Theme - Business Agility: How to Thrive in a Constantly Changing Environment
How to help companies thrive in a constantly changing environment? How can executives of large- and mid-sized organizations set up their businesses to adapt and react faster to technological changes and challenges? How can they not only enable their teams to build things the right way but, even more importantly, ensure that they build the right things? What kind of structures are needed to involve and enable “smart creatives” to develop innovative and valuable products? To what extent do classic organizational structures support or contradict business agility? Let’s explore the different perspectives on what’s needed by whom. What are the needs of the executives? What are the needs of middle management? What are the needs of those who build the products in the end? Where are the gaps and how to bridge them?
Dealing with Uncertainty: How to Build “Anti-fragile” Businesses in a Constantly Changing World
The business world is changing in an ever-faster pace. What implications does this have on the products/services we are developing and on the companies we are working in? How should we set up/structure our businesses in order to deal with change better, i.e., faster and at lower cost? One can relate this track back to the fourth line of the Agile Manifesto: “Responding to change over following a plan,” and the seventh principle: “Working software is the primary measure of progress.” Ultimately we want session participants to understand the need and urgency of addressing this topic within their teams and organizations. In addition, they should learn some helpful insights, tools, and examples on how to start becoming “anti-fragile.”
Effectiveness over Efficiency: Focus on Building the Right Thing Rather than Building Things Right
Many people relate Scrum/Agile primarily to building things faster and maybe even at higher quality. We don’t believe this should be any teams’ primary goal. One cannot just build and hope to magically make the product stick with customers. Effectiveness, i.e., “doing/building the right thing” should be our teams’ goal. But there should always be a good balance between the different perspectives of quality — the inner quality (building the thing right) vs. outer quality (building the right thing). We want session participants to learn about tools and techniques to help increase team/organizational effectiveness. What discussions do teams have to have? What questions do they need to ask? How do they achieve great outcomes rather than increase their output?
Empowering People: The Right Organizational Structure to Nurture and Foster “Smart Creatives”
Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg from Google talk about “smart creatives” as product folks who combine technical knowledge, business expertise, and creativity. When you put today’s technology tools in their hands and give them lots of freedom, they can do amazing things, amazingly fast. Unleashing creativity within each team ensures that every member of the organization has the ability and desire to contribute value to the product. This includes evolving leads to a higher identification with the product and the company. These attributes are key to survive in this uncertain world. How do we get companies that are run by the goal of minimizing risk to maximize freedom for “smart creatives”? Session participants will learn how to create the right environment for these employees, from recruiting and HR to people and project management.
Amplify Learning: How Do We Create the Right Experiments to Get the Right Learning Experience in Order to Reach the Next Level of Maturity — as a Product, as a Team, as a Corporation?
For many years, companies have created knowledge centers or centers of excellence with limited success. Session participants will gain concrete insight into how companies are addressing knowledge centers. Discussions will include:
- What do we really need to learn in order to validate whether the product that is evolving is moving in the right direction or not?
- How can we create this kind of learning experience to get valuable input as fast as possible?
- What is the necessary minimum? Think of the tenth principle of the Agile Manifesto: Simplicity is essential.
- What are good environments that encourage experimentation and learning about both our products and how we work?
- How do we transfer knowledge within organizations, especially within large corporations?
- What tools can we use?
- How do fast-learning organizations outperform the competition?
All sessions will be categorized as one of three levels.
Level 1 - Shu Target audience is new to Scrum/Agile. Shu is about learning the system. It is about traditional wisdom, learning fundamentals and techniques.
Level 2 - Ha Target audience is advanced Scrum/Agile practitioners. Ha is reached when you understand the system.
Level 3 - Ri Target audience is experienced Scrum/agile practitioners. Ri level means to forget the system. It’s about real advanced stuff. It is about transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all things are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms.
Björn Jensen is an Agility Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer® with improuv, where he provides education and coaching services to clients across Germany and Europe.
His journey towards agility began back in early 2000 with getting in touch as a Software Developer with frameworks like eXtreme Programming and Pragmatic Programming. Since then he applied agile methodologies in a lot of contexts, from small scale to large scale organizations, from development over management to executive, from more traditional to very agile. As Developer, Release & System Engineer, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agility Coach and Trainer.
Björn is a well-known speaker at Scrum Gatherings since 2010 and other (un)conferences and events focused on lean, agile and/or development.
He holds a Computer Science degree from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Björn is passionate about ideation, co-creation and spending time with his family. He enjoys martial arts and music (bass guitar & upright bass).
is a Certified Scrum Trainer® with SE-Consulting based in Cologne, Germany. As a medical doctor he is passionate about making diagnosis on businesses and identifying and building great products/services using agile methodologies esp. Scrum. As a CST Sohrab conducts all kinds of workshops to help organizations become more agile and successful and coaches his clients' to continuously become better at what they do.
Sohrab is the Chief Innovation Officer at SE-Consulting working primarily as Product Owner for internet businesses currently a job portal for the Iranian market. Prior to that he was a Consultant at Bain & Company working for big corporations all over the world.
Sohrab graduated from RWTH Aachen University Medical School (MD) and Dusseldorf Business School (MBA). He is passionate about spending time with his family esp. his kids. He enjoys all kinds of sports (incl. football, fitness, skiing and hiking), reading, cooking, and travelling.