Stop Getting Crushed By Business Pressure

Track: Agile
Skill Level: Intermediate
Room: Room A406-407
Time Slot: Wed 2/17, 2:30 PM
Tags: technical debt , battling organizational politics , communication failure , agile

This is my story of lessons learned on how to stop the crushing effects of business pressure… I was team lead with full control of our green-field project. After a year, we had continuous delivery, a beautiful clean code base, and worked directly with our customers to design the features. Then our company split in two, we were moved under different management, and I watched my project get crushed.

As a consultant, I saw the same pattern of relentless business pressure everywhere, driving one project after another into the ground. I made it my mission to help the development teams solve this problem. This is my story of lessons learned on how to transform an organization from the bottom up. I’ll show you how to lead the way.

Warning: This strategy won’t work in all organizations. In some cases, management doesn’t want to know the truth. However, in most organizations I’ve worked with, management wants to improve, but doesn’t know how to fix the system.

The crushing business pressure is caused by a broken feedback loop that’s baked into the organization’s design. In this presentation, I’ll show you how to fix the broken feedback loop. Learn how to:

  • Gather evidence of developer productivity loss
  • Identify the key organizational changes required for success
  • Make the case to management for improvement
  • Partner with your manager for long-term success

If the system is broken, we need to fix the system. You can change the system by making the decision to lead.

Note: This talk is not strictly dependent on attending, “Top 5 Reasons Why Improvement Efforts Fail”, but you’ll get way more out of the session, if you attend both.

Janelle Klein

Janelle is author of the book, Idea Flow Learning Framework, a strategy for implementing a data-driven feedback loop to optimize developer experience and software predictability.

As a technical mentor, Janelle focuses on teaching thinking and decision-making skills instead of teaching best practices. Her philosophy is that the key to good development skills is learning how to ask the right questions. She is dedicated to supporting grassroots community mentorship and is the founder of Software Mastery Circle.

Janelle has been working with New Iron for the last 10 years, as a developer, consultant, and now as CTO. Her development background is specialized in data-intensive analytic systems from financial core processors to factory automation, supply chain optimization and statistical process control (SPC). Her consulting work has focused on continuous delivery infrastructure, database automation, test automation strategies and helping companies identify and solve their biggest problems.