Agile + DevOps East 2019 Concurrent Session : A Festivus for Leadership Alignment

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

A Festivus for Leadership Alignment

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One of the biggest problems facing organizations that are moving to an agile mindset is leadership alignment across the concepts, principles, and tactics. On the face of things, every leader says they understand agile and that they’re aligned. But saying it is one thing and being it is quite another. On top of that, it seems like feedback between the leaders has become nonexistent. Mary Thorn faces organizational misalignment nearly every day in agile coaching journeys. She has come up with an approach to detect, discuss, and realign organizations cross-functionally around their agile agreements. Borrowing from the Seinfeld episode that introduced the notion of Festivus (a Christmas "for the rest of us"), Mary will walk you through a Festivus playbook as an alignment facilitation technique. She has found it a fun (and highly effective) way to surface, elaborate, and align organizations on specific details of their agile approach. She will also walk you through how to teach leaders to give and receive feedback in a way that enables the Festivus to not become an HR nightmare.

Mary Thorn

During her more than twenty years of experience with financial, health care, and SaaS-based products, Mary Thorn has held VP, director, and manager-level positions in various software development organizations. A seasoned leader and coach in agile and testing methodologies, Mary has direct experience building and leading teams through large-scale agile transformations. Mary’s expertise is a combination of agile scaling, agile testing, and DevOps that her clients find incredibly valuable. She is also chief storyteller of the book The Three Pillars of Agile Testing and Quality, and an avid keynote and conference speaker on all things agile and agile testing.