A Holistic View of Agile and Quality: or, How I Survived My First Three ISO Audits

schedule Oct 15th 03:15 - 04:00 PM place Executive Boardroom

Agile Quality Management (AQM) at Sevatec was born out of a need for the quality department to add value to our organization. Sevatec is a contractor to the Federal Government with specialties in Agile, DevSecOps, Cloud Solutions, Data Storage and Cyber Security. The hypothesis was that we could meet and exceed all of our industry standard quality objectives through adopting an agile mindset tied to modern leadership practices.

Prior to the creation of the AQM office, Quality was driven by a single person behind a desk. There was no collaboration and the focus was on checking the box for the sake of maintaining quality designations. Data showed that there was little to no improvement as a result.

Our new approach to quality derived from implementing business agility practices, with the belief that our ISO and CMMI requirements will be met and exceeded through the holistic application of agile principles. This provided an added value to the company, in that quality is baked in to every aspect rather than being led by someone sitting behind a desk churning out excessive documentation. Typically, discussions of quality in the agile environment are tied to code, but in our experiment, quality was embedded into all aspects of the organization, not just service delivery.

Ultimately, our auditors spent more time asking us about our AQM approach than actually auditing us and were very impressed with the people, processes and tools we adopted. We believe that our holistic view of business agility will set us apart in the marketplace and drive our organization to its next level of excellent quality, in which all aspects of the business are operating in a lean, agile manner. Our focus on experimentation and continuous improvement lends itself to a fun, collaborative environment in which learning is expected, play is encouraged and quality is an outflow of our working culture.

 
5 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

Introduction

Problem - Where's the value in Quality efforts?

Solution - Agile Quality Management (AQM)

Results - Happiness! Audits passed! Free unicorns!

Learning Outcome

  • Agile concepts have BROAD applicability
  • Focus on VALUE - even when "checking the box"
  • Quality can be FUN - and a stance of the entire organization, not just software/code related

Target Audience

Those looking to apply Agile concepts across QA/QC functions and Busines Agility enthusiasts

Prerequisites for Attendees

Some basic knowledge of agile concepts would be helpful.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker

  • Richard Cheng
    Richard Cheng
    Principal
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    10 Mins
    Lightning Talk
    Intermediate

    In this lightning talk, we explore the 5 attributes to look for in a ScrumMaster:

    • Knowledge - Deep knowledge in Agile and Scrum
    • Experience - Deep experience with Scrum teams and in Agile environments
    • Coaching - Deep understanding of Coaching concepts and techniques
    • Facilitation - Deep understanding of Facilitation concepts and techniques
    • Servant Leadership - Deep understanding and desire to enable success for the teams and the organization

    From there we look at the ScrumMaster's progression for removing impediments and addressing issues:

    • Did we talk about it in the Retrospective?
    • Did we discuss the impact?
    • Did we identify root causes?
    • Did we come up with solutions?
    • Have we tried the solutions?
    • What were the initial results?
    • What are next steps from here?

    We use the steps above to ensure:

    • Our teams are not making the same mistakes time time after time
    • Our teams are not having the same issues arise time and time again
    • Our teams are not stagnating but rather are getting better over time

    This session will arm session attendees with what to look for in a ScrumMaster and discuss how the SM uses the impediment progression to ensure we have a continuously improving team.

  • 45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Despite thinking that organizations are slow to innovate, innovation actually abounds at many companies. Kodak, DEC, and Xerox did not fail due to lack of new, cutting-edge innovation; they failed because their organizations were tuned to their traditional markets, and a failure to change their business models and organizations led to their eventual disruption.

    The key to achieving business agility lies in leadership that transforms organizations. Transformational leaders succeed by changing the system, leading with purpose, and steering from the edges. They own their responsibility and boldly lead their organizations into the future. As leaders, we can accelerate this evolution by enabling true self-management and team-based governance.

    Join Bob and Sanjiv to learn how leaders can transform organizations with a flatter organization structure, work anywhere flexibility, participatory profit sharing, and delegated hiring and firing. Explore the agile leadership journey needed for true business agility.

  • 45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    In our follow-up session to last year’s Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Observing Flow, we are excited to bring our newest installment of the series: Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Creating and Discussing Flow.

    This session puts the attendee in the driver’s seat to create their own Kanban board configurations. We provide seven business scenario exercises and ask the attendees how they would go about configuring their Kanban board given the unique constraints of each scenario. Each team/table in the room will spend a few minutes discussing how they would configure their board using the provided flip charts, markers, and stickies. A debrief with the entire room follows as each team shares its concepts. The instructors will also share their own board configurations and ideas.

    These exercises will increase your understanding of Kanban systems, give you practice interpreting and creating board configurations, present multiple implementable ideas for any given scenario, and provide you with approaches for meaningful engagement. They are great for aspiring coaches, managers, and leaders who want to have more valuable conversations with their teams and improve Kanban implementations.

  • Liked John Hughes
    keyboard_arrow_down

    John Hughes - Agile FTW: Competitive Advantage and Happiness Through Business Agility

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    We all know the story of how the Agile ‘Software Development’ Manifesto emerged out of Snowbird in February of 2001. And we all know that Agile is still the current best practice for software development. What remains to be fully realized is that Agile has evolved to a best practice for business in general; a way of life for that matter.

    I had the privilege of bringing Agile into business over the last couple years. In that time, I introduced my executive leadership team to Business Agility. After getting executive participation in the inaugural Business Agility conference in Feb 2017, we partnered together to seek the benefits of a comprehensive Business Agility adoption.

    Using our corporation’s strategic planning and execution effort to exemplify, I will share with you how the Agile mindset and practices apply to business and drive the highest impact possible towards the most valuable goals and initiatives. Modern leadership and business practices such as those under the Business Agility umbrella bring a value-driven, data-driven, efficient focus on impactful delivery.

    • Revenue and growth accelerate as we focus the company’s resources on delivering in the most valuable way
    • Corporate processes lean out as we remove wasteful bottlenecks, saving money, time, and providing competitive advantage
    • Employees are more capable as corporate practices are more meaningful and less taxing
    • Back-office tools and data are integrated into a unified experience allowing real-time awareness and predictive analytics, increasing effective decision-making and enabling empowerment at lower levels
    • Employees are happier. Customers are happier. The corporate bottom-line reflects this happiness.

    I am enthusiastic about the spread of Agile beyond IT. And as such, I am excited to illustrate the brilliance of Business Agility to session participants, adding examples from my most recent corporate transformation effort to exemplify the mindset and practices presented. It is my interest that participants come away with an understanding of how Agile mindset and practices benefit the corporate back office as much as they do software delivery, and how their companies can begin to benefit too by applying what they learn from this presentation.

  • Liked Julie Wyman
    keyboard_arrow_down

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

    Julie Wyman
    Julie Wyman
    Agile Coach
    Excella Consulting
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    10 Mins
    Lightning Talk
    Beginner

    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!

  • Liked Erin Randall
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Erin Randall / Yogita dhond - Can Selflessness Lead to Collaboration?

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Does your team have a "me first" mentality? Are people so focused on getting their own work done, their tickets closed and moved to the right, that they seldom look up to see what is happening with others? What about your division--do teams appear to be siloed, concerned about only themselves, not looking around to see how their work affects others? Let's change this!

    Collaboration is not just working together. We can achieve real collaboration, the type where we inspire one another, challenge the way we work through problems and tackle work, do the things that scare us by making selflessness a daily practice. By making questions of "What did you do to help another person or team?" or "What did someone do to that really made a difference in how you worked?" into our retrospectives and mindset, we can build selflessness into the very fabric of the team. By bringing selflessness to the forefront and making it a talked-about, key ingredient to how our teams function, we can go from wishing for more opportunities to work together to achieving true collaboration.

  • Liked William Strydom
    keyboard_arrow_down

    William Strydom / Kevin Callahan - Reading the Undercurrents of Team Interactions

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Are you involved with teams? Want to be able to shape team dynamics toward more productive outcomes?

    Come dive below the surface of personalities and words to discover the perspectives that shape them.

    We’ll learn together and from each other through facilitated hands-on experiences.

    You will be able to apply what you learn immediately and directly to improving the quality of interactions.

    The efforts of teams is widely regarded to be a competitive differentiator. Being a member of a high-performing team is often reported as a life high point by those who experience it. All around us there is a growing emphasis on teams and teamwork.

    Yet effective teams remain elusive. More often groups of people who come together simply cooperate rather than collaborate. They avoid productive conflict, instead engaging in counterproductive discourse.

    We can do better. As coaches, we can learn how to read the underlying dynamics that drive team behavior. To enable them to understand what drives their interactions (hint, it’s not the individuals!).

    Facilitators will guide the group through a series of experiential activities to teach David Kantor’s Four Player Model and David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model. Both models are robust and have been thoroughly researched and widely applied.

    This may very well be the answer to getting your stuck teams to move beyond their perceived issues toward collaboration and creativity!

  • Liked Lisa Cooney
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lisa Cooney - Brain Agility: Overcoming Cognitive Bias

    Lisa Cooney
    Lisa Cooney
    Agile Coach
    Axios
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Did you know that your brain tells you stories all day long, and that if they are good stories, you believe them? Come to this entertaining interactive session to experience some "cognitive illusions" for yourself, and learn what they demonstrate about how our brains' work. Cognitive science and behavioral psychology offer important insights for agilists, insights that can help us work more effectively with our co-workers and clients. You will learn how awareness of our brains' tendencies is a powerful tool to overcome our own innate cognitive bias, and the cognitive bias of others. This newfound awareness can open you to more varied perspectives in order to tell yourself a story that is both richer and more nuanced -- and closer to being "a true story."

  • Liked Roland Cuellar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Roland Cuellar - Experience Report: Agile and Lean UX Techniques for Hardware Development

    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Advanced

    Experience Report: Applying Lean UX to New Hardware Development

    We often hear how Agile and Lean UX techniques are applied to software development, but there is much less information available on how to use these same ideas to develop new hardware solutions.

    In this experience report, Matthew Maddox, VP of Digital Strategy at Mirion Technologies and Roland Cuellar of Lithespeed will show how Lean UX techniques were successfully applied to the design of new and highly complex integrated hardware and software products.

    Mirion makes complex, highly regulated equipment that is focused on radiological safety for national security, first responders, and nuclear power. Mirion’s radiation detection equipment is used to protect people from radiation exposure, secure major events, and track down illicit radiological sources. Over the past year, Mirion has been experimenting with agile and lean UX techniques to design it's next generation radiation detection hardware and software.

    In this experience report, we will hear how Matthew utilized rapid, lightweight, lean UX techniques to quickly develop hardware prototypes, gather feedback from past and potential new customers, and quickly pivot initial designs based upon feedback from customers.

    As a result of this important process innovation, Mirion is now embracing more modern digital and agile techniques to more quickly bring innovations to market that are more closely aligned with customer desires.

    Matthew Madox is the VP of Marketing & Digital Strategy, and lead the field research, primary design and customer validation phases of the next generation Personal Radiation Detector (PRD).

    Topics Include: Agile Hardware Design, Lean UX, Hardware and Software Design Integration, New Product Development, Engineering Culture Change

  • Liked Arlen Bankston
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Arlen Bankston - Performance Management in the Age of Agility

    Arlen Bankston
    Arlen Bankston
    Founder
    LitheSpeed
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Agility is about adaptation, challenging the status quo, experimentation and learning. HR has historically hewed closer to compliance, but that has been changing rapidly.

    Today's nimble teams and workers will no longer tolerate stifling, staid environments and management practices. The newly popular label "people operations" implies an emphasis on human engagement over bureaucracy and regulation, and indeed many organizations have been moving this way.

    Be inspired by some of the most daring advances in human resources while also learning some practical approaches and techniques that can be applied to start leading your business down this path. We'll discuss new approaches in hiring, performance management, learning and development, and even the structure of HR groups and roles. Participants will also enjoy a few exercises that will illustrate some interesting techniques.

    Prepare yourself for HR in the next generation.

  • Liked Mark S. Carroll, SPC4, PMP, CSP
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mark S. Carroll, SPC4, PMP, CSP - Yatzy Kanban: Coaching Your Teams to Swarm to Performing in a Single Game!

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Do your teams struggle with silos, multitasking, under performing, and not truly swarming to work with an understanding of shared responsibility

    Based on the Swedish public domain game "Yatzy", we turn a familiar roll of the dice into a team building, learning exercise. This game is designed to not just talk, not just show, but to deliver a firsthand experience of what works and what doesn't in terms of incremental delivery.

    This game is designed to teach:

    • How multitasking costs time & reduces quality
    • How silos disrupt the collaborative power of Agile
    • When one member of our team under performs, we all underperform
    • When we swarm to work, we all individual look better than we ever could on our own
    • How working as an Agile team in earnest is addictive & once you go there, you'll never go back

  • Liked Scott Showalter
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Scott Showalter / Rachel Whitt - F.A.I.L.— Fearless Adventures In Learning: 4 Games to Explore the Value Behind Failure

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    This session looks at four team-based improv & collaboration games that help teams embrace "failing successfully." Rather than glorify failure, we should understand that its power is not in failing alone, but rather the learning that emerges from it and the power that such learning has to unlock otherwise unforeseen opportunities. Our goal is to relinquish our fears of failure, break us out of our comfort zone and accept the prospect of failure with the ultimate goal of using it to better understand what success looks like, and how the struggle and pain of failure, and the learning that accompanies it, opens our mind to new possibilities we wouldn't have otherwise seen. These games create comfort with failure and build up our actionable learning muscle (insight synthesis, etc) that should accompany every unsuccessful attempt at success. Failure and learning for the win!

  • Liked Beth Wong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Beth Wong / Jen Honermann - We're all in this together: How to be an ally in creating an inclusive work environment

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Are you someone who values everyone's contributions in your work environment? Have you ever struggled with how to be an ally for a peer? Do you sometime feel like your perspective is undervalued or underrepresented?

    Industry research highlights teams achieve better outcomes when they are diverse and inclusive. This workshop will share what we see happening in the industry, and help participants develop learning strategies and leverages tools that they can bring back into their local environment. Attend this session and you’ll leave with the skills to grow as an ally and ways to foster a more inclusive culture within your organization.

  • Trent Hone
    Trent Hone
    Excella
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Agile at the team level fosters self-organization by leveraging constraints. Timeboxes, Work in Progress (WIP) Limits, and clear operational definitions are excellent examples of the kinds of constraints teams regularly employ to deliver reliably. Are you familiar and comfortable with these ideas, but uncertain how to apply them at larger scales? Are you looking for techniques that will allow you to harness the creativity of your teams to enable self-organization at scale? If so, this session is for you.

    I’m passionate about applying concepts from Complex Systems Theory (as developed by Dave Snowden, Alicia Juarrero, Bob Artigiani, etc.) to the work of software teams. My colleagues and I at Excella have been exploiting these ideas by using a variety of patterns borrowed from different theories and frameworks to allow our teams to grow like healthy plants in a garden. From Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) we leverage the concepts of a single product backlog and a shared cadence. Kanban principles of visualizing the work and limiting WIP help align the teams and foster greater collaboration. Dave Snowden’s emphasis on Homo Narrans—the human as storyteller—has provided a framework for clarifying and promulgating common values, which are essential for decentralized decision-making. Collectively, these mental models created an environment that helped us scale one of our engagements from three teams to eight over the course of a single year.

  • Liked Mike Cottmeyer
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mike Cottmeyer - Agile Transformation Explained

    Mike Cottmeyer
    Mike Cottmeyer
    CEO & Founder
    LeadingAgile
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Leading a large-scale agile transformation isn’t about adopting a new set of attitudes, processes, and behaviors at the team level… it’s about helping your company deliver faster to market and developing the ability to respond to a rapidly-changing competitive landscape. First and foremost, it’s about achieving business agility. Business agility comes from people having clarity of purpose, a willingness to be held accountable, and the ability to achieve measurable outcomes. Unfortunately, almost everything in modern organizations gets in the way of teams acting with any sort of autonomy. In most companies, achieving business agility requires significant organizational change.

    Agile transformation necessitates a fundamental rethinking of how your company organizes for delivery, how it delivers value to its customers, and how it plans and measures outcomes. Agile transformation is about building enabling structures, aligning the flow of work, and measuring for outcomes based progress. It's about breaking dependencies. The reality is that this kind of change can only be led from the top. This talk will explore how executives can define an idealized end-state for the transformation, build a fiscally responsible iterative and incremental plan to realize that end-state, as well as techniques for tracking progress and managing change.

  • Liked Julie Wyman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Julie Wyman / Wm. Hunter Tammaro - Measuring Flow: Metrics That Matter

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Does your Scrum team start all its stories on Day 1 of the Sprint? Do stories sometime carry over into the next Sprint? Or perhaps testing always gets crammed in on the last day of the Sprint? If any of these sound familiar, your team may benefit from improving its flow.

    Flow metrics are common with Kanban, but can provide tremendous value to any team, including those using Scrum. In this session, we’ll start by exploring the value of achieving a smooth flow of work (versus simply achieving maximum utilization) and give simple ways for your team to measure its flow. We’ll look at examples of metrics including lead and cycle time, throughput, and the cumulative flow diagram (CFD), reviewing what each represents, easy ways to collect them, and how they can be used in both a Kanban and Scrum context. You’ll leave the session knowing how to interpret and capture all these valuable metrics, so your agile team can measure and improve its flow.

  • Liked Jaap Dekkinga,
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jaap Dekkinga, - Story point cost. How to calculate it and how to use it.

    Jaap Dekkinga,
    Jaap Dekkinga,
    Agile coach
    Excella
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Story point is an arbitrary relative measure used by Scrum/agile teams to define the effort required to implement a story or feature. This is a metric to measure the cost related to the implementation of story points. This metric is called Story Point Cost. It should allow to track development costs and also make the Scrum team aware about the budget issues of their project and for product owners to easier compare cost to gained value.

  • Liked Mathias Eifert
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mathias Eifert - Iterative vs. Incremental – What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Agile is an incremental and iterative approach to delivering value to our customers. But too often we assume it’s really all about ways to slice work into smaller batch sizes and that both approaches are fundamentally equivalent. However, there is a crucial difference and this lack of awareness is a major contributor to projects and teams that are AINO (Agile In Name Only)!

    In this session, we will discuss how to differentiate between incremental and iterative approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and why you really need both. We will explore the many ways in which iteration shapes the core of Agile practices, how it supports and enables the benefits of agility, and how understanding its awesome power is a key step in moving from “doing” Agile to truly being agile. In addition, we will take a close look at the practical implications of when to use each approach by discussing real world scenarios, highlighting common Agile anti-patterns and (re)examining familiar story slicing patterns.

    You will walk away with both a better understanding of one of the most important underlying principles of agility and immediately applicable insights for your daily work!

  • Liked Colleen Esposito
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Colleen Esposito - Simple Agile Design for YOUR Architecture

    Colleen Esposito
    Colleen Esposito
    Agile Coach
    Assurant
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Agile encourages us to eliminate activities that don’t add value and find the simplest solution possible to solve our business needs. For many teams, that can lead to a state where collaborative design no longer happens or is discussed on a whiteboard that gets erased after the conversation.

    How then, can you share the knowledge with team members who don’t work on that feature, or join the team after the feature is built? What about distributed teams, are they unable to have collaborative design because they don't have a whiteboard?

    I had those same questions in 2012, when Ron Garton of the Agile Coaching Network showed me a lightweight solution and we stopped creating traditional design documents. Ron provided me permission to bring that solution to the agile community through sessions like these.

    This solution helps everyone on the team understand what they will create or change in the current systems before it’s built, which can also be retained to increase the domain knowledge for that system later. Though the template itself can be helpful, like many agile tools, it’s the conversation that it starts that’s truly powerful.

  • Steve Moubray
    Steve Moubray
    Agile Coach
    cPrime, Inc.
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    How do you promote mastery of practice areas? Danial H. Pink tells us people are motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose. Small Agile teams promote autonomy while value streams and corporate missions promote purpose. Communities of Practice can be a great way to promote mastery, if formed correctly.

    Communities of Practice are more important today then they’ve ever been before. We’ve learned cross-functional teams are the best way to produce customer focused products but as we put people into value streams and product teams, are we creating silos where practice domains don’t communicate as often and knowledge gaps are widening? There’s a reason why most Agile Frameworks recommend forming Communities of Practice.

    In this workshop we’ll talk about forming masterful communities and you’ll create a handy pocket guide to take with you.

    Come learn how to form Masterful Communities of Practice and lead your organization going forward.