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Future of Agile (3)

In diesem Track gehen wir der Frage nach, was in Zukunft von Agilität gefordert wird, welche neuen Ideen existieren und welche Neuerungen wir in den nächsten paar Jahren erwarten.

Europasaal B Ground floor

11:00 - 12:00

Housebuilding with Scrum


In 2013 my family and I was challenged with a jumpstart to expand our house. This is about how we used Scrum to do it.


Like most other people I know we planned to make every possible plan for our upcoming event, which was to expand our 1928 built home. Since we have two young children, and we chose to share the house and the yard with my parents we needed more space. We wanted to go from a one-family-home to a two-family-home. Nothing unusual, until we had the final meeting with our architect. She told us, that in one month from now she will sell her company, and retire. This was one month before the expected kick-off, and in the middle of January with frozen ground and snow covering it. All we had up to this date was the general plan for the building authority and their concession to start.

My wife and I had to decide, whether we want to jump-start with unknown requirements, unknown processes, and a fixed end-date. The alternative would have been to go through some longer explanations with a new architect and his/her team and rerun the analysis phase together with them. This took some time upfront, since this old building has its limitations in terms of wall-structures, statics, and such. Our current architect understood all this specifics and made the plans accordingly. Our original intention was to stay in the building and renovate and expand it room by room. With this jump-start, this intention would have been dropped.

We decided to jump-start. My wife and myself we work with Scrum and agile methods and unclear requirements in soft- and hardware projects for quite a while now. It seemed to be a potential solution to our problem. None of us ever applied it to housebuilding, nor did I know someone who did personally, but I remembered a conversation with Jeff Sutherland, in which he told me, that in Boston a construction company uses Scrum for construction sides. Or at least he trained them. So, why not trying it ourselves? Well the risk was, that it could go awfully wrong and the financial risk associated with that was significant. However, we decided to try it, and we jump-started in the middle of winter with a construction side based on Scrum and agile principles.

The outcome was great and we faced many changes along the way. We had drawbacks with some surprises, which we were able to circumnavigate by just being able to react immediately to it. And we had to add a new limitation to it: We had only 6 months overall to complete, since my wife, my children, and my parents had to move out and the other apartments were only available for this period.

In this talk I will present more about this endeavour, the feedback of the craftsmen, how we adapted Scrum and which agile principles we used mainly to work with an iterative incremental approach in housebuilding. For us it was challenging, instructive, and opened eyes for other aspects of agility, we did not face before in mainly IT environments.


Learning Objectives

This is mainly a case-study about agility in a non-IT environment. For the audience the main aspect will most likely be, that agility and Scrum is applicable in other environments than IT, too, but there are certain adaptions necessary and certain limitations. Especially if it comes down to tools, which Scrum does not cover other than talking about artefacts, their selection requires more attention.

Europasaal B
13:00 - 14:30

Agile Evolutionary Forces


The actual forces that drive organizational change, regardless of structure, and that you can you to foster evolution.


After almost a decade spent helping organizations to evolve into Agile, I'm now looking at how this happens (or fails), sometimes in new and surprising ways, from a different perspective.

The point is to observe those aspects of the real organizational life and behavior that transcend what it's immediately visibile - such as organizational charts, roles, processes and metrics - and start asking ourselves new questions. For instance: why what's visibile is what it is?; is that what we really want of need?; what would we like it to be?; and, most of all, are going heading towards a desirable future?

To give a concrete and actionable form to this approach, over time I've developed (or rather, I'm constantly evolving) a model of practices intended to help asking the relevant questions, so that we can hopefully have relevant answers about how the organization is meant to evolve.

One of these questions is, to give an example, how the management, leadership and coaching forces are distributed - well, after clarifying what they are and what they are supposed to contribute.

During this session, the attendees will be involved in practical exercises and open discussions to practice what they are learning.

Learning Objectives

Being able to observe and direct the organizational change from a perspective abstracted from the stiffness of the organizational structure and processes.

Europasaal B
15:00 - 16:00

Multiple Selves?! Growing leaders applied.


Mindfulness is well-known for reducing stress but will it shape the future of agile? I vote with a strong "Yes" as it helps to grow authentic leaders.


In this interactive talk we will first focus on language, identity and awareness and how these rather basic 'human things' are relevant for modern leaders. I will guide you with the help of a validated psychological model how to identify and strengthen your personal leadership abilities. Together we will make connections to where you are right now and which techniques you can take right away to integrate (business) mindfulness directly in your life to actually take the next step towards your best possible selv(es).

Extended Abstract:

In my Bachelor of Science thesis in psychology I did research on the topic of Mindful Leadership. One of the key results was (surprise!) that authentic, people-focussed servant leadership starts with yourself and it evolves with developing your self continuously.

For this session proposal I take one central model of the research and connect it to our practical work-lives. During my research this model influenced me most and made me reflect even on my own life from different angles. The model integrates seamlessly into the IT-world shaped analytical thinking so I am really keen on sharing my experiences and the model with other people in the (IT-)business world.


Learning Objectives

You get...

1. knowledge of a science-backed model for (own) leadership development

2. opportunities to try-out your first steps already during the talk

3. plenty of material and inspiration for concrete practise

.... so that you can continue your personal leadership journey after the talk

Europasaal B
Cosima Laube
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Panel Discussion & Closing

Europasaal A

Take your chance to ask the key-note speakers, well experienced agile coaches, and people from business and industry your questions. Get their opinions, see if they align, and complete your Agile Austria experience with this enlightning moment. Happy to see you again next year.