Meetup #20 - Agile 101: Achieving Business Agility

agile

Keynote Presentation

 Thanks to everyone who attended the meetup! Organizations often fall into the trap of thinking 'Agile' is only something development teams do in order to build software faster and cheaper with better quality.  What happens if it's the best quality software built on time and on budget if there's no market for what you've built? Failure!

Business Agility is using Agile principles and practices to optimize the process from the time you generate an idea to the time you are getting paid for that idea and there's some pretty complicated stuff that happens between those 2 points in time. 

So how can you get started on the path towards Business Agility? Start by understanding your Organizations goals. Ask yourself some questions:   Are we not seeing the results we want? Are we having trouble competing in the market? Does the output of the organization just feel slow?  There can be any number of reasons why Organizations will look to Agile, make sure you know what you want your outcome to be before deciding. No process can save a broken Organization so be aware it's up to the people in your organization to align to a an organizational vision and move forward.

There's a lot you can do to get started.  Find a local group (www.xptoronto.org is one of them in the GTA, I'm not aware of any in the west end of the city).  Hire an Agile Coach/Consultant.  Join online user groups ( Google Scrum Group is one, there are many others on Linked In).  Read some books/blogs (Michael Sahota who is a local GTA area coach has a fantastic resource page on his blog.  Check out Version One's 2010 Agile survey for great information about why companies are adopting agile and challenges they are having.

Pitfalls You Can Avoid. Without upper management support you will have a hard time being successful. Understand your company culture and find the practices that fit (For example, Scrum will fit more with collaborative and craftsman cultures while Lean and Kanban will fit better in more control oriented cultures because Lean/Kanban approaches are very explicit and disciplined which control cultures like).  Thinking it'll just be easy. People struggle with change and Agile is a big change. If you are in a larger organization, stay within your sphere of influence.

If you are interested in starting a P2P Agile related group?  I'd be happy to participate. Suggested topics can be:  rapid product prototyping; collaboration and facilitation techniques for strategy, product brainstorming, planning and more; or study groups on Agile books

I'm open for suggestions! For more information about Agile, check out mine or Michael's blogs at http://www.agilecoach.ca and http://www.michaellant.com

Here are our slides from the presentation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57922950/Business-Agility   - Jason Little

Presenters

Michael LantMichael Lant: CTO, ENC Security Systems (an Encryption and Digital Privacy Management software company). In his more than 20 years of leading software development teams, he has used a wide range of development methodologies including Waterfall, RAD, JAD, Incremental, UML, Spiral, OOD, RUP, and Agile (Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP)). Michael has spoken at conferences in the US, Canada, UK and France on topics related to software design and development.

Jason LittleJason Little: Product Manager and Agile Champion, Q4 Web Systems – Prior to joining Q4 in 2011, he worked as an Agile Coach helping organizations adopt Agile practices across their organization. Jason is an active member in the Agile Community in the GTA is will be speaking at The Lean Software Development conference in May as well as the annual Agile 2011 conference in August about helping organizations get started with Agile.

 

G2KYM (Get To Know Your Members)

tingbasoft

 

Sam Surkhang of Tingbasoft.  Tingbasoft has new SaaS based service desk software offering.

 

tokii

Karla Tolstoy, CEO of Tokii. Tokii is spearheading couples relationship management online space.

 

Sheridan Grad Prezo

We had the pleasure of hearing from recent grad from the Bachelor of Applied Arts – Animation, Sanatan (San) Suryavanshi, an international student. San selected Sheridan for it's world renown classical animation program. He started in 2006 and is now on his way to accept his first project in Singapore.San has been invited to work with the Annie award winning legend Hans Bacher, who has been a production designer in the industry for 40 years, worked with such names as Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, and Andrew Loyd Webber, and designed Mulan, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast amongst many others."

The audience watched San's final year project, then San gave an over view of how it was created. Great quote we heard, "(Internationally,) Sheridan is known as the Harvard of Digital Animation"

Pix from the event: http://ht.ly/5jvZc

Thanks

To Sheridan College for allowing us to use their space again! Greatly appreciated by the hi tech community

Silicon Halton is a grassroots high tech community focused on Technology, Community, and Growth