Calling for Leadership and Teams Presentations for Agile Australia 2012

Nigel Dalton Photo

Nigel Dalton, Partner, Luna Tractor

Guest Blogger: Nigel Dalton – Partner, Luna Tractor

Establishing an Agile way of working within an organisation was always destined to upset an old regime. As a result, social scientists love Agile and lean – the way in which the new Agile tribe’s habits and cultures, roles, rituals, spatial organisation and language impact a long-standing (Henry Ford and FW Taylor were over a century ago now!) traditional way of life and work make Agile transformations worthy of extensive study and observation. What have we learned in the last decade or so?

  1. That leadership is the vital part of the change to Agile, but with lean and Agile adoption, leadership takes many ‘small l’ dimensions (from thought leadership to opinion leadership) as well as the more recognisable ‘big L’ managers, product owners and team leads. Who is in charge around here?
  2. That a culture of ‘team first’ does not prosper in a command and control hierarchical organisation. People revert to their old alliances easily, and those old alliances (“I’m a developer on this Agile project and I’m okay”) often provide the security people seek when under pressure.
  3. That the incumbent organisation and culture will fight back to retain the status quo, whispering in the ears of executives and sponsors that things are a bit loose, governance is questionable, things are changing too quickly and there is minimal commitment to deliver full scope on time and budget.
  4. That newly-Agile teams are often incompatible with traditional organisation hierarchies, leaving individual career paths vague and uncertain, and often causing PMOs and Human Resources to intervene by reaching for traditional change management tools such as RACI matrixes and new job descriptions to keep the peace.
Photo Credit: Luna Tractor

Teams at work at Lonely Planet || © Photo credit: Luna Tractor

This conference stream aims to attract submissions from experts and practitioners alike, which tackle, provide insight about and comment on problems like these:

  • What do Agile teams need to perform at their very best?
  • How do performance measures and incentives need to evolve?
  • What does great leadership need to look like?
  • How do you grow the team?
  • Is culture measurable and manageable?
  • How does the inevitable plan-do mindset connect with Agile’s envision-explore mantra?
  • How can enterprises extract further benefit from Agile practices, beyond IT?
  • Establishing an Agile way of working within an organisation that still has ‘an old regime’
  • Scientific proof that the collection of habits and behaviours that make up Scrum, XP, Kanban and Agile in general are actually more effective at delivering business outcomes
  • Why leadership is the vital part of the change to Agile, from thought leadership to opinion leadership as well as the more recognisable ‘big L’ Managers, product owners and team leads
Photo credit: Luna Tractor

Teams at work at Lonely Planet || © Photo credit: Luna Tractor

Whilst Agile community members may not feel the confidence to present on process and technical topics, everyone who has worked in an Agile team, with positive and negative experiences is qualified to put forward a paper for this stream of the conference.

We are particularly interested in the ways leaders and teams reacted to situations, and what the outcomes were, and enabling others to learn from those experiences.

Read more about this stream and all the conference streams here.


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