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The Air Force Software Revolution
For example, at Kessel Run, they tried different-sized teams before deciding that about eight people make up the ideal product team. They also learned not every big idea worked as planned.
Cases  pivotalcustomers  govt  usaf  teamsize  book4  digitaltransformation  Agile  links  via:Workflow 
7 weeks ago by cote
Silicon Valley software techniques modernize 75-year-old plant
Raytheon Systems Engineer Sam Sauers and her team spearheaded one of the latest DevOps transformations on the program, introducing Silicon Valley-like processes like paired programming and pipeline development to help the Air Soldier team rapidly develop the technology.

“We’re using commercial software best practices, including Agile and DevOps, to get new capabilities in days instead of years,” said Sauers. “We’ve also been implementing user-centered design: getting ahead of the users and figuring out the next thing they’re going to need. We then develop toward that rather than getting something out there and getting feedback that it wasn’t what they wanted.”
Pivotal  proofpoints  agile  design  Raytheon  mil  digitaltransformation  links  via:Workflow 
9 weeks ago by cote
DBS Bank goes big on open source
“If we want to be truly innovative, we have to do experiments, of which some work and some don’t,” he said. “We have to accept failure and pivot fast – that has very much become a part of our culture of experimentation that enables us to be agile.”

...

“Our business and technology teams responsible for developing digital products that sit on each platform have joint KPIs [key performance indicators] and budgets that allow them to experiment and iterate,” Gledhill said. “We also need to learn and re-learn as no one knows everything about the latest technologies.”
DBS  pivotalcustomers  banking  agile  quotes  book4 
june 2019 by cote
Exploring New Ways of Working in New Zealand
Most, if not all, teams I have worked with (in the capacity as the Agile Coach in The Lab) do not know what truly matters to their customers. Through numerous planning sessions with key stakeholders from ‘the business’, they gather requirements for their product development. These plans sound great until you start asking a few questions, for example: ‘What are the biggest problems facing your customers?’, ‘How have you validated the requirements with your customers?’, ‘Will the proposed solution actually work in their context?’. Upon asking these kinds of questions, they quickly understand that the proposed backlog of work is frequently what the business wants, not what their customers need. Using design thinking approach and applying techniques for user research and validation, the teams had the opportunities to understand the need of real customers. Talking to a real customer isn’t that hard, but the insights can be quite profound.
cases  agile  digitaltransformation  bizITalignment  NZ  govt  links  book4  via:Workflow 
june 2019 by cote
A Brief History of Agile, Part 1: The Rise of Waterfall
Ultimately, Waterfall’s biggest failing is that it puts its trust in a system, not the people working on a product.
Agile  waterfall  Pivotal  history  links  via:Workflow 
may 2019 by cote
How to Guarantee Failure in Your Agile DevOps Transformation
It’s been great having everyone at the organization line up around the new transformation initiative, so you really should let go of the old concepts of requirements and quality management as you focus on your local agile and DevOps optimization. The scaled agile approaches like SAFe do seem to talk a lot about requirements, and the QA people are screaming more and more that the transformation is missing the controls that allowed your organization to deliver reliable software at scale in the first place—but it’s not how they do it at Netflix, so let’s not worry about that. Yes, Netflix has about 3,700 employees—and you have more IT staff than that—but clearly what they’re doing must correspond directly to your IT challenges.
antipatterns  agile  largile  digitaltransformation 
may 2019 by cote
Technical debt leading to a company crisis
The power of focus. Before the crisis, each team worked on its own backlog and specialized in its domain. In the backlog, there were finely decomposed tasks, the team selected several tasks for a sprint. But during the crisis, we worked quite differently. The teams did not have specific tasks, they had a big challenging goal instead. For example, a mobile app and API must handle 300 orders per minute, no matter what. It is up to the team how to achieve the goal. The teams themselves formulate hypotheses, quickly check them in Production and throw away. And this is exactly what we wanted to continue doing. Teams do not want to be dumb coders, they want to solve problems.

The power of focus manifested itself in solving complex problems. For example, during the crisis, we created a set of performance tests in spite we had no expertise. We also made the logic of receiving an order asynchronous. We have long thought about it and talked, and it seemed to us that this is a very difficult and long task. But it turned out that the team is quite capable of doing it in 2 weeks, if it they are not distracted and completely focused on the problem.
Agile  largile  cases  Russia  pizza  links  via:Workflow 
may 2019 by cote
Agile Q&A: Is There a Place for Managers in an Agile Organization?
Seems like a budget luxury, but sure:

> In fact you have more time to focus on developing your team because you don’t have to spend so much time trying to figure out who is going to work on what this week. Your team is stable and dedicated, and they are the ones deciding the specifics of what they are working on in any given week.
>
> That frees you up to provide them opportunities to improve their technical skills through identifying resources to help them learn and put them in situations where they can try out new technologies and learn from each other. You can also help you your staff improve their problem solving skills by stepping back and letting them resolve issues that are within their control to solve.
>
> There are going to be situations where your team faces a challenge that is beyond their ability to address. And that’s where the other main thing that development managers do in an Agile setting - address organizational issues that get in the way of their team(s).
>
> You’re in a good position to address those issues because you have visibility into the impact of issues on multiple teams, you’re in a better position in the organization’s hierarchy to address the issues, and you can free up the team to stay focused on work to move their product forward. A key here is to know the balance of standing back when your team can address their own issues and when to step up to help the team address issues beyond their control.
>
> A final thing that you do as a development manager is provide air cover for your team. Keep unnecessary distractions away from your team so that they can focus on the product they’re working on. Providing air cover may be intercepting requests for information from others in your organization and redirecting requests for your team to work on something not related to the outcome they are currently focused on.
management  digitaltransformation  agile 
march 2019 by cote
The U.S. Department of Defense on How To Detect ‘Agile BS’
Tips on finding good agile teams in large organizations:

> Are teams delivering working software to at least some subset of real users every iteration (including the first) and gathering feedback?
agile  digitaltransformation  govt 
january 2019 by cote
Only the good meetings
> Finding a cadence upon which to work as an engineer can be difficult. As engineers are generally averse to meetings, oftentimes we wind up with sporadic meetings and a lot of people who are unclear on their priorities and goals. On the other side, we can find ourselves in environments that are extremely meeting heavy, and engineers often left wondering when there will be time to actually do the work they believed they were hired to do. The establishment of only necessary meetings, at specifically defined times, allows engineers to plan their time to minimize context switching, and and to maximize the time invested in their meetings with one another.
agile  meetings  sre 
january 2019 by cote
Culture
> We need to work with each other. To do that, we need to trust each other. The Air Force needs to have a generative culture, not a pathological one, for a software company to thrive. It has to be safe to talk openly about what we know today, even if it might change tomorrow, without fear of reprisal for “getting it wrong”.
execs  USAF  agile  devops  culture  digitaltransformation 
january 2019 by cote
The State of Agile Software in 2018
> The third thing that I want to stress is the importance of getting rid of software projects as a notion. Instead we want to switch to a product-oriented view of the world where instead of projects that you spin up, run for a while and then stop; you instead say, "Let's focus on things that are much more long-lasting and organize a product team around that." Another way of thinking about it is: what are the business capabilities that your organization has, and then organize the teams around those. These business capabilities will be long-lasting and will necessarily mean combining together technical people and the people who are on the business side of things into the same team.
product  digitaltransformation  agile 
october 2018 by cote
USAF's plans for agile, DevOps, cloud
Brief, but some names of apps they’ve modernized and high-level thinking in the broader portfolio modernization.
digitaltransformation  USAF  devops  agile  cases  agileAF 
september 2018 by cote
Lessons from the UK Government's Digital Transformation Journey
It's probably OK:

> In any organisation that’s been around for a while, ways of doing things build up and often disconnect from the reasons they were put in place. Things are cited as "rules" which are really just norms. We had to get really good at working out the difference, and on pushing back on some of those rules to get to the core principles.

Get involved with the backend people:

> I know of one government project where the digital team couldn’t even add one extra textbox to their address fields, something users were complaining about, because the backend IT teams were too busy to make the change.

Working with the end user changes staff for the better:

> I’ve talked to a lot of teams in large organisations who have taken all the right steps in moving to agile but are still having trouble motivating their teams, and the missing piece is almost always being exposed directly to your users. Whether they’re end customers, or internal users, there’s nothing like seeing people use your products to motivate the team to make them better.
UK  agile  digitaltransformation  culture  govt 
september 2018 by cote
Agile processes can transform companies from unexpected places: The VGZ success story
At the topic of agile, lean, DevOps, and all that “digital transformation” stuff is a renewed focus on customers and figuring out what they want to give you money for, then making the product as good as possible for them:

> VGZ decided to focus its efforts on improving the customer experience. The starting point was not a traditional customer segmentation — the leadership instead decided to focus on understanding and improving customer journeys, specifically the frequency of customer interactions and the impact on the life of customers.

Very “jobs to be done.”
jtb  digitaltransformation  agile  design 
september 2018 by cote
Why Starting With End-to-End Customer Journeys Isn't Good For The Customer
‘Here’s how to make the argument to a stakeholder on your team that really wants to see that end-to-end vision: If the idea is to get value out to customers as fast as possible, does it make sense to explore every customer touch point? The time spent doing that intensive research could’ve been spent building and delivering an MVP for customers and get them excited about. Repeating this cycle gets the team to “learn by doing” and is actually a faster way to truly understand the customer’s end-to-end journey. It’s also a lot more engaging work than research and makes the team stronger.’
digitaltransformation  design  agile 
september 2018 by cote
Taking Agile Transformations Beyond the Tipping Point
Creating the process itself is agile. Also, a chart with activities and a suggested timeline.
agile  digitaltransformation  bcg 
september 2018 by cote
Transforming the Air Force into a software company with more airpower
“We have a small team that was tired of working this way and tired of not being able to provide this capability to our warfighters,” said Adam Furtado (pictured), chief product officer at the U.S. Air Force. “Basically, Congress told us to figure something new out.”

And:

“We’ve been designing a brand new system to modernize for about 10 years, and we just haven’t been able to get it to the field for a ton of Department of Defense, bureaucratic and acquisitions reasons,” Furtado explained.
deathmarch  USAF  cases  agile  waterfall 
september 2018 by cote
Airmen given direct access to AOC development process
"Air Force acquisition leaders recognized the current acquisition strategy, in progress since 2009, will not deliver capability to the warfighter fast enough. Today, we terminated the current AOC 10.2 contract with Northrop Grumman in order to take a different approach."

And:

“Once we field this platform and establish the software pipeline, we will begin the iterative improvement process,” said Sanders.  “That’s where this acquisition process really makes a difference.  The customers, in this case Airmen at the AOCs, are able to communicate their needs directly to developers and see the changes they request within weeks.
USAF  cases  agile  govt  mil 
september 2018 by cote
Project vs. product management, in government
Good discussion of doing product management instead of project management. Also, discussion of user metrics to track design and usability:

“Defining success metrics helps you focus on what’s important in your product and how well it solves the problems you’ve identified. Defining key steps the user must take is also important in order to shine a spotlight on where in the process users are failing. With this data, you can conduct further in-person research to understand why they are failing and devise an even better solution.”
prjmgmt  agile  govt  product  design 
august 2018 by cote
Project management vs. product management
‘That discussion starts with a very concise and useful distinction between project management (the world the government knows) and product management (the world it doesn’t). Project management, they write, is “focused on managing to a plan” -- such as managing schedule, budget, risk, policy compliance and then reporting status to stakeholders. “Success for a project manager is delivering a defined scope of work on-time and on-budget,” Johnston and O'Connor note. Product management, meanwhile, “is focused on delivering a product a user wants or needs.” Success for a product manager “is delivering a product that users love — and use to complete tasks (or in the private sector — a product customers will pay for).”’
prjmgmt  product  digitaltransformation  govt  agile 
august 2018 by cote
Think in Products, Not Projects
“In a high level, projects are local optimization efforts. We get a group of people who create new (or improve existing) functionality for our customers and then we pass that onto a team that has no idea why the change was made and how this change was solutioned/implemented. Very often, the quality is low and this Maintenance team needs to deal with the issues. This creates a culture of tolerating low quality, accepting that maintenance/operation teams will deal with problems created by delivery teams, not allowing delivery teams to learn from their mistakes and hence keep repeating them, allow budgets to be set without proper data, treat people like easy-to-replace objects, and so on. This culture is ok with low expectations and tends to increase debt in many aspects like technical, product, talent, innovation, etc. As such, these organizations often run in reactive mode and are constantly catching up with what the competition has brought to the market. Changes are expensive and take too long to get in the hands of the customers.”
digitaltransformation  product  outsourcing  agile 
august 2018 by cote
How Pivotal hopes to make cloud mavens of us all
A brief description of Pivotal Labs work to improve customer’s agile capabilities.
pivotallabs  agile  pivotal 
august 2018 by cote
Q&A on the Book Enterprise Agility
“Getting feedback on the effectiveness of the initiatives, and acting on it quickly to refine the strategies and initiatives to ensure their alignment with the purpose is critical for sustaining the effectiveness of the organization towards fulfilling the purpose.”
leadsership  books  enterprise  agile 
august 2018 by cote
Agile Strategy: Short-Cycle Strategy Development and Execution
Kind of a good list of how to align short, agile cycles to longer, strategic planning. Key, I think, is understanding the stability and predictably needs of strategic planning and explaining how short agile loops increase the confidence the corporate can have in both it’s plans and better intelligence about the market and what works.

“In practice, the lack of continuous feedback loops between operational units and C-suite leaders leads to the misalignment of resources. Lack of communication makes course adjustment nearly impossible.”
digitaltransformation  strategy  agile 
july 2018 by cote
How to make innovation programs deliver more than coffee cups
‘“a lack of connection between innovation teams and their parent organization. Teams form/and are taught outside of their parent organization because innovation is disconnected from other activities. This meant that when teams went back to their home organization, they found that execution of existing priorities took precedence. They returned speaking a foreign language (What’s a pivot? Minimum viable what?) to their colleagues and bosses who are rewarded on execution-based metrics. Further, as budgets are planned out years in advance, their organization had no slack for “good ideas.” As a result, there was no way to finish and deploy whatever innovative prototypes the innovators had developed – even ones that have been validated.”’
digitaltransformation  lean  agile  management  innovation 
july 2018 by cote
Revenge of the PMO
‘But it’s just a marketing strategy. Mostly they just redefine the meaning of these terms to obscure their purposes. An Epic becomes a “mini business case;” the concept of governance sounds less onerous when called “lean governance;” and program management might cause less angst when positioned as “agile program management.” The constant talk of iterations and agile obscures the reality that these “Agile Release Trains” are mostly happening every 10 weeks.’
SAFe  digitaltransformation  agile 
july 2018 by cote
Management Support in Agile Adoption
“In the global survey 82% of respondents reported that getting more support and commitment from all levels of management is a high or medium-term priority. In addition to this research, conversations we have with senior IT professionals all report that as IT has become ingrained in most, if not quite all, business processes it is essential that everyone involved in operating the business needs to be aware of how IT is being used and how it can change daily operations. Without management commitment across the organization, things will get better and change, but not as quickly or as effectively as they could.”

1.) The middle is always frozen. But, thanks because middle management is supposed to, is designed to make sure the process is followed, not dynamically change it all the time.

2.) The business should know how to computer.
management  agile  survey  digitaltransformation 
may 2018 by cote
Air Force looks to rapidly develop software with Project Kessel Run
More coverage of the USAF modernizing their approach to software. Here, what some of the apps are: “Kessel Run has been able to push five applications to the classified network, Kroger said.... The project is currently working on a number of things, including how the Air Force plans air tasking orders, a document which tasks units to fly their aircraft, Kroger said. It’s also working on building a tool that automates mission reports, which have to be written for every mission that flies, Kroger said.”
USAF  proofpoints  cloudnative  pivotal  cases  agile 
may 2018 by cote
CA Technologies Begins Site, Workforce Consolidation
‘Part of this shift is driven by a site consolidation strategy “to move more of our people into our centers of excellence,” said Gregoire. “This migration of our teams into fewer, larger locations supports our agile methodology.” According the Gregoire, the company has embraced an “agile” model, where employees need to be present in the office to be effective, meaning a number of these migrations will come from satellite offices.’
ca  systemsmanagement  agile  layoffs 
may 2018 by cote
The End of Enterprise IT, ING org. structure
“They chose to adopt an organizational structure in which small teams – ING calls them squads – accept end-to-end responsibility for a consumer-focused mission. Squads are expected to make their own decisions based on a shared purpose, the insight of their members, and rapid feedback from their work. Squads are grouped into tribes of perhaps 150 people that share a value stream (e.g. mortgages), and within each tribe, chapter leads provide functional leadership. Along with the new organizational structure, ING’s leadership team worked to create a culture that values technical excellence, experimentation, and customer-centricity.”

Also, a note on still needing the big picture:

> We had assumed that alignment would occur naturally because teams would view things from an enterprise-wide perspective rather than solely through the lens of their own team. But we’ve learned that this only happens in a mature organization, which we’re still in the process of becoming.
cases  ING  agile  digitaltransformation  cloudnative  orgstructure  enterprisearchitecture 
may 2018 by cote
Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think
"Fully one in six of the projects we studied was a black swan, with a cost overrun of 200%, on average, and a schedule overrun of almost 70%."
agile  digitaltransformation  studies  finance  budgeting  prjmgmt 
may 2018 by cote
Q&A on the Book Agile Management
“Most of the available maturity models measure the degree to which the agile techniques and tools are deployed. I prefer to look at it from a different angle. First, define what your most important performance indicators are with respect to agility. For instance, time-to-market, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and so on. Then benchmark these, if possible. And also follow their development over time, to determine whether they are improving or not.”
books  agile  metrics  interviews 
april 2018 by cote
Digital Disruption at Volkswagen Group: Is It All About Cars?
Some actual good, interesting applications for ML stuff here, in industrial design. Check out the bike frame example.
AI  ml  cases  Volkswagen  agile  digitaltransformation  autos  manufactoring 
april 2018 by cote
Inside Synchrony Financial's Innovation Lab
"One thing that was great to see was that cross-functional barriers went away" once the new lab was set in motion, Arghirescu said. "Innovation became an entity." People in the lab were given the authority to make decisions. A commitment was made to agile development.
proofpoints  pivotal  digitaltransformation  payments  cases  agile  banking 
april 2018 by cote
6 Challenges of Agile at Scale for ERP
The problems with taking an agile approach to outsourcing your COTS projects. Among the problems:

“In agile projects, it is more difficult to define risk sharing between the company and vendor. Contracts for large-scale programs tend to be waterfall or deliverable-based, with penalties or incentives driving cost and schedule performance which enables companies to hold vendors accountable for delivering full scope. On the contrary, Agile assumes cost and time is fixed when scope is variable. This situation flies in the face of the standard belief that much of the scope of ERP is not flexible. One area that this complicates is defining and resolving the concept of warranty support. This is another reason that everyone in the project, on both client and vendor sides, must have the same definition of “done” for each sprint... The lack of documentation makes benchmarking vendor performance a challenge. Overtime, the more traditional waterfall methods have provided opportunities for clients and vendors to establish measurable standards of performance and productivity. Agile is broadly assumed to provide productivity improvements but Agile at Scale still falls short in providing clients with a clear-cut way to quantify and measure the performance of vendors.”
ERP  cots  agile  digitaltransformation  outsourcing  packagedsoftware 
april 2018 by cote
Products Over Projects
“Product owners prove actual benefits either with data from A/B testing, analytics, user surveys, etc. or with feedback from business. This ability is dependent on good engineering capability to develop and release frequently in small chunks and good analytics capability to determine delta changes in adoption, conversion etc.”
design  projectmanagement  digitaltransformation  agile  meatware 
march 2018 by cote
Why is Everything a "Platform"?
Manage IT as a product, not a project, and things will go better: “we are finding the concepts of product and platforms very useful for establishing governance. As companies move to agile development, they quickly realize the power of treating their applications or web/device apps as products with a well understood customer to keep happy and prioritize improvements.”

Actually paying attention to and responding to how people use your IT stuff is key. Make the software useful, not just a project delivered to plan.
gartner  digitaltransformation  cloudnative  agile  platforms 
march 2018 by cote
Start a nuclear war? There's an app for that - US military teams up with Silicon Valley to revolutionise the battlefield
'And they ended up saving $1million in fuel per week - but more importantly speeding up decision making when time is of essence. “We paired with them and we taught them this new way of building software and we built the software application side-by-side with them,” Mr Salisbury said.'
proofpoints  airforce  pivotal  digitaltransformation  agile 
january 2018 by cote
The Cost Center Trap
Many people in the Agile movement preach that teams should have responsibility for the outcomes they produce and the impact of those outcomes. But responsibility starts at the top and is passed down to teams. When IT is managed as a cost center with cost objectives passed down through the hierarchy, it is almost impossible for team members from IT to assume responsibility for the business outcomes of their work. When IT metrics focus on cost control, digital transformations tend to stall.
finance  agile 
january 2018 by cote
Air Force Intelligence Unit Goes Agile
Many astounding before/after factoids and a good description of applying an MVP approach.

Also: "First they directed that defense contractors target applications for their designated open architecture, the Distributed Common Ground System. The architecture amounts to a platform of modular and standardized parts, including VMware virtualization, the Cloud Foundry infrastructure as a service orchestration from Pivotal Software, Red Hat Linux, and hardware from EMC, Dell and Cisco, among other components. Nothing is added to the platform unless it's already industry proven, rather than the agency adopting an emerging technology and then trying to prove its worth by itself, Haga said."
proofpoints  pivotal  agile  digitaltransformation  cases  airforce  smallbatch  MVP 
november 2017 by cote
Frequent Iteration is the Antidote to Monolithic, Big Bet Software Projects
"West is in the process of standing up Pivotal Cloud Foundry to serve as the platform-of-choice for its 1,400-plus software engineers." And: " Squeo said he plans to migrate about 125 existing applications to Pivotal Cloud Foundry."
pivotalcustomers  pivotal  PivotalCloudFoundry  proofpoints  agile 
october 2017 by cote
Splitting Stories Across Teams
“One of the advantages of allowing each team to work from their own sprint backlog is that it encourages each team to minimize the number of dependencies that are necessary to deliver their work.”
microservices  stories  agile  largile  scaling 
august 2017 by cote
TD Ameritrade accelerates innovation with agile, design thinking | CIO
‘His team is working with Pivotal Labs, which helps IT departments properly scope projects with design thinking methodologies. They ask such open-ended questions as, "What would a client want to do with a product and how would they interact with it." The answers help product development teams communicate what they require, including product vision, scope and narrative to IT. Pivotal will typically embed designers with tech teams as the answers crystallize. "It doesn't need to be perfect, just good enough for our customers to try it out," Sankaran says, adding that he expects to bring in more design thinking coaches.’
pivotal  digitaltransformation  smallbatch  agile  cases  cloudnative  banks  pivotalcustomers 
august 2017 by cote
Employees Are People Too: The Balanced Team
"As speaker Jeff Patton explained, modern corporate structure came out of a time when communication was expensive. When changing the moving parts of an organization takes a massive amount of communication and coordination, companies naturally default to top-heavy up-front planning done by those who have the highest vantage point for the decision. Now that technology has made communication essentially free, the old ways no longer hold — inverting the decision making process by empowering those on the ground level frees organizations to more fluidly adapt to changing market and customer forces. Balanced teams don’t just make for happier employees, they also make for more innovative, adaptable organizations."
balancedteams  agile  cloudnative  Pivotal  PivotalLabs 
april 2016 by cote
Agile Transformation in the Age of the 3rd Platform
Could overview of how agile is done in a cloud world, from Al at IDC.
cloudnative  IDC  whitepapers  agile  Pivotal 
march 2016 by cote
Forrester Research : Research : Best Practices For Agile-Plus-Architecture
Some good tips on merging agile-think with "big up front planning" type architects
Forrester  agile  legacy  culture  transformation  enterprisearchitect 
january 2016 by cote
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