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Audio Interviews on Making Agile Culture Change Stick

by Shane Hastie on Mar 13, 2014 |

Following on from the "Individuals and Interactions" series of interviews last year, Gil Broza, author of “The Human Side of Agile” has announced a series of audio interviews titled "A Packing List for your Agile Journey", running from March 17-21, in which he will interview a variety of commentators, practitioners and authors on what it takes to make an agile transition sustainable in the long term.

Broza spoke to InfoQ about the series:

Please tell us briefly about the "Packing List for Your Agile Journey" interview series?

In this unique virtual training, 10 industry leaders share the key concepts they consider for an organization's Agile journey. Some of these concepts are needed for Agile to "stick", such as executive leadership and a team-friendly environment. Other concepts underlie the difference between implementing process mechanics and truly reaping the benefits of Agility: aspects such as technical excellence, a quality mind-set, the mentality of "getting to done", iterating vs. predicting.

What happened with the sessions last year – how many people attended/listened and what feedback did you get from the community?

Last year's virtual training / mini-conference was called "Individuals and Interactions: How to Put People Before Process for Outstanding Results." About 150 people attended from all over the world, and many of them gave me amazing feedback later. They particularly liked the guest line-up and the format, since it was easy (and cheap) to listen on their own schedule, and refer back to the material.

What changes have you made this year in response to the feedback (if any)?

This year we have the same format but different content. Also, this time I'm interviewing have more practitioners and senior folks, and fewer authors/consultants.

What is the theme for the interview series this year?

Last year's event was an exploration of the first line from the Agile Manifesto ("Individuals and Interactions"); in this year's event, we explore the critical success factors for Agility that people often miss when they only see Agile as a process.

Who are some of the speakers and what topics will they be addressing?

The only guest who's making a comeback is Johanna Rothman, who'll share her insights about adopting the "getting to done" mentality. We have Nick Oddson, VP Engineering at Desire2Learn and formerly OpenText, addressing executive leadership of Agile transformations. Andrew McGlinchey, head of product management at Google Southeast Asia, will share his experience with lean thinking on the product side. Dan Mezick will discuss modern views on cultural fit (and what we can do when there's no fit). We close with Ken Rubin, whose "Essential Scrum" book has been this decade's best-seller on Agile, on seeing beyond process.

Why did you select these particular speakers?

When putting together the curriculum, I identified the top ten critical prerequisites and goals for the Agile journey that are often missed. For each topic, I chose one of the best people I know who could and would share a lot of useful information. And I made sure to balance the line-up between consultants/authors (who see many organizations on a short-term basis) and experienced practitioners (who see fewer organizations over a longer period of time). One of the biggest arguments people have against Agile advice is that it's theoretic, and this event's guests will show how they brough about real, actual Agility.

More information and registration details can be found here.

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