Agile + DevOps West 2021 Concurrent Session : Overcoming Agile Resistance in Operations

Conference archive


Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 11:45am to 12:45pm

Overcoming Agile Resistance in Operations

What happens when you utter the word Agile to someone in your operational organization? Do you often get a negative response or maybe even rolling of the eyes? How often do you hear “we’re not developers, we don’t need to use agile”? In the Technology Operations Center at Capital One, we faced this exact issue. Associates in the center manage high severity incidents and problem management and resisted implementing Agile. Why? Because there are a lot of Agile misconceptions out there and it makes operational teams reluctant to adopt this framework despite the many benefits of using it. But it is possible. So, what’s the trick to this success? Understanding that not every agile methodology can be applied in operations. You aren’t going to be successful if you attempt to apply out-of-the-box scrum or Kanban as a one-size-fits-all solution. Be willing to “be agile”. What I mean by that is, to be successful, you will need to routinely adapt and make changes as you embark on your organization’s agile transformation. Join me in my talk about “Agile Operational Resistance” to hear how our Operations Center overcame this resistance and adopted the Agile framework, and learn techniques to help you along in your own journey.

Capital One

Kathleen Flax has been helping organizations and teams implement Agile practices since 2013 as a Scrum Master, Product Owner and Internal Coach. Prior to becoming Agile certified, she was a Waterfall Project Manager for 10 years. Kathleen believes that helping organizations and teams is less about the practices, and all about teaching the ability to accept change. She is a proponent of connecting with people on a human level first and foremost. With over 15 years of experience in Project Management, Kathleen has supported and taught hundreds software development and operational teams how to better manage their work and projects by using techniques from Scrum and other agile methods. She is certified by the Scrum Alliance as both a Certified Advanced Scrum Master (CASM) and Product Owner (CSPO), as well as holding an ICAgile Professional Agile Coach Certification (ICP-ACC). Kathleen holds a B.A. from Stony Brook University.