7 Transformational Sparks for Business Agility

Agile transformations typically fail to deliver true business agility because organizational power structures, norms, and culture remain locked into legacy models that oppose Agile. Similarly, companies fail because their organizations remain tuned to their traditional markets, even as disruption creates new dangers and innovation new opportunities. The failure to change hidebound bureaucracy and rigid organization structures leads to eventual disruption, and often dissolution.

Agile methods can serve as a foundation for organizational “sparks” that are adaptable and resilient in the face of disruption and relentless change. Those looking to leverage investment in Agile as a business differentiator must heed Conway’s Rule, and adapt organizational elements to support and enable true business agility. Join Sanjiv and Audrey to explore essential organizational sparks for business agility, including Lean Discovery, Agile PMO, Agile Budgeting, Dynamic Strategy, and Portfolio Kanban.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

Introduction and Agenda

Industry Snapshot

We'll present a lightning snapshot of the "State of Agile in 2018," including statistics from the VersionOne State of Agile survey. This will serve as a broad baseline of understanding where agile methods have been successful in the industry, and establish challenges to adopting agile end-to-end in our organizations. For instance, the "Ability to Change Culture" has been the leading obstacle in this survey for the past several years. Here, we will stress the critical importance of transformational leadership and organizational change management to overcoming these obstacles.

What is Business Agility?

We'll demystify and "de-jargonify" the concepts behind Business Agility, including the very popular Conway's Rule. We'll employ a video from Harvard Business Review to quickly convey the essential concepts of market disruption and disruptive innovation in an appealing and captivating way. We'll then link to agile methods as a critical driver of digital transformation and thereby business agility in today's turbulent business environment and hypercompetitive world.

7 Transformational Sparks for Business Agility

We'll bring to bear "lessons learned" from a decade-and-a-half of agile management consulting and training to communicate some essential patterns including: Standing Teams, Three Amigos and Value Teams, Lean Portfolio Management and Program Alignment Wall (PAW). Next, we'll cover 7 transformational sparks, including: Lean Discovery, Agile PMO, Agile Budgeting, Dynamic Strategy, and Portfolio Kanban.

I'll share case studies with significantly impactful business outcomes like 67% reduction in time-to-market reduction, 25% rise in employee engagement, and 35% improvement in customer satisfaction.

Learning Outcome

Understand Disruptive Innovation

Understand Conway’s Rule and organizational barriers to business agility

Collaboratively explore basic and advanced transformational sparks that drive business agility

Leave with a practical toolkit of transformational sparks for organizational design that drive business agility.

Target Audience

team leaders, managers, executives, program managers, product managers

Prerequisites for Attendees

Basic knowledge of Scrum, Kanban, SAFe, LeSS or other agile method(s).


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

  • 45 Mins

    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.

  • Ben Scott

    Ben Scott - A Roadmap to TDD adoption

    Ben Scott
    Ben Scott
    Technical Coach
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins

    You've heard all about how TDD will solve all your problems on a software project. Your defects go away, your time to market decreases, customer satisfaction goest through the roof. Everything is supposed to be awesome if your team just did TDD. However every time you try to adopt it, the adoption fails. Why? Let's explore why TDD is so hard for teams to adopt and find an alternative approach to either adopting it, or getting its benefits.

  • Ben Scott

    Ben Scott / Dennis Sharpe - Business Value Live

    45 Mins

    At the beginning of a project, teams will usually spend a lot of time on infrastructure, making it hard to demo anything to the business. There is a constant battle between engineers and product owners on what needs to be built first.

    But you do not need to compromise. Infrastructure can be generated, using an application generator called JHipster that allows scrum teams to focus primarily on delivering business value right at the start of a project.

    In a live demo, we will show you how to first generate a new Angular/Spring Boot application with just a few keystrokes. Then we can quickly deploy that application to the cloud. Lastly, we will create a Jenkins pipeline for automated CI/CD and deploy some changes quickly. The audience members will be also able to interact with the application using their mobile device.

  • Audrey Scheere

    Audrey Scheere - Let's Get Sustainable! Peace Corps Tools for Community-Driven Change

    10 Mins
    Lightning Talk

    Grapple with the local language, communicate value to stakeholders, help create sustainable change in the face of zero buy in... Is a Peace Corps volunteer really an Agile Coach? In this talk, explore Peace Corps project planning tools to root your Agile coaching in sustainability by helping teams brainstorm and plan their own improvements.

    Peace Corps volunteers serve for a short 27 months, so it is vital that all grant money and on-the-ground projects empower the local community to self-organize, buy-in, and create a long-term impact. Like Agile coaching, volunteer service is grounded in shaping sustainable change. Whether it is creating farm infrastructure, organizing youth development or building health outreach programs, successful projects must take on a life of their own through the local community.

    Take away an overview of team activities like asset mapping, pairwise ranking, seasonal calendaring, and the assessment tools of Participatory Analysis for Community Action to bring sustainability to help the community drive their own change.