head on. Inspired by Edgar H. Schein's book 'Humble Enquiry, this workshop will teach you the fundamentals of how to do more asking and less telling. Through mini-lectures and interactive exercises, we'll discuss the different types of questioning, consider the forces around and within us that inhibit our ability to ask instead of tell, and examine how this powerful technique can improve collaboration within agile teams as well as help to address some of the challenges of agile transformations.

  • Liked Woody Zuill
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Woody Zuill - Mob Programming and the Power of Flow

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Five people at one computer? How can that possibly be productive?

    While this seems like a reasonable question, it's not easily answered - until we begin to understand the power of flow.

    Mob Programming grew from the quest of one team to learn how to work well together. Once we started We almost immediately noticed that working this way provided better results in a variety of ways:

    • We were getting more done, and they were the more important thing
    • The quality of our work was increasing dramatically
    • Our Knowledge, skills, and capabilities were improving rapidly
    • And all while we were having a lot of fun as well!

    While we noticed these benefits and more, and it was clear this was in a large part due to working well together throughout the day - we didn't have an understanding of why this was working so wonderfully for us.

    A hint came early on when we recognized we were achieving a one-piece flow - but we didn't realize the importance of this until we started exploring the meaning and power of "flow".

    In this presentation, we'll share the results of that exploration, and see if we can get a better understanding of Mob Programming and the power of flow.

  • Liked Yves Hanoulle
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yves Hanoulle / Geike Hanoulle - PairProgramming workshop

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    In a way, pair programming is like riding a bicycle. You could read a book about it, you could watch videos of other people doing it, but you can only really learn it by doing it.

    This workshop not only gives people a chance to experience pair programming, but to examine that experience in depth and see how their practice can be improved.

    The “promiscuous pairing” technique is used, followed by an extended feedback session where participants analyse the strengths of pairing, and look at how they can improve their interactions with their colleagues.

  • Liked Gaitis Kasims
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Gaitis Kasims - Regulations eat Agile for breakfast

    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Quality in Eurofins Genomics is a central focus point - analysis we do or products we produce have critical applications, be it production of drugs, identifying rare diseases or gene editing. IT is a driving force behind the scenes which challenges us to ensure the highest quality standards without compromising on speed.

    When we start a new project, we do it with enthusiasm and feeling of doing something meaningful or even cool. Following scrum we quickly establish our velocity and deliver soon first release into production. Overall quality is quite good; results from testing acceptable, deadlines are coming so nothing can stop us. Let’s prioritize last bugs, fix critical, move rest into backlog – now we can be proud of having delivered value to users!

    We continue delivering at ever increasing speed as team matures! Unfortunately the idyllic scenery gets soon destroyed by first, more and more effort needs to be spent addressing issues from both QA and production. We spend time arguing with QA and users on what is bug or if this defect is P2 or P3 or can even be seen as P4, from time to time we take a sprint to “stabilize”, but all too often nothing changes. User stories are getting spilled to next sprints, we postpone releases to have more time for testing, club them with next releases and finally find ourselves in downward spiral..

    As quality cannot be compromised we quickly decide that Agile is fine, but as we work in regulated environment we need to be pragmatic and adjust Agile to our needs. What comes out is unfortunately not much different to Waterfall or V-Model, we still keep sprints and do reviews, but realize that only form is left. I am directly responsible for IT in Eurofins Genomics so will share experience from the field on how did we overcome this and reanimated Agile.

  • Liked Jen Krieger
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jen Krieger - A Culture of Openness

    Jen Krieger
    Jen Krieger
    Chief Agile Architect
    Red Hat
    schedule 1 month ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The “Agile mindset” was introduced to the software development community in 2001 in an attempt to foster freedom in the way that we work together. Its intent was to encourage organizational change that focused on people, collaboration and culture.

    But words on a screen don’t mean much in practice, especially if the people using them don’t - or won’t- understand their intent. How can individuals, teams and companies learn to correct these mistakes and break free from the challenges associated with change?

    Jen will share practical advice on effective Project Management, Agile Transformation, and getting things done– all told through the stories of her own journey towards something better at Red Hat.

  • Liked Yves Hanoulle
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yves Hanoulle / Geike Hanoulle - Real options

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    We live in a world of "getting to yes" or "a positive no"
    Yet the world is no black & white.
    I live in a world of options. I like to say yes to all the options and only decide about an option at the last responsible moment. In this talk we will teach you to do the same.

    Real options is one of these agile tidbits that is applicable to all aspects of life.
    - a real option has a value
    - a real option expires
    - a real option has a cost

    In this talk we will give you examples that will teach you how to apply real options to your life and projects.

  • Liked Vincent FUCHS
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Vincent FUCHS - Keeping hundreds of code repositories consistent, and staying sane !

    20 Mins
    Demonstration
    Intermediate

    With the move to microservices architecture, a lot of teams end up managing dozens of code repositories (vs just a couple before), and some tasks that were done quickly manually are now becoming very time consuming : consistency of the repositories, and eventually of your platform, gets impacted, making it more and more difficult to manage.

    Surely, there must be some tools existing to take care of boring tasks like finding where a given dependency is used, and upgrade it automatically (this is just an example)... Well actually, we didn't find anything, so we implemented them ourselves and made them available for everyone !

  • Liked Alex Sloley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alex Sloley - The Product Owner and Scrum Master Brain Transplant! Mwuhahahaha!!!

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Imagine you are a Mad Agile Scientist and have a diabolical experiment to conduct - what would happen if you exchanged the brains of a Product Owner and Scrum Master? Mwuhahahaha!!! How would the body of a Product Owner with the brain of a Scrum Master act? And vice versa?

    Perhaps the Scrum Master would now treat the team like a backlog? This Scrum Master would be focused on value and maintaining a coaching backlog of team and person improvements. This Scrum Master is refining the team, crafting a group that delivers value.

    And perhaps the Product Owner might treat the backlog like a team? Rather than backlog refining, they coach the backlog. They would be focused on nurturing, protecting, and empowering the backlog. The backlog might transform from an irritation into a labor of love.

    Although this experiment sounds terrible, this change of perspective might be what you need to reanimate your dead team or backlog.

    Join the fun and come learn what horrifying results await!

  • Liked Shane Hastie
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shane Hastie - Deliberately Designing Culture for Collaboration

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Advanced

    Collaborative organisational culture doesn't just happen, it needs conscious and deliberate design and careful nurturing. In this workshop participants will explore what a collaborative organisation culture is, why it matters and how to deliberately design culture.

    Culture is "the way we do things here" rather than anything written or prescribed, so understanding how leadership attitudes and behaviors influence and create organisation culture is vitally important to successfully establishing an environment where people are able to bring their whole selves to work, are engaged and positively contribute to the organisation's success.

    This session is presented as series of facilitated conversations drawing out the key aspects of organisation culture and showing how it is influenced by a wide variety of factors including structure, geography, promotion policies and practices, the conversations leaders have, what gets rewarded, ignored or punished, relationships and friendships and a wide variety of other factors.

  • Liked Nilesh Kulkarni
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Nilesh Kulkarni - Enterprise agility with #noframeworks

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Many companies in today's VUCA world are planning to bring enterprise agility. While many frameworks are available in market, what is missing is the mindset, culture and organizational design that is needed to bring enterprise agility. It also demands coordination across entire value chain and various business process that are part of, or impact the software development life cycle. This session will focus on larger context of enterprise agility and what is needed to bring life to agile enterprises.

  • Liked Vered Netzer
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Vered Netzer - agile Leadership - why the army is the most agile organisation I've ever been in

    Vered Netzer
    Vered Netzer
    Transformation Leader
    Thoughtworks
    schedule 1 month ago
    Sold Out!
    20 Mins
    Talk
    Executive

    It is time to talk about ‘agile Leadership’.

    Reflecting on 7 years of experience in the Israeli army I’ll be sharing stories and insights about how the army REALLY operates.

    The army is not as ‘Command & Control’ as people commonly expects – it is much more empowering and agile than you’d think.

    At the army, I’ve learnt the true meaning of cross functional teams, the importance of reflection, feedback, creative problem solving, trust, teamwork, conflict resolution, resilience & responding to change.

    This talk will be intertwined with army (and civilian) war stories & tips for leaders in an agile world. This talk aims to inspire a new wave of Agile Leaders, through sharing examples of effective leadership, it draws on real, lived experiences and concepts (directly from the ‘horse mouth’) as well as useful takeaways that attendees can take back and apply to their work.

  • Liked Shane Hastie
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shane Hastie - Being Agile in a Remote Team

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    In this interactive session Shane discuss his experience working in a distributed, virtual organization which is founded on an Agile Mindset. The challenges of maintaining agility when remote, the ways the ICAgile team have consciously designed their team and organization culture and provide actionable advice based on real experience on how to maintain collaboration, teamwork and live the agile values in a remote only organization.

    ICAgile is a global, virtual organisation working with partners across over 100 countries spanning almost every timezone. There is no single corporate office and the ICAgile team is spread across seven locations in three countries. We have managed to build a strong collaborative culture and a truly safe working environment focused on outcomes rather than activities, holding each other to account and being really effective and productive while having a joyful workplace.

  • Liked Yves Hanoulle
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yves Hanoulle / Geike Hanoulle - Tips from the agile trenches

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    The agile manifesto was created in 2001. That is (when I write this) 17 years ago, (when the conference takes place 18 years ago.

    At age 18, adult life begins. At 18 we think we know it all. Life is easy. Yet we quickly find out that easy, isn't always simple. Yves has gathered tips from many agile friends that are working in the trenches. Tips that will help your agile life.

  • Liked hariharganesh
    keyboard_arrow_down

    hariharganesh - Culture and You

    20 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Culture is a soft concept and like strategy it cannot be copied. Is there a way to measure culture? If not, then how do we say whether particular culture is good or bad? As an individual how often do we change our behavior to adapt to a new situation? If changing one’s behavior is tough, then how difficult is to change behavior of big Organization?

    Organization's culture is the sum of belief and behaviors of all employees. It is built on values and drives Organizational effectiveness through Competitive advantage. The visible part of cultural iceberg drives us to think what we see and believe in our Organization constitutes the culture. There is also big portion of cultural iceberg that is not visible to the employees that drives the hard reality.

    Come join me to visualize and understand a world of culture delivered to you in a capsule. You would not only multiply your knowledge but will go home with resonating thoughts that would drive you to do more!!

    Let us together explore below topics:

    • 'The way we say we get things done’ vs ‘The way we really get things done’
    • Different dimensions of Corporate and National culture
    • Explore the complete cultural iceberg
    • How do we build a strong culture?
    • Vision vs Mission Vs Strategy Vs Culture
    • Case studies on Culture and Transformation

    Finally, I will present my research based winning team cultural framework that bolsters employee engagement through ‘‘If Organization work towards welfare of employees, the employees will work for it well"

  • Liked Arijit Sarbagna
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Arijit Sarbagna - Future of Agile: Digility 2020

    Arijit Sarbagna
    Arijit Sarbagna
    Director
    Atos Global IT Solutions
    schedule 2 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Are you directly/indirectly involved with Agile software delivery? If yes, you may have already started questioning yourself “what next”? We have seen the evolution of Agile software delivery over years. Kent Beck took best practices to extreme levels way back in the nineties. We saw Agile Manifesto for Software Development coming out in 2001 and Scrum gaining popularity. And gradually organizations realizing that simple Scrum (or pure Scrum) may not work for large scale deliveries - leading to formation of multiple competing Agile Delivery Frameworks like SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), Nexus, LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) and many others.

    But as we get uprooted by the wave of Digital Transformation - what is in store for us in the near future? Does Agile stand a chance to exist (or co-exist) as is? Or will it need to run through a sea change to survive?

    We explore the future of Agile (for software development) in this talk and see the possible change that we may expect to see in the next couple of years.

  • Liked Yves Hanoulle
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Yves Hanoulle / Geike Hanoulle - The power of habits

    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    agile, devops is all about repeatable, predictable good behaviors.
    Individuals have habits, teams and companies have routines.

    This talk is based on a famous book about creating habits. I took what I learned from the book, and mixed this with agile ideas about teamwork.

    If you have a bad habit you want to change? ==> Come to this session.
    If you don't have habits and want to learn how to create good habits? ==> Come to this session.
    If you want to understand what is the value of habits? ==> Come to this session.