Inviting Organizational Growth
I show how we may engage with people and the organization as a whole; to invite a new way of working. When we think of growth as an organic, natural process we may foster deep and lasting success. To truly invite Agile into an organization, we need to have a people-oriented approach to growth that honours the Agile Mindset. Amazing results emerge when we listen and honour what is there. This includes valuing all people — workers, managers and execs. But it’s not easy — standing in the truth is a difficult, courageous and rewarding practice.
Our beliefs and unconscious behaviours are what is actually preventing our success with Agile. I invite participants to recognize and let go of patterns and habits that are blocking their success: the pushing, driving, evangelizing and selling that creates resistance. Through this illustration of leadership-in-practice we can see more clearly where we need to grow. To be the change we want to see in the world.
Replace Plexiglass cubes — by hidden pictures: We live our culture!
Have you ever found a Plaxiglass cube or similar symbolic dust catcher on your desk a random morning coming to work? Giving it a closer look, you find the ‘companies values’ or the ‘how we are and behave principles’ or similar. This felt very cheesy to me and I decided to do it differently with my teams.
We seat together an started to discuss about our current culture at engineering department… The outcome was an hidden picture, as you may know it from Mordillo or from reading to your kids.
What happend when we hang up the picture to our office wall and how it influenced the companies culture for good, will be content of my talk. Happy to see you there and can’t wait for discussion and questions after the talk.
(Don’t) Use The Force, Luke
Manifest talks about self-organization, while Scrum values mention both respect and commitment. So… how does a renovated manager of an Agile organization look like? What is his power? And how shall she use her privilege and authority?
We can cancel titles, but it’s not possible to cancel a social rank. The strongest link of a chain often defines organization’s ability to change. If you love it, let it go? What if the team isn’t ready yet? What if company reputation is at stake? What if I become unnecessary in the organization I’ve built? How one can use her power wisely, avoiding authoritative decisions and micromanagement? How one can stay with a light side even when environment pushes to fight fires habitually? How one can unlock herself of being the main impediment to self-organization of the team?
This talk is about why we aspire to power and how to use it for good.
An agile introduction to DevOps
It’s one of the current buzzwords in the agile world. But what does “DevOps” really mean? Is it a role? A specialization of work? A mindset?
In this session we’ll talk about the evolution that led to DevOps’ big role in our lives. What people mean when they talk about it (and it’s not always the same thing); what it means in terms of technological and organizational terms. We’ll even discuss tools and practices (because we value those too) that have been developed since its inception, like continuous delivery and what it entails.
“We are uncovering better ways of developing software” says the agile manifesto. Is DevOps one of those better ways? Come see for yourself.
Rethinking Agile Leadership
The Agile world seems to have recently discovered the importance of «leadership». This can be very good news and it can also very bad news.
It’s bad news if the so-called «Agile Leadership» is a way to rebrand traditional management models, along with their underlying mindset, so that they could survive in a rather different cultural ecosystem — namely, Agile.
On the other hand, this interest can be very good news if Agile Leadership is seen as something almost entirely new. Something tightly connected to Agile and, therefore, deeply rooted in complexity and empiricism. Something that carries a deep understanding of human dynamics in highly cooperative, intellectually intense social environments. Something that — last but not least — is equipped with a good deal of self-awareness, system-awareness and self-transcendence.
Modern and truly Agile organizations want and need to, among other things: explore and validate multiple options, not sticking to predefined plans; learn constantly, re-plan as needed; leverage the collective intelligence of their teams, for better exploration of options and smarter learning; have built-in resiliency when facing sudden change; getting results out of people’s participation, not out of people’s compliance.
In this sense the whole concept of true Agile Leadership is quite important indeed, because it’s fundamental to nurture and support those organizations that really embody an Agile culture, and that are so far away from the «organization as a machine» approach that’s so typical of traditional leadership and management disciplines.
Agile Leadership or, rather, the act of «leading» in Agile is so much different from those disciplines because it’s inherently organic, meaning that it has influence and is influenced on a number of different levels in the individual and in the organization: on the personal level; on the collective level; on current behaviors; on future behaviors; on the social relationship level (trust); on the personal responsibility level (participation); on the formal responsibility level (accountability); on the motivational level and many more.
This richness and multidimensionality of the act of leading in Agile is such that simplistic mental models (such as the leader being the «guy at the top») simply won’t suffice and therefore a more mature understanding and practice of leading is called for, in the entire organization.
In this talk we will discuss the case for Agile leadership, why we need it, what are the benefits to the organization and why it’s different from other leadership approaches. We’ll talk about the individual skills and «mental stances» that allow leaders to support an organizational Agile mindset. We’ll talk about accountability, personal responsibility and the what it means to influence. Finally, we will challenge a few common assumptions on leadership and suggest alternatives.
The intent is to have the attendees leave the room with a fresh perspective on Agile leadership and with practical advice on how to enable this kind on leadership in their organizations.
The speaker has been working on Agile cultural shift for organizations for years, helping them to redesign their structures to be consistent with the Agile values, and has been working on Agile leadership well before it became a popular topic.
The presentation style will be mostly frontal, but the speaker will engage the audience with questions and discussions, making the session more interactive.
In the past we’ve built businesses and organisations to last. We were afraid. We needed predictability to feel safe.
Now we have the confidence to grow businesses that offer less safety yet more creativity, serendipity and fun.
- We foster the surprisability of organisations: Our ability to grow from surprises, to rise strong from falling. This allows us to be daring and brave. Which in turn fosters: Our ability to surprise markets, our customers, our partners, our competitors.
- We’ve learned to surf the waves of complexity, to steer our ship safely through the storms. Now we are the storm, we’re causing the waves.
Olaf will take you through the organisational capabilities that increase surprisability:
- A clear sense of identity (we know who we are).
- A clear sense of purpose (we know what we want).
- Freedom. We are powerful beings, able to make good decisions.
- Agility. challenging how we do things by focusing on why we do them.
- Presence. letting go of anger and guilt from the past and anxiety of the future.
- Courage in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Agile Borsch: multi-cultural ingredients of enterprise transformation
These days everyone talks about company’s culture as a most important thing to consider for any transformation, especially Agile one.
But what if your company has multiple locations spread geographically? That means you have different cultures in-house by definition. Add here frequent acquisitions and rapid growth, and you will get a mix that sometimes is contradicting by its nature.
What is so different, how to deal with it, could Agile have a chance to survive and become the common denominator, what are the key points to consider – this is what this talk is about
Values: «On words» vs «In hearts». Or how to f*ck up with building processes without culture.
Not so long ago, the new version of Scrum Guide were announced and Agile community had discussed a lot of variants of what should be added or changed in current version, trying to predict the changes… but many where surprised after release of the document.. e.g.: «What? And that is all?», «Values? Really? Is Scrum a religion or framework», …, etc
But as for me — it is very important update which adds sentence that should be placed on the 1st page of Guide: «Successful use of Scrum depends on people becoming more proficient in living these five values.» These is the key to puzzle which many managers, CEO’s, consultants and other trying to solve during introduction of Scrum/Agile to their companies/teams.
I’ve seen so many failed attempts during my carreer and now want to share the key points based on my learnings and experience
Seven habits you should unlearn in Holacracy
We all are looking for habits that save us mind fuel in everyday life. The trick is that what works well in old well-known environment will work not so well in new environment. To make new system work we often have to unlearn things that served us well before.
That’s true for Holacracy. To make it work you need to unlearn a lot of things from both classic and Agile project management. In my talk I’m going to discuss what are those habits and how to unlearn them best.
The harsh truth about Agile transformations
During last 2 years I have been taking part in organizational transformations — both from the inside (as an employee), and as an outside expert.
I’m going to share the real-life cases that I faced (specifically — failures) in the process. Beginners will certainly find that useful, experienced coaches will drop a tear or two. Tears of fun and inevitability of being
- Why (they think) they need agility? Should I trust their feeling?
- Agile coach — a Rider on the Storm or a Pawn in the Game?
- How to notice the change is happening?
- How to make sure you’re doing it right?
See you there!
First steps to self-managed teams — practical experience from big multinational FMCG in Ukraine
Seeing System Dynamics: Causal Loop Diagrams
A development organization is a complex system of people and policies with subtle feedback loops and unintended consequences. Causal loop diagrams help to see system dynamics of what is going on in a large-scale development. It’s one of the systems thinking tools.
In this workshop we’ll sketch causal loop diagrams during lively discussion of common software development problem statements. As system thinkers, we’ll model how things are connected to each other within some notion of the whole entity.
Examples of problem statements:
«We don’t have time to write automate tests because we have to fix bugs»
«We need to add more developers to deliver on time»
Large-Scale Scrum simulation with LEGO!
Since invented in 2009 lego4scrum has become a very popular simulation to teach Scrum. Nowadays how to get several teams to scrum, seems, is no longer a secret.
Though knowing how to make agile work in a large-scale multi-team environment is. So In 2016 I was able to scale lego4scrum to over 155 people (22 development teams) all building an overall product. This approach is described in a newly released book called (what a suprise!): «lego4scrum».
This practical session we will simulated a large-scale environment with 10+ teams (we need your help — please come to this session!).
What will we be doing:
- working closely with the market representatives to know their needs
- achieving shared understanding of a product with 10+ teams working together
- setting up a suitable (flat) organizational structure capable of delivering
- putting a lightweight process on top that is barely enough but enables self-management
- building a working product that satisfies the market needs
Great helpers here are understanding complexity and system thinking, knowing how Scrum really works on the team-level, and few core ideas from LeSS framework, such as: an overall product backlog, a single Product Owner, joint team meetings.
Culture beyond behaviors
The purpose of the workshop is to share the hands-on experience with agile transformation at Quby (a fast growing company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands) and to work together with attendees to find out how culture is reflected in behaviors. What do we mean by behavior? What behaviors we consider «appropriate» and what is the meaning of «appropriate»? What role does our assumptions play in the process? What do we mean by culture? How can we know what is the culture of the company? How do we facilitate and/or coach the change in culture and behavios on the organisational level? These questions will be addressed in a series of facilitated exercised helping people to put their thoughts in tangible actions and practice some of them to see how it can work on real people around.