Mar 2015


Scrum of Scrums with Feature Flow

Last year I wrote about the communication cadence and in particular the daily feature wall stand up that was the heartbeat of the EDW Agile Release Train.  Recently I received an email from someone who had read this post and wanted to know more. As he quite rightly pointed out the "post lacked the details to effectively implement a similar event but it sounded really worthwhile."When I sat down to reply to this e-mail, I found myself thinking about the power of the visualisations more than the event.  The inwards facing Release Train Engineer, +Wayne Palmer, had been determined since ...
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Feb 2015


Bridging the Great Divide Between the Business and IT: A Business Perspective

A while back a friend of mine suggested I take the time to write the story of how a business general manager found agile i.e. my story. While bits and pieces of the story appear in this blog, this is the first time I have put pen to paper and written about my journey in detail. This forms the basis of my latest article in the Cutter IT Journal. In this article I explore how agile helps change the dynamic between the business and IT, as I experienced it. Use this link to access a free download of my article on Bridging ...
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Nov 2014


Context Matters in SAFe

At Agile Australia this year I took some time out to talk with +Craig Smith, +Tony Ponton and +Renee Troughton from The Agile Revolution about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Impact Mapping.You can read a summary of the discussion and listen to the podcast here: Context Matters in SAFe with Em Campbell-PrettyShare this with your followers on Twitter
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Oct 2014


Is it SAFe to Scrum?

While I was hanging out on the West Coast of the U.S. earlier this month, I decided to take +Mike Cohn's Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) class. I have been using Scrum for a number of years, however my early agile education was from a more generic agile fundamentals angle and for no apparent reason I had never bothered to take a CSM class. When the opportunity to take Mike's class happened to match my travel schedule, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I really enjoyed the two-day class, and, if you ever get the opportunity to learn Scrum ...
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Sep 2014


The ART of the All-Hands Release Planning Meeting

“100 people in a planning meeting sounds like a contradiction in terms.”  Not exactly the supportive sentiment I was hoping to get from my parents. It was the weekend before the big event and I was trying to explain what we were attempting to my parents over dinner. Having freshly returned from +Jean Tabaka's Scaling Agile Collaboration Workshop at +RallyON, I was VERY focused on planning for the big day. Jean had said you should allow 2 hours of preparation for every hour of workshop and up to 5 times this for large planning meetings. Did she mean me personally as ...
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Aug 2014


Passing the Baton: The Role of Leadership in Sustainable Agile Transformations

Five years ago, before I had ever heard of an Agile Release Train, I was given a copy of Jim Collins’ book Good to Great by my line manager. Over the years I have read and re-read this book and it continues to be one of my favourites. I even recommended it to the EDW Book Club where we spent a number of hours dissecting the findings and considering how they might be applicable to launching an Agile Release Train.Good to Great is the result of five years of research aimed at understanding the defining characteristics of “companies that made the leap ...
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Jun 2014


Pitching the Pixar Pitch

In February 2013, +Gojko Adzic hosted a one day workshop with a number of Agile thought leaders who are passionate about “Building the Right Thing”, including +Mary Poppendieck, +Jeff Patton, +Karl Scotland, and +Chris Matts among others. After some discussion on the various techniques they had been using such as Impact Mapping, Story Mapping, Lean Canvas, Real Options and Feature Injection, the group decided to focus on the commonalities with a view to creating a shared message:The idea that great results happen when people know why they are doing their work really resonated with me. I’m sure this is a large part of why I fell in love ...
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May 2014


Time to catch another train…

The time I spent leading the EDW team at Telstra has been the most incredible experience of my life. I have worked with some truly extraordinary people who made every day fun (even when it was very challenging!) I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given, as a business person, to lead and grow a struggling delivery team into a world class Agile Release Train.As the General Manager responsible for the launch of the EDW Release Train, I was invited to speak at conferences across Australia and the United States. I got to share our story and ...
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