Agile Roadtrip to Valpak

This past Thursday I had an opportunity to road trip from Orlando to Tampa to meet with folks from Valpak whom I’ll be collaborating with on the next Agile Open Florida (AOF). What an awesome trip! The picture is me with Diana Weber, my co-facilitator for AOF and agile coach at Valpak. Mark and Diana at Valpak Mar2015

We started off with a tour of Valpak and their agile processes including multiple team scrum and kanban boards, the marketing kanban board and the executive kanban board (thanks Stephanie Davis). If you want to tour a facility that is doing agile and SAFe the right way, this is the place to visit!

Here are some quick impressions:

  • there was total transparency throughout all levels of the organization
  • the barely minimal constraints on the teams so they can innovate on their own part of the process but still deliver expected value
  • the humility in realizing they had more to learn
  • the way they were quick to reference where they got some of there ideas from (see Stephanie’s blog for more references)
  • the number of innovations in progress (Diana and Stephanie really need to blog on the architecture board, the dependency board, and the chart that some of the teams are using to anticipate when something may hit test and signal when they may be late)
  • the bright and open floor plans that allowed teams and team members to easily interact (I know Stephanie has pictures on her website)

I highly encourage folks to take the tour if you are in Tampa! Maybe AgileOrlando will organize a road trip in the future!

A big thanks to Diana for being an excellent host the entire day, for Stephanie Davis (@iamagile) for setting up these tours, for Curtis Michelson (@SpecsRex) for road tripping with me from Orlando and taking photos, and for Suzanne Daigle (@DaigleSuz) for driving two hours round trip to meet with us in the afternoon to coach us on setting the right environment for this unique open space.

More info to come on Agile Open Florida! Hope you can join us!

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