schedule Mar 19th 05:30 - 06:15 PM place Grand Ball Room 2 people 62 Interested

While Agile organization started to appear in last 20 years, the key principles for how we organize is nothing new and have been with us for thousands of years. In this session, I am taking a martial art "Aikido" (Japanese: 合気道) as example and going through the key principles in leadership, learning and transformation approaches. In these principles, learning Aikido are very similar to build Agile organization. Leaders are practitioners and teachers. Learning is via practices and peer learning. Changes are done in people body and mindset. We need to learn the rules, break away from the rules and ultimately create our own rules fitting ourselves and organization (Shu-Ha-Ri). Aikido is a way of life, so Agile is.

 
2 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 1 comment visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

"Everyone has a spirit that can be refined. A body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow" - O'Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido

Aikido (Japanese: 合気道) is a modern Japanese martial art developed to defend individuals while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido is often translated as "the way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the way of harmonious spirit".

I have been practicing Aikido for the last 4 years and am currently working towards black belt. Through years of practice, I have realized the similarities between Aikido and an Agile Organization. Here are some commonalities:

Lesson 1: Leaders are Teachers and Practitioners

Like many martial arts, the teachers are also the leaders in the organization. To become a teacher of the art form, one must undergo an arduous journey that requires changes in how they act as well as how they think. These are conducted within series of trainings for the new student. Only a few of these students, those that are the most passionate and talented students, are selected as teacher candidates. Once a candidate, only with further training will a student progress to an assistant coach position. Only after assistant coach is approved, will they become the formal teacher and be recognized as a leader of the dojo. However, all this effort and the recognition of mastery of the leader does not result in gaining hierarchical control over the students. Rather, their goal is to continue to teach others become better.

Within agile, the concept of a servant leader is one who recognizes the importance of working through others, engaging and empowering others to use and improve their own capabilities. An agile leader is not one who dictates what others should do, but rather creates a system and culture where the teams learn by themselves with an emphasis of ensuring safe working environment for the teams to inevitably fail and learn.

Lesson 2: Improve through Practices and Learn from Peers

There is very little class room training for Aikido. The learning is mostly via practicing. Typical training routine starts with a short demo of teacher and assistant coach. After the brief demonstration, students are then grouped as pair (“Uke” the Receiver” and “Nage” the thrower). Thrower and receiver need to work seamlessly, as it is important that receiver willingly falls so that the thrower can learn and practice the technique. On the other side, the thrower protects the receiver via giving him or her the space to fall and ensure his or her safety. In this practice there is no differentiation of old or young, junior or senior, student or assistant coach. Everyone can learn and can teach. Without the teamwork, there is no practice and improvement in Aikido.

In Agile organization, we focus at team and whole organization success. There is limit impact for individual agile. The ecosystem work together, by practicing, improving and taking care each other. The team and organization grow together. The ultimate form of Agile is high performance teams which deliver superior business outcomes. We are “in” it together to bring the organization to next level (generative culture). Teams are empowered to learn the rules and practices from the community and peers, not simply the coaches or teachers.

Lesson 3: Shi-Ha-Ri or Embracing – Diverging - Discarding

Aikido is a martial art which can be a lifetime practice. It is generally following 3 stages.

  • Stage 1 Shu – Embracing the kata (technique). Students starts with white belt, generally progress in the next few years studying the principles, techniques and how to work with their bodies.
  • Stage 2 Ha – Diverging from the kata (technique). Black belt is a good achievement after several years and however a new start too. After mastering the foundation, the students can now find out which techniques work best for themselves. Everyone is different with height, muscle power, their preferences. This is a stage to find own self, experiment and identify what is best which works for individual.
  • Stage 3 Ri – Discarding the kata (technique). Very few people can reach out this stage and are only the true master of this art. The ultimate mastery has reached and new technique can be created

It is same for the Agile organization. We learn and apply the basic principles and organization structure so that we can start. There is no end state, however a vision to get close. Lay the foundation, practice over and over, team work. Over time we can be faster, better and feel more contented

Agile, a way of life..

Learning Outcome

I see these three lessons of learning Aikido are very similar to Agile transformations.

- Lesson 1 Leader are teachers and practitioners

- Lesson 2: Improve through Practices and Learn from Peers

- Lesson 3: Shi-Ha-Ri or Embracing – Diverging - Discarding

Agile transformation is a mindset and behaviour change which requires no only knowledge, but also self-awareness and regular practicing. The important part is to master the foundation (with patience) and know when it is time to diverge and create, which is taking time. With a right vision and determination, we will progress forward, step by step.

Target Audience

Agile Practitioner, Coach, Business/Technical Leaders, Agile Team Member

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    Marc, thanks for your proposal. I think it will be a very good conceptual framework for agile coaches, and even though most of the coaches claim that they *know* shu-ha-ri, the reality is quite different. So, I think your session could help in clarifying some of these longheld ideas.

    Do you have a video from a past talk that you could link us to?


    • Liked Anita Sengupta
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Anita Sengupta - The Future of High Speed Transportation

      45 Mins
      Keynote
      Intermediate

      In the global marketplace that transfers knowledge at the speed of light, we have a massive time delay and that is modern transportation methods. The hyperloop is the first new mode of transport to be created in over 100 years. The motivation is to connect people, reduce congestion, and protect our planet by eliminating CO2 emissions from terrestrial transport. The hyperloop can best be described as space travel on the ground - a magnetically levitating, electromagnetically propelled, passenger vehicle in a vacuum tube. With the elimination of aerodynamic drag and surface friction, power consumption plummets, speeds can reach 700 mph, and waste and cost are minimized. With the use of autonomy the service is on demand and delays become a thing of the past. Dr. Sengupta will discuss how space-age tech coupled to the VC funded innovation environment are enabling the revolution in green transportation from suborbital rocket flights, to electric airplanes, to space travel on the ground with the hyperloop.

    • Liked Dave Farley
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Dave Farley - Taking Back "Software Engineering": Craftsmanship is not Enough

      45 Mins
      Keynote
      Advanced

      Would you fly in a plane designed by a craftsman or would you prefer your aircraft to be designed by engineers? Engineering is the application of iterative, empirical, practical science to real-world problems. Craftsmanship is a wonderful thing, and as a reaction to the terrible abuses of the term Engineering in software development Software Craftsmanship has helped in our learning of what really works.

      The term "Software Engineering" has gained a bad reputation. It implies "Big up-front design" and "Mathematically provable models" in place of working code. However, that is down to our interpretation, not a problem with "Engineering" as a discipline.

      In recent years we have discovered what really works in software development. Not everyone practices approaches like Continuous Delivery, but it is widely seen as representing the current state-of-the-art in software development. This is because at its root CD is about the application of an iterative, practical, empirical, maybe even science based approach to solving problems in software development. Is this a form of software engineering?

      Software isn't bridge-building, it is not car or aircraft development either, but then neither is Chemical Engineering, neither is Electrical Engineering. Engineering is different in different disciplines. Maybe it is time for us to begin thinking about retrieving the term "Software Engineering" maybe it is time to define what our "Engineering" discipline should entail.

    • Liked Amy Jo Kim
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Amy Jo Kim - Using "Game Thinking" for Rapid Product Innovation

      45 Mins
      Keynote
      Intermediate

      Join us as design expert Amy Jo Kim shares advice from her new book Game Thinking.

      How are market-leading products born? What conditions set the stage for successful innovation?

      By definition, successful innovations reach a mainstream audience. But they never start off that way. That’s the paradox of innovation: the “typical” people in your market are not the same ones you need to “woo” when bringing your idea to life.

      That’s where Game Thinking comes in. Game Thinking is a proven system for accelerating innovation and creating products that people love...and keep loving. Game Thinking empowers product managers, designers, and entrepreneurs to engage customers deeply over time - using design techniques from hit games. Learn how to create products that empower your customers to get better at something they care about -- like playing an instrument or leading a team. Building on the principles of Lean, Agile, and Design Thinking, Game Thinking delivers powerful strategies that help you:

      • Keep customers engaged with a coherent, compelling journey to mastery
      • Build a product customers love using insights from high-need Superfans
      • Rapidly improve your product concept by testing and tuning the core experience
      • Build the right MVP for your product using the Game Thinking roadmap
    • Liked Chad Fowler
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Chad Fowler - The Future of Software Development

      Chad Fowler
      Chad Fowler
      CTO
      Microsoft
      schedule 3 months ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Keynote
      Intermediate

      From autonomous vehicles, 3D printed rocket engines, and “affordable” consumer-owned satellites to rapid advances in AI and secure, decentralized electronic currencies, the past several years have shown us that the only prediction we can confidently make about the future is that it will arrive more quickly than any of us imagined. Yet with all of these major technological advances, the way we develop, test, deploy, and manage software has been incrementally changing over the years. Many of the most forward-thinking paradigms, practices, and technologies are based on concepts and even implementations created decades ago.

      How can software development itself benefit from the disruptive changes in technology in recent years? This talk will explore influences, tech trends and coming innovations which will change how we as an industry approach to software creation, maintenance, management, and even employment.

    • Liked Jacob Singh
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Jacob Singh - Going for 10X: Building teams in a Hyper-Competitive Market

      Jacob Singh
      Jacob Singh
      CTO
      Grofers
      schedule 3 weeks ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Keynote
      Executive

      Grofers doubled its revenue every 6 months for the last 2 years. In January of 2019, we did it in one month. During this time, we've gone through 2 funding crunches, brutal government regulation changes and the entrance of two behemoths (AMZ and WALL) as direct competitors.

      This talk will explore how to optimize the organization towards big bets, and how we have created a culture of risk taking, managed chaos and rapid alignment to push through changes like:

      • The 2nd largest membership program in India in 2 months
      • A sale we set up in 2 weeks that doubled our revenue
      • A logistic innovation which halved our cost AND errors within 3 months
      • Launched 600 private label products in 6 months

      If you struggle to get your teams to see the bigger picture, or work together on "the most important" thing, maybe this will be helpful for you.

    • Liked Ray Arell
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Ray Arell - Dealing with Unknowns

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Nothing rattles a company more than having unknowns, but this is mostly because we lack the situational processes and frameworks that enable us to maneuver effectively in uncertainty and complexity. This ultimately hurts our ability to deliver high customer value. In this talk, Ray Arell will outline the ways that you can effectively identify unknowns and use proven methods to gain knowledge quickly. This will include helping to identify the right decision-making context with Cynefin and other complexity methods. He will also discuss ways to establish experiments that can exploit novel and emergent behaviors to amplify you to high knowledge faster.

    • 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 Anand Murthy Raj
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Anand Murthy Raj - Building the true Agile Mindset – Learning from the most disciplined organization of India

      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Beginner

      The Indian Armed forces is regarded as the highly and most disciplined organization in India. The Indian Army lives agility by the second. Unexpected attacks, encounters and sudden change in the operating environments are the norm of the day. In spite of such anxious moments, they give us the maximum business value. The motivations are always high and they are already to deliver in the most perilous environments.

      If you look a little deep into the working challenges, I see no difference between complex systems development and the Army operations. Dealing with uncertainty, complexity, preparing for failures, rehearsing of failures, testing in Prod systems are some concepts in IT world, while the same challenges are relevant in the Army world.

      My talk would be around some principles and learning in the army that can be used in the IT corporate world in building organizations to deal with dynamic market changes in short doing and living agile. Some interesting aspects that I would like to have share are dealing with motivation and dealing with constant changes. I will also share real time examples how Leaders exhibit the Decentralize decision making that has led to remarkable success and also some aspects of how soldiers take risks and try out new things that lead to remarkable success.

    • Liked Mia Horrigan
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Mia Horrigan - Accelerate Improvements through Retrospectives

      45 Mins
      Workshop
      Intermediate

      I had been sitting in a few team retrospectives and hearing the same old tired pattern of "what went well, what didn't, what can we improve". The teams were bored, I was bored, they were just doing mechanical Scrum. Retrospectives are such a powerful tool to drive continuous improvement, but what i was seeing was a stagnation and the true value of this event was being lost.

      End of the Sprint was coming up so as the enterprise agile coach, I thought I'd provide some of my favourite patterns and ended up providing my 20 Scrum Masters with a playbook to accelerate and reinvigorate learning and improvement, retrospectives and ideas as well as links to where to find more.

      Would love to share these patterns with you, discuss the pain points we were experiencing and how we were able to reinvigorate this event and improve overall quality of our delivery. It will be a workshop so would also love to hear your favourite patterns so we can share them with the group in this workshop and help inspire our teams to strive for activating real improvements.

    • Liked Jorgen Hesselberg
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Jorgen Hesselberg - Unlocking Agility: A Change Leader's Guide to Enterprise Digital Transformation

      Jorgen Hesselberg
      Jorgen Hesselberg
      Head of Strategy
      Comparative Agility
      schedule 3 months ago
      Sold Out!
      480 Mins
      Workshop
      Executive

      Embrace Change, Execute with Purpose

      Unlocking Agility is based on the concepts from the Addison-Wesley book by Jorgen Hesselberg, an agile transformation executive at companies such as Nokia, McAfee, and Intel. In this interactive workshop, change leaders are invited to learn what it takes to create sustainable change and embed a digitalization mindset in large organizations. Participants will leave with a set of concrete actions to pursue at their organizations and a copy of Unlocking Agility for further study.

    • Liked Doc Norton
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Doc Norton - Tuckman was wrong

      Doc Norton
      Doc Norton
      Co-Founder and Change Catalyst
      OnBelay
      schedule 4 months ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Talk
      Beginner

      Stable Teams have long been a known and accepted leading practice in agile. And Tuckman's stages of group development proves the need for stable teams, right? But what if that's not correct? Doc posits that Tuckman's is actually a disproven theory that none-the-less mysteriously persists. What if, by stabilizing teams, we solved a completely different problem? And what if by de-stabilizing teams we could better solve other problems?

    • 45 Mins
      Talk
      Advanced

      21st century problems cannot be solved with 20th century software architectures. So why is the starting point for so many projects built on the assumption of a simplistic monolithic, three-layer architecture sat on top of a RDBMS? Hardware has progressed. It has changed many of the assumptions that such architectures were built upon. Modern systems are distributed, deal with massive throughput of data and transactions. Users expect 24/7 service.

      The Reactive Manifesto describes what it takes to build systems that meet these demands. Such systems are Responsive, Resilient, Elastic and Message Driven. What does this mean in terms of software architecture and design? This presentation will introduce these ideas and describe how systems built on these principles work.

    • Liked Naresh Jain
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Naresh Jain - Organisational Resilience - Design your Organisation to Flourish NOT merely Survive

      Naresh Jain
      Naresh Jain
      Founder
      XNSIO
      schedule 4 months ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Executive

      A resilient organizational can not only adapt and respond to incremental change but more importantly, can respond to sudden disruptions and also, be the source of disruption in order to prosper and flourish.

      The traditional risk management approach focuses too much on defensive (stopping bad things happen) thinking versus a more progressive (making good things happen) thinking. Being defensive requires consistency across the organization and this is where methodologies like Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) come in. However, PDCA approach does not bake in the required progressive thinking and flexibility required for a fast company organization which operates in a volatile environment.

      Professor David Denyer of Cranfield University has recently published a very interesting research report on Organizational Resilience. He has identified the following four quadrants across to help us think about organizational resilience:

      • preventative control (defensive consistency)
      • mindful action (defensive flexibility)
      • performance optimization (progressive consistency)
      • adaptive innovation (progressive flexibility)

      In this talk, I'll share my personal experience of using this thinking to help an organization to scale their product to Millions of users. I've dive deep into how we structured our organization for Structural Agility and how we set-up a very lightweight governance model using OKRs to drive the necessary flexible and progressive thinking.

    • Naresh Jain
      Naresh Jain
      Founder
      XNSIO
      schedule 4 months ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Intermediate

      Looking to move to Continuous Delivery? Worried about the quality of your the code? Helping your developers understand clean-code practices and getting the right testing strategy in place can take a while. What should you do to control the quality of the incoming code till then? This talk shares our experience of using PRRiskAdvisor to gradually educate and influence developers to write better code and also help the code reviewer to be more effective at their reviews.

      Every time a developer raises a pull-request, PRRiskAdvisor analyzes the files that were changed and publishes a report on the pull request itself with the overall risk associated with this pull request and also risk associated with each file. It also runs static code analysis using SonarQube and publishes the configured violations as comments on the pull request. This way the reviewer just has to look at the pull request to get a decent idea of what it means to review this pull request. If there are too many violations, then PRRiskAdvisor can also automatically reject the pull request.

      By doing this, we saw our developers starting paying more attention to clean code practices and hence the overall quality of the incoming code improved, while we worked on putting the right engineering practices and testing strategy in place.

    • 45 Mins
      Case Study
      Beginner

      The Principles in the Agile Manifesto provide us guidance on how to have an Agile mindset in our organizations. Principle 11 within the Manifesto states "The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams". While this works well for autonomous teams, it proves to be challenging for large organizations with dozens or even hundreds of teams who need to share common architectures and design patterns.

      This talk will present a case study of a large retail organization and explore their journey from a highly centralized/governance-based technology organization to a more distributed/collaborative one and explore their lessons learned and success/failure patterns along the way. In the end, we'll answer the question about whether or not Principle 11 scales!

    • Liked Todd Little
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Todd Little - KMP-I: Kanban System Design

      Todd Little
      Todd Little
      CEO
      Lean Kanban Inc
      schedule 3 months ago
      Sold Out!
      960 Mins
      Workshop
      Beginner

      This 2-day Foundations-level Kanban training class, certified by Lean Kanban University, is for managers, developers, and anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of the Kanban Method. The class includes the use of a Kanban simulation as well as exercises to design an actual Kanban system.

      Lean Kanban University Certification

      Are you looking for an internationally recognized certification in the Kanban Method? Delivered by experts accredited by Lean Kanban University, this course satisfies one requirement toward the Kanban Management Professional (KMP) credential. The KMP II: Kanban Management Professional class will complete the KMP status requirement.

    • Liked Brian Robertson
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Brian Robertson - Experience Holacracy

      Brian Robertson
      Brian Robertson
      Pioneer
      Holacracy
      schedule 3 months ago
      Sold Out!
      480 Mins
      Workshop
      Beginner

      Experience Holacracy for yourself!

      The workshop introduces the theory and practice of Holacracy, a new way of structuring, governing, and running a company. Holacracy fundamentally changes how decisions are made and how power is distributed. The goals of Holacracy are bold: make your organization more agile and responsive, increase clarity —that means to determine who does what, expects what, and decides what—minimize 'office politics', and enable deeper employee engagement and empowerment.

    • Liked Arun Krishnan
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Arun Krishnan / Sreehari Mohan - Boosting Developer Productivity with a Reliable Test Infrastructure

      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Intermediate

      Facing constant problems with Test Infrastructure instability? Does this hamper the pace at which you deliver your changes into production?

      Myntra has 500+ microservices in a service mesh. This means that there are a lot of changes that are getting baked and the need is to enable all our engineering teams to be able to move fast on their changes - to be able to test them in a reliable test bed and take them to production without any issues.

      In this complex setup, having a stable test environment plays a vital role in helping engineering teams to be able to develop, test and certify the changes before production rollouts.

      In this session, we will talk through how we have solved the above challenges by building a reliable, robust and available Test Infrastructure platform aka Dockins. This talk will give you insights into the high-level architecture of this platform and the scale at which it operates. Towards the end, we will also show you a glimpse of the working of this platform and how we intend to leverage this platform to integrate our Continuous Integration system.

    • Liked Diane Zajac
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Diane Zajac - Stop Building Useless Software

      Diane Zajac
      Diane Zajac
      Co-Founder and Agile Enabler
      OnBelay
      schedule 4 months ago
      Sold Out!
      90 Mins
      Workshop
      Beginner

      Useless \ˈyüs-ləs\

      use·less: not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome.

      [Synonyms: futile, to no avail, (in) vain, pointless, to no purpose, hopeless, ineffectual, ineffective, to no effect, fruitless, unprofitable, profitless, unproductive]

      If you want to stop building useless software, then you have to start understanding your customers. Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick for reading their minds. But there is a simple technique that can help you gain insights and build empathy for them.

      Empathy mapping is a simple activity for your team, stakeholders and anyone else who is responsible for delivering products and services. It allows you to collectively explore what your customers see, hear, say & do, as well as consider what they think and feel. This leads to insights about their pain and potential wants which are the keys to building more useful software.

      In this session, Diane guides you through building an empathy map, showing you how to use silent brainstorming to encourage everyone to contribute. You will see, first-hand, how easy it is to work collaboratively to create a shared understanding of the customer. And that is the first step to start building software that customers find useful.

    • Liked Doc Norton
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Doc Norton / Diane Zajac - Escape Velocity - Better Metrics for Agile Teams

      Doc Norton
      Doc Norton
      Co-Founder and Change Catalyst
      OnBelay
      Diane Zajac
      Diane Zajac
      Co-Founder and Agile Enabler
      OnBelay
      schedule 4 months ago
      Sold Out!
      480 Mins
      Workshop
      Intermediate

      If your team uses velocity for planning but you don't find it very useful, this workshop is for you.

      If your manager or scrum master or other pseudo-authority figure keeps obsessing over your velocity, this workshop is for you.

      If you want to know about better ways to forecast when a piece of work will be done or how to gather data that actually helps your team, this workshop is for you.

      In this interactive workshop, Doc and Diane share insights into metrics and how they can be used to improve your team's performance. From cumulative flow diagrams to lead time distribution charts to forecasting using Monte Carlo simulation and more, you'll come away with the ability to better forecast when work will be done and better diagnose issues with your process.