Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Preparing for Team Self-Selection with SAFe & Structuring the ART

Those who know me will not be at all surprised to learn the first thing I did once there was agreement to use self-selection as the approach to forming teams for the A&I Agile Release Train was buy and read +Sandy Mamoli's book Creating Great Teams: How Self-Selection Lets People Excel. I had heard Sandy talk on the topic some time back and my colleague +Mark Richards had previously used the technique with +Andy Kelk at Australia Post, so I wasn't walking in blind.  My experiences with watching people bastardising SAFe made me want try and stick as closely to Sandy's guidance as possible. Specifically we chose to keep the number of constraints placed on the teams to the absolute minimum. In hindsight, I may have been a little naive on this front, but more on that later.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The 6-Day SAFe Quick-Start with Self-Selecting Teams

For those not familiar with the SAFe “Quick-Start" (also known as the one-week launch) is a proven pattern for launching an Agile Release Train. A textbook Quick-Start goes something like this:
  • In the weeks prior to the Quick-Start:
    • the feature backlog is refined and prioritised (using WSJF), and;
    • the people who will be doing the work are grouped in teams of 7+/- 2 with a Scrum Master and a Product Owner
  • Day 1 and 2 of the Quick-Start all the teams attend the 2-day SAFe for Teams training, sitting at team tables with their product owners. During the training they work with real features from the program backlog.
  • Day 3 and 4 the train holds its first PI Planning event.
  • Day 5 the Scrum Master and Product Owners attend role specific orientation training
  • And then you start sprinting! 
I realise this sounds all fine and dandy if you are working with an organisation that is already Agile, but what if they are new to Agile? Can you still Quick-Start? Absolutely you can. At this point, you may be thinking I have completely lost the plot. This sounds like utter madness, I know. I thought it was madness too, until I tried it and realised it was truly amazing. It is my hope that as you make your way through this series of blogs posts on the 6-day Quick-Start you will gain some insights as to why this approach is such a powerful way to launch an Agile Release Train.

Getting back to the point, you may have noticed the textbook Quick-Start is only five days. So where did this sixth day come from?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Tribal Unity - The Book

Some of you may have noticed my blog has been a little quiet this year.  One reason for this is that I have been busy writing my first book - Tribal Unity: Getting From Teams to Tribes by Creating a One Team Culture. Some time soon I will blog about my agile book writing experience. Today, however, it is time to celebrate. This week, on the 27th October to be exact, my book went live on Amazon and Agile Denver threw me a launch party!

Me introducing Tribal Unity to Agile Denver

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Inside the Dragons' Den @ Agile Australia 2016

It is that time of year again, when the various big agile conferences send out the acceptance and rejections notifications to those who submitted proposals. In Australia, this is generally followed by some twitter chatter from those who didn’t make the cut.  This time last year I was one of the many who received a “thanks but no thanks” email from Agile Australia. To be frank, I was surprised. I had submitted two talks that had been accepted by the Agile 2015 conference but were rejected by Agile Australia. What was up with that?  After much soul searching I decided that the only course of action was to volunteer some of my time and get involved in the process next time around. So it was with the best of intentions and high hopes that I became an Advisor to Agile Australia 2016.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Video: The Magic Carpet Ride- A Business Perspective on DevOps