Skip to main content

Al Shalloway

Net Objectives

With more than forty years of experience, the founder and CEO of Net Objectives Al Shalloway is an industry thought leader in lean, SAFe, kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum, and agile design. Al helps companies transition enterprise-wide to lean and agile methods, and teaches courses in these areas—one of a handful of SAFe SPC trainers. He is the primary author of Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, Design Patterns Explained, Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams, and Essential Skills for the Agile Developer. Cofounder (although no longer affiliated) with Lean Kanban University, Al is a popular speaker at prestigious conferences worldwide.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 8:30am
Full-day Tutorials
An Introduction to SAFe: The Scaled Agile Framework

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is quickly being adopted by many large organizations that have had some success with agile at the team level but have not been able to scale up to large projects. Al Shalloway describes what SAFe is, discusses when and how to implement it, and provides a few extensions to SAFe. Al begins with a high-level, executive’s guide to SAFe that you can share with your organization’s leaders. He then covers the aspects of implementing SAFe: identifying the sequence of features to work, establishing release trains, the SAFe release planning event, SAFe’s variant of Scrum, and when to use the SAFe process. Al concludes with extensions to SAFe including creating effective teams—even when it doesn’t look possible—and implementing shared services and DevOps in SAFe using kanban. Get an introduction to SAFe, discover whether it would be useful to your organization, and identify the steps you should take to be SAFe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Principles and Practices of Lean Software Development

Lean software development has often been described as “better, faster, cheaper” and focusing on “eliminating waste,” but those are misnomers. Going after speed improvement and waste elimination can actually reduce the benefits you could otherwise get from lean. Al Shalloway describes what lean software development really is and why you should be incorporating it into your development efforts—whether you use Scrum, kanban, or SAFe. Al explains the mindset, principles, and practices of lean. Its foundations are systems thinking, a relentless focus on time, and an understanding that complex systems require holistic solutions. Lean principles include optimize the whole, eliminate delays, improve collaboration, deliver value quickly, create effective ecosystems for development, push decisions to the people doing the work, and build integrity in. Lean practices include small batches, implementing pull, managing work in process, and cross-functional teams. Al will describe how to use lean—no matter where you are in your development process.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 10:00am
Agile Leadership
A Holistic View of Complex Systems and Organizational Change

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the agile community, complexity is often used to explain why we can’t predict anything or why there are no rules we can follow. Ironically, it is exactly this attitude that allows complexity to work against us. Al Shalloway discusses the true nature of complex systems, why we must deal with them in a holistic manner, and ways to evaluate structural and organizational changes to manage this complexity. Unfortunately, most agile implementations take an incremental, piecemeal approach to change, ignoring complexity. Although this approach causes problems that are attributed to the fact that we have a complex system, in reality these challenges are due to the way we are dealing with the pieces individually. Al describes the patterns of effective organizational change management and explains how understanding the true nature of complex systems can be used to lead organizational change―particularly at scale.