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Flint Brenton on the Collabnet/VersionOne Merger and Helping Customers Adopt Value Streams

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In this podcast recorded at the Agile 2018 conference Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Flint Brenton, CEO of Collabnet/VersionOne on how the organisation is integrating post the merger and supporting customers as they adopt value stream thinking.

Key Takeaways

  • Reflecting on the way the two businesses have come together since the merger of Collabnet and VersionOne
  • The company is focusing on supporting value stream management in their customers development businesses
  • You can adopt value stream management without including DevOps, but it’s really hard and doesn’t deliver the expected benefits
  • Regardless of size, every enterprise is now a software company
  • The importance of educating customers on the cultures that are found in the best run development organisations and the benefits that are possible

Show Notes

  • 00:27 Looking back at the year since the merger
  • 01:22 The strengths of the two organisations prior to the merger
  • 01:46 A vision for value stream management
  • 02:21 The focus areas for the combined organisation
  • 02:51 Describing value stream management  
  • 03:18 Not trying to do everything, using a partner integration approach
  • 04:28 Describing how customer feedback is integrated in the products
  • 05:32 The two-step process of product-owner to customer feedback loops
  • 06:18 Telling a story of two different organisation’s level of DevOps adoption
  • 06:58 The challenges of trying to adopt agile approaches without CI/CD
  • 07:23 Without CI/CD many of the benefits of using an agile approach are not achievable 
  • 07:36 You can’t do value stream management without including DevOps
  • 08:48 Additions to the State of Agile survey
  • 09:25 DevOps is a fast-rising part of agile adoption
  • 10:13 Regardless of size, every enterprise is now a software company
  • 10:43 It’s not about the tools – it’s about relentlessly finding roadblocks in the development process and removing them
  • 11:08 An example of an organisation who identified the roadblocks in their process and found that only 37% of the time was available for software development
  • 12:22 The need to educate non-technical people about what the work of development actually is
  • 13:05 Lots of the work of development is about communication and collaboration
  • 13:22 The importance of educating senior management about what transformation actually entails and what is needed to make it successful
  • 14:22 Begin with the end in mind (Steven Covey reference)
  • 15:13 The story of merging the Collabnet and VersionOne cultures
  • 16:52 Aligning the cultures and values was much easier after people got to know each other
  • 17:32 When dealing with customer organisation, first seek to understand then be understood (Steven Covey reference)
  • 17:54 Educating customers on the cultures that are found in the best run development organisations and the benefits that are possible
  • 18:32 Success for an agile coach is when the client tells you about your ideas as their own

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