schedule Oct 24th 04:15 PM - 05:00 PM place Ballroom C

Agile methods help to build a repeatable and reliable pipeline of working code to production. Unfortunately, complex enterprises, including the US government, consider agile the solution to finding and solving all their copious and complex problem. In this space, agile alone is not enough. Reliable enterprise problem-finding and solution-creation techniques aren't yet embedded in the agile toolkit, but nonetheless that's the toolkit brought to bear on critical, complex organization-spanning issues. Typical problem/solution methods can create a local optimization (look at this great thing the team delivered!) but create a global failure (the team didn't consider the other systems and teams involved in the process, and broke them). This is the norm, not the exception, and why large project solutions are typically "meh", not "wow". Given agile is now the de facto approach, now is the time to focus on being exceptional.

In this talk, we'll cover three years of the fight to achieve agile success on a critical project at the Department of Veterans Affairs: the struggle to enable an agile environment and the realization of what agile at scale REALLY means; the tactical and strategic efforts to identify the fundamental, success-blocking problems of the enterprise, and how to solve them; and what it takes, from discovery, analysis/design, code/test, and release to production, to deliver actual value, and not just "working code."

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Finding Agility at Scale
    • DevOps
    • Enterprise Agile
    • Building software: Managing internal concerns
  • Surviving the Enterprise
    • Building enterprise software: Managing external concerns
    • Understanding value
    • Understanding the enterprise
    • Building a roadmap to success


In a complex enterprise environment involving tens to hundreds of systems that all interconnect in different ways to enable a set of equally diverse business processes, it is up to the enterprise agile team to know everything there is to know so that a valuable backlog can be built and feed into the agile/DevOps pipeline.

We'll cover the path to agile success with a large, 150-person agile project within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the fundamentals to making it work in an environment that wasn't quite ready to be agile. Plus the additional elements that turned out to be essential when the project's agile teams must successfully interact with tens to hundreds of other teams (some agile, some not) on different cadences and with different priorities, in order to successfully deliver. Finally we'll take a look at what happened when we discovered how to determine value within the enterprise, then realized that wasn't what we were being asked to build - and the techniques we developed to change minds and change focus to value delivery.

Learning Outcome

  • What it takes to make a large-scale agile project function with agility
  • Essential elements when your agile team is just one fish in a large and potentially toxic sea
  • The difference between "deliver working code" and "deliver value"
  • How to deliver value

Target Audience

Anyone interested in finding and solving problems, beyond simply delivering working code

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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