Todd will be presenting the following session
  • Todd Little

    Todd Little - Turbocharge your Scrum

    Todd Little
    Todd Little
    Kanban University
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    Has your Scrum implementation failed to reach the expected benefits or stalled out?  You’re not alone – Jeff Sutherland, co-founder of the Scrum Framework has stated that 58% of Scrum implementations fail. The Kanban Method can help your Scrum.

    Too often I hear people ask whether they should use Scrum or Kanban, or they try to make a comparison between Scrum and Kanban. This is a flawed comparison seeing each as a competing framework.  Scrum is a framework that provides intentionally incomplete guidance for product development.  In contrast, the Kanban Method is a management method for managed evolutionary change, or an unframework.  While Scrum usually involves a transformation and a reorganization to create the teams and roles, the Kanban Method starts with what you do now and provides management guidance on continuous improvement through managed evolutionary change. The Kanban Method can be applied regardless of whether you are starting from waterfall, Scrum, SAFe, or chaos.

    If you have already transformed to Scrum, then applying the Kanban Method simply means starting with Scrum and use Kanban to tackle your (Scrum)-issues one by one. Kanban will guide you with principles and practices. These principles and practices have significant and a beneficial overlap with the Scrum Framework.

    Join Todd as he shares how these principles and practices of the Kanban Method look from a Scrum perspective and what a Scrum team can do to utilize the Kanban Method to improve their Scrum. Through a case study, Todd will show the Kanban Method can turbocharge your Scrum.

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

I'm a Chemical and Petroleum Engineer by background and was writing software and managing teams since 1979. As I came into more management roles in the 1990's, I started looking at the state of Software Engineering and while there were some interesting perspectives, what I saw from most "waterfall" or maturity methodologies was inconsistent with my background as an Engineer trained to emphasize feedback loops. At the time I also explored complexity science and in 1998 met Jim Highsmith who was the first person I met talking about software development in a manner consistent with my background and experience.  I became active in the agile community because I had run some conferences within my company, and in 2002 I again met Jim along with Alistair Cockburn and agreed to help co-found the first Agile Alliance "Agile Development Conference" which is now known as Agile 2022.

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

There is still a huge misunderstanding of the nature of discovery and uncertainty.  Due to this uncertainty comes a natural response to try to control the process or the inputs in order to control the outputs. That mindset created the big waterfall methodologies and unfortunately still persists. The only way to manage or control uncertainty effectively is through feedback loops.  

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

I am always amazed at the way the community is able to generate novel solutions, often times to solve problems we didn't even know we had.  I think this will continue for quite some time.

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

I think there are a lot of Scrum teams that are struggling.  Either they have failed already, or have made some minor improvements and now stagnate.  This is not the failure of Scrum per say, but perhaps because they don't know how to really improve. There is also a perception that Kanban and Scrum are alternative frameworks.  This is looking at Kanban from a Scrum mindset.  While Scrum is a framework for product development, Kanban is not a framework but rather something to apply as a method for evolutionary change starting from where you are now.  If you are currently using Scrum, then Kanban can start with what you do now and provide tools for improvement.  We have seen this successfully applied multiple times getting significant results.

5. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s) at Agile India?
  • Understand the basic principles and practices of The Kanban Method
  • Discover those principles and practices through the lens of a Scrum practitioner
  • See managed evolutionary change using the Kanban Method in action through case studies with Scrum as the starting point
6. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?

I haven't seen the program yet.  Unfortunately due to time zones I'm not sure how much I can attend.  I've always enjoyed the in person events.  I've been attending Agile India since 2014.

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

Keep on challenging the status quo.