Successful Agile Scaling with DONt: The Most Effective Scaling Framework in the Marketplace

There are now so many well-marketed Agile Scaling Frameworks (S@S, LeSS, SAFe, DAD, Nexus) that’s it’s difficult for organizations to differentiate their value propositions, tenets, assumptions,… But luckily there’s one, well established approach that blows all of these methods completely out of the water. Come learn about DONt: The best way to scale.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

1) Brief outline of the premise of Agile Scaling, and the problems scaling frameworks are trying to solve (5 minutes). Problems include:

  • Coping with large fixed schedule/fixed scope commitments
  • Attenuated value streams
  • Enabling 'Awareness' by upper management through standardization

2) Game: The Self Organizing Ball Game @ Scale and Debrief (30 minutes). The SOBG is a common tool used to illustrate empirical planning and delivery; the '@ Scale' version adds a complication of requiring certain elements to pass through multiple teams before they are 'complete,' and requiring a central body to monitor all teams' status throughout.

3) Discussion on Organizational Agility to Avoid Scale (The “DONt” Model) (10 minutes). Techniques to avoid Scale include:

  • Uncoupling of teams (preserving cross functionality, contractual system interactions, bringing full Value Stream within Sprint boundary)
  • Managing and Monitoring Portfolios of Teams based on Quantifiable Value

Learning Outcome

Participants will leave with an understanding of the accidental anti-patterns that tend accompany Agile Scaling Frameworks, and a counter-argument to preserve single-team value streams.

Target Audience

People thinking about dealing with Teams of Agile Teams, people thinking about adopting an Agile Scaling methodology, people wondering why their teams of teams don’t seem to deliver any faster than they used to with waterfall methods.

Prerequisites for Attendees

No prerequisites. A number of Team-level and Scaled Agile approaches will be mentioned, but participants won’t need prior knowledge of them to be able to understand the focus of the talk, enjoy the game that illustrates the core concepts, or participate as discussants.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Public Feedback


    • 45 Mins
      Workshop
      Intermediate

      In our follow-up session to last year’s Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Observing Flow, we are excited to bring our newest installment of the series: Kanban in Action: Thoughtfully Creating and Discussing Flow.

      This session puts the attendee in the driver’s seat to create their own Kanban board configurations. We provide seven business scenario exercises and ask the attendees how they would go about configuring their Kanban board given the unique constraints of each scenario. Each team/table in the room will spend a few minutes discussing how they would configure their board using the provided flip charts, markers, and stickies. A debrief with the entire room follows as each team shares its concepts. The instructors will also share their own board configurations and ideas.

      These exercises will increase your understanding of Kanban systems, give you practice interpreting and creating board configurations, present multiple implementable ideas for any given scenario, and provide you with approaches for meaningful engagement. They are great for aspiring coaches, managers, and leaders who want to have more valuable conversations with their teams and improve Kanban implementations.

    • Liked Julie Wyman
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Julie Wyman / Wm. Hunter Tammaro - Breaking Up is Hard to Do: How to Split a Team (Without Breaking It)

      45 Mins
      Experience Report
      Beginner

      Struggling to fit your Agile team into one room for ceremonies? Daily stand-up meetings dragging on? Finding it harder to keep the whole team informed? It might be time to split into the three- to nine-person teams the Scrum Guide recommends for better communication, collaboration and decision making. But abruptly changing the team structure can disrupt the larger group's dynamic and culture, and by breaking existing lines of collaboration, hurt the sense of team and organizational unity that already exists. By sharing our experience working with a large team at a non-profit client, we will illustrate the challenges that can face an Agile transformation when a team already has a culture of collaboration worth preserving. The lessons learned from our story will highlight not just the principles for nurturing Agility in a team's culture, but also specific strategies we used to overcome challenges and ensure the journey was one all our teams could embark on together.

    • Liked Julie Wyman
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Julie Wyman - Responding to Change over Following a Plan: Agile Lessons from Antarctica

      Julie Wyman
      Julie Wyman
      Agile Coach
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      10 Mins
      Lightning Talk
      Beginner

      I spent January in Antarctica hanging out with penguins, whales, and seals. It was about as different from my day-to-day work as can be. And yet, on my long flight home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how well my trip aligned with one specific value of the Agile Manifesto: “Responding to change over following a plan.”

      Antarctica is a place that truly drives home why we need both planning AND, even more importantly, the ability to respond to change. This trip helped me fully appreciate how true this value is - and not just in software development. And after being stuck in Antarctica six days longer than planned, it also built up my empathy for team members struggling with dynamic situations!

    • Liked Lisa Cooney
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Lisa Cooney - Brain Agility: Overcoming Cognitive Bias

      Lisa Cooney
      Lisa Cooney
      Principal Agile Coach
      Axios
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Workshop
      Intermediate

      Did you know that your brain tells you stories all day long, and that if they are good stories, you believe them? Come to this entertaining interactive session to experience some "cognitive illusions" for yourself, and learn what they demonstrate about how our brains' work. Cognitive science and behavioral psychology offer important insights for agilists, insights that can help us work more effectively with our co-workers and clients. You will learn how awareness of our brains' tendencies is a powerful tool to overcome our own innate cognitive bias, and the cognitive bias of others. This newfound awareness can open you to more varied perspectives in order to tell yourself a story that is both richer and more nuanced -- and closer to being "a true story."

    • 45 Mins
      Workshop
      Beginner

      Ever struggled to define what is minimally necessary? Whether it is defining a Minimally Viable Product or what is minimally necessary for a project or team, you need a way to not only brainstorm ideas, but also a way to cut the unnecessary waste out.

      Pass to Perfection is a game for getting a solution, product, or project started with what is minimally necessary; in development terms, this is your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). It mashes up ‘Yes and’ thinking for co-creation, and the essence of The Perfection Game (from the Core Protocols) for negotiation and prioritization in a collaborative round-robin game format. Create ideas until you can’t think of anything else and you pass, remove ideas until you have what is essential and you pass. This workshop will have you try out the game and learn how easy it is to get people started.

    • Liked Chris Ruch
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Chris Ruch - Reuniting Families and Finding the Lost With Agile

      45 Mins
      Experience Report
      Beginner

      By day I'm an Agile Coaching and trainer, but in my volunteer time I'm an EMT and run a Search and Rescue Squad. Very differnt worlds, but they both involve getting large numbers of people to work together in teams in rapidly changing situations, with limited information, in a high stakes environment.

      This talk shows how I used my knowledge as an Agile Coach and ScrumMaster in a situation well beyond IT. We will talk about how Agile/Scrum concepts like breaking work down into smaller increments, using self-organizing team, frequent planning, and retrospectives all are being used in the emergency services field. We also explore how agile principles are incorporated into the cultural aspects of volunteer emergency services -- often thought of as hierarchical and command-and-control, there is actually a culture of of self-organization, decentralized decision making, outcome-based focus, andholding each other accountable -- and it illustrates the underlying cultural principles that are the heart of agile which holds teams together and form high-performing teams that apply in product and software development teams as well.

      This fun and fast paced talk walks the participants how a high-urgency search for a missing child is run using agile principles and relates each practice back to a similar approach in Agile/Scrum in the product development world.

    • Liked Chris Li
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Chris Li - Power Windows and Prioritization - a different approach to ordering your Product Backlog

      Chris Li
      Chris Li
      Founder
      SparkPlug Agility
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Workshop
      Intermediate

      Product Owners have the challenging task of choosing which items their teams should focus on next. By combining their experience, conversations, and intuition, they often have to make decisions based on a set of imperfect data, which is hard to do. Adding to this, that they may have to justify their reasoning, making the task of prioritizing even more difficult.

      In this workshop, participants will explore the Kano Model, an approach that takes into account satisfaction, functionality, and categorization to best identify the most important things based on customer response. This model gives Product Owners real data and insights to aid their decision making process, vastly improving on "this is important because I said so!"

    • Liked Clare Stankwitz
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Clare Stankwitz / Mathias Eifert - Making Agile Work for Data Teams: Writing Effective PBIs for Data Products

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Want to help your data and analytics teams embrace Agile but don’t know where to start? Wondering why your data team seems to struggle with creating manageable yet valuable stories? Curious why we think Agile for data teams is a distinct challenge?

      Data work is often structured more like a pyramid than the familiar “layer cake” metaphor due to the state of data infrastructure technology, common industry practices, and the heavy lift to integrate data before it can be analyzed and visualized. Prevailing Agile wisdom of cutting work into “vertical slices” thus presents significant challenges for Agilists working on data teams! Typical full-stack vertical stories in this environment can easily become too complex, interdependent, and unwieldy to fit into fixed-length sprints. Technical stories can encapsulate smaller work increments but risk becoming too abstracted from the customer’s core problems and trap the team in infrastructure work for too long. An additional impediment to traditional user stories is the highly exploratory nature of advanced analytics and data science projects where in many cases end users lack awareness of what kind of problems can even be solved and technical experts can’t initially predict which solutions will actually be possible.


      This session presents successes and lessons learned from applying alternative story decomposition and writing techniques on several data products across multiple teams. Returning to one of the fundamentals of what makes Agile valuable, namely to obtain feedback on feasibility and end user value as quickly and systematically as possible, our approaches strive to ensure teams have small, independent stories while still maintaining a value focus. We discuss ways to decouple the technical stack through stubbing and gradual tightening of the Definition of Done. This technique accommodates the necessary foundational work in the background while also obtaining early feedback about the value of the eventual product delivery options. A second approach incorporates Lean Startup concepts and centers on replacing traditional user stories with testable hypothesis statements that allow for explicit experimentation and risk trade-offs towards relevant milestones such as model quality, performance, predictive reliability, etc. in the context of extreme uncertainty.


      Join us as we discuss some of the friction Agilists can encounter on data teams, as well as some validated ideas for meaningful solutions.

    • Liked Dane Weber
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Dane Weber - Please Stop Modernizing!

      Dane Weber
      Dane Weber
      Lead Consultant
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      10 Mins
      Lightning Talk
      Executive

      The federal government loves modernizing software systems and it isn't wrong: stale, decaying software leads to major headaches and eventual catastrophe. Modernization efforts, however, have big risks and big failures.

      There is an alternative: software renovation. That is improving, updating, and upgrading the software system one piece at a time while it continues to operate.

      Dane has participated deeply in three US government modernization projects. Each project followed a pattern of pitfalls, scary "go-live" transitions, and unpleasant trade-offs.

      Renovating legacy software is frequently a better option. The software system continues to gain functionality at the same time that its design and performance are improved.

    • Liked Adrienne Rinaldi
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Adrienne Rinaldi - Coach the Coach | The Coaching Backlog

      Adrienne Rinaldi
      Adrienne Rinaldi
      Agile Coach
      CapTech Consulting
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Talk
      Beginner

      You’re a new coach. Now what? This session will help you get started on an agile transformation assignment with a coaching backlog. This session will inform new coaches on “where to start” as an Agile Coach. The session will begin agile transformation challenges followed by common agile impediments, conditions for success, an agile readiness checklist and a coaching backlog including Epics, Features and Stories.

    • Trent Hone
      Trent Hone
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Agile at the team level fosters self-organization by leveraging constraints. Timeboxes, Work in Progress (WIP) Limits, and clear operational definitions are excellent examples of the kinds of constraints teams regularly employ to deliver reliably. Are you familiar and comfortable with these ideas, but uncertain how to apply them at larger scales? Are you looking for techniques that will allow you to harness the creativity of your teams to enable self-organization at scale? If so, this session is for you.

      I’m passionate about applying concepts from Complex Systems Theory (as developed by Dave Snowden, Alicia Juarrero, Bob Artigiani, etc.) to the work of software teams. My colleagues and I at Excella have been exploiting these ideas by using a variety of patterns borrowed from different theories and frameworks to allow our teams to grow like healthy plants in a garden. From Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) we leverage the concepts of a single product backlog and a shared cadence. Kanban principles of visualizing the work and limiting WIP help align the teams and foster greater collaboration. Dave Snowden’s emphasis on Homo Narrans—the human as storyteller—has provided a framework for clarifying and promulgating common values, which are essential for decentralized decision-making. Collectively, these mental models created an environment that helped us scale one of our engagements from three teams to eight over the course of a single year.

    • Liked Doguhan Uluca
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Doguhan Uluca - Ship It or It Never Happened: The Power of Docker, Heroku & CircleCI

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Shipping code is hard and it is rough! It doesn't have to be. Using Docker, Heroku and CircleCI you can set up a world-class Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment pipeline in an hour with advanced functionality like Heroku preview apps, provisioning servers on-demand for to scale and containers that leverage layering to enforce Enterprise requirements, while giving developers access, flexibility and speed to get their work done. With duluca/minimal-node-web-server docker image and how you can tailor it to build your micro-services or web servers in a matter of minutes using Docker and deploy your web app on the cloud.

    • Trent Hone
      Trent Hone
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Beginner

      Customers weren’t satisfied! The process took too long! The end product didn’t perform to specifications! Does this sound familiar?

      A century ago, the U.S. Navy’s ship design process had serious problems, ones we would recognize and understand today. Come learn how these problems were solved in a large, real-world, organization through minor changes in structure and process. These changes illustrate the importance of:

      • Gathering early feedback
      • Rapidly iterating to expose unknowns
      • Using multi-disciplinary problem-solving
      • Employing Agile techniques outside of IT
    • Trent Hone
      Trent Hone
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Talk
      Beginner

      Are you excited by the idea of Business Agility, but unsure how to create it? Learn new techniques by looking back. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Navy successfully leveraged Agile approaches to harness new technologies, encourage organizational learning, and develop a sustained pace of innovation, all key aspects of Business Agility. Find out how!

      I’ll describe what the Navy achieved, explain why it worked, and illustrate how similar approaches can be used today to create greater Agility in our businesses and organizations. Some specifics include:

      • Fostering innovation by the use of regular feedback.
      • Employing safe-to-fail experimentation.
      • Promoting evolvability through loose coupling and bounded autonomy.
      • Balancing exploration and exploitation to identify and harness new ideas.
    • Liked Julie Wyman
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Julie Wyman / Wm. Hunter Tammaro - Measuring Flow: Metrics That Matter

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Does your Scrum team start all its stories on Day 1 of the Sprint? Do stories sometime carry over into the next Sprint? Or perhaps testing always gets crammed in on the last day of the Sprint? If any of these sound familiar, your team may benefit from improving its flow.

      Flow metrics are common with Kanban, but can provide tremendous value to any team, including those using Scrum. In this session, we’ll start by exploring the value of achieving a smooth flow of work (versus simply achieving maximum utilization) and give simple ways for your team to measure its flow. We’ll look at examples of metrics including lead and cycle time, throughput, and the cumulative flow diagram (CFD), reviewing what each represents, easy ways to collect them, and how they can be used in both a Kanban and Scrum context. You’ll leave the session knowing how to interpret and capture all these valuable metrics, so your agile team can measure and improve its flow.

    • Liked Jaap Dekkinga,
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Jaap Dekkinga, - Story point cost. How to calculate it and how to use it.

      Jaap Dekkinga,
      Jaap Dekkinga,
      Agile coach
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Story point is an arbitrary relative measure used by Scrum/agile teams to define the effort required to implement a story or feature. This is a metric to measure the cost related to the implementation of story points. This metric is called Story Point Cost. It should allow to track development costs and also make the Scrum team aware about the budget issues of their project and for product owners to easier compare cost to gained value.

    • Liked Mathias Eifert
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Mathias Eifert - Iterative vs. Incremental – What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Beginner

      Agile is an incremental and iterative approach to delivering value to our customers. But too often we assume it’s really all about ways to slice work into smaller batch sizes and that both approaches are fundamentally equivalent. However, there is a crucial difference and this lack of awareness is a major contributor to projects and teams that are AINO (Agile In Name Only)!

      In this session, we will discuss how to differentiate between incremental and iterative approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and why you really need both. We will explore the many ways in which iteration shapes the core of Agile practices, how it supports and enables the benefits of agility, and how understanding its awesome power is a key step in moving from “doing” Agile to truly being agile. In addition, we will take a close look at the practical implications of when to use each approach by discussing real world scenarios, highlighting common Agile anti-patterns and (re)examining familiar story slicing patterns.

      You will walk away with both a better understanding of one of the most important underlying principles of agility and immediately applicable insights for your daily work!

    • Paul Boos
      Paul Boos
      IT Executive Coach
      Excella
      schedule 2 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins
      Tutorial
      Intermediate

      Losing good people during your transformation? Getting more resistance than you expected? You may be producing unwanted reactions in the way you are leading your people through change.

      If you want your Agile transformation firing on all cylinders without the harmful side-effects, managers at all levels should focus on becoming Catalysts. Much like a chemical catalyst, your job is to help boost organizational performance by creating a healthy environment and providing the needed support.

      In this interactive presentation-tutorial, we’ll explore how you can do that through some simple techniques that anyone can do; extracted from Fearless Change and Liberating Structures. We'll relate these techniques to how trust works and give you some powerful ways to improve your organizational trust.

    • Liked David McKenna
      keyboard_arrow_down

      David McKenna / Lieschen Gargano Quilling - Some Assembly Required

      45 Mins
      Case Study
      Intermediate

      CASE STUDY: Agile Transformation at CA Technologies: Some Assembly Required


      Lean, Agile, Digital, Two-speed, DevOps, DevSecOps, Enterprise Accelerators, and Lean Startup… where's a change leader to start? Company leadership around the world recognizes the opportunities, and the urgency, in driving effective change and create room for rapid innovation in their organization, and the market landscape in transformation is becoming increasingly cluttered as the market moves to try and fill that need. We've learned that it's unwise to "pick" a single model to follow, and that's especially true when you're tackling business-wide transformation, across the multiple operational value streams that comprise your modern enterprise. (The only thing that seems to be true is calling it by one of these specific things tends to be too narrow and cause multiple transformation programs with potentially overlapping or duplicative work to develop).

      From leveraging lean (hoshin kanri) strategy deployment to create organizational catch-ball of corporate strategy to agile departments and “traditional” agile teams and back, to facilitating full operational value stream collaboration in large-group agile steering and working sessions, we focus on the fallacy of believing that any one “departmental” or transformation can be sustainably successful without the operational value stream increasing agility as well. In fact, transformation requires bouncing back and forth between "systemic fix" and "deep value steam fix" perspectives. In this session, we use CA's internal "agile" transformation as a backdrop to share the key mindsets of effective transformation we've learned supporting hundreds of companies in their change journeys

    • Liked Sean Killeen
      keyboard_arrow_down

      Sean Killeen - Level Up Your Team's Agility with Better Technical Interviews

      45 Mins
      Talk
      Intermediate

      Have you ever been in a technical interview, stuck at a whiteboard or solving a brainteaser, and thought “there must be a better way”? Good news: there very much is.

      Agility and adaptability are crucial for a development team's success, but how often do we target for agility when considering who to bring into our team? And how do we set expectations for agility from the first time this potential new hire begins evaluating our team?

      In this talk, I walk through my philosophy & provide practical tips for running technical interviews that are primed for success.