TEKsystems Takes a Day Out of the Office to Join Our Customers at Lean Agile Brighton
Earlier this month, TEKsystems attended and sponsored the inaugural Lean Agile Brighton.
Lean Agile Brighton is a natural development for the team behind the Brighton Lean Agile Meetup Group (BLAG), which was set up for like-minded professionals to meet, discuss, explore and learn about all areas of Lean and Agile product development.
The one-day event was hailed a success by all who attended, with its excellent lineup of speakers, relaxed, easy-going attendees and general sense of camaraderie amongst the event organisers, delegates and sponsors.
The morning kicked off with a keynote from Caitlin Walker, director of training attention — Mental Modes, Invisible Architecture and Agile. Caitlin discussed how Clean Language and Systemic Modelling offer a simple technique for providing a group with tools for paying collaborative attention to one another, “minimising time and goodwill wasted in miscommunication.”
In his talk, Straightening the Circus, Geoff Watts, an Agile and leadership coach at Inspect and Adapt asked, “Are you as agile as you think you are?” Geoff contemplated how real-time feedback on our decisions, statements and actions could increase alignment, integrity and authenticity, which might even “inspire cultural change throughout the organisation.”
During an interactive talk entitled The Empathy Games, Paul Goddard of Agilify shared some simple techniques and protocols we can use to assess our strength in recognising our own emotions and feelings, as well as in others. “Empathy,” Paul says, “is defined by the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.”
Liz Keogh from Lunivore Limited says we typically treat people as boxes and substances to be passed around.
“By breaking the boxes and considering the relationships between the people doing the work, we can see possibilities for change and improvement that we might otherwise miss,” says Liz. “Making value streams out of the people involved in them—not from the sum of their parts but from the product of their relationships.”
During a captivating talk, FFlipping Management: Principles for Business Agility, Jose Casal, business agility coach and trainer from Actineo, took us through the newly emerging concept of business agility. Jose explored some of the reasons why business fail to achieve better business agility. He presented a set of core principles that help us FFLIP (Flow, Fitness for Purpose, Learning, Impact, People) the way we manage people working in uncertain, interdependent and evolving environments.
In How to Navigate Out of Hell, Katherine Kirk, an independent Agile and Lean coach uses the analogy of automatically reaching for the chocolate in our pocket to illustrate how always doing the same thing the same way becomes problematic when we suddenly discover we are allergic to that chocolate. “This talk is for people in working hell, who've been in hell, or are facing hell in front of them. How do we weather it, turn it around and use it to become effective so that we achieve greater and better things?”
Lean and Agile help us to examine alternative possibilities. Just by applying one new methodology a week we might make 52 new "mistakes," but you will learn 52 new things and be 52 times smarter.
Andy Carmichael from Huge IO (UK & Ireland) Ltd introduced the model of value delivery with examples from a variety of domains and explored to what degree all kanban systems would benefit from two-tier treatment. “Kanban systems often consist of two tiers of flow, with customer value primarily associated with larger items, which break down into smaller items that are easier to monitor, estimate and forecast.”
“Though the butt of many jokes, weather forecasting—and in particular hurricane forecasting—has gotten surprisingly good over the past few decades,” Dan Vacanti, CEO, ActionableAgile, told the audience in the second keynote of the day. In Your Project Behaves like a Hurricane, Forecast it Like One, Dan took his audience on a whirlwind tour from Monty Hall to Monte Carlo. Dan explored some of the practices used in weather forecasting such as the Monte Carlo Simulation and discussed how we might expect to employ them to make our projects more predictable. Using Hurricane Sandy as a real-world example, Dan explained how to get up and running with methods immediately. “You wouldn’t want a little thing like bad forecasting to get in the way of delivering your projects on time, would you?”
TEKsystems’ very own Joanna Plumpton, application development practice head and Agile coach spoke about how TEKsystems’ Agile practice helps our clients transform all aspects of software development and delivery through the adoption of Agile best practices and methods, allowing them to increase speed to market, enhance collaboration between business units and IT, and deliver high-quality products. Our service offerings meet the needs of organisations undergoing Agile adoption at any stage, from project-specific engagements to enterprise-wide adoption. Joanna used the analogy of her own home renovation project to describe how TEKsystems can support digital transformation projects in much the same way as choosing between a “doing-it-yourself” option or a fully managed service.
The afternoon finished off with talks from Sallyann Freudenberg, co-founder and director, Cucumber Ltd: Leaping back into code via Remote Mobbing; Chris McDermott, Lean Agile coach and founder, Lean Agile Scotland: Maturity Mobbing; and Mike Burrows, founder, Agendashift: Right to Left.
After a Q&A session with the day’s speakers, delegates were invited to join TEKsystems for a sunset flight on the BA i360, a giant glass viewing pod that glides up gently to 450 ft, offering magical views of Brighton’s landmarks and the rolling coastline stretching away to the horizon.