This might be my favorite post yet because it’s all pictures and few words. In helping my boss to prepare for his talk at the Agile Executive Forum in Washington DC next week, I took some pretty good pictures of our (Valpak’s) Agile work spaces to share with you all. Enjoy!
I’ll be at Agile2015 in Washington DC the first week in August. Are you going? Look for me in the Agile Alliance lounge when I’m not in a session. I’ve also got a talk scheduled for Tuesday morning with Mark Kilby: “User Group Dying? Time to Start a State-Wide Learning Network”. And, my boss, Chris Cate (EVP & CIO of Cox Target Media) will be speaking at the nearby Agile Executive Forum.
For those of you that go to you conferences looking for some cool new gear, I’ve got great news for you! This year at Agile2015, a limited number of cool t-shirts will be available for purchase in the book store. Only 50 of each of these designs are available. Get ’em while they last!
Did you attend OnAgile 2015 on May 14th on “Navigating the Future: Emerging Technical Trends and Practices”? If not, no worries! The virtual conference is still available on-demand until August 14th. Register here and experience the first ever virtual conference of the Agile Alliance at your leisure.
Tampa Bay Agile recently welcomed its 900th member. Congratulations Tampa Bay Agile! We have grown by over 900% in about 3 years. This speaks volumes to the state of Agile across the Tampa Bay community. Do you want to speak at an upcoming Tampa Bay Agile meetup? Ping me.
We just wrapped up our 2nd annual Agile Open Florida! We had close to 200 attendees from all over the state of Florida. A recap with notes, photos, and a quick video can be found here. It was incredible how relevant the “No One Size Fits All” theme was.
Well, I made the finals in the Technology category for the Tampa Bay Business Journal BusinessWoman of the Year. I must say that use of the words “dominant” and “fixture” is quite strong, but I’ll take it. I’m honored to be up against friend and fellow BusinessWoman, Joy Randels, (again) too.
Last but not least, I’ve got something very special coming your way in August. Some of you may recall the Valpak Agile Transformation video from 2012. Well, it’s so 3 years ago. For the past few months, The Amazing Toby and I have been working on a new video for Valpak with some super challenging but seriously cool use of GoPros. The goal of this new video is to:
- Follow-up (update) to the original video that was done in 2012. Many of the people that appeared in that video are no longer with the company and we are further along in our Agile journey now.
- Showcase our new workspaces and our Agile culture
- Demonstrate where we are at in our Agile journey
- Capture the essence of an Agile tour without actually filming a tour
Yes! Just like in The Karate Kid … “Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.” Also, this is discussed in great detail in Chapter 4 of Lyssa Adkins book “Coaching Agile Teams” which I highly recommend.
Originally posted on agilefellow:
I just attended the Agile Open Florida event in St. Petersburg Florida this past Friday and the attendees’ organizations there seemed to be split into three camps:
- Some teams within an organization practicing Agile and the other teams practicing Waterfall.
- Organization just announced or beginning transformation to Agile (2-6 months into it).
- Organizations been practicing Agile for a year or more (at different levels of maturity).
My perception was that the majority of the attendees’ organizations fell into Group 2 and I would like to expose them and others interested to the teachings of Shu-Ha-Ri and the question of its adoption.
Shu-Ha-Ri is a Japanese martial art concept where the term translates roughly to “first learn, then detach and finally transcend”. The definition pulled from Wikipedia follows:
“It is known that, when we learn or train in something, we pass through the stages of shu, ha, and ri. These…
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In follow up to his post in April on Minimally Viable Product (MVP), our special guest blogger, Toby Morris, is back with “The Base Model Theory”. Oh, and a big congratulations to The Amazing Toby for his recent promotion to Software Developer II at Valpak.
There seems to be some confusion as to what constitutes a Minimum Viable Product. The MVP is the least amount of features that meet your customer’s needs for the product under development. That doesn’t mean it’s the least possible work you can get away with. It doesn’t mean you are allowed to skimp on quality. An MVP should have every bit as high quality as any product you’d put your name on. Those bare minimum features are still produced with your normal level of quality and craftsmanship.
Here’s a different way of looking at it.
When you go to buy a car, what would you expect if you bought the lowest price car? What would the Minimum Viable Product be? Would it be an engine on a wood frame, with maybe, if you’re lucky, four wheels? Would it have an engine? Of course it would have an engine. It would have everything you’d expect to find in a modern car. A steering wheel, seats, a radio and air conditioning would all be included. Leather, heated seats and satellite radio probably wouldn’t be included. Those are luxury features. Those would be found on upgraded models. Not on the base model. And that’s what a Minimum Viable Product is. A base model.
What goes into a base model? Well, that depends on your audience. You wouldn’t find leather seats in a base model Ford. The audience doesn’t expect it. A BMW probably should have leather seats. And heated mirrors. The BMW audience would consider those features necessary, not luxuries, or “nice-to-haves”. Knowing your audience is invaluable in knowing what your MVP would be.
Here’s a software example. Let’s say you want to build a notepad app. You want it to be the best notepad app, eventually, but right now, being agile, you want to build the minimum viable notepad app you can build. You don’t want to waste time adding features that your future users won’t use. That increases the amount of time you must spend developing the app before you can ship. And delaying shipping for unneeded features costs you money. Both in the time and resources spent developing this waste, and the loss of revenue from missed sales.
So let’s decide the minimum feature set. You’d need a functioning app that launches, shows your user a place to enter data, and a way to enter data. That’s the bare minimum to consider this a notepad. But is that the base model? Can you save files? Or load existing files for editing? If not, this isn’t a base model. You’ve not only left out non-essential features, you’ve also left out features your audience would consider essential.
To reach the base model standard, you add basic file operations. Once you get that running, you think to yourself that it might be nice if the users of your app could click a button and have the text they’ve entered be set to music automatically. Sure, that would be awesome, but it’s not a base model feature. That’s most definitely an option.
The next time you’re designing a product, and trying to cut out unneeded features without taking away too much, think about the base model. Would the feature in question be in the base model? Would your audience expect it?
Mark does a fine job in preparing you for Agile Open Florida on June 26th. This year’s theme is so relevant right now in our community: “No One Size Fits All”
Originally posted on A servant leader's lessons:
Later this month, I have the privilege of facilitating the Agile Open Florida 2015 conference. Final preparations are well under way and we have sold out six weeks before the conference. There is some personal preparation that would benefit everyone as well. I’ll use the rest of this blog post to explain.
This year’s theme for Agile Open Florida is: No One Size Fits All
Who should come? And why? Anyone who has wrestled with the challenges of taking a team, a department, or an entire organization on an agile journey should attend. This challenge is bigger than you. You feel it is critical for you, your business, and your customers to “get this right”. And there are so many things to get right. So many questions to be answered.
But there is a catch. There are many approaches to agile. For teams, there are many choices such as Scrum
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I’ve been meaning to post this for quite some time now but life keeps getting in the way. We (Valpak) moved into our new office space back in December, but I figure this is as good a time as any since we are a Coolest Office Spaces Finalist with the Tampa Bay Business Journal. At our new location, each department like Marketing, IT, Business Development, etc has a custom art wall installation designed by our very own Creative Services team. The art wall in IT is a tribute to the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto and measures the longest of all the art walls at a whopping 80 feet wide. At that size, trying to capture this art wall in a single photograph is impossible. That said, here is a digital image so that you might appreciate its awesomeness. Having the 12 principles so massive and visible helps us to keep the Agile Manifesto top-of-mind in all the we do.
Some of you may recall that this is my first year serving on the board of the Agile Alliance and … OH MY … have I been busy. In my typical go-big-or-go-home style, I’ve taken on chairing our first ever virtual conference, OnAgile, alongside the almighty Declan Whelan. This year’s theme is “Navigating the Future: Emerging Technical Trends and Practices”.
I like to think of OnAgile as the world’s most convenient Agile event … and you can’t put a price on convenience, right?. In fact, there are many an impediment to avoid by attending a virtual conference and OnAgile is no different. With that in mind, I have for you “The Top 10 Impediments You Avoid at OnAgile”.
- Experience an amazing speaker line-up without having to get up from your cushy ergonomic chair or even leave your plush 10,000 thread count bed (if you choose to stay in bed, beware laptop burn which would create a whole other impediment). It’s like having the likes of Martin Fowler, Gene Kim, and Liz Keogh over for lunch, except you get to control their volume and even mute them on occasion.
- No need to miss your morning stand-up … unless of course you really wanted an excuse to.
- No need to beg your boss to fly you across the country to attend a live conference. In fact, you are doing him a favor … better yet, you are doing the company a favor. And, at the cost of a couple extra-large pizzas, you could always choose to foot the bill yourself and avoid talking to your boss altogether.
- No pat down from the TSA because you forgot to leave your Snoopy toe nail clippers at home.
- Clothing optional! That’s right! So you missed laundry day because you were in flow for 12 hours on your latest side project. No clothes, no problem! Go commando for all we care. However, if you will be experiencing OnAgile from your office, we strongly encourage the use of clothing.
- No waiting in line to ask a question behind that guy that brought along his 10,000 lines of “dirty” code for Uncle Bob Martin to “clean” up.
- So your all-too-diligent ScrumMaster has you already booked to groom the backlog on May 14th. Don’t fret! You don’t have to experience OnAgile live to experience OnAgile. All of the speakers’ presentations and content remain available to you to access over and over again for up to 90 days.
- With a front row seat to OnAgile, there’s no chance of getting caught next to that guy that came straight from an all-nighter at the conference party.
- No more racing to get to a conference room to see Jez Humble before it fills up. Trying to convince the volunteer that you are fine to stand the whole time never quite works out. At OnAgile, everyone gets in to see the speakers.
- With a super-modern virtual conference platform displayed on your monitor, you will look plenty busy when your boss stops by to give you a new assignment or your spouse asks you to take out the garbage.
If you are interested in avoiding all of these impediments and then some, be sure to register for OnAgile 2015 at http://agilealliance.org/programs/onagile-virtual-conference/. The event will be live on May 14th and then available in a recorded format for 90 days thereafter.