First Ever Agile Open at Cox

Okay, so I’ve been slacking for a few weeks on my blogging.  I encountered a wonderful impediment (just to keep this Agile) … I got engaged!  Now, I’ve got visions of sugar plums dancing in my head or rather bridal gowns and flowers and wedding cakes … you get the picture.  So, now to catch you up with more Agile related topics.

This month, three of my cohorts (including my boss and CIO, Chris Cate) and I attended the first-ever gathering of Cox companies on the topic of Agile.  You see, we are all part of the Cox Enterprises family of businesses.  Valpak and are part of Cox Target Media.  Cox Target Media is part of Cox Media Group.  Cox Media Group is part of Cox Enterprises. You keeping up … Cox Media Group happens to include some very experienced Agile companies like Kelley Blue Book and Manheim Auctions as well as some just getting started like AutoTrader and VinSolutions.  70+ people from these various business units came together to connect, learn, and share on the topic of Agile.  It was totally awesome!

The event was sponsored by Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, CA over a 2 day period applying the Open Space Technology (OST) meeting format, in keeping with the Agile spirit.  The meeting followed the Four Principles of OST …

  1. Whoever comes are the right people.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could.
  3. It starts when it starts.
  4. It’s over when it’s over.

… and encouraged The Law of Mobility (also known as the “Law of Two Feet”) … “If you are not learning or contributing where you are, find a place where you can learn or contribute.”

My Valpak cohorts and I did a whole lot of sharing of our Agile transformation story, now two years in.  As it turns out, we were probably the quickest full-scale transformation across the companies and that got some good attention.  At many points, we found ourselves the center of attention fielding questions left and right and encouraging others along in their Agile journey. It was definitely a feel-good moment for us.

If you are part of a large enterprise (like I am) and you’ve done something like this, please do share.  Leon Sabarsky of Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC comes to mind.  I know that he is working with the other Blue Cross Blue Shield companies on Agile.  Or, if you are part of a large enterprise and looking to supercharge Agile across business units, give this Agile Open concept a try and let me know how it goes.

About Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis is Director of Agile Leadership at Valpak. As Director of Agile Leadership, she is responsible for portfolio governance, program management, funnel management, project management, and of course, oversight of related people, processes and tools. Stephanie leads the team of Agile Project Leaders that handle everything from project management to ScrumMaster-ing to leading Kanban teams. She’s a career project manager with over 16 years in the field, including past positions with AT&T Business and IBM Global Services, and has maintained the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification since early in her career. A self-admitted Agile enthusiast, Stephanie has worked passionately to encourage and support the IT organization at Valpak in fully embracing Agile software development, to move Valpak towards a greater vision of “The Agile Enterprise”. Most recently, she is one of the first few hundred people in the United States to have earned the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) credential. Her academic credentials include a BS in Marketing and an MBA in International Business. View all posts by Stephanie Davis

2 responses to “First Ever Agile Open at Cox

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