Monthly Archives: December 2014

Management Behavior that Will Make or Break a Robust Agile Implementation

This is seriously one of the best blog posts I’ve read this year. So much truth to this! Bottom up Agile transformations are extremely challenging and prone to failure. The top has a very valuable and necessary role in a successful Agile transformation. I just hope the people at the top of companies on the verge (of an Agile transformation) will read this and heed it.

Projektledelse i virkeligheden / Project Management in Real Life

A couple of months ago the following statement was made at a conference by a business manager: “We want better projects, so the management of our company has decided that everyone will start working agile from January 2015”.

I was puzzled. Very puzzled. Did he honestly believe that the whole company would wake up one Monday morning in January 2015 realizing that a whole new era had begun, and everyone would leave all their old habits, attitudes and approaches behind and start being agile?

It made me wonder. Several things, actually:

“If the decision is already made, why don’t they start their agile journey today?”

“Do people really think that transforming a business from a traditional to an agile approach to projects will happen just like that?”

“Have they realized that the decision to work agile means that the management will also have to change their ways?”

“Do they know that doing agile is not…

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Another Year Behind Us … Valpak’s 2014 Agile Year-In-Review

Another calendar year has gone by  and we are still truckin’ along in our Agile journey here at Valpak.  Let’s take a quick look back at 2014 …

  • In October of this year, we celebrated our 3rd anniversary of Agile!
  • Stephanie Davis (that’s me) was elected to the Agile Alliance board for the 2015 to 2017 term.  I got to attend Agile 2014 as a board member elect, meet my fellow board members, and (coincidentally) witness the birth of Agile Alliance Brazil.  I got to know my fellow board members so much better when I attended the September board meeting in Chicago. It was in Chicago that I really got to see what the next three years might be like serving on the board of the Agile Alliance.  Super excited for what’s to come!
  • Three more Valpak-ers earned their PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) credential this year, bringing the total to eight across the company.
  • IT piloted a Lab Day concept with 2 Scrum teams to allow for greater focus on sprint days by relegating non-sprint work to a single day between sprints.  The results of the Lab Day pilot will be further evaluated in 2015 and a separate blog post is planned on this topic.
  • I continue to organize Tampa Bay Agile with my partner-in-Agile-crime, Ryan Dorrell and both our companies, AgileThought and Valpak, remain major sponsors.   Since Ryan and I have been involved in Tampa Bay Agile, our membership has grown by 700% and I think we are at just over 700 members about now.  In 2014, we hosted 12 meetups including a kick ass holiday party sponsored by Serena Software.
  • Stephanie Davis (and several other loyal Tampa Bay Agile members including Becky Hartman and Steven Granese) sat on an Agile panel for a West Central Florida IIBA meetup.
  • Organized the first ever Agile Open Florida at the Valpak Manufacturing Center for over 120+ people.  The next Agile Open Florida is planned for Friday, June 19th.
  • Rolled out Target Process to almost 100 employees to replace Pivotal Tracker for our Scrum teams and LeanKit Kanban for Kanban teams.
  • Agile rolled out across the enterprise with the “Agile Enterprise Workshop” and also used to aid prioritization and cohesion efforts amongst the executive and director ranks. And now, Kanban (maybe even a bit more Scrumban) is on the rise with use by many of our our business teams including:
    • Strategic Partnerships
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Business Analysis & Reporting
    • Troubled Markets
    • Affiliate / SEO
    • Valpak Manufacturing Center CPI
    • Coupon U Workshops
    • Marketing Research
    • National Sales Support
  • Six Valpak-ers attended the 2nd annual Cox Automotive Agile Open in Atlanta.
  • As far as technical practices are concerned, we made great strides this year in the area of test automation with most of our teams having a strong suite of automated tests in play.
  • We learned that our Agile transformation case study will appear in a textbook titled “The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering Agile” to be released in January 2015 by Wiley.
  • Agile leaders from across the sunshine state cooperated and collaborated to establish AgileFlorida.com, a single source of local groups that are active, upcoming local meetups, and planned statewide events.
  • A Valpak Agile Flyer was created as a pre-read for the Agile tours we provide to other companies and their VIPs.  This year, we provided Agile tours to several companies including:
    • Catalina Marketing
    • New York Life
    • Vology
  • Last but not least, we’ve had the pleasure to network and consult with several companies that are Agile or looking to transform including:
    • AutoTrader
    • Cox Automotive
    • Kelley Blue Book
    • Manheim
    • New York Life
    • Office Depot
    • Arbitration Forums
    • American Express

Another awesome year for us!  Here’s to livin’ the Agile life into 2015 as we continue our journey.