LA Agile CoE in India running several Lean2Agile Workshops

Hello Everyone!

From 11/01/2017 to 11/10/2017, I had a great opportunity to be in India with some great colleagues from other geographies in running a series of train the trainer Lean2Agile workshops. The program is focused on client process improvements that transitions application development and maintenance teams to higher levels of effectiveness through Lean analysis and Agile practice adoption.

This was a hands-on event, where Agile Coaches got trained to lead Lean2Agile workshops with real account teams identifying pain points, performing lean analysis, and developing actionable plans to implement process improvements through agile best practices. In a nutshell, it aims for the following:

  • Simplifies the use of LEAN and Agile practices establishes a Lean mindset as teams become self-organizing – driving incremental value.
  • Applicable for Application Managed Services, Agile Software Delivery, and Product Management.
  • Target business processes with Lean Analysis, develop solutions leveraging design thinking, and accelerate the delivery of value through Agile practice adoption.

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Take care! Raf!

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Innovation Agility Talk @AgileCamp in USA

Hello Everyone!

I am glad to be part of such great conference as well super glad for the opportunity to speak about one of my passions in the #agilecamp Dallas Edition this year. Innovation and Agility!

This event take place across USA country, bringing together professionals from the Agile community for a day of exciting education, activities and networking. Presentations are led by Agile experts and touch on the newest tools and Agile methodologies. Activities are exciting workshops that put techniques to the test and advance professional skills. While receptions and breaks bring the Agile community together for a valuable opportunity to network with industry leading professionals.

EARLY BIRD deadline is fast approaching and is good only through this Friday, 11/17! If you are nearby do not miss this opportunity! I will be talking about the Agile Mindset in Driving a Culture of Innovation (http://agilecamp.org/dallas)

So, how the innovation agility mindset can improve our mainstream approach in creating and maintaining new and current products and services? Are we in the correct path?

Currently, many organizations have been spending precious resources in searching the next big disruptive idea then I do invite you to explore the innovation agility practices to uncovering good problems related to your business, your customers and new emerging markets.

Let´s explore a new perspective touching key cultural aspects of agility focusing on how to develop innovative approaches to incorporate a new way of work adopting key innovation agility practices considering the human needs and cultural aspects as key factors to create better products and services for today and tomorrow´s markets.

See you all in Dallas! Take care! Raf

 

MIT Webinar: How Technology Leaders Become Breakthrough Innovators

Today I have attended a very interesting webinar presented by Mark Foster (GBS VP) and Michael Schrage (Research Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. The main theme was: How Technology Leaders Become Breakthrough Innovators.

I am also so glad to share that Tatiana Feitosa Lima and I were both invited to support the follow up actions after the webinar in helping clients as Agile and Design Thinking Transformation Agents along with some worldwide super great IBM professionals. Then, I would like to share some key topics and insights I got from this webinar!

The conversation has started exploring topics related with Digital Experimentation and Virtual Experience Cycles. Michael has explained that in order to drive key actions towards an economy of innovation, we all need to focus on how we can improve the experiences of our users considering how they deal and interact with digital services and social media.

They have also commented about the challenges in touching organization´s culture allowing people to experiment more and embrace failure as their main engine to innovate and to stay relevant in the market.  The global market is more dynamic than ever, faster and full of digital experiences that does not allow big delivery cycles anymore so that it is essential to know how to deal with the lack of clarity in our journeys and learn more and more then deliver faster!

Then there were provocative questions also about how to really innovate? How to innovate in a safe way? Why a huge number of organizations still struggle with such experimentation mindset?

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It was clear that the experimentation efforts needs to be performed in a very organized way to support  key cultural aspects.

Yes, it is ok to experiment without clarity about the final outcome! Yes, it is ok to go with both incremental or breakthrough innovation approaches! And in the end of the day, it is all about how leaders and people deals with failure and learn from it!

Do you blame people when they try new approaches and fail? Or do you have a consistent way to learn from those failures and apply this knowledge to get better? Does it sound like a very basic agile thing, doesn’t? 🙂

In such context, all information matter! Structured and un-structured data both matters in gaining insights on how to get up to speed, deliver faster, allow good virtual experimentation cycles then scaled it all up with agile, design thinking and DevOps practices.

Particularly, I have been researching, writing and presenting themes about Innovation Agility and I was glad to see that both Michael and Mark have mentioned the need to focus on good problems instead of generate ton of ideas with poor execution practice which is the core of a good innovation agility strategy!

Basically, the main point here is to listen, listen, listen and to pay more attention to our ecosystems which includes our internal and external worlds.

And finally, I would like to share this thought with you: If we want to stay relevant in our global market or even in our job, we need to focus on generating true value, great products and services to our clients which mean being less worried about own super cool processes, super frameworks and current buzz words people make.

Such processes and frameworks are all key aspects in our journey but they are just things we can use to get better as organization as well as human beings.

If you want to know more contact an IBM expert here!

Take care folks! Rafa!

 

Padawan´s Series: Scrumban or Agile@Maintenance!

Yes! Getting back to the basics! Yes, I know it is not a brand-new topic but people often ask during my workshops about how to incorporate and adopt agile practices within their Technology maintenance projects.

Although the basic flow is very simple and nowadays everyone says ¨I know everything about Kanban¨ or ¨my team has mastered in using Kanban¨ then I do often realize people over-complicates its usage.

Kanban is Japanese word that translates to signboard in English. It was first developed and adopted by Toyota late in 1940s. It is a simple scheduling and demand management system used to create, support and deliver a set of products and solutions.

What are the initial steps in adopting a Kanban system in maintenance projects?

First, you need to define a basic workflow in reflecting a sequence of steps in producing something and it will be dependent on the work you are doing and the processes used by your organization.

What is a simple set of steps?

Basically, the set of steps should reflect the tasks your team is executing each day. Pretty simple steps as follow:

  • Initial/ To do:
  • In progress
  • To verify/To check
  • Done

How to visualize the work?

You and your team can visualize the work using a physical or a digital board. This visualization board is very effective for the team members within an organization, program or project that are using a kanban system.

You can stick a card or a post-it note and move them manually per the flow or use a digital solution depending on your needs. It is a special need for non-collocated teams or teams that may support more than one customer at the same time.

Today there are exceptional tools you can use such as:

or just use a physical board if your team is 100% collocated!

Now you have a workflow, a board system. What is next?

A key success factor in a kanban system is about determining priority and WIP (Work in Progress). There is a need to define a method of priority setting to guarantee that the most important tasks will be carried our first or as soon as possible.

On a kanban board the most important task cards or post-it notes are placed higher up the board and maybe with a color system that helps highlight the top items.

The priorities can be defined by one person such as a product owner, one experienced team member on the product or by a self-organizing team.

It is very important to establish work in progress limits. It does allow individuals applying this “pull system” to manage the level of multitasking.

Please notice:  A multitasking team may end up with concurrent activities that may impact the effectiveness of the work which means that an incomplete item should never be moved to a next step of the flow. Focused teams produce high quality products/solutions.

“Scrumban” or whatever name you want to use: How to get better to improve the process flow?

Now you have the demands organized per your flow and you can visualize them in the board. As time goes on, you will find ways to improve the way you and your team work. You can use daily stand up meetings to address and remove blockers as well promote team’s collaboration.

Prior to a planning discussion and after 2 or 3 weeks, in a fixed time box period, you may have a retrospective meeting to find out how to improve the current process.

As demands go up and down you can discuss about the WIP limits and the team may decide if there is need to adjust the limit. This approach can be adapted per your needs in supporting the business, program, project and organizations.

I want to hear your opinion!

Business Agility 2017 in New York – Day 2 Review

Leading the Transformation

Second day and guess what? Amazing stories and insights about the transformation journey DBS has taken to emerge as a more agile organization by Paul Cobban. I still remember a reaction from someone from audience when Paulo talked about “making banking joyful for both customers and employee.

The person said in clear and loud sound “Oh my!” following by a big and surprised laugh. Usually this the reaction when people talk about the benefits of agile mind set in big and traditional industries.My wife worked for a bank for many years and believe me! She and her ex-colleagues were not living a joyful moment there.

Paul did an amazing job in walking us through DBS’s journey and the main transformation points that drove DBS culture to a wining bank among competition that were comprised by a set of practices from lean, agile, design thinking, innovation, big data and motivated people looking for change.  He make a joke about the meaning of DBS: Damn Bloody Slow but it turned out to be leading the market in Singapore’s area.

  1. Eliminate the waste: a lean approach to understand your cost per transactions or a simple metric that can help you identify waste in your day-to-day activities.
  2. Design from Customer Back: understand your client’s journey. Get close to their routine and get to know them and make all efforts to design your organization to serve and add value to them. The client is your boss not your manager, process and super fancy group of buzz words.
  3. Be data driven: when you are able to combine and match data (structured and unstructured data) with client’s information the magic happens. Decisions can be more effective and the impact in terms of value that client perceives is huge.
  4. Create a culture of innovation: Allow people to experiment and try new ideas then let them fail and learn from the experience. I bring this sentence with me every time I am struggling on how to implement something:  Start small and grow fast!
  5. Codify the culture: make sure everyone is talking and walking the speech. Lean practices to eliminate the waste, design thinking, data and innovation culture. These are the pillars that might lead your organization and clients to a new level of joyfulness

Continue reading

Business Agility 2017 in New York – Day 1 Review

February was the month selected for the first Business Agility Conference. In the core, authentic short stories and deep dive sessions focusing on organization design, marker disruption, product innovation and agile leadership. I want to share some highlights from both days that have caught my attention as well some interesting insights after eight deep dive sessions.

Introducing Business Agility

Steve Denning has opened up the conference with a very powerful insight: Agile is a mindset. That is it! In addition, Steve has explained about the friction that exist when you try to move forward with your agile team surrounded by a ton of bureaucracy making all transformation efforts being not sustainable.  He has shared stories from big tech companies that have embraced agile in the core (mindset) and now these companies are thriving their way focusing on delighting customers. Using the Copernican example to illustrate how clients becomes the center of every decisions, Steve highlighted the importance of the agile culture that enable companies to move from a centric view to client centric view,  surrounding their clients looking for ways to inspect and adapt their strategies into tactical plans that are based 100% on client’s needs.

Phil Abernathy has presented the maze and madness! Great insights on how structuring your business for agility. In other words, get rid of the madness and the maze! Phil has provided thoughts and examples on how such business structure looks like. First, understand the size and complexity of your maze:  several hierarchical levels cross management systems, dozens of communication layers and complex metric systems. Then, here we are!  Lost in the maze, trying to find maze runners that can help in finding the way out. The outputs (not outcomes)? Spending millions on isolated transformation initiatives, new buzz leadership roles and new departments organized in the same way but with fancy names and the madness is back again. Phil proposes a structured way to understand the impacts (unhappy customers, shareholders, and employees), symptoms and then the real root causes (complex organization structure, lack of trust and transparency, leadership talent). Start with big goals such as 40% reduction of time to market, 70 to 500% cycle time improvement, 30% cost reduction then test your hypotheses via pilots, inspect and adapt, course corrections and make it big from the core. Continue reading

Business Agility Conference 2017

bac-2017-logo Hello Everyone! I was counting the days for this conference on business agility! This is the first conference of its kind. There are many cool topics, great people as speakers, thought leaders and deep dive sessions  that will blow your mind with new ideas. The topics will be presented on a TED format and will cover the following:

  • Introducing Business Agility
  • Governance & Strategy
  • Leadership & Empowerment
  • Leading the Transformation
  • People & Engagement
  • Fearless Change

I will contribute as a facilitator in the deep dive sessions and I will be sharing new ideas and thoughts along the week. For more information, please click on the logo above. See you all there!