Key strategies for influencing leadership to let go of the traditional "waterfall" approach

schedule May 30th 10:20 - 11:20 AM place Capitol 5-7 people 113 Interested

A common question - "How do we even begin to change our traditional waterfall approach to Agile?" – may invoke responses such as, "we just need training", "create self-organizing teams", "setup a transition team", “SAFe”, etc. But those don’t get to the heart of the question. We need to get leaders to understand the “Why” and the "How" in order to help insure a successful transition and provide the proper support for their teams.

This session directly answers both the “Why?” and "How?" questions, by focusing on 2 key concepts and concrete practices, that leaders/managers need to learn and apply.

To do this, we start by helping them understand the context for agility and equipping them with new "agile glasses" that change the way they see and think about Agile. We equip them with 2 new "lenses" through which they can:

  1. Visualize the problem domain(s) that exist in their environment and understand the relative level of complexity and uncertainty represented in their projects or product delivery efforts, using the Cynefin framework and VUCA modeling. Understanding these can help to provide better context for decision-making and mitigate the risk of taking a "one size fits all" approach to product or project delivery.
  2. Visualize a multi-dimensional planning model, often referred to as the "5 Levels of Planning", that breaks the pattern of big up-front planning and wasteful change control processes, common to waterfall, by reinforcing the practice of continuous planning. This centers on getting them comfortable with key techniques associated with an adaptive approach, rather than a predictive approach to planning.

Many leaders view Agile as simply something that their teams need to learn and/or something that training alone will solve. The reality is that most agile initiatives fail due to a lack of leadership engagement (connection) because leaders aren't given the knowledge or tools to help them adapt.

If this describes you or your managers/leaders, then this session will help answer the question of “how do we get started…?”

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

Quick Introduction of self and topic

Connection (C1) –

Share a brief story of 2 different companies and how they dealt with the question of "How do we even begin to change our traditional waterfall approach to Agile?"

Ask everyone to introduce them to their table mates and share their own stories of how they answered the question, or if they’re still trying to figure out the answer.

Lecture / Concept (C2) portion –

Get everyone grounded on the 2 key concepts of: 1) Complexity, leveraging Cynefin and VUCA, and 2) Continuous Planning, leveraging emergence and empiricism.

  1. Introduce Cynefin framework – followed by exercise (see C3-1 below)
  2. Introduce VUCA and relate to concept of Empirical Process Control vs. Define Process Control – followed by exercise (see C3-2 below)
  3. Five Levels of Planning model, examples of a technique and/or artifact for each level of planning – followed by exercise (see C3-3 below)

Concrete Practice (C3) Core Exercise –

Provide handouts for individuals to take away. Exercises best preformed on a flip chart, so all table participants can effectively interact and contribute. Ask them to create a flipchart resembling the handout and slide I’ll be showing.

  1. Cynefin exercise - Ask each person to think about a current or recent project, product or problem they worked on, write that on a post-it, then discuss the characteristics with their table mates to see if they can make sense of what problem domain it might align with.
  2. Empirical Process Control or Define Process Control – Ask each table to map items from exercise 1 to either end of the spectrum (visual example provided)
  3. Five Levels of Planning modeling – Table talk with each person sharing their experiences and/or questions related to the techniques or artifacts at each level.

The point of the exercise is to have them learn how to visualize problems and then improve decision-making based on that understanding.

Close/Conclusion (C4) –

Wrap-up the exercise with table “Shout-Out” – Ask each table to pick 1 example and share it with the group.

Encourage everyone to ID 1 key take-away that they think they can use immediately with their leaders/managers/peers back at their organizations that would help answer the question, "How do we even begin to change our traditional waterfall approach to Agile?"

General Q & A

Learning Outcome

Introduction to Cynefin framework and VUCA model

Learn to differentiate Empirical, Defined, and Statistical Process Control models

Learn how to move toward continuous planning using the Five Levels of Planning model, including specific techniques for: Visioning, Mapping, Releasing, Iterating and Daily level planning.

Be better equipped to answer the question of “how do we change…” and leverage concrete practices to help take the right actions.

Target Audience

Leaders, Managers, Coaches, Scrum Masters,

schedule Submitted 8 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Tim Seastedt
    By Tim Seastedt  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • The pace and content was good

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • Sharing the slide deck with attendees 

  • Liked Erika Lenz
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Erika Lenz - Building safety as a servant leader: navigating conflict in a way that improves your team

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Along with shared goals, tools, and boundaries, psychological safety is a pre-requisite for a truly self-organizing team. Research shows that if you can create psychological safety for your teams, they will be more creative, willing to take risks, and speak their mind — just the types of behavior that lead to market breakthroughs and reduce project risk.

    But how do you cultivate psychological safety on a team? Is conflict ever ok? This workshop will give participants the chance to practice exercises for building safety in a fun setting. We'll focus on what safety is and isn’t, how agile leaders can support it using a learning mindset, and learn several team exercises for cultivating safety. We’ll also introduce one method for measuring psychological safety over time.

  • Liked Charles Vogl
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Charles Vogl - Creating a Culture of Belonging: Principles for Every Leader

    Charles Vogl
    Charles Vogl
    Charles Vogl
    schedule 6 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Strong cultures help people support one another, share their passions, and achieve big goals. And such communities aren’t just happy accidents - they can be purposefully cultivated, whether they’re in a company, a faith institution, or among friends and enthusiasts.

    But what makes a belonging culture? How is community changing in America? Author and executive consultant Charles Vogl discusses these questions and introduces fundamental ideas from his book, “The Art of Community”. With wisdom distilled from 3,000 years of spiritual tradition, Vogl will help leaders build loyalty, strengthen identity, and create meaning within their culture.

    We will discuss

    • 7 elements to create belonging
    • How to make culture meaningful
    • How to attract the right members
  • Liked Elisabeth White
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Elisabeth White - How to Coach Sr Leaders (and live to tell about it!)

    Elisabeth White
    Elisabeth White
    CapTech Consulting
    schedule 8 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    It's inevitable, and almost unavoidable, that Professionals of all skill-sets and experience will encounter "coaching up" situations. In this session, I will review three coaching techniques that can be used in Sr Leader and "coaching up" scenarios. These techniques will provide participants with new/alternative ways to prepare for, engage, follow up, and reflect with Sr Leaders. These techniques are heavily based in the core values of openness, courage, and respect and rooted in the fundamentals of cultural and human interaction.

  • Liked Chris Shinkle
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Shinkle - Introducing the Roadmap Wall: Building Alignment and Buy-In at All Levels of Your Organization

    Chris Shinkle
    Chris Shinkle
    SEP
    schedule 9 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate


    Implementing a product roadmap in an Agile way can be tough. Roadmaps are often written as a document that isn’t easily accessible. This leads to a variety of issues. A good agile roadmap should allow for agile practices such as daily standups and planning. They should create high visibility and transparency, operate with low overhead, and provide the right information to the right people at the right time.

    In this talk, Chris will share how he’s implemented a Roadmap Wall. He’ll show how to incorporate the roadmap components into a highly visible and actionable format. The roadmap wall has multiple benefits and will:

    • give leadership and executives visibility into how their business objectives influence features, story backlogs, and priorities
    • leverage delivery teams to understand technical feasibility tradeoffs
    • show the options available to satisfy competing customer needs
    • demonstrate a clear picture of how business objectives link to customer needs
    • provide near real-time information for decision making

    To realize these benefits, we’ll leverage a variety of familiar tools. Chris will show you how to use a kanban system to manage business objectives and OKRs. You’ll learn how using an opportunity solution tree clarifies the customer’s need when roadmapping. He’ll show you a new way to use story maps when detailing features, improving communication and planning.

    In the end, you’ll walk away with a new method for visualizing your product roadmap, giving your team better decision-making information.

  • Tomo Watanabe
    Tomo Watanabe
    Unknown
    schedule 8 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    This session is not only for current and aspiring Scrum Masters but also for People Managers, Development Team Members, Product Owners, Project Managers, and Leaders.

    The Scrum Guide defines what is expected of a Scrum Master. When you read it, I bet you react like "that's a piece of cake!" But when you actually do it, many of us come to a realization that it's really, really hard. (That's what happened to me!) The Scrum Master job is hard because much of it has to do with humans, one of the most complex beings in the universe. Humans are intelligent; humans have emotions; and humans are unpredictable. Just going through the motions does not cut it. Even if you approach with the best of your intention, matters could backfire on you anytime. Borrowing "You might be a redneck if..." from a comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, Tomo will present behaviors of a great Scrum Master and those of a "not so good" Scrum Master. Then, he will take you through why the great Scrum Master's behaviors make her great and how they contribute to building a high performing team and helping the organization be more effective and productive. Finally, he will share tips and tricks that help Scrum Masters grow into greatness (for example, powerful questions, 3 levels of listening, facilitation tools & techniques, etc.)!

    This session will give current and aspiring Scrum Masters what to focus on for career development and people in other roles a concrete idea on what qualities to look for in a Scrum Master.

    There will be a handout for participants to take home with.

  • Liked Melanie Kinser, PhD
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Melanie Kinser, PhD / Pete Kinser - Building Fierce Teams … with Science

    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Most organizations want to build cohesive, aligned teams who remain engaged over time and in turn, deliver excellent results for the organization. Unfortunately, many are still buying ping pong tables and beer coolers as an attempt to develop cohesion among their workforce. What science tells us is that true team cohesion is derived from alignment, shared values and the right blend of personalities and skills.

    As experts in psychology and organizational culture, we use scientifically validated tools to assess culture, personality and team dynamics. Assessment is the first step. Taking action to (re)build your team is next and unfortunately, often mishandled. Join us to learn how teams can align and define themselves, as well as select for fit.

  • Liked Peter McGraw
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Peter McGraw - Shtick to Business: How the masters of comedy can help you succeed in a serious world

    Peter McGraw
    Peter McGraw
    Humor Research Lab
    schedule 9 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    What can you learn about professional success from Chris Rock, Joan Rivers, and Charlie Chaplin? Just ask a behavioral scientist who teaches MBAs by day and decodes comedy by night.

    Dr. Peter McGraw—a business school professor, co-author of The Humor Code, and founder of the Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL)—translates the perspectives and practices of the world’s funniest people into powerful prescriptions for professional success.

    Drawing on real-world case studies from his global travels to crack the humor code, cutting-edge behavioral economics research, and his own comedy successes (and failures), McGraw reveals how the perspectives and practices of stand-ups, improvisers, writers, directors, clowns, and other comedy misfits can help you live a more successful professional life.

    And you will never have to tell a joke.

    McGraw pulls back the curtain on the craft of comedy to give you a glimpse into a mysterious world that will surprise you. Lessons include:

    • How a simple “101” comedy trick can help you overcome biases, improve your brand, and identify new business opportunities.
    • Why Nike and other innovative brands are behaving like Sarah Silverman, Andy Kaufman, and Joan Rivers in order to stand apart from the competition.
    • How the habits of Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, and other great comedy writers can be used to improve productivity—and well-being.
    • What Bill Murray’s 1-800 number illustrates about how saying “no” can be more important than saying “yes.”
    • And why $50 is not too much to pay for a notebook…if you actually write in it.
  • Liked Richard Dolman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Richard Dolman - Mirror, Mirror on the wall, what are the worst Vanity Metrics of them all?

    Richard Dolman
    Richard Dolman
    agile42
    schedule 8 months ago
    Sold Out!
    60 Mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Let’s face it, Metrics are a staple of virtually every organization.

    The intent behind Metrics is to improve. A very Agile idea indeed. Unfortunately, rampant misuse tends to create more waste than value. Teams often don't understand or believe in them. Managers often misinterpret them or never really use them. NOT a very Agile idea.

    We can change this. It's not just a Fairy Tale.

    We can empower teams to take ownership of their data, including defining what data really helps them improve. We can educate management to better understand what to ask for and how to properly interpret the data. Thus, turning Vanity metrics into Valuable metrics, that can be used for good, not for evil.

    It starts by having an open conversation with genuine curiosity about what really matters and asking, "Is the data a real reflection of the truth?", "Can you consistently reproduce the same results (good or bad)?" and "What decisions can we make, or actions we can take, based on these metrics?"

    This workshop will explore these and other questions as well as provide a way to apply a well-known model to test for 'vanity'.

  • Richard Dolman
    Richard Dolman
    agile42
    schedule 8 months ago
    Sold Out!
    120 Mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    STATIK (Systems Thinking Approach To Introducing Kanban) can be a great way to help Scrum teams get up and running quickly. “Heresy!” you say.
    But it doesn’t have to be just one or the other, a blue pill or red pill choice.

    This is not the same thing as “Scrum-ban”.
    This is “Start with what you do, or know, now” in order to help avoid over-thinking how existing work, structures and/or roles “fit” within Scrum.
    Specifically, applying this approach designed for Kanban can dramatically accelerate the forming and improvements of a Scrum team.

    This session will provide an understanding of STATIK and how to apply it effectively as part of a Team Chartering workshop for new or existing Scrum teams. We have used this approach to help teams Form and establish Norms for them to work toward, including how they will norm around Scrum. Participants will learn how to apply this approach to help remove some of the frustration and confusion often experienced by teams as they learn to apply Scrum consistently.

    … and tomorrow "you will wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe."