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Amp up your Agile implementation in complex environments with Systems Thinking

Speakers: Martin Aziz, Fernando Cuenca

Duration: 60 min

Track: Process

Level: Intermediate

Scrum has proven to be a successful framework for many companies in complex delivery domains to transition to Agility from more traditional delivery methods.

At some point during these transitions many companies have experienced a stall to what have previously been ongoing and exponential improvements. While team-level performance might have seen a substantial improvement, end-to-end delivery as perceived by customers and other stakeholders may not bit fit enough. In other cases, no matter how much teams work within the Scrum framework to improve their work, recurring “impediments” cause the Scrum implementation to plateau, or even regress.

We have learnt that complexity brings with it challenges in the "white spaces" that exist between teams where local improvements become disconnected from the delivery of customer value. In essence, Scrum is good, but doesn't provide enough to meet the needs of the whole system.

This talk will summarize key lessons distilled from that realization. We will highlight some of the limitations of team-centric Agile approaches and discuss Lean & Systems Thinking concepts to improve the system as a whole and bring your organization back to a place of continuous improvement that is connected to customer value.


Martin Aziz

Martin is a Business Technology leader working at LoyaltyOne; as Director of Agile Competency he is helping the organization get to a place of sustained delivery of business value.
Martin's roots started as a software developer that quickly transitioned in project management. With other a decade in managing projects and PMOs, Martin began shifting into Agile approaches in 2012 helping guide the transition at LoyaltyOne. While scrum is very much in the DNA of this transition, you will find Martin focusing on organizational systems rather than teams. Martin is a graduate of the Lean Kanban University Masterclass and is the host and regular contributor to the Systems Thinking TO meetup.

 Fernando Cuenca

Fernando started as a developer in the early 90s (C++ used to be his best friend), discovered Extreme Programming in the early 2000s, carried the “dev manager” title for a brief period, and became a full time Agile coach by 2009. These days, he works as independent consultant, helping software development organizations understand the way they do work and improve it incrementally, drawing from the Agile and Lean bodies of knowledge. Outside the workplace, you will find him attending various Agile events, running the local Test Driven Development Meetup, or lining up at the nearest opera house or concert hall, waiting to attend a performance.