Category Archives: Highlights

Combine Agile@Scale and Implementing SAFe with ‘SPC in a week’

Aspiring SPCs that want to improve their game should seriously consider the triple-deal ‘SPC in a week.’ The subtle work of the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) requires a lot of what the Germans call ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’: in other words, experience is key. So, what better way to boost your beginnings as an SPC than with our ‘SPC in a week’ offer? Immerse yourself in a full week of mentorship, knowledge exchange and training by one the world’s most experienced SAFe trainers, SPCT... Learn more

“Combining Product Ownership with line management? Hold my beer.”

Agilists focus on program performance; line management focuses on functional excellence and control. Agilists preach a focus on product outcome, while line management tends to maximize output. Just two obvious stereotypes between the two groups. Sander Nienkemper looks forward to visiting Agile@Scale, because he combines both roles (as well as a third!) at insurance company Vivat. Sander Nienkemper has come to fill three roles simultaneously at Vivat. Firstly, he’s the IT manager for... Learn more

“The outcome is key, not the method.”

The first speaker to present a case on January 25t, 2021 at our upcoming event Agile@Scale is Rick van Benten, of telecoms conglomerate VodafoneZiggo. Offering a peek into his planned narrative, he says: “I wanted the desired outcome to lead us, rather than just unbox a method.”   “Agility is a good thing for big business to pursue; there’s no doubt in my mind there. But if the framework that’s supposed to get you there becomes the goal rather than a means, you could... Learn more

Transformations are stories we need to keep telling ourselves (1)

These past weeks have seen four instances for me to host a little workshop on Storytelling that I’ve been brewing up. Twice at the Agile Coach Conference, and twice more at the RTE Summit. Both largely successful events, they’ve been perfect opportunities to MVP my new idea, with every group delighted and asking me to continue towards a full-blown training. Here’s why it’s worth your time. The Agile ways of working challenge more people to become involved in sharing a common vision.... Learn more

‘Hippie’ RTEs celebrate online togetherness

My personal highlight of the RTE Summit Global: seeing the conference’s chairman Ali Hajou wearing a black braided ‘hippie’ wig for a themed presentation halfway through the second day. That, and seeing so many seasoned RTEs share their stories of failure, struggle, strength and success at the end-of-day online roundtables. What was yours?   Each morning started with dozens of visitors logging on and saying hi over the chat. From Hungary, from New York, from India. With over... Learn more

From the business with love (for RTEs)

Chris James expresses a deep appreciation for the Release Train Engineer. He has to, in a way: as CEO of Scaled Agile, RTEs are his bread and butter. But as CEO he’s also a Business Owner himself, working with the RTEs of Scaled Agile’s own ARTs – and from that perspective he’s seen some room to improve for many who drive that Train. So, Chris James’ keynote for this year’s RTE Summit on November 9th… dives into the business-RTE relationship.   “Most RTEs assume the... Learn more

Over 100 Agile Coaches welcomed in virtual Agile Coach Conference

It's a wrap! On October 28th we received over 100 Agile coaches on our virtual online platform for the first edition of the agile coach conference. Over the course of an entire day, these enthusiastic professionals followed more than 8 presenting speakers, 3 keynote speakers, and 2 rounds of 6 workshops each, and many exciting ideas exchanged.   In post-covid times professionals all over the world have become a lot more familiar with working remotely than they like to be, perhaps.... Learn more

Save the Date! Agile@Scale Global, January 25 promises ‘sparks of insight’

Eelco Rustenburg and Niels Groen,  SAFe Program Consultant Trainers (SPCT) and twin driving forces behind Gladwell Academy’s Agile @ Scale Global, explain why you should Save the Date of January 25, 2021.    Eelco, chairman of the event: “The Agile ways of working are having a tremendous impact on even the largest organizations of our world. Having left the world of software and product development behind, the new mantra is ‘business agility’ – or agility across the... Learn more
Nike

Nike’s historic cross-continental SAP implementation

Jenny van Rinsum and Larry Anderson are both witty personalities who like to share a joke. They also share the responsibility for a monumental undertaking at Nike: the replacement of its huge legacy ERP platform Island Pacific with SAP CAR and S/4HANA. And that’s no joke, especially because it involves a cross-continental ART that has several complex dependencies with other ARTs.   “Dealing with cultural differences can make or break this effort,” says Jenny. “I look forward... Learn more

The Skeptics are your friend

They are a recurring voice in most Agile trainings, as they are in the workplace: the skeptical onlooker. I’m referring here to the voices that, while agreeing with the benefits promised by the transformation, they expect it will fail. I welcome such voices because their words hold a sad truth that is often left unsaid: many transformations do fail. And when they do, it’s usually because of precisely what the skeptics warned against. Right now I’m rereading John Kotter’s Leading... Learn more
Agile in Control

What I learned teaching Agile ideas to Financial Controllers

Let’s look at the following scenario. You are a business or financial controller, in an organization that has adopted Agile principles and practices. Let’s assume there are obvious positive effects on product development and customer satisfaction. One thing bothers you, though… What happens to management and control? Recent research in the Netherlands and Belgium shows that around 50 percent of managers feel like they are no longer, or less, ‘in control’ due to the organization’s... Learn more

Geertje de Jong: “A network of Agile knowledge”

Look into the ‘behind the scenes’ of the work that keeps the trainings running at Gladwell Academy, with Global Business Developer manager Geertje de Jong. Geertje talks about how she tries to offer her clients more than just a training: she offers them knowledge and peace of mind.   Not just a business development manager “I always try to do more for the people who come to me looking for trainings than just offering them advice, you have to, or everyone ends up unhappy. It’s... Learn more

Agile at UWV: From ‘walls of confusion’ to flow!

Seasoned Scrum Master Afra Shamshiri and Agile Coach Mark Heistek will present at the Agile Coach Conference about their work to transform business departments at the Dutch Employee insurance Agency (UWV) into more Agile Value Stream oriented lines. Here’s a peek at their plans for the conference.   Afra has a broad experience with working in Scrum teams at UWV, working as a Product Owner for website development among others. Currently she involved in the Agile transition of the... Learn more
Design thinking

“To think like a designer, learn to feel like your customer.”

Design thinking isn’t rocket science, says Riekes Beelen. “To get good at it does take some experience. What we teach in the new course, Design Thinking and Customer Journey Mapping is a great start, but you’ll get better over time – it’s a hands-on sport!”   Riekes Beelen is an educated service designer with ample experience at established brands, as well as a long history of training teams to think like he does. “I’m a designer by nature, but I know what it’s... Learn more

Amy Doerflinger:  Diversity & Inclusion is the HeART of the ART!

RTE Amy Doerflinger of Boeing, a self-described “recovering project manager,” is planning a discussion at this year’s RTE Summit Global. Her activity will be based around how through increased awareness of diversity and inclusion she was able to facilitate improved unity, cohesiveness, and performance throughout her Agile Release Train. Building her knowledge of the RTE role Amy began her Agile journey two years ago when she was asked to take on the RTE role by Boeing during their... Learn more
Team Facilitator

The three roles of an Agile Coach, pt. 3: Team Facilitator

In this final episode of our study into Lyssa Adkins’ three roles of the Agile Coach, Agile Coach and trainer Renate Cremer discusses how, at the most personal level, the Team Coach brings out existing solutions within a team. The Team Coach “Team facilitation means to coach a specific team, as well as the individuals that make up that team. You learn how each person might grow and develop; how they might best deliver value. You also learn how they feel about their team and within the... Learn more
Volksbank

“An experienced trainer; lively sessions; learnings that matter.”

Paul van Sonsbeek, Agile Coach at the Volksbank reflects on the recent PO/PM training with trainer Andries Hettema. “Most of us were well-experienced POs, so we were looking for a kind of masterclass. So, Andries cut the entry-level theory and doubled down on storytelling and practical experiences.” Paul has been an Agile Coach at commercial banking corporation De Volksbank for two years now, he says. “When I joined the Volksbank two years ago, we already had a transformation towards... Learn more

Catch up with Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska, ‘RTE of the Year’ 2020!

Each RTE Summit features the election of an ‘RTE of the Year’ in recognition of someone’s contribution to building the Release Train Engineer practice. In preparation for the RTE Summit Global, learn about what this year’s winner Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska has been up to since receiving the award.   A ‘Foundational’ RTE With an extensive background in project management, Weronika made the jump to Agile and SAFe several years ago, becoming an RTE at Nordea in Gdynia... Learn more

Exploiting synergies: Gladwell Academy and wibas jointly offer the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course in German

The “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is part of the Gladwell Academy’s SAFe training portfolio. While all Gladwell Academy training courses were previously conducted in English, prospective SAFe 5.0 Program Consultants in Germany have been able to learn in their native language since September: the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is offered in German on a total of four dates in 2020. These training courses are organised by the Gladwell Academy in cooperation... Learn more

David Binnerts: “The next level for an Agile Coach: coaching others”

Gladwell Academy has invited David Binnerts, an expert Agile Coach at Shell to speak at the upcoming virtual Agile Coach Conference. He shares his experiences with encouraging Agile Coaches to build an Agile community of practice through a fun, interactive, workshop. Years of experience “I began working as a Lean consultant back in 2000, then in 2005 I started being contacted by software customers looking for help applying Lean principles before Agile was widespread. The improvements, it... Learn more
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