Session descriptions

We will work together for most of the time. Both afternoons, we’ll have two separate “tracks”, with Gil and Johanna leading individual sessions on different topics.

Day 1

 

The big picture of your Agile journey

Your organization’s progress toward agility won’t be smooth, simple, or uniformly distributed. Some parts of it will be easy to see — backlogs, teams, tools — while other parts will require some assessment. In this session, you’ll take a step back from the details and use the Satir change model to construct a big picture of your organization’s journey. This visualization will anchor your learning, analysis, and reflection over the next two days.

Mapping the dynamics of your organization

You know that your agile transformation challenges can exist across the organization. To influence greater Agile culture, look for place of maximum leverage. Where is that? A great tool is organizational mapping, which helps us see culture, forces, and intergroup dynamics. In this session, you’ll learn the technique and apply it to your organization based on your earlier “big picture” analysis. If you’re here with colleagues, you may produce a single map or work individually.

Transformation: Aligning mindset and tactics

It’s 2018, and almost every organization is showing interest in Agile. We seem to have all the ingredients for effective transformations: well-known practices, detailed processes, ever-improving tools, extensive literature, myriad certifications, and many consultants. How is it, then, that so few organizations are truly agile? We’ll study a powerful yet simple model that puts transformation and implementation in context, and explains what needs to happen for real, lasting change.

[with Johanna] Seeing and managing the constraints in your real world

Organizational constraints appear in many forms: requests for quarterly commitments, yearly project funding, “coherent” architecture that may or may not fit the current product needs, and many more. When execs impose certain constraints, they may prevent the teams from being as agile as they could be. In your position in the organization, you can help both the execs and the teams see other possibilities for constraints and work — as long as you can see them. In this session, we will explore the constraints you see for both the execs and the teams, and practice having helpful conversations with them about this matter.

[with Gil] Making Agile teamwork possible

In too many organizations, the understanding of Agile teams is backwards. Thinking that Agile is a process and a set of best practices, they put together cross-functional groups of “resources” to use them. But to bring Agile to life, they need teams of motivated, engaged individuals who communicate, collaborate, and respond effectively. We’ll explore what needs to happen for such a team to emerge, overcome common challenges, and remain great over time.

[with Johanna] Being agile by ruthlessly selecting work to do and not do

You and your organization have too much work to do. The project portfolio, the product roadmaps, even your to-do list seems to only grow, not ever shrink. You won’t be agile for long if you, the teams, and the managers are multitasking all the time. To get agility and throughput, senior management must select what not to do. Not happening enough? In this session, we’ll explore ranking approaches and how to help your executives think about value gained, not just cost expended.

[with Gil] Managing the frustration of leading change

Being a change agent is engaging and exhilarating, and sometimes it can be frustrating. We’ll share a useful model and perspective for identifying, coping with, and ultimately overcoming the frustration.

 

Day 2

 

Influence

Dozens of people have told us, first hand, that one of their most prominent problems was the matter of influence, and how to do that effectively and with integrity. They want to lead sensible and meaningful change, but how?

We’ll spend much of the second morning on the matter of influence. You’ll learn how to bring your best self, and help the other people bring themselves to the problem, without blaming, without placating, while staying relevant to the problem. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. We’ll review the prerequisites for influence, certain techniques, and practice with your specific need and application of influence.

Put your organizational map to work

Having reviewed your organization’s transformation, mapped out the forces at play, and learned tools and skills, you’ll determine an action plan for moving your organization forward.

[with Johanna] Maximize your value while staying sane

As an agile leader in your organization, you may have the same problem as everyone else: too much work to do. You’re supposed to create — and implement — the agile transformation roadmap, coach teams, and help managers understand agile and why it is a good idea. You’re drowning in work. Can agile principles help you? In this session, we’ll apply the agile concepts such as sustainable pace, transparency, safety, collaboration and more to your own work!

[with Gil] How to talk about change, what to change so others talk

“Change” is a hot topic: we want to change our methods to Agile, we want our colleagues and stakeholders to be part of the change, and in Agile, we embrace change. Much easier said than done… and that’s exactly the problem! When you talk about change, the substance of your message is not enough. For the other party to really listen, accept, and engage helpfully, you might have to communicate the same message differently. Learn about the subconscious signals that cause people to engage or disengage in conversation. Discover the hidden mental filters people employ, even when engaged, that block certain messages. And practice powerful yet simple personal states, perspectives, and tools that increase the chance of moving people.

[with Johanna] How to think about Big Agile (scaling might not be the solution!)

Many organizations that grow beyond seven-people-on-a-team start worrying about scaling. They attempt to solve for “big”, without necessarily having “big” problems. It is true that beyond one team, there are new problems and challenges to address, but they may not all require or yield to the framework du jour. In this session, we’ll look at the problems your organization actually has with size, and appropriate responses to that.

[with Gil] Achieving your vision of yourself

Your agile learning and experience have gotten you this far. Take time in this session to reflect on and repack for your personal agile journey. What’s on your horizon? On the way there, what’s the next milestone, and how will you achieve it? This session will focus on you, and be almost like individual coaching in a group setting. Gil will walk you through a reflection process so you gain greater personal clarity and conviction — as well as ideas and support from your peers.

Helping hand

Having gone through these two days, some problems got solved and some got a promotion. In this closing segment, you’ll assess what’s open for you, and get to work on it — on your own, with the coaching help on one of your peers, or with us. And if you prefer to coach someone else on a problem of theirs, that option will be available too!