9th Annual Agile Tour London
Live & Online: 21 to 22 October 2021
As Agile enters its 20s, it’s time we stop looking at it as a team-based or department-based activity, or something just for IT. It is a collective mindset that must see us break down walls and work together towards organisational agility. It’s time to recognise each business has three pillars — people, business and technology — and that organisations will topple without focusing on all three working together toward shared objectives.
In its ninth year, Agile Tour London will continue to expand our own goals around breaking silos and increasing communication. And as we’ve done with the last four unique online events, it will be completely LIVE and intentionally interactive, with keynotes, panels and talks recorded in Zoom Meeting, and all workshops, after-talk discussions and networking activities unrecorded in our self-organised virtual venue Spatial.Chat.
Aims of this event
- To be interactive — no webinars, no pre-recordings
- To be diverse and inclusive — we are looking for new voices to add to our community
- To maintain a community size and feel
- To be a safe space for people to be their true selves and to experiment*
- To create a totally unique, memorable experience
- To open an active discussion around effective communication and collaboration within teams and across organisations and communities
- To share personal experiences with teams, technologies and processes
*Please read our Code of Conduct before considering joining us.
Agile Tour London 2021 Schedule
Check out our spectacular two days of three keynotes, 24 talks and seven workshops. This year we have five key themes:
- Continuous Delivery and Flow
- Frameworks and Patterns
- Breaking Silos
- Team Collaboration
Day One: Thursday 21 October, 2021, Live and Online
Day Two: Friday 22 October, 2021, Live and Online
Agile Tour London is organised by the Aginext Community. Each ticket comes with an invitation to our Slack community for before, during and after the event. Check out our previous events: Agile Tour London 2020, Aginext Conference 2021 and Subscribe to the Aginext YouTube Channel to see some of our event highlights.
Details of each session:
- Keynote: Of Silos & Specialisation by Esther Derby: We want to break down silos to increase agility, collaboration, innovation. But why do we have them in the first place? What reinforces them and holds them in place? Will more communication help? Or do we need a more fundamental re-orientation? These are the questions we’ll explore in this interactive keynote.
- Keynote: The Unicorn Project, And The Structure and Dynamics Of Great Organizations by Gene Kim: I’ve spent 22 years studying high-performing technology organizations. In The Unicorn Project, I attempt to frame what I’ve learned studying technology leaders adopting DevOps principles and patterns in large, complex organizations, often having to fight deeply entrenched orthodoxies. And yet, despite huge obstacles, they create incredibly effective and innovative teams that create beacons of greatness that inspire us all.In my previous books, I’ve focused on principles and practices (e.g., Three Ways, Four Types of Work). However, I’ve always wanted to describe the spectrum of cultural, experiential and value decisions we make that either enable greatness, or create chronic suffering and underperformance.
- Keynote: Agile is a cult, here’s how to escape by Simon Wardley: In topic we shall explore the subject of situational awareness and how this leads us to a conclusion that there no such thing as one size fits all.
- Fishbowl: Psychological Safety vs Accountability by Giles Lindsay: We use fishbowls as a way to allow everyone to both get used to our self-organised virtual venue for workshops and to start to get to know each other.
A Fishbowl is a structured conversation where everyone has a chance to be a panelist and an audience member. In-person this is done by four seats, with always one empty as folks discuss a certain self-organized topic or theme. Only those sat in these speaker chairs can take part in the conversation (turning on their megaphone in the tool). For a virtual fishbowl, we are using virtual venue tool SpatialChat (please use in Chrome) which allows us to do the same.
Agile is about people over processes and good leadership is about creating a safe work environment where people can be and bring their best, most honest selves.
We have reached this point where burnout is seen as something inherent to our work, instead of what it actually is — the negative consequence of an unsafe, un-inclusive working environment. Something that for a lot of people has gotten even worse over the last year. Metrics may change, but the most successful organizations prioritise Psychological Safety.
Let’s bring our whole selves to this discussion!
- From peer pressure to peer power by Marian O’Brien: “As we look at smarter ways to embrace the future, How can we harness the power of the collective, span boundaries and optimise opportunities to learn from each other, collaborate, leverage our collective intelligence, harness innovation and to ultimately maximize the whole, being greater than the sum of its parts. “
- Psychological Safety vs Accountability Panel: In a follow up to a workshop of the same topic by Container Solutions at our last event, we have invited Han Cork, Gitte Klitgaard, Leanne Creasey, Andrea Dobson and Ben Linders to participate in this panel that for the first 45 minutes will be livestreamed to the Aginext YouTube (subscribe!) — with questions from our ATLDN audience! — and then 15 minutes unrecorded discussion exclusive to the event. Let’s find a way to strike this crucial balance together while fostering a safe working enviornment.
- Tech Tribalism by Claire Walkley: “The best way to avoid system downtime is to never make modifications to the system” This seems like perfect logic, but in a world of innovation; not moving means that you are really moving backwards. But how do you balance the need for change, with the need for stability – and when do you decide you should do it anyway? How do you make sure that metrics inform decision making and not define how teams behave and how do you foster an environment of experimentation when you have a live system to maintain? In this talk we show how, through shared language and understanding we can assess the value of change, as well as the likelihood and impact of all out disaster; allowing us to make the right decisions on what’s worth the risk and learn how to reach agreement when emotions and stakes are high.
- Ericsson experiences in hardware and embedded software development by Eva Hedin: Working with solution integration of site products at Ericsson gives me the opportunity to deep dive into the way of working in an extreme challenging area, the interface between software and hardware. Do we work agile? or do we work lean? or is our WoW “agilean”? Is this important? What is important is that we are able to integrate hardware and software development with a cross-border team setup, thrived by a company culture that supports working X-functional with different perspectives. I would like to share with you my thoughts and experiences out of the trenches on how to work cross-functional with product development of embedded products.
- Involving the off-shore teams in refinement by Derk-Jan de Grood: Refinement makes development more predictable, leads to better solutions and enables the Product Owner to set the right priorities. Unfortunately, I see many teams that do not unlock the full potential of refinement. Not only is the time spent on refinement often limited, many of the refinement meetings I join are inefficient. When working with distributed teams or teams with strong functional silo’s collaboration is limited. In this talk I will focus on the following topics• How we can boost the potential of Refinement by organising it as a process rather than a meeting
• Introduction of challenging questions that can be used to prepare your refinement and ensure inclusion of the different disciplines
• And last but not least, how you can involve the off-site team members of distributed teamsJoin this session if you are an Agile Coach of SM and want to help your team(s) to get more out of refinement. If you are a PO and feel a need to boost quality and predictability, or if you are a member of a distributed team and want to involve your fellow team members making better solutions. Key learnings:
• The role of PO, Business Analysts, Testers and team members during refinement
• A well proven step plan that could be a template for you own refinement process that works with multiple teams
• Challenges with distributed teams and how reduce language and cultural barriers
- Create an Agile World through a Heart of Agile Assessment by Sheetal Thaker and Sole Pinter: Business agility is a journey and organisations need to continuously seek to improve even when they are ‘doing’ agile already. Things are continuously changing, people, processes and products will evolve and a company is never ‘done’, there will always be more to do. Agile World and The Heart of Agile has teamed up to bring you a new kind of company assessment that allows you to constantly adapt the way you operate. Focusing on the four pillars Delivery, Improve, Collaborate and Reflect we will help you uncover intelligence that inspires action. Not only that, the Heart of Agile Compass will direct you. Join us for this one time opportunity to take part in the assessment and return to work with strong tools and practices that will help you lead the agile way.
- As strong as Jericho walls! Breaking silos in a traditional HR department by Norma Lidia Acevedo Lopez: ‘Together we can go farther’ quotes one of the values of a young company in the international ecommerce sector; in similar ways numerous companies include ‘unity’ as a key element in their value quotes. No doubt, any organization accepts that it is vital if we want to succeed. But unity can be a tough challenge, specially when it comes to support or geographical distributed departments inside the enterprises. There are strong recommendations from process experts to break silos in order to achieve organizational unity. However, there are silos that are surrounded by walls as strong as those of Jericho! In this interactive talk we will learn from the experiences of a local Human Resources department, devoted to HR operations and recruiting, which evolved to a Global People and Organization with the mission to act as a catalyst within the enterprise and be co-designer of the overall enterprise agenda. We will begin by understanding why the Jericho walls existed, what made them so strong and how they have been weakening and falling down. We are still on the journey and we also want to hear your experiences and learn. Come, let’s learn to break down walls together!
- The next feedback loop in Agile: Governance, Risk and Compliance by Anko Tijman: Many organizations on their way becoming more Agile, struggle on different levels and areas. After focusing on the teams and individuals, and then scaling teams and organizing portfolio management, one missing feedback loop within the organization is Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). In this session we will discuss our professional view on Agile teams and effective interactions with GRC professionals and show that this will lead to more grip on their work for both sides. Where the mindsets in both backgrounds to some may seem as incompatible, we believe they are compliant to each other and will reinforce each other. Traditional GRC is focused on compliance and validating the original, agreed upon plan based on a severe lack of trust. This collides with the vibrant customer-driven atmosphere in Agile teams, dedicated to delivering the most value every sprint. We will show that on any level in any organization the Agile way of working will result in more grip on Agile for GRC professionals and more grip on compliance for Agile teams. Along the lines of the McKinsey 7S model we will discuss what we found to be an effective role of GRC when it comes to dealing with Agile teams. The approach of GRC should be widened to not only the diagnostic control system but also encompass a Belief system, a Boundary system and an Interactive Control system (Simons, 2000). This will lead to a GRC approach that is not only desk checking but a meaningful framework and dialogue system around agile teams. Because now a dialogue has started between these worlds. From this, Agile teams will be able to deal with better, more meaningful organizational guidelines. The necessary change to make this new relationship work also comes from Agile teams: becoming more transparent and be open minded to colleagues who might not feel about Agile the way you do. Agile teams will need to learn to help GRC professionals asking the right questions, being sincerely interested in a just-enough-controlled way of working. This requires listening, creativity and commitment. Ultimately this will lead to an organization that is more goal driven, more effective and more internally aligned on the business strategy. Finally, we will highlight effective questions to use as conversation starters.
- How you can address hazardous attitude cultures through targeted feedback by Dr. Andrew Brown and Jimmy McCauley: Many organisations have cultures that support potentially hazardous attitudes towards, for example, risk, quality, or technical debt. In some organisations, these cultures go unrecognised. In other organisations, these cultures are recognised but accepted as ‘The way we do business around here’. Although organisations and their cultures are diverse, the underlying attitudes that drive potentially hazardous behaviour consist of a limited number of categories and biases. Five potentially hazardous attitudes are: Anti-Authority, Overconfidence, Macho, Acquiescence, and Hastiness. In this workshop, we take participants through a series of outcome scenarios and get them to select the attitude they were most likely to have held that could have led them into that scenario outcome. We then show participants how their responses reveal their relative vulnerability to the five hazardous attitudes. Next, we pose further scenarios and get participants identify and discuss the potentially hazardous attitudes displayed in the scenarios. We finish by identifying antidote responses to the potentially hazardous attitudes, plus how these responses can be used to reduce our vulnerability to behaving in a potentially hazardous manner.
- How Space Shapes Collaboration: Breaking silos, keeping team identities by Patricia Salgado Peláez: Patricia will talk how space shapes collaboration. She will present a case study of a media company with internal problems of communication, strong hierarchies and a problem of social relevance. Anthropologists and architects working together to develop the optimal work space for: Preserving teams’ identities, necessary to develop and strong sense of community. Facilitating cross-functional collaboration. Inspiring new business opportunities: Could they be something else beyond a newspaper?
- Using Communities of Practices to open up silos for better outcomes! by Katrina Novakovic: A community of practice (CoP) is where a group of people who share a common concern or passion regularly interact to improve their understanding and produce a better outcome. This session will explain how CoPs can operate within organisations to open up silos, leading to greater innovation, performance, and results. We’ll discuss real-life examples of how they work within Red Hat and other organisations, common challenges organisations face and how to overcome them, and practical tips to help you get started.
- The Space Between – Embracing Uncertainty As You Journey Towards Agility by Christina Thomas: Many people start their journey towards Agility as they seek a renewal of self and reconciling how to bring their whole self to work. We will explore:
1) Agility as a journey and not a destination
2) The Uncertainty that will undoubtedly hit you when starting your journey and how to not be crippled by fear
3) Finding and Building your tribe
4) Being Kind to Yourself and Others while on your journey
- The agile leadership mindset: Embracing continuous change as a leader by Milena May: When taking over the frontend of MOIA’s backoffice, I came across two main challenges: From the People perspective, I encountered a former frontend only team that was recently split and distributed into cross functional teams without understanding the benefit of that decision. From the Tech perspective, I found a code base in which different developers left good intended but halfway finished architectural concepts and a lot of waste in the workflows. Approaching these challenges with the mindset of the Prime Directive “Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.”, I organized our transition into a Community of Practise. Fostering agile principles and practises, I included everyone in setting the goals and next steps to improve our architecture, workflows and cross team collaboration. Together we are striving for Technical Excellence while being as aligned as needed and as autonomous as possible. I will share the experiments we did, our learnings and achievements of the past two years and how my past experience as an Agile Coach helped me to grow into this Tech Leadership role.
- Playing with the Agile mindset with Corrado Dex De Sanctis: We often have been joining sessions about the “Values>Principles>Practices” chain or maybe about “DO agile vs BE agile” or Dan Pink’s motivators… All of them are around the concept of “Agile Mindset” attributes, but how can we to make them growing across our teams?
In this workshop we will start from a set of 6 Influencers, agents can impact on people’s mind, and 18 Values, states of mind able to recognise people with an Agile Mindset. All participants will be engaged to help to identify a model to describe how Influencers and Values can be connected. We will do this in teams, over an interactive Mural board, with bunch of tokens and some specific rules. A virtual introduction of a new-coming serious game on the same agile subject.
- Busting Silos with Mobius Loop by Scott Seivwright and Monica Ugalde: In this session the Mobius Loop framework (https://mobiusloop.com) for creating a very couple agile delivery combining product design, agile delivery and Customer Impact in a very nice openly available model. This model has been created by Gabrielle Benefield https://www.linkedin.com/in/mobiusloop/?originalSubdomain=uk. In this session Mobiusloop super fan Scott Seivwright will walk you through it and discuss why its a useful tool set particularly for non-agile people in company leadership.
- Innovation must eat the world! How to introduce innovation into the DNA of 21st century companies by Almudena Rodriguez Pardo: One of the greatest challenges that executives and organizations face is promoting creativity and innovation within their companies, including the involvement of leaders and teams in the search for new disruptive products and services. Nowadays, the word Innovation is in all corporate conversations, we could even say it is a hype! This is probably true for some companies, but as a matter of fact, innovation is the key factor which can make a difference in the marketplace and can guarantee for business sustainability. We read the famous article ‘Software is eating the world’ in 2011. In 2021 the new mantra is “Innovation must eat the world!”.
“I have to finish the project first!” Does it sound familiar to you? Employees ‘don’t have time’ to deal with creative approaches in their company. Despite numerous Design Thinking workshops and hackathons, most traditional companies fail to develop a culture of disruption.
In this talk, we will analyze the various approaches that are required to establish a creative culture and maintain it over time as a systematic resource of the organization. We will observe some examples of success in the industry, and we will learn from them the practices that can transform a traditional company into an innovation-oriented organization.
- The Digital Flow Organisation by Philippe Guenet and Sheetal Thaker: Enterprises often mistake agility for Flow and without Flow foundations there cannot be any agility. Changing the operating model to Sprint and Agile events in an organisation that still function in projects and yearly budgets has not achieved better ways of working. Time to think beyond Agile and see the efforts as re-engineering organisations to get business and technology working together for increasingly digitally enabled and enhanced product and services. In this 30-minute talk, we’ll explore Flow in the complex / variable digital environment and will look at organisation, leadership and teaming.
- The Good Traveller’s Guide to Collaboration by Christine Thomson and Jonas Berends: Good cross-team collaboration requires understanding and empathy for the other party. When we can appreciate each other’s experience and challenges, we can fully engage and work effectively together. This workshop takes the concept of being a ‘Good Traveller’ and applies a parallel with cross-team collaboration. During this guided session, participants will be asked to work in small groups to consider how the idea of visiting another country and culture is the same as working alongside another team. What principles can we take from our experience of being a good tourist to allow us to be good collaborators? The goal of the workshop is to gain a deeper awareness of what makes cross-team collaboration work, as well as some concrete ideas to make this happen.
- The Agile Leadership Circle by Tomasz ‘TK’ Kropiewnicki: There are many articles, talks and book chapters on “Why Agile transformations fail”, and most of them mention the organisation’s culture as one of the primary causes. Most of them won’t tell you what this elusive “Agile Culture” is and how you can tell what’s missing in your organisation. We believe that the leaders are the people that primarily create the culture. It’s one of the most important aspects of their role, and with a culture change, the leaders need to go first. For this reason, we believe that the whole organisation can shift by assessing and changing the leadership culture. In this talk I will introduce you to the powers of the Leadership Circle™ and Collective Leadership Assessment™ as the tools that can help you assess and develop your leadership and organisational cultures towards agility.
- 360 Feedback as a Team Bonding Exercise by Gwenno Haf Hughes: How does the thought of giving or receiving 360 Feedback make you feel? Is it something that makes you jump for joy, or want to hide under a rock? I bet it’s the latter. What if I told you that giving and receiving 360 Feedback could be a great, even fun exercise – and one that strengthens the team bonds. I’ll tell you from experience how we’ve transformed the concept of 360 Feedback into something that individuals look forward to and how you could facilitate similar 360 Initiatives with your teams.
- Code, Measure, Improve, Iterate. Building high performing teams through continuous improvement at William Hill by Kristina Verney: Do you manage software development initiatives? Have you faced any challenges while building high performing teams? Would you like to have more autonomous teams in your organization? Join our talk to hear about William Hill’s journey in transitioning our teams to be autonomous and self-sustained. In this talk we will shine a light on our path from good to great by implementing continuous improvement process and culture. We will also share our lessons learned in shifting from a project management mindset to product-led empowered teams. We would like to invite you to see our results, celebrate success and discuss challenges.
- Playful Leadership: How playing with productivity means working less and achieving more by Portia Tung: Are there days when you find yourself running around like a headless chicken? Or perhaps you catch yourself daydreaming about all the things you’d rather be doing instead of focusing on the task at hand? Then it’s time to stop stumbling around like a zombie and reclaim your humanity by paying attention. Join Portia Tung, Executive Coach, Agile Guide and Play Researcher, in this playful exploration of how to make better use of your attentional space and get more of what you want done with people you enjoy doing it with. Grounded in the latest scientific research on how the human mind works, you’ll learn useful tools and tips for managing your time, energy and attention with intention to turn your ToDos into Dones and may be even turn some of your daydreams into reality!
- The Agile Tao by Dov Tsal: Agility is not a new thing, the first agile coach lived 2500 years ago, and wrote the most wonderful book about it. In this workshop we will discover the story of Lao Tzu, and read what Lao Tzu had to say about leadership, bureaucracy, agility, and flow. Here is a small sample:
“19. Mindset (xv)”
Agility is practical, not mystical
A way of working, not a state of grace.Listening as if crossing thin ice,
Testing as if surrounded by danger,
Learning as in a strange land,
Simplifying as thawing snow,
Integrating as the deep woods,
Leading as the river valley,
Innovating as the spring silt.Imagine the ice solid or the stream clear,
Stop to plan your way ahead,
Ignore what moves underfoot;
You fall and disappear.
- Breaking silos: A SAFe experience by Antonio Amador: In this session I will share my experiences supporting four nearshore Agile Teams working for one of the biggest accounts in Fujitsu UK, as part of a Digital Transformation programme. An exciting journey walking the road of agility, developing two new software products, with a delivery model that evolved from Scrum to SAFe, hand in hand with the largest retail network and financial services chain in UK. Fighting our way into agile practices within an eminently traditional management and strongly siloed environment, which left us many valuable lessons worth sharing.
- Agile and metrics: Can we measure improvements? by Antonio Cobo: How can you measure the impact of an Agile coach on a squad? We often get that question and some struggle to answer. Business stakeholders expect tangible metrics. I will share with you how we managed to measure the improvement and switch the mindset to a data driven one . In this session I will share with you the key metrics we used, how we integrated them on a PowerBI dashboard and a success story of one squad improving on their day to day work thanks to the data provided on that PowerBI dashboard
- A customer-focussed realignment based on cognitive load at Mimecast by Burak Cetin and Graham Uphill: A review of the experience learned from 12 months of adopting the Team Topologies approach in our group of 150 engineers spread across 15 teams within Mimecast. Our challenges related to a scattering of product knowledge across component based service teams which created silos of knowledge that resulted in too many dependencies, meaning even very small changes caused confusion and delays.
- Conditions for continuous transformation by Dean Latchana: How well is your organisation responding to the current rapid change and uncertainty? How are you engaging individuals at all levels in responding to change? As a leader, how are you enabling organisational learning in order to be competitive? These are crucial questions which will be discussed in this talk. We’ll discuss the principles for nurturing and promoting continuous transformation. Transformation that is respectful of legacy, recognises established success and is accommodating to each individual’s growth journey. Come along to this talk if you are a leader facing the challenge and opportunity of inclusive organisational change.
- Visual Thinking for Agile by Alexandra Oporto d’Ugard and Christian Harmsen: We will share what is Visual Thinking and how you can apply to Agile frameworks (Scrum, Kanban, etc). Also, we will share how to create poster templates that can enhance your agile events or meetings (ex. retrospectives, sprint planning, etc).
- Create learning organisations through NeuroAgility by Savita Pahuja: Learning Organizations is a way to boost business outcomes. People learn new skills and contribute to products that are competitive and attract users. To provide continuous learning, organizations try to improve employees’ performance and contribute to the upskilling. That’s not enough. It’s like treating the symptom, not the root cause. Can you do learning if you are in stress, frustrated with the work environment or not having a good sleep? Are you trying to force yourself to remain motivated to grow in your career further? Now is the time to understand and learn human behaviour as defined by neuroscientists and help yourself and your colleagues.
- Managing the Culture of Hybrid Work Panel: We know that flexible work increases diversity, equity and inclusion. But hybrid work is a whole other challenge in terms of culture and communication. How can we learn to communicate better? Join Pilar Orti, Charles Humble, Gwenno Haf Hughs, and Milena-Mercedes May, facilitated by our own Jennifer Riggins. This will be a 45-minute discussion live-streamed on our Aginext YouTube Channel (subscribe!) — with questions from our ATLDN audience! — followed by 15 minutes unrecorded discussion exclusive to the event.
- Scrum Values: How organisations violate them daily and impede empiricism by Chris Nikitas and Alex McCulloch: In an attempt to become Agile, organisations focus on mechanical Scrum by adopting the processes within the framework, assigning Scrum roles to people and scheduling Scrum events. However every day, without fail, they seem not only to forget the Scrum values, but also, without realising, they violate them thus impeding empiricism and preventing the organisation from reaping all of Scrum’s benefits. In this session, we’ll provide everyday examples and how to mitigate them.
- What does it mean to invite people to the party? by Mun-Wai Chung and JF Unson: “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers. The term “diversity and inclusion” is used quite a bit recently, but do you know what diversity means? Is it just about ticking the boxes for gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and the like? In this interactive workshop, we’ll dive deep into what diversity really means, especially in a work environment, remote or not. It is far more than just numbers. We’ll learn what we can do to cast a broader net that stimulates more diversity. In the end, it’s about having more individuals with varying expertise, ideas, experiences, thinking, education levels, backgrounds, and more to create more positive and impactful outcomes.