Responding to Change over Following a Plan: Agile Lessons from Antarctica

schedule Oct 15th 03:45 - 03:55 PM place Ballroom D people 4 Interested

I spent January in Antarctica hanging out with penguins, whales, and seals. It was about as different from my day-to-day work as can be. And yet, on my long flight home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how well my trip aligned with one specific value of the Agile Manifesto: “Responding to change over following a plan.”

Antarctica is a place that truly drives home why we need both planning AND, even more importantly, the ability to respond to change. This trip helped me fully appreciate how true this value is - and not just in software development. And after being stuck in Antarctica six days longer than planned, it also built up my empathy for team members struggling with dynamic situations!

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Lightning Talk

  • Agile Manifesto recap
    • Responding to change over following a plan
    • Benefits gained form the right amount of planning
    • Benefits gained from remaining flexible
    • Identify a goal, but how we get there may change
  • Planning in the context of an Antarctic cruise
    • Importance of planning
      • Passenger safety and experience
    • Reasons plans change often in Antartica
      • Weather (wind, fog, wave surges), forces out of expedition team's control (other ships), newly discovered info (animal sightings)
  • An ever-changing day in Antarctica
    • Daily goal: see Gentoo penguins
    • Plan A: announced before dinner, based on weather current report and knowledge of the area
    • Plan B: announced during wake up call - slight delay
    • Plan C: announced during breakfast - wave surge too high, new landing sight needed
    • Plan D: whales spotted - let's extend the zodiac cruise
  • Takeaways
    • Increased empathy for team members struggling with dynamic situations
    • Emphasized importance of planning, and, even more, the ability to respond to change
      • Adjusting to changing circumstances is what protected passengers from negative outcomes and maximized positive experiences

Learning Outcome

  • Appreciate how "responding to change over following a plan" applies beyond software development
  • Explain the benefits gained from being able to adjust to changing circumstances
  • Describe the benefits gained from the right amount of planning

Target Audience

All

Prerequisites for Attendees

None

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

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