Agile in the Wilderness: How to Succeed When They Can't Spell Scrum

In this interactive and informal session, you will hear a story about how Agile helped me succeed in a non-IT environment where Agile was completely unknown and unwelcome. You will learn how the Agile values and principles guided my decisions and behavior, despite no one around me knowing or caring about them, and about the consequent success of my effort. You will hear how eventually I was able to influence the wider environment, gradually coaching them and teaching them Agile, resulting in a self-sustaining Agile team functioning reasonably well as a pod surrounded by waterfall approaches.

During this conversational session, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and share your own stories.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • 2-minute Introduction
  • 3-minute explanation of how I was given the opportunity to apply Agile in a non-IT space in the Federal Government
  • 10-minute story explaining how the Agile values and principles guided my decisions and behavior
    • One team member quit at a critical time
    • My company lost the contract, then I won it back for them
    • A major staff shake-up was handled using Agile, with a successful outcome
    • The team eventually became self-sustaining and wholly Agile, in spite of a waterfall office around them
  • 10-minute small-group discussions for people to share their own stories of Agile outside of IT
  • 10-minutes group discussion summarizing key points brought up during the session, including:
    • How to use scrum and kanban without using any jargon
    • How to work with a product owner who doesn't know she is one
    • How to implement "stealth Agile" -- being true to the values and principles without being explicit about it
    • How to transition to being openly Agile
  • 10-minutes Q&A

Learning Outcome

At the end of this session, participants will have learned that Agile can be very useful and successful outside of an IT or software development environment.

Target Audience

Curious people outside of IT who want to learn how to get started with Agile; Experienced Agilists curious about how Agile can work "out there" away from software development



schedule Submitted 1 week ago

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  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 days ago
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    Hi, Lisa,

    The outline of your session is tantalizing, but the description doesn't give the attendees much idea of what the story will be about. Neither do the slides give the reviewers much idea to be about to assess the proposal.

    Also, what's your backup plan if attendees don't have their own stories to share?

     - George