location_city Washington D.C schedule Oct 26th 03:00 - 03:45 PM place Auditorium

Most agile teams focus on following a delivery process and overlook finding ways to improve the process. The essence of agile is focused around the idea of continuous improvement via inspect and adapt. In this session, we will be providing insights around evolving your measurements using data in order to embrace a different mindset. A mindset that encourages more facts and less judgment. A mindset that encourages organizations to move from “performance” to decisions, behaviors, outcomes, external evaluation to “Let’s figure this out together”, proof to evidence, answers to questions, precision to speed and from objective to subjective (but with lots of facts!)



Outline/Structure of the Talk

Core lean concepts

  • Identifying waste
  • Cost and delay
  • Build-measure-learn (BML) cycle
  • Process transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Core DevOps concepts (Humble).

The presenters will also share examples from the federal sector scorecard process, contract history and legacy program performance.

Learning Outcome

After this session, participants will be able to answer the following:

  • Why do most program leaders under or overshoot when collecting data? (unstructured data, decentralized in disparate system, lack of integration, etc.)
  • How do we generate leadership interest in what we don’t yet know?
  • To what degree should a measurement program be its own development initiative?
  • When will we know when our measurement efforts are paying off?
  • How can we integrate measurement into day-to-day program work?

Target Audience

DevOps leaders who want to see more improvement actions from their teams

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

Public Feedback

    • Marsha Acker

      Marsha Acker - Diagnosing and Changing Stuck Patterns in Teams

      120 Mins

      Do you want to be able to “trust the wisdom of the group” but find it difficult? Do you ever feel like you’re having the same conversation over and over again with no real progress? Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a disagreement and not sure how to move forward?

      If any of these issues are standing in the way of your work with groups and teams ‐ ‘how’ you are having (or not having) the conversation is likely contributing to your challenges. Research consistently demonstrates that team effectiveness is highly dependent upon the quality of the communication between team members. Yet it’s easy to get into the flow of daily work and be really focused on the ‘what’ in our conversations without much attention to the quality of ‘how’ we’re communicating.

      As an agile coach one of the most important ways you can serve your team is to help them unlock the wisdom that exists within the team itself and have the conversations they need to have. We’ll explore a framework for learning to ‘read the room’ using four elements for all face-to-face communication. We’ll do some live practice to apply the framework to a conversation and then identify some typical patterns of “stuck” communications that can lead to “breakdowns” in teams.

      This will be an interactive session with people actively engaged in both large group and small group discussions.

    • Paul Boos

      Paul Boos / Laura M. Powers - Understanding How Collaboration Improves Productivity

      90 Mins

      We've all heard how we need to collaborate better, but what does this really mean?  What results can I expect to see with better collaboration?  

      This workshop will demonstrate how productivity increases with greater collaboration and how to create better a more collaborative environment.  In the session you will not only have an opportunity to experience this relationship with a relatively simple learning game, but we'll look behind the curtain at the science and how some various behavioral models explain why this relationship exists.  We'll then explore some tactics you can use to help teams collaborate better and close with an exploration of what either helps or hinders collaboration and how you can use this information as well as the game with your teams.

      If you have an interest in improving productivity of your team or the teams you serve, then this is the session for you.

    • 45 Mins

      In 2014, US Citizenship and Immigration Services Digital Innovation and Development Group, USCIS DID(it), implemented a portfolio level Kanban process to improve efficiency and delivery of operations, maintenance, and enhancements of existing mission critical software applications. This change in the process and culture of the organization resulted in a year over year (FY13 - FY14) 163% increase in deployments, a 145% increase in the number of user stories deployed, and an increase in end-user and developer satisfaction. These annual metrics were all surpassed within the first five months of FY15. This talk will discuss how we were able to accomplish this by adjusting our process, culture, documentation, and organization; and how it led to increasing our effectiveness and processes with proprietary software development.

    • Salah Elleithy

      Salah Elleithy - Uncovering agility enablers and sustainers

      45 Mins

      The first statement in the agile manifesto is “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. The keyword here is uncovering. The question is not whether government should try agile or not? The real question is what does agile government really mean? Is it a methodology that is applied across the board for different agencies or is it enabling and sustaining agility using a set of practices that is suitable based on constraints and reality?

      Every government agency has different core competencies as well as a different environment. Identifying a set of practices that don’t align with those core competencies can cause a failure in agile implementation. This may conclude that agile in the government has failed when in reality, it was a failure of certain practices that don’t align with the core competencies.

      In this session, we will explore the core competencies and how they align to the adoption of certain practices in the government. They will share stories on how to assess those core competencies as a model that has been used in large scale implementations.

    • Paul Boos
      Paul Boos
      IT Executive Coach
      schedule 6 years ago
      Sold Out!
      45 Mins

      In the Agile community, we often talk of Servant Leadership, but this notion often doesn't resonate with leaders that have a history for more command and control based approaches. While Servant Leaders exhibit behaviors preferred for leading and supporting teams, the transition can be difficult to grasp. In order to help leaders understand and take action, I have merged the concepts of Servant Leader with a participatory style to become Facilitative Leadership.  This provides a means for better helping people understand more of what they can take action on.

      This talk will help people understand how anyone can become a facilitative leader with a specific focus on people who need help in transitioning their thinking from typical command and control approaches to those that are more facilitative. So if you have been struggling how to serve your teams better, let's reframe how we think of approaching the actions we can take.

    • 45 Mins

      Our delivery team may be focused on continuously tuning their CI/CD pipeline but who is focusing on the business pipeline?

      If your delivery team is not always producing new functionality at the rate you want, the bottleneck might not be in the way they’re working. Imagine a software development factory that can’t get the raw materials it needs in time to keep production humming.

      The Theory of Constraints (ToC) adopts the idiom of “a chain is no stronger than its weakest link”. Delivery teams need the right requirements (chunks of work) at the right time.

      “What?” you say. “I’m already working as hard as I can to provide them with complete requirements specifications.” I believe you.  Participants will be introduced to some issues that might have escaped your attention and will address those issues in ways that may save them some work.

      Questions that may be helpful to consider are:

      • What makes it so challenging to provide the information the delivery team needs at the time they need it?
      • What causes our business pipeline to be broken? In manufacturing, identifying bottlenecks may be obvious but what about knowledge work?!
      • What’s hidden that could cause delays and create a state of learned helplessness?

      This presentation will explore the challenges that stems from the discovery and explore ideas to consider for building a healthy business pipeline. At the end of this session, you will be able to identify the bottlenecks using the drum buffer rope and learn about the 3 amigos and clarification through examples (acceptance scenarios) and techniques to alleviate the bottlenecks.

    • Nate Conroy

      Nate Conroy / Melinda Solomon - One weird trick to get your teams to visualize work, limit WIP, and adopt Kanban

      45 Mins

      Standing up a Kanban system seems simple enough. If you’re already a Kanban fan you know that simply visualizing a team’s work and limiting work in progress (WIP) can produce a consistent flow of completed work. Add measurements and explicit process policies to your Kanban system and teams see dramatic increases in throughput, lower operating costs, and capacity perfectly tuned to demand of their customers.

      Yet, despite this promise, a team's use of their Kanban system can languish. Why? The challenges are simultaneously more basic yet more difficult to overcome than one might think.

      This session will first identify common sources of resistance you are likely to encounter, drawing on the presenters’ real world experiences with a federal organization in which all software projects deliver using agile methods and a majority of projects have adopted Kanban.

      Challenges include:

      • Establishing sufficient personal safety to make work visible
      • Facilities e.g. “Where could we put a board? Are we allowed to put things on the wall?”
      • Learning the mechanics of a pull system
      • Sticking to WIP limits
      • Evolving a team culture that values finishing work over starting work and throughput over utilization

      Next, we will share what we’ve learned about making Kanban relatable through the hands-on Kanban Holiday Card Simulation, which has been run in 17 training classes with 330 federal staff from a variety of professional disciplines. In the simulation, students define a workflow for sending out holiday cards, create a Kanban board to represent that workflow, and carry out the work of a family producing cards while visualizing their work on the board and limiting WIP. We impose just one teensy rule that ensures the process has a constraint. Then, let the learning begin!

      Profoundly, we have time and again observed students’ emergent discovery of the Theory of Constraints and subsequent uncovering of 4 actions that may be taken to speed the flow of work through any constraint.

      We will describe how this simple, non-technology simulation provides a safe space to create and run a Kanban system and can give your teams the courage, practical experience, and permission to create Kanban systems when they return to their real jobs – whether their sphere of influence extends to creating a board to track just their own work, their team’s work, or the work of a whole organization.

    • George Dinwiddie

      George Dinwiddie - Welcome

      45 Mins

      As you might have surmised, this is not a real session proposal.

      As Program Chair for Agile DC 2015, I'd like to welcome you to our session submission system. If you have any questions about the submission process, please direct them to me at speakers@agiledc.org and I'll respond as quickly as I can.

      Please note that most sessions will be 45 minutes. We have LIMITED space for dual-length workshops.