Do you play a design, engineering, quality, or operations role in a large enterprise? Have you ever felt like it’s incredibly hard to deliver quality value to your customers or end-users? Maybe you work on a team that describes what they do as providing a “service”? Would you like to help your team collaboratively create a more holistic view of the systems they are working in so that you can apply some of the methods, mindsets, and processes from Agile, Lean, or Design Thinking? Come learn how!
PraxisFlow coaches have been using a combination of principles-based processes and methods including ITIL Service Design, Social Practice Persons, Service Blueprints, and Wardley Maps to engage enterprise functions in Design Thinking and Service Design to create a better flow of value to business end-users. Our complexity-informed Service Design proposes that teams reimagine the systems they build and work within as complete sociotechnical systems. Systems that deliver value to users require the orchestrated interaction of humans and technology to deliver that value. Service Design equips designers and engineers with new tools, theory and praxis, to engage in productive discussions with operations (DesignOps anyone?) and management.
This session will focus on how to use a variety of tools including Social Practice Persons (created by PraxisFlow), Service Blueprints, and Wardley Maps (Value-Chain Maps) together in order to view systems from a holistic sociotechnical service perspective.
At PraxisFlow, we have learned by working with very large enterprises, that not all innovation efforts are worth the investments required as you scan across your portfolio. Exploring the intersections and interactions between these tools, teams can determine the best components of the value-chain to focus the appropriate design approaches (Design Thinking/LeanUX FTW!). The result is innovation efforts that hit with the most impact.
This session is delivered as a fast-paced workshop. You’ll learn first with your hands and your friends, then we’ll briefly explore theory and leave you with plenty of pointers for further practice, reading, and research opportunities.
*We’ll introduce the theory and method of building Social Practice Personas for identifying the skills, materials, artifacts, and meanings of interactions in complex socio-technical systems leveraged by knowledge workers to create new value streams.
*We’ll explore how Service Blue Prints can reveal the way user needs interact with the people and technologies in your organization from front-stage to back-office down to infrastructure and supporting dependent systems. We’ll explore questions like, “What does the customer need and see?” “What does the service organization do in response?” “What are the jobs-to-be-done?”
*You’ll learn how Wardley Maps help capture value-chains that show the interrelationships between user needs, technology adoption and sociotechnical practices and how service organizations can make strategic trade-off decisions in the delivery of end-user value.
*Finally, we’ll show how to manage the entire life-cycle of services across the whole service catalogue using Program and Portfolio Kanban systems aligned through Strategy Deployment.
We live in a competitive world. That competition forces change. It has always forced change. Change is normal. The question is not whether our organisations will change, that’s a given, but can we see this change before it hits us, do we know where we’re heading or are we simply floating aimlessly being carried by a river? It certainly feels that way sometimes.
To answer the question we need to understand our landscape, the economic forces at play, the context we operate within and our situational awareness of this. Can we navigate the waters, can we see a storm coming or are we being battered by rocks because we refuse to look?
During this talk we will examine the level of situational awareness within business, why it matters and whether we can anticipate and exploit change before it hits us. We will explore how we can manage our economic environment by, as Deng Xiaoping would say, “crossing the river by feeling the stones”.
by Jon Terry
We in the lean-agile community like to think we are doing something new, radical and different. In some ways we are. But in other, deeper ways the rise of agile is following similar patterns to other new, radical and different things in human history.
Jon will compare agile to two earlier mass movements: labour unions and Christianity to demonstrate some predictable patterns in human behavior that might help us understand where things are heading.
by Jon Terry
We all know that Agile is sweeping the project management world. Or is it Lean? Lean Agile? Scrum? Kanban? Scrumagilean, maybe?
Jon Terry of LeanKit will discuss how these ideas relate to each other. How Lean principles provide the organizational framework to allow Agile to succeed beyond the team level. What the Kanban method really is.
Hint: It's not just an alternative to Scrum for maintenance teams. And how you can use the data that Kanban provides for dramatically better forecasting and continuous improvement.
Fear of uncertainty is natural and human. Few of us would be happy not knowing when we or our loved ones could eat again, or whether bombs might drop on us tonight.
Yet some people joyously embrace particular uncertain situations, seeing opportunities to exercise and hone their skills. Others detest all uncertainty and seek to deny it or will it away.
Many managers discourage behaviour that exposes uncertainty. They don’t want to hear about risks, and they don’t like people asking too many questions. In their minds, exploration promotes uncertainty because it’s unpredictable and uncontrollable. They seek absolutes even for Agile projects:
*Immovable delivery dates and fixed costs
*Mandated “best practices” and controlled processes that (they believe) produce predictable results
*Hard numbers that purport to tell them exactly what’s going on
Good testers know that uncertainty is inescapable in software development (as in life), and it is better to embrace it on our projects than to run away from it. There are no best practices, and the only responsible answer is usually, “It depends.” It’s our job to expose uncertainty, and to help reduce it when possible.
But testers are not immune to human feelings. We also can fall into denial and too-easy answers.
In this interactive workshop, we’ll do group exercises and debriefs to tackle the questions:
*How can we grow our own tolerance for uncertainty and learn to embrace it?
*How can we promote a healthy attitude to uncertainty on our software projects?
We are always in the process of revolution, generally in pursuit of better organisational performance. First we had the industrial revolution improving processes, then we had the digital revolution using technology to boost performance.
Now we see the collaborative revolution of agile and lean transforming our productive output, and effective methods they are. However, when compared with the best performers we consistently find one element missing – purpose.
In this session Naveed Khawaja will explain how high performance productivity is driven by purpose which releases innovation, motivation and productivity.
Naveed brings his extensive research, experience and expertise in operational excellence to illustrate how he used purpose to address the true root of motivation, and transform an organisation from losing 25% in revenue and people, year over year (for the last three years) to a forecasted profit of 25% in less than a year.
His journey convinced him about the key to highly motivated teams working with autonomy and mastery to produce greater innovation and performance.
Let him show you how to use purpose to help power performance in your organisation
Maslow's concept of management provides the model for a human-centric organisation.
In knowledge work, the employee knows more about her job than her line manager. The quality of managers as information mediators has been profoundly challenged, if not invalidated. The traditional picture of managers instructing subordinates makes no sense in knowledge work. There is an urgent need for management to change its focus.
Understanding organisations as complex self-adaptive systems, management describes the activities required to setup and maintain a system to deliver a desired value, or simply, to carry out work. I posit that, in knowledge work, the focus of managing has to be social.
The word eupsychian (pronounced 'you-sigh-key-un') was coined by Abraham Maslow. It comes from 'eu' meaning good (e.g. euphoria) and 'psyche' meaning mind or soul. Eupsychian means 'having a good mind/soul' or 'towards a good mind/soul'. Maslow's research into organisations in the 1960s showed that productivity is directly linked to the level of safety and self-actualisation that individuals experience. The most striking insight (at the time) was that different people have to be managed differently. Current research echoes this.
The talk will illustrate how Maslow's insights and the insights of those he inspired are helping organisations to improve the environment for and with their employees and how these principles have helped me be a more eupsychian manager.
Test-Driven Development is the key to making the promise of agile - flexible software that can adapt to the needs of a business - possible. In my humble opinion it will, someday, be regarded in the same way as the spirit level is for building construction: Hobbyists can do without it, but no professional would consider working without it. Mainstream.
What stops TDD from going mainstream?
Yet today, over and over again, I see organisations, teams and individuals paying lip service to TDD, but failing to actually practice it.
Why is that? What is stopping us, as an industry, from adopting this essential practice wholeheartedly?
In this workshop, I am looking for participants who share my curiosity about this puzzle, or who believe they have insights to share. I am not interested in debating the value of TDD, but I am interested in uncovering and understanding people’s fears and concerns about the practice. I believe this is a human problem, and I want to understand what lies behind it.
by Will Evans
Strategy. The identification and exploitation of an opponent’s weakness. Before you can have Strategy Deployment (Policy Deployment, Hoshin Kanri), it tends to reason that you probably need a strategy to deploy. But how do you do that? What are the mechanisms? What are the methods? What are the principles that allow an organization to design a meaningful strategy?
This lively 45 (to 60 minute) romp will introduce you to the history of strategy in organizations (it’s dark, perverse, and full of dragons) from Porter to Rumelt, to Dettmer, and Boyd. Few will remember that in the early days of strategy, there was only one: drive down the experience curve and be the low-cost provider with a stream-lined supply chain. The talk will unpack what strategy actually is and more importantly, what it is not. It will painstakingly deconstruct how the term is ritually abused and misused, and then methodically introduce how strategy is a design problem, but too important to be left to the designers in their plaid shirts, funky glasses, and ernest but ultimately vapid proclamations about human-centered blah blah, validating blah, blah, buzzword bingo verbal diarrhea inventing flaccid constructs like ‘design strategy, content strategy, ux strategy’ and ‘strategic planning’.
The talk will introduce some conceptual frameworks used in military strategy and maneuver warfare, which dates back over 2,300 years to the time of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. We’ll explore how the time-tested principles of economic and military competition can be applied to social and commercial ventures, such as software and service delivery leading to considerable benefits in coherence, focus. and profit. We’ll then introduces a reasonable, systematic set of methods to help you translate current market uncertainty, fast changing customer needs, and ever-changing technological disruptions into a meaningful strategy and organizational capability ready for Hoshin Kanri.
by Julia Wester
Are you a manager in a world that increasingly wishes you didn't exist? The positional power structure of traditional management is at odds with an agile approach. But, don't despair¦ there's hope!
Fortunately, it is possible to do your job well and have your team want to hug you instead of kill you. Julia Wester will talk about how to transform your role away from its command and control roots and be a valuable member of an agile team.
by Emily Webber
Agile working and cross-functional teams have the ability to silo organisations into teams, programmes and functions. This leads to duplication or work, a reduction in sharing knowledge and worse cuts people off from their support network. At a time when organisations are scaling, structures are flattening and workforces are increasingly fluid, supporting and connecting people is more important than ever. This is where communities of practice come in.
Communities of practice have many valuable benefits for both individuals and organisations. In this session, Emily will draw from her experiences of developing communities of practice at the Government Digital Service, government departments and other organisations as well as case studies from her ongoing research into this area. To show you why Communities of practice are a vital piece of your Agile organisation and what role they can play.
by Seb Rose
A whirlwind tour of of agile estimation from the perspective of planning poker. By the end of this session you'll know what planning poker is, why it was proposed, what it's useful for, how to get better at it and why it will never be perfect.
I'll also introduce you to some variants and alternatives.
We explore the consequences of 'sound-bites' using both modern, and historical examples from our lean and agile roots. 'Sound-bites' are fragments of a message, easy to remember and easy to misapply.
Therefore, we need to be careful with what we leave behind in every conversation.
'Sound-bites' are the useful takeaways or narrative fragments from conversations and presentations. When we only hear the 'sound-bites', we lose valuable information and will end up with poor outcomes.
This session will explore the typical reactions that we get to our 'sound-bite' rallying cries like 'Celebrate Failure'. The reactions vary from the hoped for enthusiastic embrace all the way to disappointing disengagement...where our colleagues treat us as foolish for suggesting such a thing could be good in their workplace. These reactions are what we leave behind and the enthusiastic embrace can be just as harmful as the disappointing disengagement - in some ways the former is more dangerous and we need to be careful that what we leave behind does not cause any damage.
We will unpack 'celebrate failure' and explain a healthier way to interpret the intention behind the 'sound-bite' as a means to explore boundaries in complex systems.
History shows us that people with the best intentions can be misunderstood and many years later treated as creators of our current woes, an example being The Principles of Scientific Management by F.W. Taylor. In 100 years, what will people think of Lean and Agile? If we take another look, we can see a pattern emerging where Scientific Management can identify Best Practices in the Obvious Domain, Systems Thinking applies nicely in the Complicated Domain and the concepts of probe, sense and respond allow us to explore complexity more effectively.
By using the modern 'Celebrate Failure' example and lessons from history, this session will remind us all to be careful with what we leave behind in every conversation.
The world as we know it is growing more complex. As we automate away those things that can be easily repeated, we leave ourselves with ever more challenging work. The way we've worked in the past won't necessarily work for today's problems¦ or will it? Join Diane and Doc as they explore dimensions of complexity in software development and look at how teams and leaders might adjust their behaviors (and the software they create) based on the complexity of the problem at hand.
This hands-on, interactive workshop will provide a practical introduction to Cynefin (a sense-making framework for complexity) and show how it applies to the work we do every day as creators of software. You'll map your own work to Cynefin and learn about applicable management styles and optimal team interactions for each of the Cynefin contexts.
In our ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ workshop at last year’s LASCOT we introduced three tools taken from Electoral Politics: Segmentation, Vision and Polling. These three tools are fundamentally about communication, used to break down barriers and generate momentum through creating a common ground.
It’s easy to think of communication as an everyday activity, something you do, a task you perform - sending an email, chairing a conference call - but it’s so much more than this.
In this talk we’ll discuss the importance of remembering a fundamental from political campaigning; that “Everything Communicates”, and how to apply this principle to focus your efforts for success.
Today, we increasingly value what people do and how they prove what they are saying: it is the behaviours, attitudes and affiliations that reveal the real candidate, leader, manager or team member.
We advocated in our previous workshop that words matter, but in this presentation we’ll also focus on the how our actions communicate when seeking to win hearts and minds.
We’ll address the problems that are created by “perception versus reality” so you can minimise the opportunities for misinformation and confusion among the people involved.
With the principle of ‘Everything Communicates’, it is incredibly important to address rumours and provide accurate information to your supporters. In the absence of information, people tend to create their own narrative and this is something we will teach you how to avoid.
Finally, we’ll tie all of the campaign tools we have shared together with the concept of ‘define - deliver - claim’. This will enable you to build a calendar of activities that strengthen belief in the benefits of what you are seeking to achieve. Your commitment to a regular cadence of delivering on your promise that proves what you say is what you do will build momentum for your victory.
Our presentation is designed to give you tools that you can put into practice immediately - all designed to show you how much influence you have if you remain focused and principled in everything you do.
It’s one of the current buzzwords in the agile world. But what does “DevOps” really mean? Is it a role? A specialization of work? A mindset?
In this session we’ll talk about the evolution that led to DevOps’ big role in our lives. What people mean when they talk about it (and it’s not always the same thing); what it means in terms of technological and organizational terms. We’ll even discuss tools and practices (because we value those too) that have been developed since its inception, like continuous delivery and what it entails.
“We are uncovering better ways of developing software” says the agile manifesto. Is DevOps one of those better ways? Come see for yourself.
Mapping can help visualize the flow between your customers and the raw materials your business uses to provide them with products or services. This session will examine how mapping risk onto your value stream can improve your chances of success and keep failures bounded to expectations.
While enumerating system states may increase our understanding of our options it does not account for probabilities and likely outcomes. Any attempt to instantly transition a system to a desired state is usually expensive and unsuccessful.
By visualizing our value stream and weighing our options we're able to trade the high risk for lower but more likely payouts. These low risk wagers provide the intermediate steps needed to reach our goals without taking some huge leap of faith.
By painting a more complete picture with our numbers we're enabling our audiences to make educated decisions. We'll look at different types of value stream mapping techniques and how to automate data collection for different types of metrics.
Testers talk about context and many of us identify ourselves as driven by context. But do we really understand what “context” means? Let’s get together and find out!
In this interactive workshop, we’ll use group exercises to explore the idea of context and some practical means for helping to discover it:
A final debrief will give participants the opportunity to consolidate and share their insights and experiences.
by Alex Harms
When we’re feeling stressed, threatened, or unsafe, our bodies help us do a lot of things better. We’re able to run faster, hit harder, yell louder. We are able to notice the slightest movement out of the corner of our eye.
Things we do not do better: think creatively, work collaboratively, solve problems.
These are very human activities, and they work best in a very human environment. We know that emotional safety is vital to a team's productivity. Let’s talk about what it takes to have emotional safety, and how to get there.
by Kaimar Karu
Unless your customer can achieve their objectives with the tech you run, and can get assistance when needed, no-one cares whether your architecture is built on a monolith, uses microservices, or can brag about being serverless. Agile as a mindset covers the whole value chain, but common practices are limited to development only. DevOps as a philosophy covers the whole value chain, but common practices are limited to the deployment-focused intersection of development and operations only. Understanding the organisation's strategy, developing the product strategy, and dealing with customer issues are expected to be taken care of by someone else, as if by magic.
Because of this, DevOps faces a risk of becoming the largest local optimisation exercise ever undertaken for too many organisations. This session introduces successful practices for supporting a service mindset that focuses on customer value, and provides a wider lifecycle view for Agile and DevOps to support a sustainable improvement model. We explore ways how Lean underpins the practices required for successful scaling of modern tech organisations who care about moving from customers acquired to customers retained.
Lead times were reduced by 17% at one of the biggest hospitals in Northern Europe by applying lean and systems thinking. Simultaneously patient experience and employee satisfaction improved. The key was a multi-disciplinary team running short, inexpensive experiments and scaling up successes. We’ll cover how we ramped up the team and coached it through the experiments. We’ll also cover how we got management involved and how this work is now affecting the strategy of the hospital. And just to be clear: we only experiment with processes, not the medical care.
by Seb Rose
Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) are very similar.
I'll explain why the most important part of both acronyms is the first 'D' for Driven and why it would be better if the second 'D' stood for Design.
We'll explore what challenges you might face when trying to adopt this way of working and what benefits you will reap when you succeed. And I'll explore why these approaches are even more important in the contexts of distributed teams and continuous delivery.
by Martin Burns
You can’t force faster value; all you can do is remove the blockages to flow.
We have ethical responsibilities when coding. We’re able to extract remarkably precise intuitions about an individual. But do we have a right to know what they didn’t consent to share, even when they willingly shared the data that leads us there? A major retailer’s data-driven marketing accidentally revealed to a teen’s family that she was pregnant. Eek.
What are our obligations to people who did not expect themselves to be so intimately known without sharing directly? How do we mitigate against unintended outcomes? For instance, an activity tracker carelessly revealed users’ sexual activity data to search engines. A social network’s algorithm accidentally triggered painful memories for grieving families who’d recently experienced death of their child and other loved ones.
We design software for humans. Balancing human needs and business specs can be tough. It’s crucial that we learn how to build in systematic empathy.
In this talk, we’ll delve into specific examples of uncritical programming, and painful results from using insightful data in ways that were benignly intended. You’ll learn ways we can integrate practices for examining how our code might harm individuals. We’ll look at how to flip the paradigm, netting consequences that can be better for everyone.
by Adam Yuret
"Lean Coffee is a structured, but agenda-less meeting. Participants gather, build an agenda, and begin talking. Conversations are directed and productive because the agenda for the meeting was democratically generated."
In our work transforming our organisations, sometimes as an industry we appear to have forgotten that teams are still made up of individuals. That there is an “I” in team after all. That we are different to one another. That sometimes we need to work in different ways or different environments to each another.
The diversity that helps create amazing teams and products may ironically be being drummed of us by our own practices and environments. Inadvertently creating a mono-culture when far from being a weakness, our diversity is our biggest strength.
Perhaps we have moved from an “old school culture” (one that focuses too heavily on the written word, on working alone and thinking things through carefully up-front) to a more agile culture (that replaces these with exclusively open-plan spaces, intense collaboration, thinking on one’s feet and lots of audio and visual noise). Neither of these fit everyone all of the time.
In addition, as we work in more cross-functional teams and/or cut across organizational boundaries we will need to find ways to work together whilst still respecting our differences.
This talk then is about embracing diversity of thinker. About making our collaborations more inclusive. About experimenting with how we can create teams, spaces and practices where people can turn up authentically and have their differences not only supported but celebrated.
by Liz Keogh
Our human ability to spot patterns and apply them underlies our ability to learn... but that same tendency can cause us to see patterns which aren't there, especially when faced with uncertainty. Our natural bias causes us to believe that we understand causes and can make predictions, even in situations where that cannot possibly be true!
When root-cause analysis is flawed, and outcomes only emerge with hindsight, what can we do to help us gather more information about our problems and possible solutions? How can we avoid the trap of our own biases? And what can we do to make sure that our efforts are safe-to-fail?
For people with ambitious goals who need to boost the value of their business, this workshop provides a first experience with Lean Analytics.
Unlike a theoretical session to introduce concepts, in this workshop participants will put the concepts in practice and Learn by Doing.
A new bar opens downtown. A thousand people walk in and nobody buys anything. The bar is considered a huge success...
Except it isn't one.
Solving problems and catering to the needs of your customers extends far beyond getting them to view your product or service - it requires the timely identification of actionable metrics and constant feedback. That is the essence of Lean Analytics.
Lean Analytics applies the Lean principles (delivering value in short cycles, eliminating waste and receiving constant feedback in each cycle) and focuses on choosing the pieces of data that improve both the learning and the decision making. One of the key concepts in Lean Analytics is the One Metric That Matters (OMTM.) This is a metric that addresses the key aspect you want to focus on in order to achieve a business goal.
So, how does it work? Come and find out in this workshop!
by Ian Carroll
Kanban is a transparent, work limiting, value pulling system that eases the transition to Agile ways of working.
This introduction to Kanban is a foundational workshop that enables teams to get going with Kanban quickly. The workshop teaches the basics of creating a Kanban system, including end-to-end flow, queuing theory, pull vs push, removing context switching, visual work management techniques, removing bottlenecks and blockers, swarming, data driven retrospectives, defect handling in Kanban, and ‘Kanban style’ daily stand-ups.
The workshop incorporates a fun Agile learning game ensuring full attendee participation.
by Darren Byrne
4th–7th October 2016