Cynefin, Kanban and Crash Test Dummies

Glen Allen, VA

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Abstract: Agile has matured, offering a set of well recognized practices to encourage successful adoption. However, as Agile grows out from it from its comfort zone of single teams, the barriers of high compliance cultures and SDLCs block the path to team and organizational maturity. Scaled Agile models like SAFe and DAD can help plot the course around roadblocks to Agile organizational maturity. Mature Agile teams can ride out the bumps with a process and practice toolbox, born of experience, pulling from open source frameworks and the emergent field of DevOps. Management can take the time to develop a culture encouraging learning and a safe to fail environment. This setting in which a project operates forms the notion of a context.

So what happens to an Agile team when nothing about the context is working in its favor? What happens to Agile when none of the usual conditions for success exist? How do you leverage an appreciation of project complexity to drive the choice on which flavor of Agile to use?

This talk follows the adventures of a team of rookies as they hop in their brand new Scrum minivan, point it at the brick wall of a challenged project and hit the accelerator. This is a real life field report. A retrospective covering a multiyear project. You’ll hear what worked, what didn’t work and it will have you asking “What were you thinking when you tried that?”

 

Speaker Bio: Guy Winterbotham has a Bachelor of Engineering and Computer Science but somehow made the mistake of ending up in Project Management. Along that journey he has worked in the steel industry where he learned about the sort of workflow that if it fails, blows up and destroys factories. He has worked in the freight rail industry where he learned about the joys of bottlenecking on a national scale. He has worked in manufacturing and learned about WIP, JIT and the Japanese style of manufacturing with a pull based system. When he was offered a chance to work on his first Agile project, all these side trips helped him appreciate the practices of Agile.

Agile however is more about people and while Guy has all the usual certifications like a PMP and CSM, the one that has made the biggest impact on his approach with teams is his VYSA ‘E’ Soccer Coaching License. Nothing will teach you more about coaching teams and people than getting teenage girls to play nice while playing soccer. These days he tinkers and experiments with Agile on challenged and challenging Enterprise software development projects with large financial organizations and government agencies.