Why does the Agile community encourage cross-functional teams?  So many large organizations have naturally organized into system-specific teams.  This is a very common and logical approach.  At scale, though, it creates serious impediments to organizational agility and getting things done.  We'll discuss the roots of that phenomenon, one of our key interests in cross-functional teams, patterns for enabling such a team structure, some failure modes, and how to prevent them.  Please join us!

 
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  1. Component Teams and Inter-Team Dependencies
  2. Feature Teams and Dependency Encapsulation
  3. Patterns for making Cross-Functional Teams viable in an environment accustomed to system-specific silos
  4. Failure modes when organizations attempt to move to cross-functional teams
  5. Preventing those failure modes

Learning Outcome

Participants will walk away with a better understanding of how certain ways of organizing multiple teams and dividing the labor between them impedes progress, regardless of the organization or competency of the persons involved.  We'll explore why it is better to eliminate cross-team dependencies and complexity rather than succumbing to the natural inclination that "we just need to manage that."  We'll also discuss some failure patterns we've seen when teams try to eliminate these dependencies without the right guardrails in place.

Target Audience

Executives, Managers, Scrum Masters, Coaches, or anyone with influence over the structure of multiple teams

Requirements

Just a large screen with a VGA hookup and a mic.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lean Discovery, Agile Delivery & the DevOps Mindset

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    More and more organizations and teams are adopting Agile, however most stay focused on just the development part. They maintain a Big Upfront Requirements/Design (BRUF) phase and still have a long test and deployment phase. This approach results in more of a mini-waterfall approach rather than an Agile approach where we actually place valuable products in our customers’ hands. The old risks and pain points are still there: are we building the right thing? Is it valuable and usable? Does it work? So the true benefits of an Agile approach in terms of quality valuable products and higher ROI is never achieved due to our long cycles and slow feedback loops. Come to this session to see how Lean Discovery and Agile Delivery combined with a DevOps mindset, can make actual delivery of customer value sustainable. We will look at how Lean Discovery replaces BRUF and ensures the team is constantly building the right thing. We will also see how applying Agile Engineering practices ensure that the team is building the thing right and how a DevOps mindset ensures that the product the team builds actually gets delivered to the customer early and often.

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Let's all agree to agree - The importance of a Team Charter

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    We've all see Project Charters.  Project Charters usually state the vision, mission, roadmaps, and is hand top down to the teams.  However, how many of us have Team Charters in place.  Team Charters are one of the most powerful tools a team has when it comes to being able to work effectively together.

    This workshop explores the dynamics of creating a team charter, the definition of ready, and the definition of done and how all this works together to create software that is ready for review, to potentially shippable, to released into production.

     

  • Liked Richard Cheng
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Situational Retrospectives – One size does not fit all

    Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

     

    Situation A: Your team is great. You’ve met all your sprint goals and your Product Owner is pleased with the results to date. Yeah!

     

    Situation B: Your team sucked. Zero story points completed last sprint. Team members are complaining and blaming each other for the failures.

     

    These two situations demand two very different retrospectives. The right retrospective can make a good team great and turn a bad situation into a learning opportunity. A bad retrospective can set a team back and create a non-safe working environment.

     

    In this session, attendees will explorer retrospectives techniques and examine the pros and cons of the techniques. The workshop will then explore scenarios and examine how to effectively run retrospectives across a variety of scenarios.

     

    Coming out of this sessions, attendees will have an understanding of applying the right retrospectives based on the state and needs of the team and projects.

     

  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Pump Life Back into Your Local User Group

    Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Do you want to help your local community connect, learn and share from each other as they journey towards agility (or any endeavor)? Do you have a local user group that is struggling and needs a resuscitation? This talk will help you pump life back into your local user group. I have taken the local DC Scrum User Group that was starting to fade and brought it back to life with a fast growing membership base that regularly connects, learns and shares with each other multiple times per month. How did I do this? Come find out as I walk you through the various steps I took to reestablish the user group and engage thought leaders and luminaries to come speak at the user group.

    When I took over, last year, our local DC Scrum User Group was just over 500 members and growing at a pace of about 20 members per month. Since then, we have grown to almost 1300 members and growing at 50-60 new members per month. We typically have multiple meetings a month that are a mix of presentations, workshops and webinars.

  • Liked toddcharron
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Following Your Fear: How to do the things you've always wanted to do

    toddcharron
    toddcharron
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    What stops you from doing the things you’ve always wanted to do? What stops teams from being truly great? What hinders most Agile transformations?

     

    Fear.

     

    That feeling in your gut when deep down you know what you need to do, but you're not sure if you can do it.

     

    Check out any of the “x things most successful people do” posts online. Every single one of them will mention fear. Why? Because fear can either energize you to success or paralyze you into inaction.

     

    I’ll show you how to move from paralysis to action and how you can apply these techniques to yourself and to your Agile teams. How you, as a coach, can create safe environments so that your teams can be fearless.

     

    In addition, we'll work hands on with the Fear Follower Canvas to help you move those things you want to do from the someday pile to done!

  • Liked Nayan Hajratwala
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Refactoring Real Legacy Code (guided by Simple Design)

    Nayan Hajratwala
    Nayan Hajratwala
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The many trivial testing and refactoring examples available on the web are difficult for developers to apply to real-world code bases. As a result, many "new to agile" developers don't attempt to apply tests or refactorings to legacy code, reserving these techniques for the ever elusive greenfield project.
    To help developers with this dilemma, this session will walk through a real legacy Java code base, and go through the steps required to bring the code under test & begin to perform useful refactorings. All of this will be done under the guidance of the principles of Simple Design.

  • Andy Bacon
    Andy Bacon
    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Can a federal agency’s PMO support Agile teams that are focused on delivering working software frequently? What about all the needed documentation, reviews, and sign-offs from a myriad of groups including systems engineering, privacy, PRA and cyber security? In this session we’ll look at a federal agency’s PMO processes and the concept of minimum viable bureaucracy. We’ll explore the roles and relationship between the PMO, PM, Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and team. We’ll see how projects get initiated and the decision criteria needed to start or defer a project. We’ll walk through a lightweight gate review process and the activities and deliverables of each phase. We’ll also see how gate reviews can co-exists with a continuous delivery pipeline. We’ll share lessons learned and take a look at the challenges ahead. Come to this session to see how a lean PMO is operating in a Federal Agency.

  • Wyn Van Devanter
    Wyn Van Devanter
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    A build pipeline is such an important aspect of a software project.  It saves a ton of manual, error-prone depoyment work, as well as results in higher quality software that can be released more frequently.    

    However, I have been on multiple projects where one of the steps in the continuous integration process was failing (red), often for multiple days or even perpetually.  So much of the benefit a build pipeline provides is lost when this is allowed to happen.  Bugs are not caught by automated tests; additional tests break without being fixed because no one notices; the culture of keeping a green pipeline diminishes and faith in everything from the pipeline itself to automated tests reduces.  Developers learn bad habits.   

    Building the pipeline and getting all steps working (keeping it green!) is no small feat in the first place, and keeping it that way can also be a large undertaking. One way I have tried to combat this is to institute some specific process for the Scrum team, pertaining to monitoring and maintaining the build pipeline.  There is also an aspect of convincing the team and management that it is worth spending the time, and dropping everything to maintain a fully functional pipeline.  

    Join me for a common sense, tactile approach to keep a build pipeline green that has worked on small and larger projects with multiple teams.  

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Tips for Effective Product Backlog Refinement

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Are your Sprint planning meetings taking longer and longer each Sprint. Do you find yourself discussing new stories that the team is seeing for the very first time? Are some of the stories vague, complex, or very large? Is the priority unclear? These are all symptoms of ineffective Product Backlog Refinement which results in painful Sprint planning meetings. Team Product Backlog Refinement is an important activity that is frequently overlooked. The team is usually focused on delivering features for the current Sprint and devotes little time to work with the Product owner to prepare for the upcoming Sprints. Come to this session to understand the importance of Product Backlog Refinement, the different types of activities that are needed, when to perform each type, who should attend and how to make the most of everyone's time. Understand the importance of having a Definition of Ready, learn how to do progressive elaboration on user stories and how to expand on your acceptance criteria. Leave with tips and technique for conducting effective Product Backlog Refinement before your very next Sprint planning meeting.

  • Liked Fadi Stephan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    User Story Smells and Anti-patterns

    Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Agilists employ user stories as a way to capture user requirements and drive the planning process for iterative and incremental delivery of software. Traditionalists with experience in “big requirements up front” often struggle with the brevity of user stories and how to best communicate requirements. In this presentation, we will look at common anti-patterns and mistakes that teams unknowingly employ when writing user stories. Come learn how to identify and avoid these mistakes. Understand what size is the right size for a user story and how to properly split a user story. Discover different boundaries for prioritizing stories. Learn how to decompose a story until it is ready for development. Leave with new insights on how to write effective user stories.

  • Liked Amber King
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Make The Right Changes & Make Changes Right Through Process Co-creation

    Amber King
    Amber King
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    In the agile community, we celebrate failure as well as success. On our journey to plan @ scale, the Agile Program Management team at Opower had a lot of early failures, but then we started succeeding. How? By not only listening to our stakeholders, but co-creating solutions with them. In this talk, I focus on how process co-creation is helping Opower scale. I’ll describe a specific case study, then we’ll try co-creation together. By the end of this talk, you’ll have specific tips and techniques on how to successfully co-create solutions with your teams that you can take back and use with them tomorrow.

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Many Agile adoptions stall because they fail to align with what the business needs. It's not about just delivering work more quickly, but also ensuring that it is what the business needs; for the Government, this is mission needs alignment. Getting a fully automated DevOps pipeline does nothing if you don't have any idea what type of impact you plan to make on the business.  

    However, once you have that delivery aligned with your business or mission, you can begin to perform experiments safely and more importantly measure the impact they make.  This session will discuss the types of measurements one can make and explore a few techniques you can use at both the macro and micro level to understand impact. We'll cite real-world examples set to help you understand how to apply each of the following techniques:

    • Business Canvas
    • Value Streams
    • Personas and Customer Experience Journeys
    • Impact Maps
    • Experiments & Hypotheses via Validation Boards

    This tour of techniques will give you ways to better craft your agility to your business needs.

  • 45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate
    Your team can be ten times better.
     
    What does that mean? That means your professional team can accomplish 10x more work, do it with 10x more quality, 10x faster, or with 10x less resources. Your family can be 10x happier. Your school can be 10x more effective at helping people learn. Your community group can be 10x better at making life better for the people it serves. Even you yourself can be 10x more effective at getting what you want.
     
    In other words, you can be great. Your team can be great.
     
    Greatness
    Can you say these things about your teams?
    1. My projects are completed effortlessly on schedule and in budget every time.
    2. Every team I’ve ever been on has shared a vision.
    3. In meetings, we only ever do what will get results.
    4. No one blames “management," or anyone else, if they don’t get what they want.
    5. Everybody shares their best ideas right away.
    6. Ideas are immediately unanimously approved, improved, or rejected by the team.
    7. Action on approved ideas begins immediately.
    8. Conflict is always resolved swiftly and productively.
    The Core Protocols are one way to make teams that have these characteristics.
     
    Some of the things you’ll learn:
    • Results-oriented behaviors,
    • How to enter a state of shared vision with a team and stay there,
    • How to create trust on a team
    • How to stay rational and healthy
    • How to make team decisions effectively, and
    • How to move quickly and with high quality towards the team’s goals
  • Liked Brian Sjoberg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Moving at the Speed of Molasses ... This Might Have Something to do with It!

    Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Demonstration
    Beginner

    Are you struggling with delivering a potentially releasable working product every iteration? Ever wonder what one of biggest reasons we have difficulty getting things done at the individual, team and organizational level are? Do you keep doing something even though you know it reduces your productivity and lowers quality? We are going to run an exercise that highlights one of the major culprits that you have all experienced and continue to experience. The exercise will likely ignite a fire that will help you, your team and your organization to become more productive and improve product quality. We will discuss ways to improve this at the individual, team and organization levels.

    Knowing this will help anyone to understand the consequences of not prioritizing and increase their desire to. This will lead to producing faster, higher quality products that should lead to delighted customers.

  • Liked Simon Storm
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Portfolio Management - Taking Agile Up the Corporate Ladder

    Simon Storm
    Simon Storm
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    While many companies are adopting Agile development practices, it is fascinating how most of the management team in these companies are still starting trying to budget and plan in one year increments. Budget and planning starts in the fall and managers are literally guessing what they will need and what they are going to be working on 12 months down the road. It is inevitable that within the first few months of the plan there is going to a major event that is going make the plan completely irrelevant. It could be a new project that came out of nowhere, an issue with a major application that needs all hands to address, or the simple fact that as the team has completed work throughout the year, what was important at the beginning of the year is no longer important. 

    In this talk we will share the experiences of the IT management team of a small financial services firm that took a conference room and Scrum and found a way to improve throughput, increase visibility, and improve coordination across IT, all while delivering projects, responding to auditors and growing the company's product portfolio. 

     

     

     

  • Diane Zajac-Woodie
    Diane Zajac-Woodie
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    120 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    As a business analyst on an agile team, do you spend your time gathering decisions from product owners and passing them on to development teams? Are you tired of simply being a “proxy without power?” As a product manager, do you feel like you are just collecting stakeholder opinions and filtering them for the team? What can you do to boost your impact to your team?

    Be more than a proxy.

    By definition, a proxy means doing a thing “by the authority to represent someone else.” That job can be important, especially when stakeholders and customers have limited available. But teams need more.

    In this workshop, Diane Zajac-Woodie demonstrates how you can be more than a proxy. Through some experiential exercises, you will learn what impact collaboration has on results and why requirements are just as important as ever. Diane also teaches you how to document requirements so people will actually read them. Using acceptance tests, you will practice writing requirements that describe the exact behaviors that you expect in a format that everyone understands.

    Be inspired to embrace your role in an agile environment and leave with new techniques that ensure that you will be more than a proxy when you head back to work.

  • Liked Erik E. Stein
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Size Does Matter: A New Metric to Keep Your Architecture Agile.

    Erik E. Stein
    Erik E. Stein
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Large codebases have structural problems that do not occur in smaller codebases. These problems are emergent in nature and typically not noticed until some indirect symptoms rear their ugly heads. (“What do you mean it will take six weeks to change that!?”) Even then, the root causes are often not identified and, regardless, are costly to correct. Left untreated, these structural problems eventually make changes to code so costly that the software becomes brittle and unchangeable within the cost and time constraints of the business. This is the software equivalent of hardened arteries, and, like the medical condition, it is a silent killer.

    The traditional metrics of architecture complexity are insensitive to, or worse, favor structural changes that increase codebase complexity. Our recent research has identified and characterized this phenomenon and we offer a new metric, the Layer Respect Metric, which sheds light on this problem and helps us balance our uses of the traditional measures of architectural complexity to ensure our codebases are as agile as our teams.

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    So you want to transform your organization? How should you get started? Am I throwing everything away?

    Understanding how to co-create your organization's aspirational characteristics creates a great start to your Agile journey.  This allows the people to internalize what agile means to them in their context; doing this will allow greater alignment and commitment during the transformation. We'll explore a technique that allows you to do this invented by some coaching colleagues (Michael Sahota and Olaf Lewitz) and that I've utilized in Federal and commercial clients.  

    After performing this short exercise, we'll discuss next steps of selecting strategies using Appreciative Inquiry to help find and build upon your organization's strengths. Along the way, we'll learn a bit about what Appreciative Inquiry is and how it complements other change management approaches one can take. Don't throw out everything, build on your strengths!

  • Liked Theresa Smith
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Product Design with Intent: How to Drive Product Design in an Agile Project

    Theresa Smith
    Theresa Smith
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    When design is based on random choices, the end product is an assembly of random elements that have little or nothing in common. But when design forces all elements to work together then it makes a single, powerful, and meaningful impression to the user. While agile can get the job done faster, it doesn’t help guide design choices for a software product.    

    This session presents a design driven approach called Strong Center Design that incorporates design into an agile workflow.

    If you have an interest in improving design of your software products, then this is the session for you.

  • Liked Brandon Raines
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Planning and Estimating Techniques in a Federal World

    Brandon Raines
    Brandon Raines
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The government is seeing the merit of using agile practices to develop software.  However, the fallacy that you can’t estimate projects using agile in the government still exist.  The result is that many projects that want to use Agile begin in a very waterfall way developing the initial plan and are forced to stick to that plan throughout the project despite using sprints throughout the ‘development phase’.  Many falsely believe they are stuck in the tradition of estimating everything in the beginning.  During this presentation, through lecture and based upon real experiences, we will demonstrate techniques for developing a project plan and estimating techniques to satisfy the typical government compliance requirements using Agile practices and principles.  In essence, we will together learn how to build the bridge from the traditional government practices to a brave new world where we can plan, estimate and still inject agility.