Blog

Agile Coaching at RAC

RAC Insurance reached out to us to see if we could help one of their teams face into some challenges that they were experiencing.

This was a relatively new team with a number of new people who had joined with diverse experiences of agile from different organisations. They were not on the same page around some agile practices and some even wondered how agile as a team they were actually were.

As with all new teams they were also wrestling with how to work well with each other, dealing with many of the normal challenges you might expect a new team to face into.

In addition, they were changing their technology stack and their mission was very technical in nature. This increased the complexity for the team and even made it hard to understand how some of the agile practices might work for the technical challenges they faced.

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Running The Perth Code Dojo

Shortly after moving to Perth I decided to set up a local Code Dojo. It is a great way to improve as a programmer, learn, share with others and be part of a community (which gives you a warm fuzzy feeling).

Previously I had been a member of the London Code Dojo and had ran dojos as a way of training TDD and programming practices for clients. In this post I will share my experiences in attending code dojos and some tips on how to run your own.

Code Dojos are targeted at professional programmers and college / university graduates. This is unlike the ‘CoderDojo’ initiatives, which have gained in popularity and aims to teach youngsters to code. It is great to see this development on the concept being used by a non-profit group set up to help the next generation. This is certainly something I have enjoyed participating in with my own daughter.

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Losing your way with scaling

I was working with a very Agile experienced business unit recently, they were having some issues with “momentum” in building a new product offering.

Within the business unit, there were 5 teams working on the minimum viable product offering, and 2 teams working on other products. The teams had all participated in incepting the work, and by all accounts it was a successful inception. Each team consisted of established team members, who together were high-performing and agile knowledgeable. There was one product backlog where features were defined. Each team was capable of delivering all the way to production. All the elements for success, it seemed was there.

They were tackling a brand new build, new technology and 5 teams all working on the same product. They launched into their sprints full of energy and enthusiasm. However, after several sprints, no business value was delivered, and their enthusiasm was replaced by stress.

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Delivering Agile 101 Training at Curtin University

Friends reached out for some training for a few people in their teams at Curtin University, they were initially looking at about maybe six people. Fast forward a month and we had delivered three runs of our “Agile 101 with a Focus on Scrum” course for just short of 60 people across Technology, Marketing and People & Culture. Wow, what fun we had!!

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Experiences on the Organisation & Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) Intelligence Course

Last week I attended the ORSC Intelligence course in Singapore, the second in the ORSC™ series. This blog is about my experiences which I found very valuable for Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters working with change in Organisations and Teams.

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This was the awesome group of coaches I got to work with lead by our awesome facilitators David Darst and Abi Shilon.

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Delivering Goal Orientated Scope

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Abstract

My last blog was focused on what I learnt about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The theme quote for that blog was:

“If you’ve lost the ability to do small things then you’ve not scaled, you’ve just gotten big and slow!!!”

So what are the small things we should do well at the team level or at scale? Breaking the work up, avoiding big batches, and letting the work flow was one of the recommendations.

This blog will focus on the integration of techniques to deliver goal-orientated scope (that breaks up the work) and take a look at how you might start to visualise and manage the flow at the portfolio level.

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Scaling Agile using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agile Release Train (ART)

“If you’ve lost the ability to do small things then you’ve not scaled, you’ve just gotten big and slow!!!”

Abstract

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has become a hot discussion topic in the agile community as a solution to scaling agile in the enterprise. Amongst the options available to scale agile, SAFe appears to be leading the pack as the popular choice for consideration and implementation. The framework has got its critics and some prominent respected people in the agile community have spoken out against it. With everything you read you have to consider motivations beyond the narrative to evaluate how impartial a critique actually might be. I decided I needed an education in SAFe to develop an informed opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of the framework and when it might make sense to use it. Last week I flew to Melbourne to undergo the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) certification training. This blog gives an account of what I learned (the good, the bad and the ugly), the opinions I have formed and what recommendations I would make.

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