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Tuesday, August 8 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
The Product Organisation - The missing piece of the Agile jigsaw (Chris Matts, Tony Grout) POPULAR

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Have you seen these symptoms in your organisation? Do you have a piece of the Agile jigsaw that is missing?
  1. Teams and product owners being inundated with unreasonable levels of work.
  2. Some teams burning out because there aren't enough hours in the day whilst others are getting frustrated because they are waiting for them.
  3. Product owners being torn apart because the business sponsors cannot agree.
  4. Organisations that have huge inventory of software in progress but little being delivered.
  5. Executives with no clear view of what is happening across the organisation. Insights that come to late for them to act.
  6. Frustration that extra investment in capacity does not lead to extra output of value.
  7. Teams with nothing to do who invent cost saving busy work rather than look for disruptive innovations.
If so, come and learn how Skype used The Theory of Constraints to help two hundred product owners come together on a quarterly basis to create an organisation level backlog. The Skype Product Management Organisation discovered that the constraint that they needed to manage was the capacity of individual teams to deliver initiatives. Although the Skype team initially built a plan for the quarter, they soon discovered that the key was to manage capacity and limit work in progress. This approach lead to a sweet spot of long lived development teams that would self organise and reconfigure into a value stream in order to deliver value.
The session will consist of a fairly short experience report and a training exercise that everyone at Skype attended so that they knew how to get things done at Skype. This fun exercise involves stickies, chaos and the realisation of the real problem that needs to be solved when creating an Organisation Level Backlog. During the training, Tony and Chris will share anecdotes of the things they have seen along the way including a fifteen hundred percent increase in productivity at one client.
So if you are a product or delivery manager, executive or product manager/product owner, come along and find out how to fit the last Agile Jigsaw piece into your Agile Transformation. Understand why the only effective solution is a simple solution, and why complicated solutions will always fail. Understand why a Sweet Wild Assed Guess is better than story points when building a backlog for the next quarter.

Learning Outcomes:
  • *Understand the real constraint facing organisations implementing Agile (Team capacity, not Budget).
  • *Understand that the real challenge is to get the business to agree on the priority of what gets done first.
  • *Understand the two constraints necessary for product success (A strictly ordered backlog, and an estimate from each team affected by an initiative).
  • *Understand why limiting work in progress for each team is so important to the delivery capacity of the whole organisation.
  • *Understand that the portfolio level planning means creating a backlog rather than creating a plan.
  • *Understand that "Doing it" rather than "making stuff up" is of huge importance in areas where there are no established agile practices.


avatar for Tony Grout

Tony Grout

Hey, I would love to hear about how you're finding operating agility in large or fast growing organisations. Curious to hear what's not worked more so than what has and I'll share the same.
avatar for Chris Matts

Chris Matts

Left Back, Emergent Behaviour
Talk to me about creating a better workplace for our children.I co-created the GIVEN-WHEN-THEN format, discovered real options, staff liquidity (Skills Matrix), and Capacity Planning (Delivery Mapping).

Tuesday August 8, 2017 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT