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 is now VP of Product Excellence at LeadingAgile focused on the growth, development, and delivery of some amazing agile products.  Recently, she spent the past two years as Executive Director - Enterprise Agility Office at Catalina leading another top-to-bottom, inside-out agile transformation.  Prior to that, Stephanie was Senior Director of Enterprise Agility at Valpak. She was with Valpak for 13 years, most of which were focused on leading their agile transformation to what became a world renowned success story published in case studies and demonstrated to over 50 different companies through the years via agile tours.  Prior to Valpak, Stephanie held past positions in the project management domain with AT&T and IBM. Stephanie's academic credentials include a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida and an MBA in International Business from the University of Bristol in England. She also maintains the Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credentials. Stephanie is big on tech community involvement!  Most recently, she served as an elected board member to the Agile Alliance, a non-profit organization with global membership, committed to advancing agile development values, principles, and practices. In addition, she serves her local community as an organizer for Tampa Bay Agile, the largest and most active tech Meetup in the area, and the annual Agile Open Florida event. In 2016, Stephanie was awarded Tampa Bay Tech’s Technology Leader of the Year and the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s BusinessWoman of the Year (Tech) and Emerging Technology Leader of the Year. View all posts by Stephanie Davis

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