Slicing heuristics - Techniques for improving value generation, speed to market and delivery predictability

schedule Jul 30th 04:00 - 05:00 PM place EN103 L100 people 124 Interested

Story (or, more accurately, capability) slicing is such a core and necessary practice for creating agility at team, portfolio and even organisational level. Yet it is not explicitly included in any of the popular methods and frameworks teams use such as XP, Scrum and Kanban.

Slicing heuristics are collaborative, contextual, evolving techniques for creating focus on value-generating activities, leading to delivering value sooner and with more predictability. They incorporate all of the 4 core agile values from the manifesto, and many of the 12 principles, particularly:

  • continuous improvement (inspect and adapt),
  • maximising the amount of work not done (simplicity and focus)
  • face-to-face conversations
  • continuous delivery of value

Best results are obtained if heuristics are applied for all types of work, by all of the folks collaboratively across the value chain, but they can be used as safe-to-fail experiments by individuals and groups wherever they sit in the product delivery pipeline.

From a practical perspective, they involve:

  • slicing deliverables at all levels, not only "story"
  • flow metrics (cycle times and variation)
  • specific inspect and adapt / continuous improvement activities to improve speed-to-market and predictability
  • big visible boards (ideally)

Come and learn about this powerful, practical approach to improving agility in your team or organisation from wherever you sit right now.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Interactive

I would like this to be a talk, but I will interact with the audience as I go through rather than leave Q&A to the end, due to the complex nature of the topic and to make it more engaging.

Learning Outcome

  • Learn what slicing heuristics are and how to apply them
  • Learn how to truly slice stories and other types of capability, and the importance of doing so in product development
  • Learn a practical approach to embed collaborative slicing and continuous improvement as core practices
  • Learn about the power of defining how long you want work to take over estimating how long it will take, and why it's key to agility

Target Audience

Product Managers/Owners, Project Managers, Development team members (programmers, analysts, testers, designers, etc.), Program/Portfolio Managers, Executives

Prerequisites for Attendees

While Agile beginners might get some good insights, the talk is really aimed at more advanced/experienced practitioners, with at least:

  • Good level of understanding of Agile values and principles, with several years of experience at the coal face
  • Familiarity with iterative/incremental ways of working and their benefits
  • Familiarity with the concept of customer/user-centric work types such as JTBD, user stories, etc., and their benefits
  • Familiarity with story slicing and its benefits
schedule Submitted 4 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker

  • Liked Alex Sloley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alex Sloley - The End is Nigh! Signs of Transformation Apocalypse

    Alex Sloley
    Alex Sloley
    Alex Sloley
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    How can an Agile Coach figure out when an Agile “Transformation” is going wrong? Are there signs that they might see, heed, and take action upon? Of course, there are!

    Hindsight is 20/20, but in the moment, these warning signs can be hard to see. Let’s explore some of the more common, and frightening, warning signs that your Agile “Transformation” might be exhibiting. We will discuss transformation provider types, frameworks, keywords, and other anti-patterns that might be signs that THE END IS NIGH.

    This session will review common themes and help familiarize you with the warning signs. Armed with this new knowledge, you will be able to plan as appropriate, to help navigate your organization through potential impending doom.

  • Liked Teri Christian
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Teri Christian / April Direito - Digital Product Mastery - Optimize Your System

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    The move away from traditional ways of working and thinking to digitization leads to change in the way we work, learn and measure. It is important to understand how the digital economy has shifted our ways of working in a digital organization from strategy to execution.

    Join us in game play where we will explore Digital Product Management and the Critical Success Factors, Events and Skills needed to create value flow to customers. We will look at the skills needed for a company to move from being descriptive to one that can respond to emergent needs. Applying this knowledge will help organisations transform their operating model have a competitive edge in a VUCA economy. Plan to Win!

  • Liked Stephen Dowling
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Stephen Dowling - The Importance of Finance in an 'Agile Transformation'

    Stephen Dowling
    Stephen Dowling
    Founder
    ETM
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Do you want to fast track the adoption of Agile & Lean ways of working (& thinking) within your organisation?

    If so, I believe a huge help will be to make friends with Finance right from the very beginning! How good would it be, if we could get the Finance function to become one of our strongest allies? In organisations, the reality is, nothing much can happen without funding. This enables absolutely everything. If we cannot establish and evolve suitable ‘fit for purpose’ funding & resource allocation models, right from the start, enabling agility is a wishful dream!

    Finance drive this process, and, if we’re serious about creating more Agile organisations at speed which are ongoing and sustainable, then, getting the finance function onboard from the very beginning, will act like a massive steroids injection, and not doing it I believe will sow the seeds for ultimate failure!

    In my experience, not enough time is spent engaging with & educating the Finance function. Finance has a very critical role to play in the evolution of more Agile & Lean organisations and the sooner their leadership can understand and embrace these Agile & Lean ways of working (& thinking), the better for everybody in the organisation. We want (& need) them to take an active, & leadership role in this evolution.

    Once Finance fully grasp & understand these new ways of working (& thinking) and how they fit with what they do, they will quickly realise, that, these new ways are essential, to help them to cope better with a very fast changing world, but they can also help them, to do critical elements of their own job better (e.g. control, compliance and risk management), and do it more effectively. By embracing these new ways, Finance will become a critical partner, to not only fulfill their existing role, but to play an even more important, ongoing business critical role, to support and & enable organisational performance.

    As Agile practitioners, what we’ve got to realise is that, by doing this we will need to get them to unlearn much of what they have been formally trained to do. This covers fundamental areas such as their core beliefs (mindset), how to lead and the management processes to be used. This will not be like asking them to swap out or change a favored briefcase, it’s more like, are you willing to undergo open heart surgery for the organisation? To do this we’ll need them to be extremely brave and courageous, as they will going against the mainstream, leaving what they believe is the safe calm harbor of what has worked in the past! To do this, they will need much help, support, understanding and patience, as this will not be an easy & painless journey!!!

    In this workshop Stephen will share his proven strategy and approach, to engage with Finance, to help get them onboard as quickly as possible.

  • Liked Nish Mahanty
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Nish Mahanty - Moving from a monolith to a distributed monolith - a cautionary tale on adopting microservices

    Nish Mahanty
    Nish Mahanty
    Director of Engineering
    REA Group
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    30 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    This talk is a case study of our architectural evolution over the last 2 years.

    Our start-up had licensed a customised warehouse management system in order to demonstrate our innovative new business model. The WMS had a traditional 3-tier architecture based on Java and SQL server, and was lightning fast with most of the business logic encapuslated in stored procedures.

    Out our start-up we needed to be able to "test and learn" - ie rapidly develop and deploy new features and test them in the market with our customers. Based on the feedback we would identify tweaks to the business model, and fine-tune the functionality that our customers wanted.

    We had a launch date 5 months in future, a need to scale rapidly, growing the team from 2 devs to 20 within 8 weeks. And we needed to be able to work in parallel on multiple features. Whilst ensuring that the application was secure, performant, and reliable.

    The answer, according to a bunch of experts, was to adopt microservices.

    Three years later, we have a suite of secure, scalable, and resilient applications running in AWS. We deploy to Production multiple times a day, and our MTTR is less than 30 minutes.

    And we have Services. Some of them are "micro".

    But reflecting on what we learned in that period, there are a lot of things that we wished we had done differently.

    In this talk I'll walk you through the evolution of our architecture, explain some of the choices, and highlight what we learned, and discuss what we would do differently if faced with the same decisions today.

    This case study talks about the last 9 months of our start-up where we went from “no team, and limited functionality” – to launching a successful and thriving business backed by completely custom trading platform and fulfilment engine.

  • Liked Jochy Reyes
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jochy Reyes - Meet your monsters. Tame your monsters: Role anti-patterns we need to watch out for

    Jochy Reyes
    Jochy Reyes
    Agile Coach
    ANZ
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    "Before you can kill the monster you have to say its name"

    As coaches and practitioners of Agile we see role anti-patterns everywhere lurking, sometimes quietly sleeping and waiting to kill (the momentum!) of our teams.

    Have you met the Mr.Frost a.ka. the Frozen Middle Manager? The "Busy Bee-ast" so deep in her hero culture she has become a bottleneck and a crutch for the team. What about Hydra, the 9-headed PO, who can't make up his mind on his 10000 requirements. He comes with an extra technical head that takes joy on the fact he still has code access. The head occasionally makes code changes to "help" the team with the backlog without their permission.

    This talk is about these monsters. The monsters around us and potentially within us.

    We will know them, discuss them and identify how we can equip ourselves and the teams we work with to battle their evil rather questionable forces. More importantly in this talk, whether living around us or living within us, we will uncover how we can help guide the monsters to the right path.

  • Liked Pete Cohen
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Pete Cohen - Agile and Emerging Technologies - Things ain't what they used to be

    Pete Cohen
    Pete Cohen
    Principal Consultant
    DiUS Computing
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    ‘Industrial Revolution 4.0’ and ‘exponential change’ are two concepts that are creating a lot of buzz lately, and for good reason. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things are being adopted at a staggering pace. Platforms companies such AWS have lowered the barrier to entry, and are enthusiastically supporting organisations to experiment and propel forwards into a new way of doing business.

    At DiUS we are fortunate to have a front row seat as this wave of change arrives. With our in-house specialists in areas such as AI and IoT, we have formed broad cross functional teams - including engineers, experience designers and agile delivery leads - to help our customers solve their business problems using emerging technologies.

    Through this talk I will provide insights based on case studies of DiUS's recent project experiences. We'll contrast the dynamics with the digital software world that many of us are accustomed to working within, and highlight the constraints introduced by factors such as hardware manufacturing, acquiring training sets for machine learning, and navigating the complex systemic challenges associated with entering immature markets. Finally, we will discuss what we as a community need consider as to how we apply the agile practices and mindset in this new context going forward.

  • Liked Simon Bristow
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Simon Bristow - A framework for strategic agility

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    In today's world, if businesses aren’t more agile in the way they execute on their strategies, they risk over investing on initiatives that won’t result in the future growth they seek.

    In this talk, we will discuss and share stories from organisations driving towards holistic business agility, and present a simple framework that can help organisations better check the performance of future growth strategies, and act earlier when it looks like those strategies are not going to turn up.

  • Liked Jordana Patterson
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jordana Patterson - Who says we can't change change the world?

    30 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Jordana will share her experience over the last two years of introducing and embedding Agile in the Marketing Department at World Vision, Australia’s largest international aid organisation. She’ll provide insights into how her team has broken new ground in adapting Agile principles and tools for a not-for-profit environment, where the business goal is transformation in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. She’ll also delve into the unique challenges of applying Agile in the Marketing space and across a department comprising a broad sweep of functional disciplines, from Product, Brand, Creative and Social through to Campaign Management, Marketing Automation and Data & Analytics. You’ll hear what Jordana has learned along the way – evolving from the chaos of competing priorities, resource bottlenecks, and everyone starting everything but completing very little, to a place where continual improvements to shared working rhythms and rituals are starting to deliver real results.

  • Liked Rick Giner
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Rick Giner - Increase your profits by a factor of four: the compelling business case for Inclusive Design

    30 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    We've all heard that digital Accessibility is the right thing to do. We probably all know it's a legal requirement. But does it really make business sense to put in the effort to become compliant? In this presentation Rick will explore and challenge some of the common justifications for avoiding the requirement - and look at how we can in fact make a very compelling case for building products with Inclusive Design and Accessibility in mind.

  • Liked Justin Holland
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Justin Holland - Cultivating quiet: The death of the need to always DO (Working Title)

    30 Mins
    Interactive
    Beginner

    I wrote this blog a short while ago: https://medium.com/@justin.holland/cultivating-quiet-38cec9466feb

    I feel like there are other continuous improvement addicts, or perennial impostor syndrome sufferers that feel the compulsive need to be more than they are, and do more in order to reach that unattainable perfect state of being...

    And I know that a bunch of us find ourselves in a state of constant information processing & overload... thanks to the infinite information we are exposed to every day.

    I have also come to believe this can be super unhealthy, and that there is something fundamental that we are losing, thanks to our perpetual busyness.

    Some come and have a little chat, and reflect, about the role of not doing... and instead... being... (quietly)

  • Liked Raymond Dellar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Raymond Dellar - Habitual Dependence and Gamification in Products

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    This presentation will come with the goal of teaching attendees;

    - How to look out for gamification and habitual depedance in the real world and digital products

    - How these features will try to use your own brain chemistry to their advantage

    - How to use these features in your own products and assit your customers into building good habits

    After walking away from this presentation the attendees should feel they have a much better understanding of habitual loops companies will put in their products to try and get you onboard, the ways in which they will try to manipulate you, and how you can use these powers for good.

  • Liked Daniel Ploeg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Ploeg - An introduction to STATIK - getting starting with Kanban

    Daniel Ploeg
    Daniel Ploeg
    Kanban Coach
    Evogility
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Given that Kanban is more than just "Post-its on wall", getting started is often misunderstood and leads to shallow implementations that don't give you much bang for your buck. In this talk, I will give you a brief introduction of how to get a Kanban implementation underway effectively using a technique that has been tried and tested worldwide. We will look at STATIK - the "Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban". As we unpack it, you'll see that it can be very helpful in getting your Kanban system started in the right way and will help guide the conversations that you need to have to get started.

  • Liked Daniel Prager
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Prager / Andi Herman - When at first they don't want to change: Shared lessons from Addiction Therapy and Agile Coaching

    45 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    The easy case for coaching looks something like this: a prospective coachee wants to change, can articulate their goals, and is matched up with a suitably experienced and competent coach, the two are a good fit, and they quickly get down to the challenging yet rewarding business of growth and change.

    But what if a person (or team) doesn't want to change and would rather not be coached? And despite this an external power deems that change is needed and that coaching will bring this change about. What's a coach to do? What about the coachee(s)? What about the role of the client who's engaged the coach?

    This situation is not uncommon, and bears more that a passing resemblance to what often goes on in addiction treatment. A person with a drug addiction (and often other problems) doesn't necessarily welcome therapeutic intervention at the outset. But an external authority has ordered it.

    In this session we will explore the parallels between the two modalities of addiction therapy and coaching, including the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model of Change and the related technique of Motivational Interviewing.

    These approaches offer insights into how to flex and adapt your coaching approach in the face of some of the most common human impediments to change.

  • Chris Drylie
    Chris Drylie
    Sr. Product Owner
    StarRez
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    30 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The importance of having direction and the right focus is not as clear cut as most companies think. Most of the time we try to fit ourselves into principles that make sense on paper but do not make sense in real life. I learned this lesson from trying to teach my 7-year-old daughter to play basketball (Trying to live my dreams through my child) and she constantly asked me why we did things a certain way when we can do it this way and this got me thinking.

    This presentation is about ignoring the buzz words, lean, agile and waterfall, and understanding that these are frameworks that we should not be cramming ourselves into. But using them in a way that suits you as a team/ business. To truly realize that our way of thinking needs to be flexible and adjust outside these methodologies, so we can grow to work to our best potential.

    We will talk about things we have done wrong, things we have done right and understood your teams and how they look at things, share in our experiences. Do we follow things to religiously and do we really do it right!


    In essence, this presentation is about thinking like a 7-year-old and continues discovery vs What We know. It takes a look at how the team is the core of the platform and not something that fits into the latest phase we are going through.

  • Liked Ed O'Shaughnessy
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ed O'Shaughnessy / Alexandra Stokes / Jeanette Peterson / Mark Barber / Penelope Barr / Renee Troughton / Robyn Elliott / Tomas Varsavsky - The Good, Bad & Ugly: what we've learned in 10 years of scaling agile -- a panel discussion

    45 Mins
    Panel
    Intermediate

    Agile is now all grown up and is pretty much the de facto way of working for most teams, but it's proven to be a challenge for adoption at scale. Over the last ten years or so there has been a lot of trial and error figuring out how to break through the cultural barriers, political resistance and technical hurdles that large organisations present. This panel of luminaries (!) brings a wealth of experience helping many different types of organisations transform themselves to be fit for purpose in the 21st century. Come along to hear their stories, some good, some bad and probably a few ugly ones!

    PLEASE NOTE: this session will be recorded live by The Weekly Reboot podcast and made available for public consumption. Your attendance will be taken as acceptance to being recorded and publicly broadcast.

  • Liked Mia Horrigan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mia Horrigan - How to survive the Zombie Scrum Apocalypse

    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    A couple of years ago Christiaan Verwijs and Johannes Schartau coined the term ‘Zombie-Scrum’. What's it all about?

    Well, at first sight Zombie Scrum seems to be normal Scrum. But it lacks a beating heart. The Scrum teams do all the Scrum events but a potential releasable increment is rarely the result of a Sprint. Zombie Scrum teams have a very unambitious definition of what ‘done’ means, and no drive to extend it. They see themselves as a cog in the wheel, unable and unwilling to change anything and have a real impact: I’m only here to code! Zombie Scrum teams show no response to a failed or successful Sprint and also don’t have any intention to improve their situation. Actually nobody cares about this team. The stakeholders have forgotten the existence of this team long time ago.

    Zombie Scrum is Scrum, but without the beating heart of working software and its on the rise. This workshop will help you understand how to recognise the symptoms and cuases of Zombie Scrum and what you can do to get started to combat and treat Zombie-Scrum. Knowing what causes Zombie Scrum might help prevent a further outbreak and prevent the apocalypse

  • Liked James Holmes
    keyboard_arrow_down

    James Holmes - "Agile Software Development actually involves writing software," and other shocking facts.

    30 Mins
    Interactive
    Beginner
    This presentation will focus on the some principles that have been largely ignored in the way we teach agility to people:
    • "Working software is the primary measure of progress."
    • "Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility."
    • "Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential."
    We'll cover these by bringing Extreme Programming (XP) up-to-date. We'll also go over software design principles and practices that help, including:
    • loose coupling and tight cohesion
    • declarative programming
    Expect to see actual code running on an actual computer at some point.
  • Liked David Alia
    keyboard_arrow_down

    David Alia - The Dome: A powerful experiment for change when change is hard

    David Alia
    David Alia
    CEO
    OCTO Technology
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate
    "In ""Under the Dome"", the novel by Stephen King, the inhabitants of Chester's Mill wake up to a strange barrier, which is similar to a dome, covering the whole city, completely isolating it from the surrounding world.
    The dome is impenetrable, only a small amount of air and water can pass through.
    Following this puzzling event, the community under the dome has to change, for the best or the worst.

    Most successful transformations at scale have a lot in common with this novel, metaphorically speaking of course.
    Based on this story, we designed a brand new culture hacking experiment that proved to be successful in many environments.

    Change automatically generates resistance from the team to change AND from the ecosystem around (the ""antibodies"").
    What if, in order to change the culture of a whole ecosystem, a team was isolated from the outside world, protected by an unbreakable and transparent dome?

    This story can be used as a referential, as this is a metaphor helping communicate and relate to the challenges faced in situations of change.
    Using it as an alignment between fiction and reality, this story will open the discussion to easily relatable transformation and business agility topics."
  • Liked Daniel Ploeg
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Daniel Ploeg - The Ship Game

    Daniel Ploeg
    Daniel Ploeg
    Kanban Coach
    Evogility
    schedule 5 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Using Origami, attendees will see how flow can work in a "pull system" and compare that to the way it responds to a "push system". From this simple simulation, attendees will experience how increased WiP actually slows down our ability to deliver something to a customer.

    Come along and experience flow and how you can start to improve your customer outcomes, not by doing more but by doing less!

  • Liked Ben Dechrai
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ben Dechrai - Why You Shouldn't Care About Security

    Ben Dechrai
    Ben Dechrai
    Developer Evangelist
    Auth0
    schedule 4 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    API development is fun! Everyone is doing it, from large organisations wanting to provide developer access to their systems, to small websites wanting to push web application business logic to the browser.

    Password security is boring. It's also harder than you'd think. The number of reported system breaches is on the increase, with big names being hit by hackers.

    And when it comes to a service-oriented architecture, you have to secure multiple services. That's just tedious.

    There are a number of solutions, but few that let you pretty much forget about security and access control.

    In this talk and demo, Ben will show how using a third-party identity management system will allow you to ramp up your prototypes and MVPs with more ease, and to concentrate on the core purpose of the APIs, rather than the layers of security that are a must in today's digital world.