Sharon M will be presenting the following session
  • Sharon M Robson

    Sharon M Robson - How to stop the weaponizing of Agility practices in the workplace

    Sharon M Robson
    Sharon M Robson
    Enterprising Agility
    schedule 9 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    This is a topic that I have been exploring with coaches for a while now. It’s basically recognising that sometimes the agility practices, tools and techniques are used against others in the work place to support poor behaviour, low maturity or personal agendas.

    The main phrase I hear used is “that’s not agile” and I find this one used generally against stakeholders outside of the agility delivery teams to push back on any information or engagement request that stakeholders have. This is very concerning since the fundamental values of agility talk about interaction, engagement, collaboration and putting the customer first. In my experience, everything is agile if we are working together to create the solution for our clients, customers and teams.

    Another one I hear is “there’s no planning in agile” or “we are agile, we don’t document things”. Both of which are not true, nor do they convey the fundamental propositions in agility that are around crafting your own practices and approaches to add maximum value to the organisation. This means that if your organisation needs a plan for funding, resourcing or capability management – then create one! Same if information needs to retained for legal, regulatory or audit purposes – then create them!

    At team level, the use of planning poker and story points by different team members to “estimate” the dev component and the testing components of a story separately are also used to create internal team silos – rather than working together this is used to further separate the skills and reduce the advantages of cross functional teams.

    Structuring agility ceremonies with a bias towards extravert behaviours, being focused on creating podiums from which on certain people can speak are also another way I see this happen. This directly challenges the fundamental premise of collaborative working practices and psychological safety in the teams.

    Metrics (and velocity in particular) being used to “whip” teams to working harder and faster are quite common.

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

The challenges in delivery of value, customer alignment and the "squeeze" at the end of the delivery lifecycle - I figured that there HAD to be a better way...and started exploring Modern Working practices - they helped a lot!

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

The idea that iterative working patterns are able to create "factory" like conditions, we need to move away from the focus on "efficient" (time/cost) and focus on "effective" (fit for purpose)

3. What do you think are the most exciting developments in software product engineering today?

The toolsets for CI/CD make life so much easier, as do the collaborative working tools what allow collaboration as development is happening

4. Why did you choose the topic(s) you will be speaking about at the conference?

I'm passionate about making the workplace a better place! We need to inject humanity and humility into our workplaces to allow us to invest our time and energy well. otherwise we will only ever be "drones" which is very sad

5. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s) at Agile India?

Awareness of the challenges of modern working practices, helping people understand how to resist the push towards weaponisation of practices, and bring the focus back to the fundamentals behind modern working practices

6. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?

Oh wow! so many good ones! Looking forward to Shane Hastie's session - its' always worth attending

7. Any personal remarks/message you want to share with the software community?

It's so wonderful that we are able to work and collaborate globally - the community is about breaking down barriers, and our community demonstrated that consistently