Better Software West 2017 Concurrent Session - Agile Leadership Strategies: Winning the War on Complexity | TechWell

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 2:45pm to 3:45pm

Agile Leadership Strategies: Winning the War on Complexity

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Development teams are at war with complexity. A solo programmer's craft is difficult enough, but team development adds more volatility and ambiguity—what the U.S. military calls “the fog of war.” Derek Wade’s background in cognitive science has shown him that humans have innate skills at managing this complexity. But too often Derek sees leaders wasting precious human capital because they don’t understand how these skills work. For the past six years, Derek has explored team science which evolved from studying military, aviation, and clinical teams, for practical insights into how people work best together. If you want to help your teams cut through the fog and have fun doing it, Derek uses mini-games and stories to introduce you to these insights and how to apply them. Leave armed with knowledge of mental models, cognitive load, situational awareness, and boundary objects so your teams can use complexity to their advantage, solve the right problems, support each other, and finally use those whiteboards, stickies, and online tools well.

Derek W. Wade
Kumido Adaptive Strategies

Derek Wade founded Kumido Adaptive Strategies in 2008 to apply principles of cognition and learning to the future of work. He wields the usual tools of agile and lean in unusually scientific and human-centered ways, whether rescuing a troubled Scrum implementation at a nationwide financial enterprise or gelling a fragmented leadership team at a regional consumer products company. Derek has shared his approach through public and private training, his service on the Agile Leadership Network board, and forums including Lean Kanban, Northwestern University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and the Agile Alliance. Derek tweets at @derekwwade and blogs at, but he prefers collaborating with real live humans.