Agilists Unite at Agile2018!

What is an Agilist?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are one. Agilists are the people in the Agile community who live and breathe Agile, who bring it to their clients and use it at home with their own families. We are deeply invested in the human experience, in improving work processes at all costs, and bringing humanity to the work place. We are all Agilists – and San Diego was swarming with our coordinated numbers last week for Agile2018, an event put on every year by Agile Alliance.

This tremendous event provided Accenture | SolutionsIQ an opportunity to show this community some love – with some pretty cool swag with a simple message rallying AGILISTS to unite under one banner and be as proud of their contributions as we are. It doesn’t matter if you’re a ScrumMaster or a SAFe Release Engineer, if you’re a hard-core Kanban enthusiast or just beginning to dabble with Design Thinking. We are a community of connected hearts and minds aligned to a solitary vision: a more Agile world for all.

Between the sessions from the industries most esteemed thought leaders including Jeff Sutherland, Steve Denning, Diana Larsen, Esther Derby, Linda Rising, Dean Leffingwell, and more, we found time to connect with the beauty of the San Diego marina, soak in the sun and expand our minds. And, of course, our Agile Amped podcast crew captured more than a dozen new episodes including the four below, which we released last week. We’ll be releasing the rest over the course of the next month or so, so don’t forget to subscribe!


Agile Amped Highlights

UX in Space with Krys Blackwood

Krys Blackwood is a Senior Lead UX Designer at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. With her design team, she is creating a cultural change in an 80-year-old organization that’s used to shipping things in a very waterfall way, “which makes sense when you’re working with a billion dollar space craft.”

Blackwood has even gone so far as to travel to places like Spain and Australia to physically sit and work with the engineers who control space craft far out in space, to get a better understanding of their UX. “We are inserting a user-centered approach into robotic exploration of the solar system,” she says.

In her presentation at Agile2018, she will share case studies of work ranging from using AR/VR to drive rovers on Mars to making operations of the upcoming Europa Clipper mission simpler, faster and more pleasant for the human beings who have to do them.

Compassion in Tech & Business with April Wensel

San Diego based April Wensel is the founder of Compassionate Coding. After a decade in software, she noticed that there was a lot of suffering in the industry. Rather than just assuming that that can’t be changed, Wensel decided compassion was the answer. In this podcast, Wensel shares her experiences helping businesses to be more compassionate in not just business matters but also in their own interpersonal conduct. She also gives a useful definition of what compassion is (recognizing suffering and acting to end it) and is not (pity, or just faking niceness). And because all businesses are made up of people, anyone can get started being more compassionate. Individuals can get in touch with their core values and businesses can take a cultural retrospective.

“Personal Kanban” Author Jim Benson on the Agile Manifesto

Jim Benson is the author of the global bestseller “Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life” and self-identified “Agile heretic.” A strong proponent for the values and principles, collaboration, and teamwork, Benson nonetheless is vocal on social media about ways Agile can improve. An example is when Agile teams don’t do any documentation, pointing at the Agile Manifesto: “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”

Benson contends that people mistakenly turn this into a false dichotomy where the former is good and the latter is bad. But, he says, “You can’t have interactions between individuals without process, and our process is facilitated by tools… The process is our social contract about how we are going to interact.” He agrees that the Manifesto is good but it was written by “a bunch of guys going skiing” and a few relatively minor tweaks could make it more impactful.

Change the Norms to Change the Culture with Jorgen Hesselberg & Steven Wolff

Jorgen Hesselberg, cofounder of Comparative Agility, and Steven Wolff, partner in Group Emotional Intelligence Partners, sat down with us to talk about their Agile2018 presentation on “Emotional Intelligence as a Performance Multiplier.”

Emotional intelligence has a profound affect not just on team dynamics but also on organizational culture. In his research Hesselberg has found that culture is often on the list of factors for team performance – but what is culture? Says Wolff, “When you can affect the rules of behavior – the norms – you can change the patterns of behavior that you see and feel – which is the culture.”

New Podcasts Every Thursday on iTunes!

We captured more amazing podcasts at Agile2018 in San Diego – subscribe to Agile Amped on iTunes and receive a new podcast every Thursday with the likes of ACI’s Lyssa Adkins, Natalie Warnert, Agile2018 keynote speaker Troy Magennis and more.

Subscribe on iTunes