location_city Washington DC schedule Oct 16th 04:15 - 04:25 PM EDT place Ballroom D people 11 Interested

As organizations try to become more Agile, they face many tricky questions. How to best organize teams? How big should they be? How similar should they be? This talk looks at the world of biology for metaphors that can inform how we approach creating and sustaining successful Agile organizations.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

The talk is structured around a series of vignettes, each with an idea from biology, followed by an insight in how the concept informs how we approach Agile organizations. The original talk (See slide link below) had about a dozen, and was 20 minutes long. Some examples include:

  • How fungal networks the move nutrients among trees are similar to informal communication networks that exist within organizations
  • How the microbiome in large organisms is like the many suppliers of components are necessary for modern software development
  • How the different properties of the endocrine and nervous systems correspond to the different ways the information is communicated within organizations

Learning Outcome

Participants will both have a handful of specific perspectives to consider when making organizational decisions. They will receive an illustration of the general value of looking outside of our discipline to find insights.

Target Audience

Anyone who has a role in shaping the structure or processes in an Agile organization.

Prerequisites for Attendees

A general understanding of Agile principles is helpful, but not necessary.



schedule Submitted 4 years ago

  • Rupesh Kumar

    Rupesh Kumar - A mantra to become a successful Agile team at a Federal Agency!

    45 Mins

    If Agile can work in federal agencies, believe it when I say it can work in any organization on the planet. Agile adoption has spread into various federal agencies. Small and large federal agencies now understand the need for an Agile mindset and are adopting Agile to make decisions quickly and expediting the development, requirements, and project management process to become a daily norm.

    Federal agencies came late to the Agile and DevOps party. Perhaps that was a good thing, since in retrospect they now have tons of lessons learned and best practices from private industries to do Agile the right way. Lately, some federal agencies have stepped up the game by transitioning from Agile adoption to scaling Agile.

    In this session, I will share the journey of one such Agile team at a large federal agency, which had its share of successes and challenges while implementing DevOps, and how this team is driving change in the agency that is inundated with silos.

    Federal agencies are unique in the way they’re siloed, which creates issues around ownership. There is also an issue for IT leaders of gaining the trust of the agency leadership and those on the business side. The goal of this session is to share our lessons learned, with hope that it sparks other teams to embark on their successful journey. Federal agencies should be able to replicate this success, and ensure that the organizational process can constantly produce high-performing teams, while not relying on any one individual.