Thursday October 17 - Friday October 18
Time: 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM EST
Break: 10 minutes every hour
Location: Teach For America 25 Broadway 12th floor, New York, NY 10004
- Ever wonder why Kanban appears prominently in several places in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?
- Do you have too many projects chasing too few resources?
- Want to know why Kanban is now officially endorsed by Ken Schwaber of Scrum.org (see scrum.org/resources/Kanban-guide-scrum-teams)?
- Do you use Kanban for Operations but are having trouble with cross-team coordination?
- Do you run into delays in your process due to dependencies on outside departments (e.g. procurement, architecture, PMO, DBA, Apple App Store!?)
- Do you want to know about applying Scrum time-boxing in high volume flow systems?
- Wondering how to fit in an urgent new compliance initiative when your organization is already fully allocated?
THIS WORKSHOP will teach you the foundations for scaling regardless of the scaling framework being used. Over four days we will analyze the barriers to scaling Agile practices and reveal highly effective techniques for resolving them. Days one and two prepare you to effectively align and optimize flow across multiple teams. By understanding and recognizing the challenges that are faced upstream and across teams and learning simple yet incredibly effective techniques for managing cross-team dependencies.
Days three and four expand on this knowledge and discuss challenges at the portfolio and strategic level within the Enterprise. We will review effective techniques to balance an ever-varying demand with an ever-varying supply. We will explore organizational liquidity as a measure of how well demand and supply can be matched!
In the ideal world, organizational agility is achieved by a swarm of relatively independent, cross-functional agile teams that spontaneously self-organize and fluently adapt to changing customer demand. The real world, however, is not so ideal. It forces upon us all kinds of constraints: specialization into competences, key-man dependencies, dependencies between teams, workflows that require work to be handed over from specialized role to specialized role, approvals, cadences for planning and decision making, unstable demand with murky priorities, changing demand that is shifting or fluctuating, conflicting demand, demand that cannot be compared according to the same standard (incommensurability), … As these constraints often cannot simply be ignored or removed without peril, Agile practitioners are forced to deal with them. They need answers, especially when and where lean-agile (scaling) frameworks or methods fall short in providing them.
Suppose, for example, that you are working in an organization that operates in a highly competitive environment. On a regular basis work finishes and capacity becomes available. At the same time customers – external as well as internal – are requesting new work to be performed. Ideally, you can perfectly match the needs of newly arrived work with the capacity that has become available. In reality, however, work arrives when there is no free capacity (or where the right type of capacity is not free); or, capacity becomes available when there is no new demand (or where the demand is not of the right type). What is even more, it turns out to be costly to adapt (scale up, down or shift) your capacity to meet the fluctuating demand. At the same time there is no flexibility to (re-) shape the demand to make best use of the available capacity. In lean-agile terms, you have just discovered that you have a liquidity problem. Maintaining flow is costly because demand and supply are hard to match to each other. The result is interruptions, loopbacks, work that piles up in one place, capacity that is underutilized at other places, and a failure to collaborate not just within, but also beyond the team level.
This workshop provides practical solutions to advancing agility beyond the team level. It does not assume the “agile ideal” nor does it assume a specific set of practices or organizational structure or a specific agile method. To the contrary, it gives participants the tools to develop their own practice(s) and organizational structure, or, in case, to improve agility beyond any methods that have already been implemented. On a practical level, it teaches individual techniques such as CAP tokens, order points, or triage as solutions to balancing conflicting demand that involves many teams, shaping demand and e.g. dealing with unstable priorities. At the foundational level it allows participant to experience the difference between managing options upstream and commitments downstream and gain insight in the concept of liquidity based on options thinking and the use of economic models as a foundation for managing an agile portfolio. The workshop adheres to an experiential style of teaching using close to reality simulations that allow to explore scaling problems and solutions that would take years to develop in reality. All in all, the workshop creates a common foundation and shared language for talking about agility at all levels in the organization.