ALE 2011

ALE2011 Unconference 7-9.9.2011 in Berlin

Three days full of sharing knowledge, experience and ample opportunities for pan European networking for Agile and Lean enthusiasts. Agenda consists of presentations in the morning and the afternoon is built on lightning talks and open space.

Follow event on Twitter: #ale2011 or use this direct link

On the road at #ale2011by Henri Kivioja (@hkivioja), Kjell Lauren (@klauren69) and Henrik Taubert (@htaubert)

Summaries of Opens Spaces is found here

Links to various blogs etc about ALE2011 is found here

Check also the nice series of vlogs from #ALE2011 made by Rini van@Solingen.

Summary of 1st dayfound on Dennis Miller’s blog.


ale2011 notes from Friday

Nokia Siemens – large-scale distributed Agile assimilation case study by Aviram Eisenberg and Orit Karlin

– Chinese Agile pilot
– Holistic plan yet iterative approach
– Adjust as you go
– Work through organizational constraints
– Understand the organizational politics
– Create quick wins and market the success
– Main challenges
Agile reaction to market changes
What do we do with all managers
Create professional communities
Feature teams vs organizational structure
Specialization vs wide-spread knowledge
Product marketing not willing to be part of the process
Gating approach vs approach
– Reason for NSN to go Agile was not to be more efficient, it was to be able to respond to market requests
– Managers worked on getting horizontal communities to work and spread knowledge among people
– What is an enterprise:
Big, massive
Non stoppable
Keeps all the advantages of size, power and scale
Fast reacting
– Agile motivation — WF advantages
planning s possible
monitoring is possible
– Agile motivation – agile advantages
Focus on customer needs
Shorter development cycle
Better Quality
Being flexible for changes
– Main challenges in the agile transition in NSN
“start-ups” in a big company
Departments that are not part of the BL organization
Having non-agile organizational structure
Teams outside the transition to agile
Global agile development
Changing the organization
Matching existing milestones
Global processes
System architecture, when and how?
Matrix management tool
– A local consulting company
Practical, iterative approach – Agile not as a “Religion”
Not a “training company” – A company with hands on experience
Expert in SW development process (experienced with multinational company)

Overcoming Self-organization Blocks by Andrea Provaglio 

Software is intagible – like music
SW is collaborative – you need teams to create larger SW
SW is heuristic – constant learning process
Agile at its core
– Teams are systems (self-organizing)
Our education system was buit to support industrialism ->education in badges
Evaluation by performance -> assembly chain thinking – not good for SW
we need to evolve -> copying and stealing – bad or collaborative?
Self-org must be guided and aligned with the buiness goals

influense is :
From :
– division
– out-of place
– blocked energy
– cohesion
– in-place
– Flowing energy

Pay attention to interactions:

Building Fences:
– divisive talks, made fun of each other, talked behind each other’s backs
– taking side against things instead of for
– Pleased by others failure (us vs.them)
– withheld information
Perfection, perfectly aligned,perfectly dysfunctional;

Blaming culture – good way to block energy, judgement.
prevents self-organisation in teams

Know What you have to do
– lack of initiative, responsibility
– controlling manager
– transactional analysis, Ego states -> check also “soft skills” by Pierluigi Pugliese

Rowing against the tide;
– try to change org. although you cannot do that due to your position
– coach instead of take personal problem out of things you cannot influense directly
How (fr)agile we are. Metrics in a complex world by Gaetano Mazzanti

– metrics is about learning and changing
– learn, change, move on
– define metrics*, set expiration date *(shared, simple, controllable, transparent, time-bound)
– metrics, quadrants
– inward&outward looking metrics
– Boundary objects: something that helps different communities exchange information
– Metric quadrants: business, product, process, team maturity
– outward looking (upper part), feedback (upper part), inward looking (lower part) agile (lower left), ….

– fragility
code quality
technical debt
lack of advanced engineering practices (e.g. TDD, CI) => rework
– agility
being agile is not the goal, it’s a mean
– impediments, retrospectives, reviews

– Queues are bad

– Large batches large queues, Small batches small queues
– Flow related metrics

– Metrics are easy and powerful
– How long since?

– And don’t forget the bus factor

The Agile Meme, far beyond survival of the fittest by Sebastian Schürmann

– A Meme is and idea, behavior or style that spreads from one person to another via imitation
– Memes are there to preserve behavior
– A Meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena
– Memevolution through replication: variation, mutate, competition, inheritance
– Memes transport and preserve culture over generations
– Agile “Memes”
Daily standup
Estimation in Points
Inspect and Adapt   Visual Workspaces
– Quantity of parenthood – An idea the will…
– Efficiency of parenthood – An idea that will increase adoption of ideas
– Proselytic – Ideas passed to others, horizontally, not only to own children
– Preservational – Ideas that help themselves to be adopted for a long time
– Adversative – Ideas that influence the holders to attack or sabotage other, competing concepts
– Cognitve – Ideas perceived as fact by most of the people who encounter them
– Motivational – Ideas and concepts adopted by humans because they have a self-interest or gain from the,
– Closing thoughts
Piggyback memes (scrumban)
Attention when using Adversative Transmission
Create something
Change your scrum, agile, lean, waterfall, XP to make sure it has chances to survive
A changeagent is a Mememachine, so know your Memes
Meme wikipedia

The agile and lean mindset by Yves Hanoulle

– what is agile?
– I want to do Agile by the book, pick your book…
– being or doing agile
– Dude’s law, why over how, peer coaching,
– walk on fire sparks the agile mindset, YES we can do it and it will be awesome
– long term over short term goals
– start with the end in mind and visualize the problem, personal burn-down chart
– make it possible to change later. TDD, BDD -long-term thinking, just do it
– making a talk as an iterative process
– it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission
– IF the audience is not interested, send them away.’
– shared vision as top down is bullshit
– know what the rest of the team thinks.
– shared vision doesn’t mean cloning. Diversity.Diversity is good
– strange is good. It is
– Retrospective Prime Directive;
— push but respect, one good way to get people to improve
– what is agile? “A learning machine”

Open space sessions from Friday

7 open spaces in parallell, see a topics on Thursdays notes below

Projects in Maintenance phase -> how to scrum them


– 8 groups
– 4 groups each (w 15 people in each group) on Speedboat and Starfish
– 30 sec presentations from each team
– build a timeline with actions
– made a roadmap for where coming ALE conferences should be

Closing keynote by David Snowden

– think anew, act anew
– once upon a time there was a poor schmuck named gigyphus whose day god was pushing a rock up for a hill for eternity

– Brutal facts
–  We are creating a dependency on recipe book users and we are loosing out chefs => you want the chefs!
– The price of being a sheep is BOREDOM. The price of being a wolf is LONELINESS. Choose one or the other with great care!
– Training of taxi drivers in London takes 3-4 years driving around the streets with their own mopeds and cars. It takes a few trials to pass the test.
– There is a near absence of learning from natural science in organizational management…
– …but pseudo-science, pop-science, techno-fetishism & cults are all too pervasive
– 98% of our genetic history is as pliocene hunter-gathers; we are social creature
– Systems thinking (dynamics) has reached its effective limits, radical shift to complexity theory informed by cognitive science
– We need to switch from engineering metaphors to ecology metaphors. Ecology is ethically neutral.
– From idealized future states, to exploring the evolutionary potential of the present
– Pragmatic, abductive, effective

– Bounded applicability
– Key language:
A system is any network that has coherence, it may be fuzzy, it may or may not have purpose
An agent is anything which acts within the system: individual, group, idea etc
– Three types of system
Ordered: system constrains agents
Chaotic: agents unconstrained & independent of each other
Complex: system lightly constrains agents, agents modify system by their interaction with it and each other, they co-evolve
– We manage the merges by managing the probes within the boundaries
– Simple order (Sense, Analyze, Respond) Good practice or complicated order (Sense, Categorize, Respond) Best practice
– Complex (Probe, Sense, Respond) Emergent, Chaotic (Act, Sense, Respond) Novel
– Harvard business review: A leader’s framework for decision making

From cause to dispositions
– A visual representation showing the performance of a ll possible examples, cases or situations in phase spec
– Identifying and tweaking control parameters can create instabilities that show the tipping points
– Large fluctuations are a clue that a phase change is approaching
– Allows nuanced behavior to be appreciated & probed

Meeting them half way
– one must learn to LISTEN to one’s own humanity
– Decisions: a first fit pattern match with prior experience
– 5, 15 & 150
– Ritual is key to switching patterns of interaction
– Crews create ritual context
– SNS*, creates cross silo teams with constrained self-organization *(Social Network Stimulation)
– Narrative is key to human insight & sense-making…
– …self-interpreted micro-narrative is key to innovation

Rewards before the fact
– New Scientist 9th April 2011 pp 40-43

– What people say they want and what they’re willing to work their ass off to get are two different things

S curves adapted with Moore

Moving to the next paradigm

A big mistake in self-organisation is bringing together people who already know and like each other

Storing avoidance of failure patterns is a more successful strategy for the brain than imitation of success

If you think people lie to you, let them tell their story backwards. The human brain is not capable of lying backwards.

It’s almost impossible for a human to lie backwards


ale2011 notes from Thursday

Beyond Budgeting – a new management model for new business realities by Bjarte Bogsnes

– You will never achieve what you try to achieve unless you become agile
– How do you manage traffic control ? traffic light or roundabout? which is most efficient? which is most difficult? In which are values most important? picture
=> make an analogy to your business
=> Things that leads to better performance is usually more difficult
– We must address both processes and leadership
Values based
– Internal motivation
Beyond Budgeting principles, 6 on change in leadership, 6 on change in process
– You have to be consistent in what you preach and what you practice
– Performance is ultimately about performing better than those we compare ourselves with
– Do the right thing in the actual situation, guided by the Statoil book, your Ambition to action, decision criteria and authorities and sound business judgement
– Within this framework, resources are made available or allocated case-by-case
– Business follow up is forward looking and action oriented
– Performance evaluation is a holistic ….
– Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that be counted counts”
– A new performance language – from narrow measurement to a holistic assessment
– The controller and the fisherman…
– Ambition to action – new principles,  from calendar-driven to business-driven
No annual versions
Simple change and coordination controls
Varying time horizons
Beyond Budgeting Round Table
– Want to learn more: Implementing Beyond Budgeting: Unlocking the Performance Potential

Can you build a real 100 MPG Car using TDD, XP, Scrum, OOP and Kanban with a collaborative worldwide distributed Agile Team? Yes we can! by Thorsten Kalnin

Inside Wikispeed Seattle

FedEx: Awakening intrinsic motivation by Rob van Lanen

-24 hours to do what you want, show it to the company afterwards.
– Start by exchanging ideas
– Gather projects and make the people commit to them.
– Don’t interfere with the work and WOW
– outcome: inspiration on all levels, new projects, increased motivation
– learned to do agile by themselves

– Company-wide FedEx day, developers still wanted to work on their own projects, not the projects of the sales guys’ ideas.
– be careful with prices, keep them cheap but visible.
– CEO in the demo jury, good or bad
– How to handle the raised expectations?
– promotes self-organisation, agile principles.
Test automation: the return on investment myth by Gilles Mantel

– ROI = manual cost – automation cost
– Manual cost: execution
– Automation costs: software licenses, automation scripts, results analysis, script maintenance
– Instead calculating ROI of automation cost you need calculating reduce of bug-fixing costs
– Investment in test automation?
In your organization, how much costs:
A late delivery?
Maintenance teams fixing defects?
Operational loss caused by defects
Negative perceptions?
– Where to invest: Unit tests 80-90%, Acceptance tests 5-15%, GUI Tests 1-5%
– Where to invest: End-to-End GUI test 80-90%, Integration tests 5-15%, unit test 1-5%
– Invest in the tests that create business value
– The ROI is not directly linked with time
– The ROI is linked with non-qualiity
– Agile practices lead to reducing the needed investment by iteratively automating
– Measure how much you can invest based on your non-quality predictions
– Link to presentation

A whirlwind tour of Feature Injection by Chris Matts

– we want solutions with business value
– we get half-baked solutions…

–>feature injection
– hunt the value, know what to hunt for when you hunt for something
– “in Heartleypool they hung the monkey ’cause they thought it was a frenchman”
– increase revenue & reduce cost in every project ->in most cases we only protect revenue

– inject the features (only the ones that give business value)
– break the model
– Business value:
– increase revenue
– protect revenue

Where is the value?
– input or output

The model should be a 1-to-1 map to the requirement
– what is the relationship between the entities.
– And is there information missing?
-Inject the feature, pull, but add information
– Break the model: Example, in scope, test, Model

Collected random quotes:
“I hate computers!”
“I was having a presentataion, and someone decided to have a Birthday party!”
“The BA is the one with the skills, not the job title. ”

A3 & Kaizen: Here’s how by Claudio Perrone

– How can we encourage everyone to be responsible for change?
Celebrate any achievement
– Add Ready for celebration before Done column to your wall board
– What would your first Kaizen idea look like?
– A problem is the difference between the current situation and the standard/expectation
– Just write down small things on small papers. It’s your kaizen
– What prevents us from reaching our target condition? use 5 why’s for analysis to get to actionable root causes!
– Verify your «5 Whys» by reversing it with «therefore»
– A3 reassure management because they make impediments visible so they can act
– Teams don’t need room, they need support from managers, they are needed for that
Real-time Collaboration: At the Extremities of Extreme by Jason Ayers

– Collaboration: The act of working with others to create or achieve something
– Online gaming
fine-grained collaboration
immersion: attention focused, mentally invested, focused
– Wolf Pack Programming
– Analogy between wolves and programming
– Pairing restricts your view on the world, try tripling
– develop software as team like playing WoW
-share your code in real time online, develop in the browser
– Some screencasts:

How to change the world by Jurgen Appelo

– Adkar model for personal change

– Create awereness by setting the example.
– “I’ve been failing for 15 years” – Jurgen Appelo

– Initiator, a team of change agents to help you Target the innovators, which help to spread it to the early adopters
– How to cross the chasm between early adopters and early majority– change the message, make the language more understandable.
– Learn from the sceptics by listening and understanding
– Beware of the laggards, they might undo all your hard work. Don’t stop until you have changed the culture

The environment: the five i’s
– informtion, use it to confront their behavior
– identity; appeal to a higher identity that people want to associate themelves with, eg Europe vs. US
– incetives; don’t let the reward become the goal; reward good behavior, not the goals
– infrastructures: – remove obstacles and add guidance to make it easier,
– institutions: – set rules to formalize the new behavior, COP, AgileAlliance, ScrumAlliance
– Book recommendation: Leading Change – by John P. Kotter
– How do I change the culture? you can’t directly, but you can indirectly by supporting and enabling change


Open space sessions from Thursday
7 open spaces in parallell

Communities of Practice

– CoP for specific roles (SM, PO, dev, UI)
– Rather have CoP around shared topics -> crosscutting concerns => architecture, scrum, testing)
– All distributed sites have to equally participate in CoP!
-> physical space, equipment
– ->helpful digital board system
– skype, talk + post-its
– success factors of CoP
– training, coaching
– CoP as a platform to collect success stories as reference cases
– Potential for anti-CoP -> hiding of knowledge
– all hands meeting as an anti-CoP (no CoP, but tons of knowledge)
– CoP best practice: keynotes -> openspace (4h/1month sliding into pizza&beer + spin-offs)
– Let the CoP die when people don’t find it useful anymore
– CoP topics: “motor” – proposals, voting system
– Time invested in CoP voting by using fist-of-five (5=highest, 1=lowest

How to introduce Lean/Agile/Scrum in large organization


ale2011 notes from Wednesday

CyberDojo Ice Breaker by Jon Jagger

– 10 stations with 4 persons each, switch every minute
– took some time to get moving
– some teams more successful than others

Keynote by Rachel Davies

– 10 years if Agile, Are we there yet ?
– reflective keynote
– Agile manifesto created 2011
– What’s our next problem?
– Having Planning Poker cards doesn’t mean you are Agile
– Empowering people in Agile team is more important than only sticking to Agile tools and templates without reflecting
– Agile is not “do less, go faster”
– Map the value stream and make it visible end-to-end
– Stop Splitting Hairs
– Stop beating up the team about daily tasks and using sprint burndowns
– Make delivery easy
– Empower team to make choices about how they work
– Permission to try new approach
– Slides from presentation are found here
– Link to Markus Gärtner’s blog post on keynote: 10 years if Agile, Are we there yet ?

Agile Communication – Back and Forth Between Managers and Teams by Zuzana Sochova and Eduard Kunce

– video showing illusion of communication. If somebody is used to certain communication pattern she may easily be distracted from the content
NIGYSOB…? Now I Got You Son Of a Bitch
– We have played the communication game since we were kids.
SWYMD…? See What You …

– It’s All in Your Head

– Patterns of communication can be changed consciously!

Ericsson Finland Agile and Lean Transformation, Experiences and Learnings by Henri Kivioja

– Starting point, history
– Agile transformation, why change?
Create most value
Improve responsiveness
Build in quality
Empower people
– The journey started 2008 with wake-up call
– Lots of reading, studying and planning
– 1st Team started end 2009, real learning kicked-off
– Whole organization transformed 2010
– Office area changed to open office space
– At start of transformation upfront planning by management moved to Learning and adapting by everyone
– If you have external consultants they need to be inside teams including management team
– Change is almost everything!
– From silo organization to cross functional teams
– From individual accomplishment to team success
– From stage gate processes to Agile and Lean thinking
– From top down control to more people initiate and self-organization
– Agile transformation adaption: Flexibility, Efficiency, Quality, Empowerment
– Link to presentation

Mental Models for Agile Adoption by Joanne Cranford and Barry O’reilly

– Blame our mental models
– Our minds substitute many details for simple concepts
– We make leaps of abstration
– Implicit mental models remain untested
– Mental models guide our actions
– We try yo keep our governing variables within acceptable limits
– Governing variable drive action strategies
– Actions have consequences – both intended, and unintended
– Agile is counterintuitive – it requires….
– Model 1
– Governing Variables
Maintain control the situation (unilaterally)
Single vs Double loop learning
– Model2 – Change defensive routines
Everyone is in control
Everyone wins
All feelings are expressed
– Tools and techniques
Reflection as a tool
– To succeed with coaching you need to build good relations ships with people

Surfacing your mental models – being aware of them

You’re the best person to know your behavior. You’re there. You’re the worst person. You aren’t aware of yourself!

Open space sessions from wednesday
7 open spaces in parallell

Organizational Impediments: Story -> Strategy! by @AgileAndrea

– changing existing roles
– loosing power, loosing control
– trust
– Project management office
– how to make the impediments visible to organization
– engage management in solving problems
– missing commitment from employees/managers
– incentives, bonuses, performance, appraisals
– marketing for agile, making improvements visible to different people
– resistance to change in work
– big product within many teams
– huge legacy code base
– companywide processes for
office creation, furniture
putting people on board
– command and control mindset (even when using new tools)
– customer resistance
– development and test are outsourced (even to different companies)
– contractors compete, do not want transparency
– code ownership


– Stop all reporting1 -> you force management to practice GO AND SEE!
– Get rid of the silos -> stop blaming others
– Big retrospective session: all teams, facilitators, managers, TOP management (160 people and 5 coaches)
– Make a common goal for all departments and let them self-organize to solve them
– Get rid of big open space offices
– Every manager has to work until 12 every day on his visible impediments/backlog with their teams!
– Have managers go and see the teams

How to measure Agile transformation 

– discussions mainly around ‘how is my team doing’
– what is the goal? what do you want achieve?

Enterprise agile can, will & must work

– Lean
– Beyond Budgeting
– Product management
– Portfolio

Concrete practices for Agile Managers

– Results part1 and part2

Mental Models

– Practicing ‘Left hand – Right hand’
– More in depth and discussions about same topic as earlier presentation
– Ask if you can give feedback, be proactive
– Focus on Behaviors, Attitude, Values, Don’t personalize feedback! Remember You vs. I
– This is why you don’t get much feedback
hard to give feedback
position (worker vs boss)
missing culture of giving and receiving feedback
– Demo of 5 why’s
– ThoughtWorks

Healthy KPI’s

– KPIs are for:
Improving performance (YES)
Bonuses (NO)
Measuring performance (YES)
Yearly reviews (NO)
– What kind of KPIs do we have?
Individual/project (budgets&lifecycle)
User/customer happiness
– Healthy

– Unhealthy

What behavior does a KPI cause ??


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