Agile without labels: Beyond Scrum and Kanban
We live in a world where everyone is either an agile practitioner, wants to be one or pretends to be one. But how do you implement agile in your organization to deliver products that are fit for purpose and fit for use? Is there a silver bullet? Due to a number of reasons, often tactical implementation of an agile methodology and tools to jumpstart agile in an organization leads and overshadows the values and principles behind the Agile Manifesto, which prevents the organization from reaping the rewards of true agility.
This session presents a principles-based approach to implementing and maturing agile practices in your organization. By examining the successes and failures along the journey of a mission-critical system at GSA, we will discuss how we have conjured up an agile methodology that works within our constraints at GSA, and has allowed us to enhance user experience for over 2000 users in a short amount of time. This methodology optimizes a series of interrelated feedback loops (from product conceptualization through production deployment) to deliver customer-centric products faster. Using workplace experiences, we will interactively examine how different organizations within GSA, including but not limited to Contracting Office, Program Office and IT, have collaborated to making agile a reality at GSA despite being geographically dispersed. Further, we will share our observations and techniques we’ve employed to minimize risk from cognitive biases and likely pitfalls that one may encounter when attempting to implement agile practices.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
- 00:05 | Introduction and Purpose
- Speaker Introduction
- Purpose of the talk
- Structure of the talk
- What outcomes should the audience expect
- 00:05 - 00:10 | The Problem
- GSA Business Line’s novel idea with unintended consequences
- Understanding the constraints within GSA
- 00:10 - 00:20 | Asking the Right Questions to Form a Solution
- Organizational agility is much more than scrum and kanban
- Decomposing the problem into multi-level issues that could be attacked independently
- Building the necessary triggers and responses in place
- How do you learn from failures and build on successes
- 20:00 - 30:00 | Building the Right Software and Building It Right
- Bringing together opinions and preferences of 12 geographically-dispersed user groups
- Establishing clear product ownership with the business organization to develop a solid product vision that delivers on the needs
- Transparency of operations between the development team, GSA IT staff, and GSA business line
- Tailoring the release management process
- Institutionalizing a show early and show often mentality at GSA. The challenge of moving away from ‘needs to be right the first time around’ mindset
- 00:30 - 00:35 | Tying it all Together
- Lessons Learned
- Success Stories
- 00:35 - 00:45 | Interactive Discussion and Q&A
- Discovering and designing better ways of building software using values and principles of agile rather than frameworks.
- Jump-starting agile transformation using a continuous improvement approach.
- Detecting anti-patterns in agile practices.
Agile practitioners trying to improve organizational agility, Senior leadership thinking about agile transformation
Prerequisites for Attendees
Knowledge of the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Agile Principles is recommended but not required