Agile + DevOps East 2019 Concurrent Session : A Fool with a Tool: The Dangers of Ignoring Culture by Overfocusing on Tools

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

A Fool with a Tool: The Dangers of Ignoring Culture by Overfocusing on Tools

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Many organizations ignore culture and overfocus on picking and implementing the right tools. However, these tools have underlying cultural assumptions. If the current culture does not support these assumptions, then automation will only have limited success, or even fail altogether. So how do you address this problem? By recognizing that overfocusing on tools is a problem in the first place. Start by understanding the cultural assumptions supporting the optimum use of the tools, as well as how your organization measures up in relation to high-performing organizations. Finally, address the smells that violate the tools’ cultural assumptions. This requires the organization and individuals to move out of their comfort zone and place their primary focus on implementing a high-performing DevOps culture. Tim Guay will draw upon his experiences to help you develop an understanding of the dangers of overfocusing on tools, what the underlying cultural assumptions of key toolsets are, the common cultural smells, and how to move beyond the comfort zone into a high-performing DevOps culture.


Tim Guay is experienced in introducing agile, DevOps, and lean practices into organizations, as well as providing agile and lean training and coaching, He has delivered agile and DevOps training and coaching to a wide range of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 50 corporations and governments. He is an ICAgile authorized instructor, a DevOps Institute—approved instructor, and a Certified Professional Agile Coach. Tim sits on the ICAgile DevOps Certification Committee and codeveloped the Implementing DevOps certification learning objectives and the DevOps Expert certification requirements. He also sits on the DevOps Expert Assessment Panel. Tim has published articles in the field of IT, authored several agile courses, and presented at conferences on technology topics.