Podcast

23 min read

Easy Agile Podcast Ep.21 LIVE from Agile2022!

13, Jul 2022
Tenille Hoppo
Written by Tenille Hoppo, Product Marketing Manager

Tenille Hoppo

"That's a wrap on Agile2022! It was great to be able to catch up with so many of you in the agile community in-person!" - Tenille Hoppo

This bonus episode was recorded LIVE at Agile2022 in Nashville!

The Easy Agile team got to speak with so many amazing people in the agile community, reflecting on conference highlights, key learnings, agile ceremonies + more!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to say G’Day and enjoyed a Tim Tam or two ;)

Huge thank you to all of our podcast guests for spending some time with us to create this episode!

  • Cody Wooten
  • Gil Broza
  • Maciek Saganowski
  • Lindy Quick
  • Carey Young
  • Leslie Morse
  • Dan Neumann
  • Joseph Falú
  • Kai Zander
  • Avi Schneier
  • Doug Page
  • Evan Leybourn
  • Jon Kerr
  • Joshua Seckel
  • Rob Duval
  • Andrew Thompson

Transcript

Caitlin:

Hi, everyone. Well, that's a wrap on Agile 2022 in Nashville. The Easy Agile team is back home in Australia, and we spent most of our journey home talking about all of the amazing conversations that we got to have with everyone in the Agile community. It was great catching up with customers, partners, seeing old friends, and making lots of new ones. We managed to record some snippets of those amazing conversations, and we're excited to share them with you, our Easy Agile Podcast audience. So enjoy.

Maciek:

[inaudible 00:00:26].

Tenille:

Maciek, thanks so much for taking time with us today.

Maciek:

No worries.

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:00:30], can you let us know what was the best thing you've learned this week?

Maciek:

Oh, that was definitely at Melissa Perri's talk. When she talked about... Like, to me, she was talking about slowing down. And what we do in Agile, it's not just delivery, delivery, delivery, but very much learning and changing on things that we already built, and finding out what value we can give to customers. Not just ship features, it's all about value. That's what I learned.

Tenille:

That's great. Thank you. So what do you think would be the secret ingredient to a great Agile team?

Maciek:

Humility. Somehow, the team culture should embrace humility and mistakes. And people should not be afraid of making mistakes, because without making mistakes, you don't learn. That's what I think.

Tenille:

So what would be, I guess, if there's one Agile ceremony that every team should do, what do you think that might be?

Maciek:

For sure, retro, and that comes back to the mistakes and learning part.

Tenille:

Yeah. Fantastic.


Maciek:

No worries.

Tenille:

That's great. Thanks so much for taking time.

Maciek:

Okay. Thank you.

Tenille:

Cheers.

Gil:

[inaudible 00:01:42].

Caitlin:

Gil:, thank you so much for chatting with us. So we're all at Agile 2022 in Nashville at the moment. There's lots of interesting conversations happening.

Gil:

Yes.

Caitlin:

If you could give one piece of advice to a new forming Agile team, what would it be?

Gil:

It would be to finish small, valuable work together. It has a terrible acronym, FSVWT. So it cannot be remembered that way. Finish small, valuable work together. There's a lot of talk about process, working agreements, tools. This is all important, but sometimes it's too much for a team that's starting out. And so if we just remember to finish small valuable work together, that's a great story.

Caitlin:

Yeah, I love that. And you were a speaker at conference?

Gil:

Yes.

Caitlin:

Can you give our audience a little bit of an insight into what your conversation was about?

Gil:


What happens in many situations is that engineering or development doesn't really work collaboratively with product/business. And instead, there is a handoff relationship. But what happens is that in the absence of a collaborative relationship, it's really hard to sustain agility. People make a lot of one-sided assumptions. And over time, how decisions get made causes the cost of change to grow, and the safety to make changes to decrease. And when that happens, everything becomes harder to do and slower to do, so the agility takes a hit. So the essence of the talk was how can we collaboratively, so both product and engineering, work in ways that make it possible for us to control the cost of change and to increase safety? So it's not just collaboration of any kind. There are very specific principles to follow. It's called technical agility, and when we do that, we can have agility long-term.

Caitlin:

Great. I love it. Well, thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the rest of your time at the conference.

Gil:

Thank you.

Caitlin:

Great. Thank you.

Tenille:

Hi, Tenille here from Easy Agile, with Josh from Deloitte, and we're going to have a good chat about team retrospectives. So Josh, thank you for taking the time to have a good chat. So you are a bit of an expert on team retrospectives. What are your top tips?

Josh:

So my top tips for retrospective is first, actually make a change. Don't do a lessons observed. I've seen lots of them actually make a change, even if it's just a small one at the end. The second, and part of that, is make your change and experiment. Something you can measure, something that you can actually say yes, we did this thing and it had an impact. May not be the impact you wanted, but it did have some kind of impact. The second tip is vary your retrospectives. Having a retrospective that's the same sprint after sprint after sprint will work for about two sprints, and then your productivity, your creativity out of the retrospective will significantly reduce.

Tenille:

That's an excellent point. So how do you create [inaudible 00:05:03]?

Josh:

Lots and lots of thinking about them and doing research and using websites like TastyCupcakes, but also developing my own retrospectives. I've done retrospective based on the Pixar pitch. There's six sentences that define every Pixar movie. Take the base sentences, apply them to your sprint or to your PI and do a retro, and allow the team that creativity to create an entire movie poster if they want to. Directed by [inaudible 00:05:34], because it happens. People get involved and engaged when you give them alternatives, different ways of doing retrospectives.


Tenille:

That's right. So for those teams that aren't doing retrospectives at the moment, what's the one key thing they need to think about that you... What's the one key thing you could tell them to encourage them to start?

Josh:

If you're not doing retrospectives, you're not doing [inaudible 00:05:54]. So I shouldn't say that. But if you're not doing retrospectives, if you truly believe that you have absolutely nothing to improve and you are 100% of the best of the best, meaning you're probably working at Google or Amazon or Netflix, although they do retrospectives. So if you truly believe that you are the equivalent of those companies, then maybe you don't need to do them, but I'm pretty sure that every team has something they can improve on. And acknowledging that and then saying, how are we going to do that? Retrospective's a very fast, easy way to start actually making those improvements and making them real.

Tenille:

Fantastic. Great. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us briefly about retrospectives.

Josh:

Thank you.

Caitlin:

We're here with Leslie, who is the president of women in Agile. Leslie, there was an amazing event on Sunday.

Leslie:

Yes.

Caitlin:

Just talk to us a little bit about it. What went into the planning? How was it to all be back together again?

Leslie:

It was amazing to have the women in Agile community back together, right? Our first time since 2019, when everyone was together in Washington DC for that event. The better part of six or seven months of planning, we had about almost 200 people in the room. Fortunately, we know the [inaudible 00:07:10] of what these women in Agile sessions that we do, part of the Agile Alliance conferences every year, right? We've got a general opening. We've got a great keynote who is always someone that is adjacent to the Agile space. We don't want to just like... We want to infuse our wisdom and knowledge with people that aren't already one of us, because we get all of the Agile stuff at the big conference when we're there.

Leslie:

So that part, we always have launching new voices, which is really probably one of my most favorite women in Agile programs. Three mentees that have been paired with seasoned speakers, taking stage for the first time to share their talent and their perspective. So that's really great. And then some sort of interacting networking event. So that pattern has served us really well since we've been doing this since 2016, which is a little scary to think it's been happening that long. And it's become a flagship opportunity for community to come together in a more global fashion, because the Agile Alliance does draw so many people for their annual event.

Caitlin:

Yeah, for sure. Well, it was a great event. I know that we all had a lot of fun being there. What was your one key takeaway from the event?

Leslie:

I'm going to go to [inaudible 00:08:14] interactive networking that she did with us, and really challenging us to lean into our courage around boundaries and ending conversations. We don't have to give a reason. If some conversation's not serving us or is not the place that we need to be for whatever reason, you absolutely have that agency within yourself to end that conversation and just move on. I love the tips and tricks she gave us for doing that well.

Caitlin:

Yes, yes, I love that too. That's great. Well, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Leslie:

Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Tenille:

Hi, Evan. How are you?

Evan:

Very good.

Tenille:

That's good. Can you please tell me what's the best thing you learned today?

Evan:

The best quote I've got, "Politics is the currency of human systems." Right?

Tenille:

Wow.

Evan:

So if you want to change a human system, you got to play the politics.

Tenille:


Fantastic.

Evan:

Which feels crappy, but-

Tenille:

It's the way it is.

Evan:

... that's the way it is.

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:09:07]. Okay, next question. What is the Agile ceremony that you and your team can't live without?

Evan:

Retrospective. With the retrospective, you can like create everything else.

Tenille:

Fantastic. That's really good. And what do you think is probably the key ingredient to a good retrospective?

Evan:

Oh, trust. Trust requires respect. It requires credibility. It requires empathy. So trust is like that underpinning human capability.

Tenille:

Yeah. Fantastic. Thanks very much.

Evan:

Thank you.

Tenille:

Yes.

Caitlin:

Right. We're here with Cody from Adfire. So Cody, how you enjoyed the conference so far?

Cody:

I'm really loving the conference. It's been awesome. To be honest, when we first got here, it seemed maybe a little bit smaller than we thought, but the people here's been incredible, highly engaged, which was always great. And plus, a lot of people are using Jira and Atlassian. So lot of big points.


Caitlin:

Win-win for both, huh?

Cody:

Yeah. Always, always, always.

Caitlin:

Very good.

Cody:

Yeah.

Caitlin:

Lots of interesting talks happening. Have you attended any that have really sparked an interest in you? What's [inaudible 00:10:15]-

Cody:

Yeah. I can't remember any of the talk names right off the top, but they've all been incredibly insightful. Tons of information. It seems like there's been a topic for everything, which is always a great sign and stuff like that. So my notes, I have pages and pages and pages of notes, which is always a good sign.

Caitlin:

Yeah, that's [inaudible 00:10:34].

Cody:

So I'm I have to go back and [inaudible 00:10:35] again.

Caitlin:

Yes.

Cody:

But it's been incredible and the talks have been very plentiful, so yeah.

Caitlin:

Good. Good. And what is the one key takeaway that you are looking forward to bringing back and sharing with the team?

Cody:

Well, I think one of the key takeaways for us was that... I talked about the engagement that everybody has, but one thing that's been incredible is to hear everybody's stories, to hear everybody's problems, their processes, all of that stuff. So all of that information's going to be a great aggregate for us to take back and create a better experience with our product and all that good stuff. So yeah.


Caitlin:

For sure. I love it. Now, I have one last question for you. It's just a fun one. It's a true or false. We're doing Aussie trivia. Are you ready for this one?

Cody:

Okay.

Caitlin:

Okay.

Cody:

Hopefully.

Caitlin:

So my true or false is, are Budgy Smugglers a type of bird?

Cody:

Are buggy smugglers-

Caitlin:

Budgy Smugglers.

Cody:

Budgy Smugglers.

Caitlin:

A type of bird.

Cody:

True.

Caitlin:

False. No.

Cody:

What are they?

Caitlin:

Speedos.

Cody:


Yeah. Well, I've got some of those up there in my luggage. So I'll bring the budgys out now.

Caitlin:

With your Daisy Dukes.

Cody:

Exactly. Exactly.

Caitlin:

Yeah. And cowboy boots, right?

Cody:

Yeah.

Caitlin:

Well, thank you so much.

Cody:

Thank you.

Caitlin:

Very appreciate it.

Cody:

Yeah. Thank you.

Tenille:

Doug, how are you?

Doug:

I'm great. Thank you.

Tenille:

Awesome. Well, tell me about, what's the best thing you've learned today?

Doug:

I think learning how our customers are using our products that we didn't even know about is really interesting.

Tenille:

That's amazing. Have you had a chance to get out to many of the sessions at all?


Doug:

I actually have not. I've been tied to this booth, or I've been in meetings that were already planned before I even came down here.

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:12:01].

Doug:

Yeah.

Tenille:

That's good. So when you're back at work, what do you think is probably the best Agile ceremony that you and your team can't live without?

Doug:

I think what I'm bringing back to the office is not so much ceremony. It's really from a product perspective. I work in product management. So for us, it's how we can explain how our product brings value to our customers. So many lessons learned from here that we're really anxious to bring back and kind of build into our value messaging.

Tenille:

Fantastic.

Doug:

Yeah.

Tenille:

Thanks. That's great. Thanks very much.

Caitlin:

He was one of the co-authors of the Agile Manifesto. Firstly, how are you doing in conference so far?

John:

Well, working hard.

Caitlin:

Yeah, good stuff.

John:

Enjoying Nashville.

Caitlin:


Yeah. It's cool, isn't it? It's so different from the [inaudible 00:12:46] what's happening.

John:

Yeah. It's good. Yes. It's nice to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while.

Caitlin:

Yeah. Yeah.

John:

And seeing three dimensional.

Caitlin:

Yes. Yeah, I know. It's interesting-

John:

It's there-

Caitlin:

... [inaudible 00:12:54] and stuff happening.

John:

Yeah, IRL.

Caitlin:

Lots of interesting [inaudible 00:13:01] that's happening. Any key takeaways for you? What are you going to take after to share with the team?

John:

Oh, well, that's a good question. I'm mostly been talking with a lot of friends that I haven't seen in a while. [inaudible 00:13:14].

Caitlin:

Yes.

John:

And since I've only been here a couple days, I haven't actually gone for much, if anything. To be frank.

Caitlin:

I know. Well, we're pretty busy on the boots, aren't we?

John:


Yeah. Yeah. But certainly, the kinds of conversations that are going on are... I was a little bit worried about Agile. Like, I don't want to say... Yeah, I don't want to say it. But I don't want to say, Agile's becoming a jump turf.

Caitlin:

Yes.

John:

But I think there's a lot of people here that are actually really still embracing the ideals and really want to learn, do and practice [inaudible 00:14:00].

Caitlin:

Yeah.

John:

So I'm frankly surprised and impressed and happy. There's a lot. If you just embrace more of the manifesto, and maybe not all of the prescriptive stuff sometimes, and you get back to basics. [inaudible 00:14:22]-

Caitlin:

Yeah. So let's talk about that, the Agile Manifesto that you mentioned. Embracing that. What does embracing mean? Can you elaborate on that a bit more? So we know we've got the principles there. Is there one that really stands out more than another to you?

John:

Well, my world of what I was doing at the time, and I'd done a lot of defense department, water haul, and built my own sort of lightweight process, as we call it before Agile. So to me, the real key... This doesn't have the full-

Caitlin:

Full manifesto, yeah.

John:

But if you go to the website and read at the top, it talks about like we are uncovering ways by doing, and I'm still learning, still uncovering. And I think it's important for people to realize we really did leave our ego at the door. Being humble in our business is super important. So that might not be written anywhere in the principles, but if the whole thing at the preamble at the top, and the fact that we talk about how we value those things on the blog versus the whole... There's a pendulum that you could see both of those things collide. That, in my opinion, one the most important trait that we should exercise is being humble, treating things as a hypothesis. Like, don't just build features [inaudible 00:15:58] bottom up, how do you seek up on the answers, that's what I want people to takeaway.

Caitlin:


That's great. That's great advice. Well, thank you so much, John. Appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.

John:

You're welcome, Caitlin.

Caitlin:

Yeah. Enjoy what's [inaudible 00:16:11].

John:

Thank you.

Caitlin:

Thank you.

John:

[inaudible 00:16:13] tomorrow.

Caitlin:

All right.

Tenille:

Abukar, thanks for joining us today. Can I ask you both, what do you think is the best thing you've learned today?

Avi:

Best thing I've learned?

Tenille:

Yeah.

Avi:

That's a really interesting one. Because I'm here at the booth a lot, so I'll get to attend a lot of things. So there were two things I learned that were really important. One, which is that the Easy Agile logo is an upside down A, because it means you're from Australia. So it's down under. And then the second most important thing I learned about today was we were in a session talking about sociocracy, and about how to make experiments better with experiments, which sounded a little weird at first, but it was really all about going through like a mini A3 process. For those of you listening, that's something that was done to Toyota. It's a structured problem solving method, but instead of going [inaudible 00:17:02] around it and going through the experiment, going around two or three times and then deciding that's the right experiment you're going forward.

Tenille:


Thank you. How about your time?

Kai:

I've been at the booth most of the time, but from that you meet a lot of people all over the world. And we really have like one thing in common, which is wanting to help people. And it's really been nice to be in a room of people if they're at the beginning of their journey or their really seasoned, that their motivation is just to really empower others. So it's been really nice to be around that kind of energy.

Avi:

We've really learned that our friends from Australia are just as friendly up here as you are on the other side. I feel when you come on this side, you get mean, but it turns out you're just as nice up here too.

Tenille:

Well, it depends how long you've been on flight.

Avi:

Oh, exactly.

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:17:44], we're okay.

Kai:

Yeah.

Avi:Abukar:

Exactly. Good.

Tenille:

All right. One more question here.

Avi:

Sure.

Tenille:

What do you think is the secret ingredient for a successful team?

Avi:

What do I think the secret? Oh, that's a really good question. That's a-

Kai:

He's the best one to answer that question.


Avi:

That's a little longer than a two-second podcast, but I'll tell you this. It may not be psychological safety,-

Tenille:

Okay.

Avi:

... just because Google said that and Project Aristotle show that. I think to have a really, really successful team, you need a really skilled scrum master. Because to say that the team has psychological safety is one ingredient, it's not the only ingredient. A strong scrum master is someone who's really skilled to create that psychological safety, but also help with all the other aspects of getting ready to collaborate and coordinate in the most positive way possible. Plus, searching for... Her name is Cassandra. On Slack, she calls herself Kaizen. You get it? It's a joke. But that's the whole thing is that a really skilled scrum master helps the teams find the kaizens that they need to really get to become high performing. So psychological safety is an enabler of it, but that doesn't mean it creates the performance. It's an ingredient to make it happen.

Tenille:

Fantastic.

Kai:

There's no better answer than that one. Let's do exclamation.

Tenille:

Excellent. Thanks very much for taking the time.

Avi:

Thank you so much.

Kai:

Of course.

Hayley:

We're here with Carey from Path to Agility. Carey, what have you been really loving about this conference?

Carey:

I think I've loved the most about this conference so far is the interaction with all the people that are here. It's really nice to get together, meet different folks, network around, have the opportunity to see what else is out there in the marketplace. And then, of course, talk about the product that we have with Path to Agility. It's a wonderful experience to get out here and to see everybody. And it's so nice to be back out in person instead of being in front of a screen all the time.


Tenille:

Yeah, absolutely. Have you had a chance to get to many of the sessions?

Joseph:

I've tried to as much as I can, but it's also important to take that time to decompress and let everything sink in. So here we are having fun.

Tenille:

Yeah, absolutely. So thinking back to work, what do you think is the one Agile ceremony that you take that helps you and your team the most?

Joseph:

I think that finding different ways to collaborate, effective ways to collaborate. And in terms of work management, how are we solving some of the problems that we have? There's so many tools that are here to make that easier, which is made pretty special. Speaking to people and finding out how they go about solving problems.

Tenille:

And what do you think makes a really great Agile team?

Joseph:

Well, you could say something very cliche, like being very adaptive and change and so on and so forth. But I think it really comes down to the interaction between people. Understanding one another, encouraging one another, and just the way you work together.

Tenille:

Fantastic. Great. Well, thanks very much for taking the time to chat.

Joseph:

Thank you. It was nice chatting with you guys all week long.

Tenille:

Cheers.

Tenille:

Dan, thanks for taking the time to chat.

Dan:

You're welcome.

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:22:54] questions. What do you think is the best thing you learned today?


Dan:

Oh, the best thing I learned today, the morning products keynote was excellent. Got a couple tips on how to do product management, different strategies, how you have folks about seeing their focus on the tactical and the strategic. So just some nice little nuggets, how to [inaudible 00:23:12].

Tenille:

[inaudible 00:23:13], thanks for joining us today. Can I start by asking, what do you think is the best thing you've learned this week?

Speaker 17:

The best thing I've learned this week is there's no right way to do Agile. There's a lot of different ways you can do it. And so it's really about figuring out what the right process is for the organization you're in, and then leveraging those success patterns.

Tenille:

Well, I guess on that, is there one kind of Agile ceremony that you think your team can't do without?

Speaker 17:

The daily standup being daily. I think a lot of our teams, they talk all day long. They don't necessarily need to sync up that frequently. I've had a few teams already, they go down like three days a week and it seems to work for them. The other maybe key takeaway that I've seen folks do is time boxes. So no meetings from 10:00 to 2:00 or whatever it may be, and really driving that from a successful perspective.

Tenille:

I guess on that note, what do you think makes a really successful Agile team?

Speaker 17:

The ability to talk to each other, that ability to communicate. And so with all of our teams being either hybrid or remote, making sure that we have the tools that let them feel like they can just pick up and talk to somebody anytime they want, I think is key. And a lot of folks still don't have cameras, right, which is baffling to me. But that ability to see facial expressions, being face to face has been so nice because we're able to get that. So that's the other key is just that ability to talk to each other as though I could reach out and touch you.

Tenille:

Okay. Fantastic. Well, thanks so much.

Speaker 17:

You're welcome. Thank you.

Tenille:

Okay. Rob and Andrew, thanks so much for taking a few minutes with us. Can I start by asking you, what do you think is the best thing you learned this week?


Rob:

For me, it's definitely fast scaling Agile, we learned about this morning. We're going to try it.

Andrew:

For me, I really enjoyed the math programming session and learning kind of different ways to connect engineers and collaborate.

Tenille:

Great. Next up, I guess, what do you think makes a great Agile team?

Rob:

First and foremost, that they're in control of how they work and what they work on, more than anything else.

Andrew:

Yeah. For me, it's a obviously psychological safety and just having a good team dynamic where they can disagree, but still be respectful and come up with great ideas.

Tenille:

And is there one Agile ceremony that you think a great team can't live without?

Rob:

Probably retrospective. I think the teams need to always be improving, and that's a good way to do it.

Andrew:

Agreed. Yeah. Agreed.

Tenille:

Okay. That's great. Thanks so much for taking the time.

Andrew:

Thank so much. Appreciate it.



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