InfoQ Interviews Sanjiv on Scaling Agile, No-Management

Agile2015- Susana, Arlen, Sanjiv and Beth from LitheSpeed with friends

Agile2015- Susana, Arlen, Sanjiv and Beth from LitheSpeed with friends

In the midst of the excitement at Agile2015, InfoQ sat down with Sanjiv to chat. Get the inside scoop on his new book and hear how LitheSpeed is experimenting with “Teal.”

Here’s a snippet:
Craig from InfoQ: I think one of the interesting things having sort of learnt more about your organization here at the conference is you practice what you preach, I guess, or live the values. One of the interesting things we were talking about earlier, there’s a movement going around the Agile community around no-management, about reinventing organizations. That’s something that you’re experimenting with yourself?

Sanjiv: Yes. That’s one of our core principles that we never advise or propose anything that we haven’t not only done for ourselves but also done with a core customer group that we’ve worked with for a while.

So in the last year, what we’ve done, what we’ve started doing is implementing the work of Frederic Laloux and his work around Reinventing Management. For those of you who are interested out there, there’s the book, there’s the YouTube video. In particular, what Laloux has started to do is to identify some core levels. There’s a green level, there’s an amber level below that, and a red level. The most self-managing level that seems to lend itself best to us in the Agile community is something that he calls the “teal organization,” the color teal, which incidentally, it seems to line up well with our logo! We didn’t design this this way but sometimes things work out!

Craig from InfoQ: I guess it is early days but, I guess, even being a small company, what’s the reaction like from the people inside the organization? Is it positive or have there been road bumps?

Sanjiv: How honest can I be?

Craig: This is an Agile conference….

See the full Interview @InfoQ.

Announcing the Alumni Discount

We are honored to meet and learn from every person who decides to start an Agile journey with LitheSpeed.
Train with us once, and you’ll get 20% off trainings for the rest of time!
Just fill out the discount form as you register.
We’ll see you soon!

Alumni Discount

DC Lean Meetup Sep. 10 “When Lean Stumbles into Agile”

We have a great (and free) Meetup planned for September 10 at 6:30pm.
The DC Lean Startup in the Enterprise Meetup group gathers at our Herndon office to exchange ideas. Join us for a presentation and discussion, or just sit and listen to learn some basics of lean and Agile.


When we recently met R. Scott Bonney and heard a piece of his fascinating story- we knew his tales would resonate with our Meetuppers. Join us on Thursday, September 10th as BizFlow’s Director of Innovation, Scott Bonney, walks us through the three year process of Leaning a software company forward, and accidentally backing into Agile in the process. The methodology may look the same… but it turns out “the CPI Solution Cycle” differs from traditional Agile and Scrum in several critical ways. So which is better? As it turns out, maybe both. Join us on Thursday, grab a beer, enjoy some lively discussion, and decide for yourself!
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Check out a preview of his presentation:
Three years ago, the owner of a small, Falls Church-based Business Process Management (BPM) software company took a leap of faith and hired Daniel Myung, a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, to be his new CEO.

What happens when you put a Lean Six Sigma guy in charge of a software company? The answer, of course, is that everything changes. But there was a catch. Daniel was NOT a “software guy”. He knew words like Lean and Kaizen, and began using them to transform the way BizFlow did business. Moving from “Department Deployments” to C-suite, end-to-end business transformation, Daniel made his mark not just by shifting BPM back to its rightful place as an enterprise solution suite, but also was determined to break the mold in an expensive, crawling, ERP-heavy world by introducing Lean methods in software development–never realizing that the software world had undergone a Lean revolution of its own.

When did “Lean” become “Agile”, and who re-named “Kaizens” as “Sprints”? With two very different lexicons adding to the confusion, beginning in 2013 BizFlow leadership effectively “invented” Agile software development methodology on their own… and nearly trippled the company’s size and profits in the process. Everything was going great until one of their Fortune 50 clients asked them if they knew how to run projects using “Scrum”.

Scrum? “Of course! We can do Scrum!” (Hey, someone go look up Scrum; they want us to use it for the Australia project, and I don’t think they’re talking about rugby!).

And suddenly, the blinders came off.

About the Speaker.
R. Scott Bonney is Director of Innovation, Knowledge Management, and Training for BizFlow Corporation. An experienced LSS Master Black Belt, PMP, and (compliments of Sanjiv and LitheSpeed) Certified Scrum Master, Scott has served as trusted advisor and chief strategist for Daniel Myung and BizFlow since 2013. Scott holds 5 professional certifications from the American Society for Quality, completed his post-graduate professional license in Education, and is currently a doctoral student at American Meridian University studying Quality Management Systems in Innovation and Education (class of 2016).
A 1990 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Scott served as an Engineering Officer in the US Navy before becoming a Quality Engineer and Lean Six Sigma guru in the just-in-time, just-in-sequence automotive industry. An experienced and entertaining instructor, Scott has taught thousands of Green, Black, and Master Black Belts. During his four years as a government contractor with Northrop Grumman and six as a GS-15 out of the Pentagon, Scott facilitated the first Kaizen event in an Iraqi company in 2008, and Directed the theater of operations enterprise transformation teams for the US Army in Iraq and Kuwait in 2009 and 2010. He literally wrote the book on Lean Six Sigma training and certifications for the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense before leaving government service to support the BizFlow transformation in 2013.

Scaling Agile: A Lean JumpStart

As we ramp up for Agile2015 and the Agile Executive Forum, we are thrilled to announce the LitheSpeed Agile Executive Series.  The first installment, by our President Sanjiv Augustine (check out his bio), jumpstarts your Agile journey.

CoverSmallIn Scaling Agile: A Lean JumpStart, Sanjiv dives into the challenge of breaking down barriers to enterprise Agile adoption.  He provides an essential set of Lean building blocks as a starting foundation for larger Agile scaling frameworks, including the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS), and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD).  Sanjiv provides step-by-step actions, with a keen focus on a few core Lean practices.  With this JumpStart approach, the power is in your hands to apply Agile ideas from the team to the top, and to totally transform an organization.  


Get the Ebook @Leanpub

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Get the book @Lulu

Scrum Practitioner Acronym Quick Guide

Scrum practitioners come in many forms, leading to a maze of acronyms. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.  (Descriptions from ScrumAlliance)

CSM: Certified Scrum Master.  A Certified ScrumMaster® helps project teams properly use SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSMScrum, increasing the likelihood of the project’s overall success.

CSD: Certified Scrum Developer. Certified Scrum Developers have demonstrated through SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSDa combination of formal training and a technical skills assessment that they have a working understanding of Scrum principles and have learned specialized Agile engineering skills.

SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSPO (1)CSPO: Certified Scrum Product Owner. Certified Scrum Product Owner® professionals have been taught the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that enable them to fulfill the role of Product Owner on a Scrum team.

SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSPCSP: Certified Scrum Professional. Certified Scrum Professionals have demonstrated experience, documented training, and proven knowledge in the art of Scrum. CSPs challenge their Scrum teams to improve the way Scrum and other Agile methods are implemented for every project. If you are an active CSM, CSPO, or CSD who has reached that next level of experience and expertise in the art of Scrum, elevate your career even further by earning the CSP credential.

SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSCCSC: Certified Scrum Coaches are experts in Scrum — in both theory and practice. They have in-depth understanding of the practices and principles of Scrum and real-world experience in actual Scrum organizations. CSCs successfully guide organizations through the challenges of Scrum adoption.

SCR20146-Seals-Final-CSTCST: Certified Scrum Trainer: The CST® certification has always been and remains a rigorous certification. Scrum Alliance® strives to make the CST application process fair and thorough. The objective measures taken ensure that the trainers selected will be excellent ambassadors for Scrum and Scrum Alliance.

Bonus Agile Acronyms:

SAFe: Scaled Agile Framework.

LeSS: Large-Scale Scrum.

Calling All NYC ScrumMasters

NYC ScrumMasters- We are looking for you!

But first- If you are attending a training at our Herndon office today, we have already met (Hi again!).  My name is Audrey and i’m excited to join the LitheSpeed team as a marketing specialist.  I will see you at conferences and trainings but I am based out of Tucson, Arizona- home of the Saguaro cactus.  You can expect to hear from me about events, fun facts and jobs.


The mighty Saguaro

Speaking of jobs, BIG NEWS: We are scouting Agile and Scrum talent right now in the New York City area.  We are looking for passionate team and lead ScrumMasters to champion an Agile transformation.
If you or someone you know if a good fit, head over to our LinkedIn job posting here.


Please welcome me to the team by joining our Agile community –>Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


Join us at the 2015 Agile Executive Forum

Business Hurdler

This year, the Agile Executive Forum (AEF) will be held on August 03rd at the Center for
Innovative Technology (CIT) in Herndon, VA.  For those senior leaders and executives who considering, or current transforming their organizations with Agile and Lean methods, this event represents an awesome opportunity to engage, connect, and learn.

The theme is Building the Lean Enterprise.  As change accelerates worldwide, enterprises have to learn to innovate.  Today, responding to changing market needs, and driving growth and learning through continuous experimentation is no longer a luxury, but a critical necessity.

At this year’s AEF, we’ll examine and explore the state of the art of the Lean Enterprise:

1. The basics of agile transformation, presented through case studies at Cox Target Media and PayChex. Chris Cate and Mike Gioja will share how their teams transformed their culture into one of innovation and change.

2. Elements of agile at scale, presented by Randy Salley of Walmart. Randy will share how his team built on the rich history and culture of the retail giant, and are now using agile methods as a way of accelerating value delivery.

3. Advances in agile and lean at the nexus of development and operations (DevOps), presented by Mark Schwatrz of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (US CIS).  Mark will share how his team is creating a Lean bureaucracy by “chunking” work into smaller batches.

4. The need for personal leadership in transformations, shared by Gill Haus of Capital One. Gill will share on how not to neglect the human angle and thus eliminate unnecessary risk.

5. A look into the future, with DevOps: Next, presented by Nicole Forsgren of Chef.  Nicole will show the connection between IT investments and organizational agility, and share her thoughts on how to build the right mix of IT, culture and practice.

When agile methods like Scrum appeared on the horizon two decades ago, they help drive innovation at the team-level. After a decade and a half, industry leaders have scaled agile methods through the use of Lean Thinking.   Today’s scaling frameworks for agile methods, including the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) all embed Lean Thinking, especially at the program and portfolio levels.

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We’re privileged to have thought leaders Scott Ambler, Dean Leffingwell, Craig Larman and Jeff Sutherland discussing all of these and more on a star studded panel, moderated by Dot Tudor (former DSDM Board Member).

Here’s some more information on the forum, and here’s a link to register:  Seats are limited, so please make sure you act quickly, and see you there!


LitheSpeed Announces the Agile Leadership Academy™

As agile methods evolve and agile adoptions mature, the need to grow leaders to nurture and shepherd them has become critical.   Based on 15+ years of experience with enterprise agile adoptions, landmark thought leadership and learning from our Executive Summit networks, our team has created the program behind the Agile Leadership Academy™.

We’re pleased to announce the inaugural session of the Agile Leadership Academy™, launching on October 08, 2015, and featuring:

  1. Four(4), quarterly 1-day sessions:
    1. Foundations of Lean and Agile Leadership (October 08, 2015)
    2. Scaling Agility
    3. Lean Product Management and Design
    4. Agile Engineering and DevOps
  2. Access to the Lean+Agile DC conference (in Spring) and the Agile DC Summit (in Fall)
  3. Site visits to leading agile organizations
  4. An elite group of peers on a shared journey of learning, discovery and self-development
  5. Open Space discussions with experts and peers
  6. Basis for the Certified Agile Executive™ accreditation

Register your agile leaders now at:

LitheSpeed Community Learning Events

At LitheSpeed, giving back to the community is one of our core values. From lending a helping hand to folks temporarily out of employment, to contributing to learning events, our team is always finding ways to “pay-it-forward.”

Over the past decade, giving back to the community through speaking at agile and project management events has been pretty constant. More recently, growing out of the work done by Bob Payne in establishing Agile DC, we have begun hosting our own events. Over the past three years, we’ve established a twice-yearly event cadence for larger events with Lean+Agile DC in Spring and the Agile DC Executive Summit in Fall. We also host the Lean Enterprise Meetup monthly at our Herndon, VA headquarters.

2014’s Agile DC Executive Summit was a great event, and we enjoyed learning from Max Keeler from The Motley Fool, Christina Handley and Sujatha Augustine from the Millenium Challenge Corporation, Mark Perine from Marriott, Gill Haus and Elliot Susel from AOL, and Dave Merkel from FireEye/Mandiant. Watch the video recap below.


This year, Sanjiv Augustine is the volunteer Chair of the Agile Executive Forum. In this role, Sanjiv is contributing lessons learned from hosting LitheSpeed’s own executive summits.

For those in the DC Metro area, we hope you can join us at these upcoming events:

May 20, 2015: Lean + Agile DC
August 03, 2015: Agile Executive Forum
Monthly – Second Thursday: Lean Enterprise Meetup

For our friends outside of the DC Metro area, we will be at these events:

May, 2015: Global Scrum Gathering, Phoenix, AZ
May, 2015: Agile Austin 2015, Austin, TX
June 2015: Agile Development Conference West, Las Vegas, NV
June 2015: PMI Houston Expo, Houston, TX
June 2015: PMI Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD
August 2015: Agile 2015, National Harbor, MD
November 2015: Agile Development Conference East, Orlando, FL

Walk Before You Run: Understanding CI in CD by Raj Indugula

rsz_rsz_hires_lithespeed-5_rajWith the buzz around Continuous Delivery (CD) these days it might seem like an antiquated notion to even speak of, let alone write about Continuous Integration (CI). However, in the many conversations we’ve had with organizations looking to implement CD or in the midst of an implementation (and stumbling), it has become rather clear to us that there exists a wide chasm that needs to be bridged on the foundational aspects that support an organization’s desire to adopt CD. CI is a key supporting construct whose principles are still not understood/implemented with sufficient clarity, and hence worth a revisit.

Read the rest of Raj Indugula’s blog post on the VersionOne web site.