Cover image for DEV3L on Agile2016 Keynote - Modern Agile

DEV3L on Agile2016 Keynote - Modern Agile

dev3l profile image Justin Beall ・3 min read

Agile2016 Keynote - Modern Agile by Joshua Kerievsky

Joshua Kerievsky elegantly explains his vision for what Modern Agile is.

It's a talk about the foundational principles of modern agile.

Modern Agile Wheel

The axis of the wheel intentionally align with the two pillars of Toyota Way.

  • Respect for people (horizontal)
  • Continuous improvement (vertical)

Modern Agile principles

Make People Awesome

The secret sauce

  • We need to focus on not just our users, but everyone in our ecosystem
  • EVERYONE - Make everyone awesome
  • Think about all the actors in your ecosystem... focus on them
  • Bullet train thinking
  • The theoretical definition of awesome
  • You don't know how to get there, yet
  • Mob programming/pairing makes team members awesome
  • Incredible learning opportunity

Make Safety a Prerequisite

Happy cows produce more milk

  • "Team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other."
  • "If you have a culture of fear, none of your fancy practices or processes will help you."
  • Automated tests are the safety nets of software
  • Project Aristotle*: 2 year study, 200+ team interviews, 180+ active teams
  • => #1 attribute of high performing teams

Experiment & Learn Rapidly

Lean Startup is an industry changing black swan

  • Maximize the amount of work not done over predictability
  • "Wisdom never goes out of fashion"
  • Encourage an hour EVERY day to experiment and build something helpful (Compounding Interest)
  • Iterate rapidly to learn what the problem domain is
  • "The problem is we don't know what the problem is." - Paul MacCready
  • "Rigorously extract value from failure." - HBR article
  • Blameless retrospectives
  • "We're working on much bigger failures right now." - Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO - Firephone Failure

Deliver Value Continuously

Deliver so fast that customers can't change their minds

  • Pivot to variable length iterations (sprints -> continuous flow)
  • Start removing estimates
  • Start deploying much more frequently (manual builds -> continuous deployment)
  • The speed was liberating!
  • Deploying 50 times a day with millions of users... make it safe to deploy!
  • Getting rid of quality assurance, transfer to quality engineer
  • Amazon deploys to production every 12 seconds

Psychological Safety Meeting Tips

  • Encourage everyone to contribute
  • Listen to one another
  • Review/repeat other people's points
  • Avoid dominating or interrupting
  • Be caring, curious, and nonjudgemental
  • Never place a worker one defense away from failure
  • People are not afraid of failure, they are afraid of blame

Old (not modern) Agile Practices

"SprintCare Senior Living"

  • Giving agile an honorable retirement

Josh gives a anecdote of a time where he talks to a product owner he respects. The individual had all the traditional agile shop artifacts: sprint burdown charts and all kinds of release plans... Upon probing about how this is working, the individual states that they use NONE of this.

Looking at this old stuff is like looking at a really big fat heavy laptop... that's what old agile processes are. He then goes on to discuss the mini waterfall that occurs at the end of fix length iterations. The customer decides when things are done.

Instead of having training wheels, simplify the task. He gives the example of trying to learn to ride a bike. Instead of teaching how to ride a bike with training wheels, teach a child to ride the bike without worrying about peddling first. Mind blowing... Scrum is training wheels for agile.

  • "Velocity is Killing Agility!" - Jim Highsmith
  • "I may have invented points. If I did, I'm sorry now." - Ron Jefferies
  • "Very old concept, product owner accepting stuff to be considered done."


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