Speaking

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If you have questions or want to schedule an event please email speaking@whiteboardconsulting.org

Podcasts

Chad Beier on the The Agile Wire podcast

 
Chad Beier on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast


 Popular Talks and Favorites

A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit

Are you tired of the phrase “we’ve always done it this way”? Do you get annoyed by waste? Do you believe there is a difference between efficiency and effectiveness? Me too - I’m a boat rocker. Comfort can lead to complacency. Slight discomfort - like the feeling you have when someone stands up in your canoe and starts rocking back and forth - is a good thing for organizations. Change doesn’t come from complacent people, but from frustrated people who believe there is a better way. This talk highlights skills needed to effectively rock the boat (drive change) within your organization and tactics for doing for so. 

Agile: Where to Start and Why

Achieving agility almost always involves organizational structure changes that lead to true culture change.

Doing agile is focused on mechanics of frameworks such as Scrum without realizing the true benefits of agility or understanding the “whys” behind the frameworks. Being agile is more about a mindset shift in how we approach work – using agile frameworks with the “whys” in mind and organizing our people to achieve agility. 

Doing agile lives within status quo processes; being agile challenges status quo processes with a spirit of continuous improvement.

This whiteboard talk clarifies what “agile” is, highlights the most important factors in achieving true agility, and why many agile adoptions “fail” to get there.

Want More Agility? Do These 3 Things (A Practical Prescription)

The overloaded word "agile" encompasses frameworks, processes, practices, and tools aimed at helping us be more agile. None of these are silver bullet solutions and all of them have the risk of being implemented in strange ways.

If we started with a clean slate and deliberately tried to avoid mentioning things like "agile", Scrum, Kanban, DevOps, etc., what would a simple list include? Is there a practical, jargon-free prescription or pattern that could continually inch us down the path towards agility?

Obviously, each organization's context matters, but the world is rapidly changing around all of us. While some environments will demand higher levels of agility (or tolerate more wasteful activities), value delivery that takes years is typically unacceptable. Months is questionable. Weeks and days are likely to differentiate.

Bring your team, department, or organization’s context to this conversation and let’s dissect and test a simple, practical prescription.

Organizational Agility Is Changing...Forever

What will organizations in the future look like? How will they remain relevant and avoid becoming comfortable in their new status quo? Moving towards a state of agility is about painful, incremental change. As organizations become “agile”, they soon realize that “agile” wasn’t an end state.

Agility today (and definitely in the future) will not simply be about how quickly our currently structured organization can respond to change effectively. Agility of the future will be how quickly an organization can restructure itself to learn new things, innovate, and change direction on a dime.

This talk is focused on change and why some organizations can change more effectively. If you want to be “agile” in the marketplace, you may have to first change how you approach…”change”. Organizations that increase their “change agility” will be the survivors that shape our rapidly changing world.

Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built

Does it seem like you are fighting an uphill battle or have plateaued in your agile journey to become more responsive and adaptive to change? Do you have the right organizational structure in place to support the behaviors you want?

Agile is not an “IT thing” - it has much more to do with how your organization is structured into teams. Organizations generally focus on behaviors, policies, and tools to help them gain agility but don’t change their environment to support agility. 

As organizations grow and look for ways to scale they need to focus on creating an organizational structure that will nurture agility and enable continuous improvement. This talk focuses on organizational structure that will cultivate and sustain agility.

Cultivate Organizational Agility - Make the Hidden Visible

See waste, work on less, deliver more. Knowledge work is invisible. It is hard to know when we hit our capacity but we feel the pain. We start multitasking (or task switching) to keep up. We introduce errors, create waste, and ultimately burnout. Information technology delivery organizations live in an intangible world but they need to start making the hidden visible.

In the manufacturing world, to optimize the production line we walk through the building to look for high levels of WIP, waste, bottlenecks, and constraints. What if we could bring the same visibility to our knowledge work?

This talk explains how we can make the hidden visible by changing our delivery organization’s structure, behaviors, and processes.

Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them

The benefits from identifying key agile metrics, like many things, exist on a spectrum. Depending on what we choose to measure the results may provide very little benefit; or worse, contribute to negative impacts on culture and healthy team behaviors.

On the other hand, utilizing metrics in a healthy way can be the catalyst for change that many teams and organizations are after as they look to continuously improve their organizational agility.

This talk explains how to avoid metrics that lead to negative behaviors and how to use metrics in an effective way to answer business critical questions. (e.g. “when will we be done?”)


Some Talks from the Past

09/17/2015: Finding the Right Metrics to Measure Project Success: served on panel of 3 to facilitate case study discussion for PMI Milwaukee/SE Wisconsin Chapter

02/09/2016: Hiring for Purpose - lightning talk at Agile Open Space event in Chicago, IL

04/15/2016: Agile: Where to Start and Why - private event in Milwaukee, WI

04/18/2016: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - People Side of Software meetup in Chicago, IL

04/21/2016: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - private client event

05/25/2016: Agile: Where to Start and Why - UW Madison E-Business Consortium Agile Special Interest Group in Madison, WI

08/17/2016: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - Music City Agile Conference in Nashville, TN

(closed out conference on stage with an acoustic guitar Johnny Cash tribute Scrum parody song “Tennessee Scrum” - ask me about the video)

10/18/2016: How to Hire for an Agile Culture - PMI Milwaukee Annual Development Days Conference in Milwaukee, WI

01/24/2017: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - IIBA Southeast Wisconsin Chapter in Milwaukee, WI

02/14/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - PMI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter in Wausau, WI

02/14/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - PMI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter in Green Bay, WI

02/15/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - PMI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter in Kohler, WI

03/22/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - IIBA Northeast Wisconsin Chapter in Oshkosh, WI

04/03/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

04/27/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - Lunch & Learn in Appleton, WI

05/01/2017: The Modern Manager - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

05/04/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - Lunch & Learn in Madison, WI

05/05/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - Lunch & Learn in Milwaukee, WI

05/09/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - 10th Annual WI BADD Conference in Madison, WI

05/11/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - Agile Camp in Milwaukee, WI

05/12/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - PMI PDD 2017 Conference in Madison, WI

05/12/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - PMI PDD 2017 Conference in Madison, WI

05/18/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - Agile Professional Learning Conference in Chicago, IL

05/19/2017: Agile: Where to Start and Why - IBADD 2017 Conference in Des Moines, IA

05/31/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - Music City Agile Conference in Nashville, TN

06/05/2017: Whose Scrum Is It Anyway? - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

09/11/2017: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - PMI L&L in Madison, WI

09/11/2017: Organizational Structure: The Rock That Agility Is Built On - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

10/04/2017: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - Central Wisconsin Agile in Wausau, WI​

10/30/2017: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - Agile Online Summit

11/01/2017: We are agile...what’s next? - Central Wisconsin Agile in Stevens Point, WI

11/29/2017: Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them - Central Wisconsin Agile in Stevens Point, WI

12/12/2017: Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them - UW Madison E-Business Consortium Agile Special Interest Group in Madison, WI

02/05/2018: Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

02/12/2018: Scrum vs Kanban - Central Wisconsin Agile in Wausau, WI

02/15/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - PMI Madison Chapter in Madison, WI

03/26/2018: Agile metrics, and their anti-patterns - Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

03/27/2018: How Agile adoption can be defeated by the use of Email - Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

03/28/2018: Avoiding the Death March project management anti-pattern - Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

03/29/2018: 5 steps to success Scrum Masters need to be aware of - Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

03/30/2018: Understanding the system requires system thinking - Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

04/25/2018: Agile Estimates Panel Discussion - UW Madison E-Business Consortium Agile Special Interest Group in Madison, WI

04/30/2018: Agile: Where to Start and Why - private event in Madison, WI

05/02/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - PMI-NEW PDD Conference in Green Bay, WI

05/03/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - Agile Professional Learning Conference in Chicago, IL

05/09/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - 11th Annual WI BADD Conference in Madison, WI

05/11/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - IBADD 2018 Conference in Des Moines, IA

05/11/2018: Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them - IBADD 2018 Conference in Des Moines, IA

06/01/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - Music City Agile Conference in Nashville, TN

08/06/2018: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

08/16/2018: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - Drinkworks Nudge the World Conference in Boston, MA

08/22/2018: - Agile Portfolio Panel Discussion - UW Madison E-Business Consortium Agile Special Interest Group in Madison, WI

09/13/2018: Agile Metrics: Why We Need Them - IIBA Greater Madison Chapter in Madison, WI

09/25/2018: Cultivate Organizational Agility: Make the Hidden Visible - IIBA Southeast Wisconsin Chapter in Milwaukee, WI

10/01/2018: Want More Agility? Do These 3 Things (A Practical Prescription) - Mad City Agility in Madison, WI

10/06/2018: Agile: Where to Start and Why - 2018 Central Wisconsin IT Conference in Stevens Point, WI

10/19/2018: A Boat Rocker’s Toolkit: Navigating Culture Change - Coaching Agile Journeys Virtual Meetup

10/26/2018: Organizational Structure: The Rock On Which Agility Is Built - 2018 Professional Development Day Keynote for PMI Great Lakes Chapter in Detroit, MI

11/06/2018: Using Facilitation to Teach Facilitation - UW Madison E-Business Consortium Agile Special Interest Group in Madison, WI 

11/07/2018: Organizational Agility Is Changing...Forever - 2018 Building Business Capabilities (BBC) Conference in San Antonio, TX