Agile Transition (4)

In unserer komplexen Welt ist Veränderung überlebensnotwendig. Dieser Track soll Theorie und Praxis, Meinungen und Erfahrungen beleuchten und von Erfolgen und Rückschlägen berichten.

Europasaal A Ground floor

16:15 - 17:15

Hinfallen. Aufstehen. Krone richten. Weitermachen (DE)

Speaker: Rene Pachernegg
Language: German


Die 8 wichtigsten Lektionen, die wir bei APUS Software GmbH aus 8 Misserfolgen in 8 Jahren agiler Transformation gelernt haben


Die Einführung von Scrum in einem unserer Softwareentwicklungsteams im Jahr 2010 markiert den Beginn der agilen Reise von APUS Software GmbH. In der Zwischenzeit können wir uns auch mit Stolz als durch und durch agiles Unternehmen bezeichnen, selbst wenn wir noch lange nicht dort sind, wo wir noch gerne hin möchten.

In den vergangenen 8 Jahren hat sich bei APUS viel verändert. Wir sind unzählige Male gescheitert, haben oft auch etwas daraus gelernt, manches davon auch nachhaltig.

In diesem Talk möchte ich auf die 8 vergangenen Jahre zurückblicken, 8 Geschichten vom Scheitern erzählen, 8 Mal davon erzählen, was wir aus dem Scheitern gelernt haben und welche Konsequenzen wir daraus gezogen haben, die 8 wichtigsten Learnings aus unserer agilen Transformation teilen und davon sprechen, wo wir noch offene Baustellen haben. Dabei wird es um die folgenden Themen gehen:

1. Umgang mit Krisenprojekten

2. Recruiting und Entlassungen

3. Performance-Management und Feedback

4. Transparenz und Offenheit

5. Selbstorganisation

6. Fail Fast und der Mut zum Ausprobieren

7. Gehaltspolitik

8. Treffen von strategischen Entscheidungen

Learning Objectives

Wir wollen unsere wichtigsten Learnings aus 8 Jahren agiler Transformation, sowie unsere Lösungsansätze zum Umgang mit den beschriebenen Themen teilen.

Europasaal A
15:00 - 16:00

Organizational Panta Rhei - No one ever steps into the same organization twice (EN)

Speaker: Elisabeth Richter
Language: English


With Heraclitus’ help we carve a continuously improving and learning organization using the force of change and flow.


With a little tongue-in-cheek we will use Heraclitus’ quotes of change and flow also known as Panta Rhei to explore the flow of improvements through an organization. For example the subtitle of the talk is derived from Heraclitus’ quote: ‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he’s not the same man’.

In Scrum the inspect and adapt cycle on process level is established through the teams retrospective at the end of each sprint. The team sets itself a goal, defines improvement tasks and feeds them back into the sprint. But how is an inspect and adapt cycle established at organizational level? How are goals defined and worked against for several feature teams or even the whole organization? Scaling frameworks such as LeSS do include and suggest methods and elements for organizational improvement, but how can they be connected to establish a continuous flow of improvements through the organization? Why and when do we need a continuous and structured organizational improvement flow? Which roles have the most influence in establishing the improvement flow?

In this talk a real world example is used to outline how continuous improvement at organizational level was established and executed. We will see how to get from an issue to an improvement idea to an experiment and finally to a new and better functioning organization. Methods such as Communities of Practices, Organizational level Retrospectives and others are introduced and connected with the Backlog and Scrum events. Hints are given, where to be careful and what are the weaknesses and strengths of the presented approach. Additionally it is highlighted what certain roles such as Managers or Scrum Masters can do to start, steady or block the improvement flow.

The session is outlined as follows:

Set the Stage

• Why and when do I need continuous and structured organizational improvement flow? When not?

• What is the Flow?

Data and Details of the elements of the Flow

• Organizational Improvement Workshop or Overall Retrospective

• Communities of Practices

• Scrum Events – Why are they important for the flow

Insights, Strengths and Weaknesses

• Which roles have influence on the improvement flow?

• What other influences exist?

• What actions start and steady the flow?

• What actions slow down or even stop the flow?


• Summary

• Q&A

Most of the presented content is based on an agile adoption the author is part of. Roles such as Scrum Masters or Leaders may have the most influence in starting improvement on organizational level hence, they are the main target audience. Nevertheless everyone is part of an organization and hence affected of an improvement initiative and is therefore very much welcome to contribute to a holistic learning experience for everyone.


Learning Objectives

Attendees will learn what elements can be used to establish a flow of improvements through the organization. They take away ideas how to establish continuous organizational improvement in their own system using the Scrum and scaling events for prioritisation and inspect and adapt. Additionally potential pitfalls, bottlenecks and showstoppers are highlighted.

Europasaal A
13:00 - 14:30

Depth in Being Agile (EN)

Speaker: Olga Kiss, Gabriella Peuker
Language: English


How to get deeper in agile transition to change your team members' ways of thinking together? How can you help them to be agile, not only to do it?


May your team lose essential information because your retro is not deep enough? Are you sure you really see the whole story to generate insights and improve?

The second step of a retrospective is gathering data. But what sort of data? Factual data are ususally highly appreciated. Interpretations supposed to be a softer part of data, which can cause disagreement and conflict. But do you really understand the words of the other well? Different interpretations can reveal different points of view. Sometimes presuppositions become visible, some patterns of thinking become clear for the participants, but even in these cases, it is usually not clear, what to do with them.

Moreover, in many cases, there is a hidden part of the story. Some retro faciilitators try to avoid “the f-word” - feelings. Some people do not like to talk about emotions and needs, although it is an integral part of the whole story. There are practices to help them to express these feelings, but it is only a starting point. As Norm Kerth put it: “In my experience, high-performance teams are fully capable of developing safe ways to discuss the feelings and needs of each member.” This is what we are talking about. How can a team get to this level of trust and self-awareness?

Why is it interesting at all? In retrospectives, we usually make action plans, and aim to change workflow, or something else on the behavioral-systemic level. But if we haven’t seen the deeper layers of the whole picture, the realization may be blocked by hidden resistance, or other dynamics of the group.

To go to a deeper level in a dialogue can be problematic for some people. Some of them prefer to hide, and some of them simply cannot see their own deeper emotions and needs. However, explicating everything that is important for the improvement of the group have a great benefit for a group.

Agile transition is often understood as problem of system or following an agile methodology. However, true transition requires a paradigm shift in mindset as well. The question is how to be agile instead of simply do agile. Our workshop show you tools to detect this problem and ways to help this transformation both on personal level and on team level.

We often see organizations stucked into agile transition especially because they use agile methodology on the tool level. As we see, they have technical-methodological knowledge, but it does not access personal level, not a deeper value system, a modus vivendi.

 For leaders of agile teams it can be hard to connect to their team members in a 1-on-1 on an agile way. What to do? What to ask? How to listen? How to give focused attention? How to get a deeper level from the tools to a true connection, and understanding the other's real motives? How to be there in the dialogue with a true presence?

Leaders frequently do not understand the true relevance of retrospectives.

Team members - as a result - cannot be connected to the idea of learning from their personal experiences. Even if they know a lot about retrospective practices, there can be a missing point in their connectedness to the heart of it. Real learning requires awareness of why they do it. Awareness requires much more than going through a ritual, because rituals can turn into empty series of actions.

Being agile means to live in the spirit of agile methodologies, which were discovered from personal experiences, to solve practical problems. To do agile, it is enough to follow rules and traditions. But to be agile, you have to give them personal meaning, to make them live, or change them to fit better. Many authors follow Cockburn in applying the idea of Shu-ha-ri when talking about this process. But when we work with leaders, it is not good enough to tell them “just do it, and later on you will see the whys”. Good leaders start from the why. This is why we jump with them to the “ha” level of reflection and understanding to support change. The deeper the better.

 The heart of agile is iterative-cyclical process of improvement based on collaboration, delivery and reflection The usual approach to this improvement focuses on actions, on changes in workflow, on a systemic level. In this workshop we would like to emphasize something else: the importance of a special quality of personal connections and understanding each other. This quality of presence makes the flow of communication and working together much more easy. To develop this presence one has to get deeper than simply the level of actions: to habits, patterns of thinking, values, emotions and sometimes to the deepest human needs.

In the workshop our primary aim is to give personal experience to the participants in working with various levels in reflection.

We call them to challenge their own hidden assumptions presuppositions, patterns of thinking, paradigms of emotional response.

We would like to give different points of view to support changes in mindsets.

We use our experiences and examples as coaches and team coaches and share our tools to work on a deeper level: with EQ, active listening, empathy, differences of frameworks.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand depth in team coaching, and how it is connected to supporting high performance teams
  • See, how it is connected to the person's own self-understanding and self-reflection
  • Understand the role of mindset and self-awareness in agile transition,

Participants will learn to

  • build cognitive intimacy
  • use the levels of reflection in practice, changing mindsets
  • help people to find deeper connection to get from cooperation to collaboration
Europasaal A
11:00 - 12:00

Agile Leadership (EN)

Speaker: Zuzi Šochová
Language: English


In order to change organization, leaders have to change first. Be one of them and turn your organization into successful Agile organization.


Organizations are constantly evolving, they change their structures, processes and rules. Last decade they’ve been changing into Agile, and surprisingly despite all the effort and money they put into transformation, they’ve been often failing. The same way as culture follows organization, the culture follows leaders. Companies were trying to break that rule for years and change culture without changing leadership style. Nowadays this rule seems to win and organizations are moving towards different leadership styles and surprisingly becoming successful. In order to change organization, leaders have to change first. Be one of them and turn your organization into successful Agile organization.

Learning Objectives

    • Understand the culture model, how the two halves of mindset and structure are wired together and what are the implication of that for leader.
    • Learn how the culture mirrors the leadership style.
    • Raise awareness of Agile Leader competences and metaskills.
Europasaal A
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