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Between Fluffy Bunnies and Command & Control: Agile Adoption in Practice



Benjamin Mitchell shares experiences gained working with teams over the last five years, highlighting mistakes that were made following simplistic guidance and outlining key pragmatic examples that worked.


Benjamin Mitchell is a highly-rated international speaker on applying innovative approaches, such as Kanban, to software development. Based in London, he works with clients as a speaker, executive coach or team consultant. He has practical real-world experience delivering software projects with exceptional results based on practical, implementable advice. Twitter: @benjaminm

About the conference

Software is changing the world; QCon aims to empower software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in the enterprise software development community; to achieve this, QCon is organized as a practitioner-driven conference designed for people influencing innovation in their teams: team leads, architects, project managers, engineering directors.

Recorded at:

Jun 26, 2013

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Community comments

  • Excellent Points

    by McKay Graybill,

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    As a young developer relatively new to Agile I was impressed at the wisdom evident here. Even though it is often more painful or inconvenient to be transparent and avoid undue assumptions, that is ultimately the better way to approach problems and questions. The more we reconcile ourselves with reality, instead of false impressions or wishful thinking, the more we can focus on the actual problem itself and not the consequences of our avoidance tactics. Thanks!

  • Seems like cargo cult run amok for too long

    by Johnny FromCanada,

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    I like the points about the importance of transparency, radiating information, discovering personal biases, and using video to gather undeniable evidence. And I admire the presenter's recognition and transparency of his own challenges and failings.

    However, I am surprised it took five years to discover that "following simplistic [Agile] guidance" would not result in much more than what he ended up with. His expectations are classic cargo cult.

    Most things do not have to be re-learnt through the school of hard knocks. Plenty of literature (Lean-Agile and beyond) on humanistic & psychological issues regarding servant-leadership, motivation, biases, nurturing, feedback, retrospectives, empathy, theory of mind, etc., has been available for far longer than that.

    No core description of a methodology nor basic advice from a few select gurus (who cannot even agree amongst themselves) will ever be the solution to unskilled, unpracticed, inexperienced, or otherwise poor leadership/management. And in particular, Scrum and Kanban Method explicitly do _not_ address such issues.

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