|By Skytap Blog||
|July 21, 2014 03:10 PM EDT||
Noel Wurst: Hello. This is Noel Wurst with Skytap. I am speaking today with Michael Spayd. Michael's going to be speaking at the Agile 2014 Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, July 28. It had a really interesting sounding session, and I just wanted to learn a little bit more about that session and some of the topics that may come up during it.
Michael, how are you doing today?
Michael Spayd: I'm doing well.
Michael: Thank you for hosting this, Noel.
Noel: No problem at all. Your session, again, on Monday, July 28, is titled "What would it mean to Coach an Agile Enterprise?" I noticed that the first sentence presents a huge challenge in enterprise level software development today. In your abstract you say, "Enterprise agility is both a hugely popular aspiration and a widely misunderstood buzzword.” That comes up a lot in agile, with the ability to “do agile” in so many different ways.
Is that the reason that maybe enterprise agility is only an aspiration for many people, and not something they can call an accomplishment? That maybe the phrase is so loose or so misunderstood that, it’s like the difficulty in defining 'done' sometimes, that you get so many versions of it that it's hard to know when you've reached it?
Michael: I think you're definitely pointing in the right direction. I guess, what I'll say about it is that it's an aspiration because people want it. They want what they have experienced on their teams, on their agile teams: more harmony, more productivity or satisfaction, more customer value, and all that kind of stuff. They want that in a big way. They want that everywhere. They don't just want it on their team. They want it with their leadership. They want it in their organization's culture. They want it in the funding process. So that's what attracts people, I think, to it.
Yes, different people mean very different things by it, from just scaling up the actual software delivery process, as if you could do that in isolation, and maybe to some extent you can, but along with that comes all kinds of cultural assumptions, and cultural beliefs and values, shared values, and organizational structures, and processes and policies and stuff that impact your ability to do that. So you can't just scale, per se, in that dimension, I don’t believe. That's not my experience, so it means a lot of different things. It means all those different things and various ways to different people. It's complex. It's probably complicated, also. It's big, and it's hard.
Noel: Right, it is. That's one thing that no one's ever accused agility of being was an easy process, especially with there not being an end to it. Then to look back at the abstract for this session, again, which I really enjoyed. You talk at one point about the “limits of culture.” I was curious as to what those limitations are. That's not something I feel like I read a lot about is the limits of culture. We hear how about agile, DevOps, and all of these other practices are all about culture. I know one thing we've talked about, here, at Skytap before is the idea that it’s all about culture; you do need that, but at the same time, if you don't have some of the, maybe, collaborative tools or collaborative abilities of your teams to actually do their work and to have access to the environments they need, when they need them for as long as they need them, then you can have all that culture but if people can't get their work done—that there really are some limitations to culture. So I was curious as to maybe what you saw some limits to be?
Michael: Cool. If you'll permit me a digression it would help to explain a little bit of the model that I am developing to answer that question. It's called “Integral Agile” which means a complete view of things, or all the necessary parts. It comes from a field of integral studies or integral theory that is out there in the world, like the agile movement, actually. It's actually a big movement. I'm adapting that into the enterprise agile world. So it talks about four fundamental perspectives that we can take on things that usually we tend to have our bias toward one of them or maybe two of them as being the truth, and we don't pay attention to the others, but to have a complete view of things we really need to take all four perspectives.
Let me just describe each of them briefly. One of them is what people talk about as being agile, as opposed to doing agile. Those are two of the four perspectives. The being side, what I experience, what I value personally. Maybe my pride in being a software craftsman or my motivation to serve on a team, to not just be an individual contributor, for instance, but to really be part of something bigger than myself. That's one perspective, the being side of things, you might say.
A different side is what you actually do. The behaviors you engage in. What other people can see from the outside. I may value software craftsmanship or I say I do, but do I really check in code all the time? Do I really pair with people? Do I really write tests before I write code? That's the behavior side. Do we really follow our team agreements of not letting the sun set on conflict, or whatever it is—do we actually engage in those behaviors? Similarly, what actual processes do we engage in? If you were looking at us from the outside, If an anthropologist was looking at our team or our organization, what behaviors would they notice we engage in? That's an outside perspective, a little more objective.
On a collective level we have the internal side, which typically we call “culture.” What's the experience? What's the feeling of being in this organization or on this team? I've got to be careful what I say in this organization because we have an uptight culture. Or I work at start-up in Silicon Valley, and we bring our dogs to work, and we wear sandals, and we feel really free and open. That's a more feeling kind of thing or experience: what we share together, what we value together.
The objective side of that, or the outside of that is what organizational structures do we have? What's our org chart look like? Is it flat? Is it lots of layers of bureaucracy and hierarchy? What about our policies? Do we have lots of policies and really detailed? Do we have very few policies and people have a lot of freedom to make their own decisions? How do we structure things? How do we staff things? How do we deal with funding or whatever?
So if you think about all those different kinds of things, usually we each have a bias. I might say, "Oh, what I want is, or agile would be great…." My business partner, Lisa Adkins, likes to say, "Agile would be great if only individual leaders would get it." Or somebody else might say, "Agile would be great if only our culture changed." Or somebody might say, "Agile would be great if only we visualized the work flow." Or somebody else might say, "Agile would be great if only we actually followed the agile practices."
So all those perspectives are valid, but they're also partial. So changing the culture, one, is really difficult, but, two, even if you do shift the culture, the feeling, the belief set, whatever—that might not change the structures. We might have structures, a certain level of bureaucracy or layers or whatever, that keep us entrenched the way we are.
Noel: Your answer leads me into my next question. It's good that you did digress there for a little bit. It helps out with this next question. You talked about changing culture is hard. A lot of times we hear about how, for agile to have any chance of succeeding, you have to have buy-in from the leadership or executive level, especially on the enterprise scale. I was curious as to, maybe even looking at your Integral Agile that you're working on, what are some of the ways that, maybe those who are in the leadership, executive level, then maybe some ways to approach them, and to be able to sell them on this, maybe not just agility.
Michael: A couple of things. One is that I think that going in with a persuasion mindset, that “I want persuade them about something,” is usually not very successful. I mean, clearly there are exceptions to that. Particularly, let's say you went in there and you started that way, if that works, great, keep going. But when it starts to reach a limit or when they act like they're interested or whatever, but then they don't. Or they say they're interested but they don't act like it, they're not consistent with what they actually do afterwards, then you've got a problem.
Usually it helps to go in with seeking to understand. Steven Covey's "Seek First to Understand." We teach in our coaching classes a professional coaching idea of asking powerful questions to people, which are not leading questions. They're not trying to get somebody somewhere, in particular; they're trying to help them explore their own values and what's true for them. Approaching executives, you need to understand where they're coming from. What they're motivated by. What's important to them. How they see the problems in the organization, rather than selling them a solution to what you think is a problem, that they may agree that some part of it is a problem but they may not see it in the same way, and they definitely may not share the same values that you have.
Another part of the book is talking about different levels of cultural development and individual development, different value sets that see the world in different ways. If you're coming from a success-driven, achievement-driven philosophy exclusively, only part of what the agile manifesto says is going to be interesting to you, not all of it. You're really not going to care about people being empowered, particularly, or shared values together. You're going to care about results and customers being happy, but you're not going to actually embrace all of the manifesto, an organization, or excuse me, a leader or executive wouldn't. Then you're going to have a disconnect.
So part of what my presentation and my book, Coaching the Agile Enterprise is about, and the parts that I've released called "Downloading the Integral Operating System," part of what that's about is about giving people a framework to understand what's going on in an organization, in an enterprise, so they can make sense of it in a different way.
If you're coming from one kind of motivation and the leader you're approaching is coming from a different kind, that's doomed to failure on some level. So seeking first, like I say, to understand, to go in and understand the mindset, the value set, that the person is coming from, and then decide what to do with that. Are you really trying to change them or persuade them? Are you trying to do it through aggression, through your own ego, in some sense? Or are you actually doing it in a way that's facilitating and that's useful to the other person or to the organization? Or is it just that you think it will be? Those are really different.
Noel: Yeah, absolutely. I was just thinking that it seems like it maybe hard sometimes to go in there and talk about needing to change a culture if that's not something that that person, like you were saying, has ever experienced or known was a problem, but then being able to show them how, through that change, customers, perhaps, get a higher quality product, and even faster than they were getting in the past, is a good idea.
Michael: Yeah, you have to connect to what they find to be of value and that may not be ... They may focus on that thing. Let's say it's a faster time to market, but they may not want to bring all the other things along with it, particularly, or they may not value them. Then you've got a disconnect. Then you've got a disappointed agile coach. We see a lot of them.
Noel: Lastly, to wrap things up, for those who are able to attend your session which, again, is at Agile 2014, in Orlando, Florida, on Monday, July 28. For those who are able to attend it, what's maybe something that you hope that in that short amount of time that you them there in the room, that you can basically give them something small enough that they can begin, on day one, when they return, maybe to their own projects or organizations?
Michael: I think it's really more than something that they would do afterwards; it's a way that they would see the world differently.
Noel: Oh, wow.
Michael: So that's what I think that the integral perspective has to offer people is a very different way of seeing the world. Seeing its greater complexity. Being able to, at least, start to work with, in a realistic way, the complexity of it, not think that there's easy answers to it, because there's just not. Easy answers are usually ... They sound good and they're tempting, but they usually fall flat after some period of time.
My hope would be that people would actually start thinking about things differently after my session. That would eventually lead into what they would do differently, but it would really start with, I think, helping them understand why things are happening in their organizations, particularly things that disappoint them about the adoption of agile in a more widespread way.
Noel: That's awesome. I hope the session is a huge success. I'm going to definitely try and be there myself. Sounds fantastic.
Michael: Okay. Well, thank you.
Noel: Your welcome! Again, everybody, this was my conversation with Michael Spayd who is going to be speaking at Agile 2014, Monday, July 28, with a session called "What would it mean to Coach an Agile Enterprise." Thank you so much again.
Michael: You're welcome. Thank you, Noel.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the show ends?” said Jeff Mesnik, ContentMX President. “We are here for the sponsors, resellers and clo...
May. 30, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,432
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deliver them.
May. 30, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,662
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn the key concepts and practices for setting up and maintaining container-based applications using Goo...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,081
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,141
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,586
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project managers in house, specializing in the world-cla...
May. 30, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,860
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a worldwide network for secure, low-latency communications.
May. 30, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,410
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global network of online and social media, powered by TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence™ platform, allows techno...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,320
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight...
May. 30, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,352
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, and containers increase the problem exponentially. Simplifying and automating security compliance wi...
May. 30, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,407
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our perso...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,102
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 30, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,556
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing performance and reducing operational risk through standardization and best-practice architectures.
May. 30, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,411
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Fully managed by a team of experts, the Alert Logic Security-as-a-Service solution provides network, sy...
May. 30, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,045
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with public and private sector clients to solve their most difficult technology challenges. Headquartered ...
May. 29, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,433
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
May. 28, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,694
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center, in New York City, NY. The Cloud Expo | @ThingsE...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,402
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors and platforms give control back to the users and drives innovation.
May. 27, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,919
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-to-end solution for building web applications.
May. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,260
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
May. 26, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,235
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online business and let Enzu manage their IT hosting infrastructure.
May. 26, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,322
As the rapid adoption of containers continues, companies are finding that they lack the operational tools to understand the behavior of applications deployed in these containers, and how to identify issues in their application infrastructure. For example, how are multiple containers within an application impacting each other’s performance? If an application’s service is degraded, which container is to blame? In the case of an application outage, what was the root cause of the outage?
May. 26, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,895
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibi...
May. 26, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,897
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
May. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,419
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
May. 24, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,831