Manage Agile 2020 Conference

Andrea Tomasini & Dave Snowden host the keynote at the remote Manage Agile 2020.

agile42 co-founder, Andrea Tomasini, and founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge, Dave Snowden, will host a keynote at the Remote Manage Agile  on November 24th from 9.20am (CET). The topic is ’… the one most responsive to change’. This keynote will be held in English.


agile42 is the Gold Sponsor of the Manage Agile conference taking place from November 23rd to 26th, 2020. In order to ensure every participants safety, the conference will be taking place remotely this year. There is a great line up of speakers split across lectures, workshops and keynotes. It will be a great opportunity for our network to meet like-minded individuals.

As sponsors of this event, we would like to extend a discount to our valued network. Please use the discount code, MA_aha_20%, when signing up to receive a 20% discount off the standard ticket.

The program (only available in German) is attached here. We hope many of the topics will be of interest to you.


Also Simon Sablowski is keeping a workshop on November 24th at 10.50am (CET) covering the topic, "Wechselwirkungen zwischen Führungsverhalten, Kultur und Struktur einer Organisation". This workshop will be held in German.


We look forward to ‘e-meeting’ you at the conference, and to discuss how agile42 can be a partner in bringing Agile Leadership to your organisation.

Covid-19 webinar

Complexity, Chaos, and COVID-19

The world is in turmoil. As we all find ourselves challenged by situations we never thought we would face, more and more people are turning to complexity for understanding. This epidemic has managed to make the complex, vulnerable, interconnected states we all exist in more visible than ever, but it has also made us think about the future and its potential in new ways. In order to support increasingly pressing questions on the subject, a panel of experts on complexity came together, including Alicia Juarrero, Ann Pendleton-Jullian, Dave Snowden, and Valdis Krebs.

The resulting discussion took place in a 90-minute free webinar that attracted more than 2000 registrations. Some were not able to attend, and others would like the opportunity to listen to the dense conversation again, so we are happy to be able to share a recording of the webinar with you, in the hopes that it will be able to help you in your challenges.

The recording of the webinar is now available.

Just like the webinar, access to the recording is free of charge. The panelists and organizers, who donated their time to make this possible, would like to ask you to contribute a donation to the Red Cross COVID-19 emergency appeal instead.

Thank you for your generosity. Please donate here.

If you like to know more about agile42’s remote services please have a look at our offer or simply send an email to [email protected].

Resilience for the future of Agile

Nowadays, there are hardly any IT projects in which non-agile approaches are used. But what does agility mean for the rest of the organizations, is it a method or an attitude?

I am very happy to be able to present this year at the Agile Beyond IT conference in Berlin, where they are creating a networking platform for mutual exchange of experience to promote agility in companies. The event addresses people who work outside of IT departments and who have so far not come into contact with agility, or have only come into contact with it to a marginal extent.

I will deliver a keynote on the third day of the conference on March 19th, 2020. The topic will be Resilience for the future of Agile.

Keynote Andrea Tomasini Agile Beyond IT 2020

Agile is often misunderstood as something that is only relevant to IT and confused with specific frameworks. But in our times of competitive and complex markets and change cycles that become faster than ever, agility and resilience become essential for everyone. This keynote will present a revolutionary and evolutionary approach that takes into account the entire organization, regardless of sector, and aims at supporting it in growing new, context-specific capabilities to meet the unknown challenges of the future.

Hope to see you at #ABIT2020.

Agile Leadership at Manage Agile 2019

Here at agile42 we are happy supporters of the Manage Agile conference, held each year in Berlin. This year the event will take place from November 4th to 7th with the theme of Agile Leadership: it will be a great chance to follow talks and workshops on the topic.

Manage Agile 2019

We believe that growing the capability of leadership within an organization requires building it into the organizational structure and culture.

To grow leadership capabilities we need to start building the ability, in ourselves and others, to see the connections between what we do and the effect that has on our organizational culture, our environment and us as a leader. Becoming a true Strategic Leader will allow you to focus on what matters and equip you to head a resilient organization.

Meet us during the event to discuss how agile42 can be a partner in bringing Agile Leadership to your organization.


During the conference, I will run a 100-minute workshop in German on November 5, titled “Wechselwirkungen zwischen Kultur und Struktur einer Organisation”. The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness of the necessary balance between organizational cultures, methods of decision-making and forms of cooperation, and to inspire participants to address changes in their own environment using techniques from ORGANIC agility®.


Coaching at the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki

I am very happy to be able to volunteer as a coach representing Scrum Alliance at Nordic Business Forum 2019 that will be held in Helsinki on October 9 and 10.

We will inspire and educate the 7,500 participants about agile. We will have one on one conversations with these leaders to help identify opportunities for them to implement sustainable agility in their workplaces and, at the Scrum Alliance booth, the attendees can complete a questionnaire about agility in their workplace. From there, an appointment is scheduled with one of the Scrum Alliance coaches to facilitate a conversation determined by their agile needs.

This is a special event as it marks the 10th anniversary of the flagship business conference and this year, the seminar focuses on the theme of growth.

The Nordic Business Forum is attended by executives from around Scandinavia, Europe, and other places around the world. 85% of attendees are from Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway). These executives work in a variety of different industries including, Technology, Automotive, Marketing, Finance and Education. The main objective of the Nordic Business Forum is to gather together many of the world’s leaders to ignite conversation about leadership and sustainability.

The goal of Scrum Alliance sponsoring this event is to reach a new audience of leaders that might not be familiar with agile frameworks like Scrum, but that are interested in organizational agility. The goal is to inspire and educate them about business agility and its benefits as well as sustainable agility.

If you attend the event in Helsinki, make sure to look out for the Scrum Alliance booth!

top view photography of broken ceramic plate

Why Agile Transformations Fail – Do You Fall Into The Same Pitfalls?

This year the Toronto Agile Conference (TAC2017) focused on “Modern Agile”, which was defined by four guiding principles:

The ultimate goal is to get better results faster. However, the biggest challenge lies in having a sustainable Agile transformation to obtain these results. Therefore, the question to consider is “Why Agile Transformations Fail?”.

Gil Broza, the author of “The Agile Mindset” and “The Human Side of Agile,” introduced the concept of fostering an Agile mindset and revealed the common impediments hindering its adoption. Here, I have rounded up the three most common pitfalls:

1. We try to get it right the first time.
Many people hold onto the belief that building an elaborate plan, outlining all the details to make a decision upfront, is the right approach. In other words, you have one shot in making that goal; otherwise, the game is over. Consequently, the Product Backlog is filling up, but only one or two items are turned into running tested features.

2. We standardize.
Teams fall back into a standardized Agile routine – doing things for the sake of doing them. For instance, teams turn the daily Scrum event into a status report meeting. Members list out what is on their plate for the day; thus, ignoring that the purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect and adapt.

3.     We prioritize efficiency.
Agile is being sold as having teams churn out work faster with progress being shown regularly. Thus, organizations would put together cross-functional teams, remove certain process requirements, and set a fixed deadline. Then, they would expect to see immediate results because they have increased their speed to completion. Contrary to their belief, the product still fails because they didn’t deliver what matters to the customer.

So does your team and company fall into the same pitfalls? Even if this is the case, we need to understand that mastering agile requires a lot of time. Many things need to be unlearned, and much effort has to be invested in accepting to start anew. Additionally, we have to fight off the influence of existing constraints and habits ingrained in our organization’s culture.

This means that taking a prescribed path to attain Agile transformation does not work. Instead, agile42 takes on the approach of looking at the organizational context first, before selecting the right agile practices and tools.

Tell us your greatest agile challenge here, so that we can equip you with the necessary tools for a successful Agile transition.

Survival Tricks for Remote Developers

At the Italian Python conference, Alessio Bragadini illustrated some of the key aspects of how he works remotely and how a distributed team can be efficient in his talk Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Survival tricks and tools for remote developers. Thanks to his experience, in a matter of minutes Alessio clearly explains what implies to work away from the office and how to do it successfully by using specific methods and practices. The talk ends with a useful list of tips and tools to “survive” in a distributed team.

The video recording of the talk can be watched here or on YouTube. Slides available from SlideShare.



Scaling Collaboration at Let’s Test South Africa

I am very happy to attend Let’s Test South Africa 2016 and present my workshop, Escape the Curse of the Temple – Scaling Collaboration.

I recently attended the Retrospective Facilitators Gathering in Portugal, where I met up with a bunch of awesome people who love incorporating board games into their coaching. I, for one, love playing to learn something, and most adults are just big kids who love to play at the drop of a hat.

In fact, it is through the experiential nature of play that adults learn abstract concepts or things that previously was difficult to achieve, but in the game space they were able to get some significant ah-ha moments.

This workshop revolves around teaching participants about team collaboration and how to scale that to external stakeholders using an adventure board game as the centerpiece. Teams will be formed and each will have their own board game. There are curses and gems, and the ultimate treasure is the team learning to collaborate to escape the curse of the temple.

There’s adventure and music – the purpose is to show people that either the whole team wins or the whole team loses – there is no winner takes all.

Photo by thinkpublic –

Insights from the Large Scale Scrum Conference 2016

agile42 sponsored the Large Scale Scrum Conference 2016 in Amsterdam, a conference organized by the LeSS community to share insights and bring together the large-scale Scrum community.

Bas Vodde and Craig Larman, who built out the large-scale Scrum (LeSS) approach at Nokia, were both in attendance to share the history of LeSS and bring out new insights. You can read our 2009 case study on introducing Scrum at Nokia here. The talk by Craig Larman was especially close to our hearts, as he raised a topic agile42 has been adamant about: you need to own your agile knowledge, not rent it. Too often, companies at scale hire a horde of ScrumMasters to facilitate their agile transition, only to see the knowledge walk out the door when the contract ends.

Other highlights from the program included the case studies presented by Jurgen de Smet & Luc Schillebeeckx, “LeSS at Base,” and the case study “LeSS @ RBS” by Ben Maynard.

You can find the presentation material for the case studies here:

If you visit the program at the conference website, you will be able to access more presentation materials.

Of course, this being an agile conference, the activities outside the regular scheduled programming were also extremely valuable. The conference included some very ambitious attendee participation experiments to build out tools and insights to share with the agile community. Throughout the conference, various teams were formed to work on topics close to their hearts. Topics worked on included “A practical guide to engage middle management in an agile transition” and “How to truly inspire a team”. When results from these interest groups become available, we’ll report them.


A culture of Growth

Stop scaling… recording from AgileEE

Thanks to the friends of Agile Eastern Europe, we can share you with an updated video recording of Andrea Tomasini’s talk Stop scaling… Start growing an Agile organization, as presented in Kyiv on April 8th, 2016. Video is available on YouTube and embedded here.

In this keynote Andrea presented guidelines and heuristics for growing an agile organization. You will understand why the first step in any transition must be learning how to change. Small inexpensive experiments and empirical metrics will lead you towards your strategic goal, iteratively and incrementally.

Strategic advantage lies in being yourself and doing the right things the right way. Those who copy what their competitors are doing, place themselves behind the pack — a sure way of losing. This is why “scaling” agility is misleading at best, and disastrous at worst. When you take an existing model and fit your organization to that, you lose much of what makes you unique and different.

Companies small and large must instead learn to grow their own agility for their own advantage. This sounds simple — and it is, when you know what to look for. The agile transition never ends — but you know it’s working when transitioning becomes a way of life. This not only lets you adapt to new market conditions: it also allows you to create change in the market, on your own terms.