About the Author
I’m Jason Little and I’ve been in the IT and software industry for over 17 years. As early as 2002 I was using Agile methods, albeit without knowing there was a label to this way of working, while working as the Director of Storefront Development at m-Qube. Limiting work in progress, daily standups and a regular planning cadence seemed to make a whole lot of sense at the time.
I vividly remember my first experience working in an ‘Agile’ company. I was excited to officially try out this new method and was interested to see how it differed from the common sense approach I usually take to managing projects.
I collected requirements from the customer, got some high-level estimates from the team and then asked our internal Agile expert how to run this project using Scrum. He gave me the usual “we write some stories, we show the customer every two weeks and iterate until they’re satisfied.” That sounded great to me. Then I asked him how we estimate a price range so the customer can get budget.
“It doesn’t work that way” was his reply.
I was confused.
The conversation ended with him telling me “you just don’t get Agile“. That conversation shaped the next 5 years of my career.
Time to Get Educated
I paid for my own certification because, at that time, there weren’t as many options as there are today for learning about Agile methods. I took a Certified Scrum Master course and since 2008 I’ve been helping organizations adopt Agile practices as a coach, scrum master and product owner. I continued with my education by becoming a Certified Scrum Professional and Certified Scrum Product Owner and I’d say my most valuable experiences with education has been personal coaching and my studies in human behaviour, organizational change and management systems.
How Live Lessons Came About
At Agile 2011 I was approached by Pearson Education to write a book based on my session topic and it has since evolved into a Live Lesson for Safari Books Online. What’s different about this Live Lesson is that while I obviously talk about Agile Adoption and Agile Transformation, I ground the topics in organizational change, systems thinking and management systems. Over the years I’ve learned that Agile rhetoric likes to preach that you can’t be successful with Agile unless you change your culture and mindset. I challenge that notion in this Live Lesson.
As ‘Agile’ as You Need to Be
I agree mindset and culture can be important to being successful with Agile, however it’s not the rule. Besides, ‘being Agile’ isn’t the point. As an example, continuous delivery is a practice that allows teams to release much more frequently and that’s great…if your customers can sustain the pace of your delivery frequency. In this Live Lesson I’m going to challenge conventional thinking and give you a simple framework for how to use Agile for business success. In your organization that might mean developing the right culture and mindset and it might simply mean adopting some Agile practices to solve your current pain points. The level of optimization you get to is up to you.
More About my Background
I have presented at Agile 2011, Agile 2012 and Lean Software and Systems 2011, founded the Silicon Halton Agile Community and in November 2012 I will be delivering numerous Lean Startup and Agile training in Helsinki Finland. In January 2012, my team won the Lean Startup Machine Toronto weekend competition and throughout 2012 I have delivered Lean Startup workshops to MBET program students at the University of Waterloo.
I am excited to share this Live Lesson with the world and in the meantime, you can find my speaking and presenting schedule here if you’d like to connect.
Linked In: Jason Little
My Personal Blog: www.agilecoach.ca