SAFe Practitioner Takes on Agility, Coaching & Team Development | Anna Zavarzina

0 comment

In this podcast episode, Vit Lyoshin interviews Anna Zavarzina, an agile coach and trainer, about various topics related to agile coaching and facilitation. They discuss a day in the life of an agile coach, facilitation techniques, team and leadership development, trends in agile, and the future of agile. They also touch on the application of agile in non-technical fields. Anna shares her insights and experiences from working with different organizations and industries.

Takeaways

  • Agile coaching involves helping teams and organizations adopt agile methodologies and frameworks, such as Scrum and Kanban.
  • Facilitation techniques in agile coaching include creating a safe and inclusive environment, promoting active listening, and addressing conflicts early.
  • Team and leadership development in agile focuses on building trust, establishing open and honest communication, and aligning with organizational goals.
  • Agile is applicable beyond the IT industry, with organizations in manufacturing, healthcare, and other fields adopting agile practices.
  • The future of agile may involve adjustments and adaptations to existing frameworks, but the core principles of agility, such as customer centricity and continuous improvement, will remain important.

Connect with Anna

Connect with Vit

Audio version of Vit Lyoshin Podcast can be found on Spotify and Apple podcast platforms

Timestamps

(00:00) Introduction and Background

(07:36) A Day in the Life of an Agile Coach

(13:35) Facilitation Techniques

(18:48) Team and Leadership Development

(24:08) Trends in Agile and SAFe Framework

(34:30) Agile in Non-Technical Fields

(40:41) Future of Agility

(50:00) How to Connect with Anna

Transcript (Edited by Vit Lyoshin for better readability)

Vit Lyoshin (00:01)

Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Today we have our guest, Anna Zavarzina, who is an agile coach and trainer. So you’re an expert in Scrum and Kanban, SAFe, Lean just to name a few frameworks and methodologies. On top of that, you help your clients with business analysis and facilitation and group training, agile coaching, those type of things.

And how we know each other is we met a few months ago at the coaching camp, which was a new experience for me, for example. And basically it’s a two-day, whole-day session where we explore the whole bunch of agile topics. The theme was for agile coaches and we presented topics of our interest in smaller groups and we also brought some questions that were interested to us personally, maybe from the work, hopefully from the work. And yeah, so I loved that and that was great experience and I met a lot of new people, including you, which is great. So now we can know each other and talk to each other about interesting topics. So, and today I invited you, and I wanted to talk about, agile coaching, facilitation, some trends in agile, and maybe future of the agile. So where it’s all going in the current days. SBut before we jump into the topics, I’ll pass it to you and let you introduce yourself a little bit more. And tell the work that you do and so forth.

 

Anna Zavarzina (01:56)

Sure, thank you so much for having me here on the podcast. Yeah, during the Agile coaching camp, we met and instantly we knew that we have a lot to share, a lot to talk about and we have with our different backgrounds that helped us to transition to the relationship we have now. Definitely a benefit if you are one of the experts in Agile and you want to continue exploring more about your role and other roles, definitely recommend to go to these. I know there is a DC chapter and I’m sure there’s a lot of other chapters out there. But thank you again for having me here.

In IT or in software, like in operations and development for quite some time actually, just recently realized that it’s been about 10 years. Time flies. It’s already 2024 and I started my journey around 2014. I looked at my resume, I was like, that’s not right.

 

Vit Lyoshin (03:04)

Yeah.

 

Anna Zavarzina (03:12)

Seems like it was yesterday, but it has been quite a journey. I started off as a junior business analyst and transitioned with Adopting Agility in my professional field, became Scrum Master and been a product owner and I’ve been a release training engineer. So you name it. I’ve worn a few hats there.

Quite important when you try to understand the agility and within and the methodologies that are adapted for the teams to be used on a daily basis like you mentioned earlier Scrum, Kanban, there is an XP, there is a bunch of them so my journey have led me to continuously explore what the agility is all about and due to you know, our such a fast paced environment that we live in with the technology coming and slamming us so hard, especially when we had COVID hitting us, we have noticed so many companies and even small pop and mom shops, they have to have to adjust and adapt some of the technologies. So that have definitely skyrocketed out there on the market.

The entire world had to become a software company in some sort, whether or not you’re small or large, but every business now is evolved around software. Uber Eats, Dash Door. You have Alibaba or Temu now one of the most usable platforms after Amazon.

You have all these platforms around the world that are so highly utilized. Without the software, we are not going anywhere at the moment. So Agility has become a backbone on practically every successful company out there. And if you haven’t been successful yet, you know, you are trying to unveil the new ways or new ways of working, new processes, and somehow you all go back to Agility. What is Agile really is about?

Led me to become a coach, a trainer. I have been practicing Scaled Agile Framework for about five years now, I’ve became an SPC, which stands for Safe Program Consultant, for about four years plus. That way I’m able to teach and pass along my knowledge and skill sets that I have adapted in my past 10 years. There is obviously a lot to learn, but hopefully during this podcast, I can share my expertise and some of my insights of what I think is think about the agility overall.

 

Vit Lyoshin (06:18)

Sure. Yeah. Well, that’s why you’re here. And that’s why I’m really interested in talking to you. So let’s start with what the day of Agile Coach looks like.

 

Anna Zavarzina (06:24)

Oh, it’s all over the place. Obviously you want to make sure, you know, when you’re looking at your schedule, you have your priorities set, right? Your client, if you are working on the client side is your most important backbone of your daily schedule. Then everything else comes together as you know, your to do, your tickets, if you have them, or if you’re using Scrum, you have user stories.

Usually, I’ll probably just give you my quick week overall, how it looks like. My Monday starts with, in the middle of the day, I have an EPMO, Lean Agile Center of Excellence meeting with the SAFe team and the leaders who are leading the transformation on the client side.

Our priorities are, what are we focusing on at that time, and what is new that just came on the board that we need to tackle. Before that happens, obviously, you start your day with understanding, OK, what is on your board? Do you have something that you have not accomplished on a Friday that you need to finish up so that your team is not behind? And then you move along with the priorities set from the EPMLAs. And then you have other sessions, like we have a weekly, bi-weekly workshops and lunch and learn set for the organization. We are continuously practicing SAFe. So we are incorporating some of the already explored topics in like leading SAFe or SAFe teams, but we are unveiling a little more broadly some of the topics during the lunch and learns and workshops. And obviously we continuously, when we are undergoing the transformation, obviously there is a lot of other things that you need to do.

Focus on the train that you are supporting perhaps, or maybe there is multiple trains. So you go back to your teams and understand what’s going on there. So it’s like, every time it’s different, but your priorities are your client. So you wanna make sure that you avoid doing something that is not a priority. Do that after you’re done with your work.

 

Vit Lyoshin (09:01)

Okay, so it looks like you have a lot of training sessions, some coaching and things like that. Are you facilitating or going to the team level events, like let’s say sprint planning for example, or stand-ups, or is it just coaching sessions and training sessions that you’re primarily focusing on?

 

Anna Zavarzina (09:30)

So originally when you have a brand new teams formed into the ART, you are supporting them at 100% by going to all of the all of these ceremonies. And that’s from there you understand their dynamic, you learn about the people. But then after they start evolving, you start reprioritizing that support. You probably going to scale down to from the 100% to a 70% or to a 50%. So you’re going to start adding on perhaps maybe a new train that is going to go on, undergo the transformation. You probably have some trainings like a SAFe teams training or SAFe for architects training or something else set up on the calendar that it’s going to the support of the train. So to answer your question, do I really go to these sessions? Sometimes when it’s needed, when I’m asked from subject matter experts to join, if there is something that they see the dynamic is not there, that they need to have a coach to support them in their initiative, that they’re trying to approach to achieve while they’re approaching the new technique.

 

Vit Lyoshin (10:57)

Mm-hmm.

 

Anna Zavarzina (10:58)

And that way you are able to be that liaison to the people that are trying to make the change, but also there to provide your emotional support that they need at the time of the difficulties that they’re experiencing with the teams. We also have. Obviously we have the coach syncs and PO syncs and ART syncs. These are these are attendable by the coaches at all times. So instead of just the team level backlog refinements and retrospectives, you attend a little more on a higher level ceremonies on the ART level ceremonies, and you provide the support there mostly by seeing their transitions, seeing their success factors.

 

Vit Lyoshin (11:55)

I see. Okay, that makes sense. So you basically serve somewhat like an external coach too, because you don’t necessarily day to day with the team and you join them as needed. But on a global scale at organization level, you’re doing coaching and mentoring teams and leaders. So, okay, that makes sense.

 

Anna Zavarzina (12:17)

Trying to not to micromanage. That’s where it comes down to, yeah.

 

Vit Lyoshin (12:25)

So speaking of when times when you actually need to get involved and facilitate certain events, help them out, mentor them, what are some of the techniques or strategies for facilitation that you can share and that you actually teach your teams?

 

Anna Zavarzina (12:48)

Well, there are a lot of different strategies out there that anybody can Google or ask ChatGPT and they can help them with describing how certain ceremonies can be performed. The most important when you becoming something like a change agent to the organization. It becomes not only your professional growth mindset but it also helps with changing how you are as a person in your life. So you want to consider things like how do you really facilitate something. You want to use the emotional intelligence, like I was telling you earlier. So human factor has to be there. You want to establish a very safe and inclusive environment where the people on those teams, they feel comfortable with allowing you to make a change. This is how their mindset starts to grasp some new information that perhaps.

I know that a lot of developers are very much against that. They just want to do their work and they move on, right? They pull the ticket, close the ticket, continue. But that’s not what we’re looking for here.

We are looking to grow people into something bigger than just their role as a developer or a tester. We are looking for these people to be self-organized, self-manageable, they are innovative, they are productive, they’re happy, efficient. So creating that safe space is very important before you go into new details of those facilitations of the ceremonies.

Who cares what scrum is at the end of the day if people are unhappy? Right?

So you want to also help with encouraging active listening. So teaching those that don’t have that is extremely important. So as a coach, you want to remember that your emotional intelligence and your active listening is more important than anything or anybody else. If you don’t promote that and don’t be the leader of that as a coach. So you have to make sure that you bring your posture, your patience to those ceremonies that you’re trying to achieve by maybe scrum guide or SAFe guide. Also something to remind myself and to remind others if there is a conflict out there don’t put it on the parking lot. Address it early.

 

Vit Lyoshin (15:27)

Right. Yeah.

 

Anna Zavarzina (15:53)

Do the right thing. There are people that are not agreeing with how the code needs to be written. Well, pull them aside and maybe see if they can come up with a code that both of them like. That’s just a silly example, but that’s what I mean by being emotionally intelligent. You have to understand where the people are coming from. So to understand where the people are coming from, you have to resolve those conflicts early. And obviously have empathy and understanding.

 

Vit Lyoshin (16:25)

Yeah. So this ties back to just general coaching techniques and coaching skills, like active listening, ability to give feedback, constructive feedback and ability to mentor and things like that. So that’s, this is all becomes part of also facilitating which in fact, you’re just talking to a group of people instead of one person. That’s the difference there. So yeah, that’s great. And like you said, being empathetic also helps, because we may not know what’s going on with people day-to-day life all the time and why they get upset all of a sudden and just put yourself in their shoes or like step back and listen to their problem and do like a little therapy, if you will heal and make you a better person and make them better person and also remove that pushback if you’re trying to give them feedback. So, yeah. 

So let’s move on to talk about some of the team and leadership development techniques or strategists that you may employ. Or maybe you can share with us. So let’s start with the team development. It’s like trust building things or some skill development things that you can do with maybe some exercises or workshops at the team level, if you can share anything there.

 

Anna Zavarzina (18:08)

Team development, well, it starts with leading by example. Obviously, you want to have the leadership, first things first, you want to have a leadership on board and promote that leading by example factor within the organization. We had that conversation a few weeks ago. The team’s on board, leadership is on board, the management is not on board.

So what do you do in that middle with the management, with the product owners, the project managers, product management, system architects, you name them, right? You want to have them on board. That’s where you have to discuss the strategies with the leadership on how we can promote that safe space for them so that they can understand what needs to be done. That comes down to the goals.That comes down to the goals of the entire enterprise. Are we setting the goals correctly for the management in order for us to do a proper team development?

All right, we can focus on the team development only. And if we’re talking about just them, then we want to have a communication that is open and honest. And that starts also with the management that has to deliver communication openly and honestly to the team development. That’s where they build the trust. That’s where they set their boundaries and working agreements that where they feel safe and happy and they produce incredible results. But if that is broken, the communication breaks somewhere because the management is not on board. But the leadership is.

So communicating properly to the management and down to the teams from the management is very crucial. And I think that the most successful teams do well when the proper communication is built, which is delivering the vision and mission and making sure that alignment is set with that mission and vision up to the leadership.

They have their quarterly discussions about what is prioritized, what needs to be done properly. That’s how you will build that trust and skill development will happen overall. Uh, when you are setting them with the great structure, you’re going to have people strive for more or be thirsty for more education. This is where we promote in SAFe innovation and planning iteration, every PI, every pro program increment where people can dedicate their time to learn new skills, do hackathons or take certifications, plan accordingly and prep accordingly for events like quarterly planning, or if you call them in safe PI planning events, right? You wanna have that time dedicated to certain things so that people feel safe and secure knowing that they are going to be heard properly so that they can deliver successfully.

 

Vit Lyoshin (21:44)

Yeah, that’s great. So it looks like it’s a two-way street, right? So from the leadership, they have to trust the team and power them at their level and allow them to do those type things where they, like hackathons and some innovation exercises to show off their skill, to enhance their skill, to collaborate between each other. And at the same time from the team level, you allow them to build, to spend that time, to build those skills and maybe go to some workshop or certificate or soft skill maybe of some sort. And like I know in our organization, for example, there is a push for emotional safety right now and everybody’s encouraged to go there regardless of your level in the organization, like anybody can go there. And it’s free and it’s done internally and they do a great job from what I heard.

So it’s very important that it goes both ways, this collaboration. And that’s what the whole Agile is about, right? As long as people talk to each other, trust each other, good things happen. So at the end of the day, that’s all that we want.

So let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about trends in Agile, and like specifically SAFe.

Because I’m not very familiar with SAFe I’m not practicing it right now and you are, so maybe can you tell us a little bit more about that and how it plays. 

I learned about it maybe like a couple years ago, first when I heard it. And I’m like, what is that SAFe, what is this? Is it like something about safety? But then I learned about other scaling techniques and approaches. So, let’s talk about that a little bit.

 

Anna Zavarzina (23:30)

Sure. So SAFe is, like I mentioned in the beginning of the podcast, SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework. The framework where agile is at scale, where we talk about agility and we talk about different methodologies you have Scrum, Kanban, right? We mentioned them earlier, XP, etc. These are all great but if you can’t really measure then you won’t be able to scale. So a lot of the SAFe have been around for about 24, 23 years somewhere around that. But it has been taken on as a powerful tool in the past 10 years and It’s not even there because like you mentioned you don’t really know what that is yet because you’re not practicing that. Well, a lot of companies don’t know that yet. What they know is the bits and pieces of the words like agile and scrum, and they utilize agility in delivering their product to the customers. So what happens when we talk about SAFe?

SAFe is a framework where we start with establishing teams and agile release train. So teams, they are a building block of what we call agile release train. That type of train moves in a direction as certain product. And there could be multiple teams depending on organization, multiple trains depends on organization. It could be hundreds of them for all I know. But they are developed into more of a solution trains and then there is value streams going with that. So there’s a lot of pieces but it all makes sense at the end when you align them together because at the end of the day they’re the strategic themes that are set by the organization.

And what happens is in order to scale, that’s where importance of building the metrics comes from the teams up to the leadership. Everybody has some sort of visual representation, data representation of how they’re delivering, how they’re scaling their successes. So that has to be visualized at all times in order to achieve successes. And that is where when we visualize something, we are able to gather the feedback from our customers, whether or not external or internal, they are business stakeholders, again, internal or external doesn’t matter. Whoever the users are, whoever has the money to pay for at the end of the day, right? They provide the feedback. So, the importance of achieving that fast feedback and fast time to market, it’s really crucial. We talk about customer centricity, right? Customer is the most important here, otherwise no business is going to function.

 

Vit Lyoshin (27:01)

Mm-hmm.

 

Anna Zavarzina (27:20)

So what we can do also in SAFe is by allowing practitioners to come together to accelerate and promote business agility within the organization or outside of it. So if you want to create like a community, we call them community of practice, where certain roles come together like Scrum Masters product owners, SAFe system architects, they come together to build that coalition of mindsets that will help continuously provide continuous improvement, continuous exploration, and help fostering that change and business agility within the organization. So having people with the same interests and allowing them to share those interests within the organization helps continuously build something greater than them.

There are also obviously other things, other practices you can establish. LACE, Lina Jowell Center of Excellence. There is, I think that’s the two of them for the most part are LACE and the COP we call them. And also, you know, being aligned with the objectives of the organization is critical when you are talking about SAFe. This is where we, whether or not we are put in teams under transformation of SAFe, we can’t really scale much if we don’t have organization producing us with the objectives and key results.

 

Vit Lyoshin (29:09)

Yeah, I totally agree. This is the key from like basics of product management that when you take business objective and you go to customers, you figure out what they want and you tie those two things together. The one side has business objective, another side has user requirements and that’s what you focus on. And then everybody gets the best out of this and you hit both things with the same stone basically.

So, I just have a couple of follow-ups on what you just said regarding the metrics. I assume those metrics are for the product itself, right? They are not metrics of like how team work or how many bugs they close or anything like that. It’s mostly focused on the product and increments that go out to customers, is that right?

 

Anna Zavarzina (30:00)

Well, not necessarily. You actually are correct on the team part. You have to scale on that too. It is important, right? To understand the dynamics, to understand the usage of the tools. So practically anything that can be measured is questioned because the teams have to evolve.

 

Vit Lyoshin (30:08)

Okay.

 

Anna Zavarzina (30:29)

And in order for them to evolve, they have to provide a visibility of how they’re doing. So we use what we call assessments, SAFe assessments, they are on team level, they are on art level, they can be just the product level itself. The leadership can do the assessment for themselves and see how they’re progressing. Like I mentioned, the measure on the tools, how they’re used, are they working properly, etc. Are we utilizing them at the full speed? So you can basically assess everything you do.

But visualizing the metrics and providing the visual support when you are in your system demos or in your sprint retrospectives is very important because why are you even have them if you don’t share them?

 

Vit Lyoshin (31:32)

I see. So it’s two pieces. First one at the team level and performance, how they execute. And then you also have at the product level what customer feedback you receive or what metrics of like usage for example or NPS scores or any sort of metrics from there. So it’s a combination of everything basically.

 

Anna Zavarzina (31:54)

Yes, it’s a combination of everything. And most importantly, you want to see the progress on the quarter level of your delivery, your delivery percentage, how you scale in that. Are you progressing, let’s say average, right? The average is steadiness. We are consistently doing the same thing. We’re not going up on and we’re not going down. 

But, we also want to see trends that are going up and that are going down. What if one quarter we are going down, but then another quarter we’re 50% up? Why is that happening? 

So we want to understand the dynamics so that we can fix them. And by sharing that particular information, we not only teaching people, what are we really doing, but also we are sharing knowledge of how they can be better and the organization people that come from different teams to watch that happening, they can learn from it and they can adapt it if that works.

 

Vit Lyoshin (33:06)

Yeah, awesome. Sounds like a lot of data analysts and data scientists working on those dashboards.

So another trend I hear about is application of Agile in non-technical world. In like maybe let’s say in manufacturing. Well, actually it kind of came from manufacturing as well. Another example is healthcare. And people trying to apply it there for just like for their operations or for their development of something. Do you have any experience with that or any stories about that?

 

Anna Zavarzina (33:56)

So I am currently on the private sector, but I used to be on the public sector for the most of my career. The public sector obviously have adapted SAFe at a huge scale because they saw the benefits. For example, there is a petroleum company in Brazil that works only on SAFe. Their entire organization is like a clock working on SAFe. Same thing goes for BMW. They’re working on SAFe. The public sector, like you mentioned, manufacturing earlier, yes, Lean came from manufacturing from actually Toyota, from Japan. So they have been first who actually brought this to the world and people understood that why is that so successful is because whatever they used was working, which is scaling their metric system, their bottlenecks, how they found them, how they adopted them and how they solved them.

But then the rest of it, healthcare, absolutely healthcare right now is extremely fast adapter of SAFe because no longer waterfall works for them. They also are seeing trends at drastic speed changing outside of the insurance companies, outside of private healthcare organizations. There see small startups popping up and they take over.

So they need to also make adjustments in their environment in order to succeed in the digital age. There’s also a patient and practitioner information sharing throughout the United States, right? Which we never had before. That has been a huge implementation in the insurance companies and the healthcare plans around the country in the past five years came from the order of the previous president. So they have to adapt it whether or not they want it. But it also other organizations banking, airspace, NASA is doing it. So there is a lot of companies that are adapting it.

 

Vit Lyoshin (36:30)

Yeah, I guess that if we get to the bottom of it, all Agile is providing is ability to move fast as you notice any changes or as you need to change something. And that ability to learn something really quick and make a change in the direction. So it is applicable to everywhere. It just we used to it seen in the IT world and in software development, but in reality it can be done in anything, in education, in healthcare, in manufacturing, in logistics, you name it, it can be anywhere.

 

Anna Zavarzina (37:23)

Yeah, and I want to add some things. You know, you have other departments like marketing and HR. Those are practically every company has, right? Without them, there’s not a lot of things that wouldn’t happen. People wouldn’t be hired, for example. But what happens is that we are all working around the customer.

And that is a backbone of SAFe, customer centricity. So in order for us to achieve greater results, and like you said, we got to get the fast feedback. How we do that? We have to see it working.

So it doesn’t have to be software only. It has to be everything else. Every other department also needs to scale and provide those metrics and visualize what they are achieving. And they are also moving towards being completely software for the most part. They are now the software.

 

Vit Lyoshin (38:29)

Yeah, I actually like that you mentioned marketing because I think this is the one place, the one industry or whatever department where these changes are implemented really quick, really fast because like let’s say, let’s take advertisement. If your ads don’t work, you change them really quickly because otherwise it’s a waste of money. And if you apply the same concept to everything else, like building a software product.

It should be the same if you build it some features that don’t bring money to the house or don’t satisfy customer needs. It’s a waste of time. It’s exactly same, you don’t get any return on your investment. So if you simplify it like this It makes sense and agile methods applicable everywhere and should be if the company wants to survive and excel their business.

So, with all that said, where do you think agile concept, methodology, whatever it is, is moving in the future?

Beyond IT. As we talked about or maybe some new framework is coming out like SAFe what is it number now six or seven now? Some other group of people gonna gather together and write an agile manifesto second version.

 

Anna Zavarzina (39:56)

Hmm, I highly doubt. I’m not sure if I’m seeing a new framework adapting anytime soon.

 

Vit Lyoshin (40:11)

Haha.

 

Anna Zavarzina (40:22)

Unless it’s like ChatGPT will drop on us like from the sky and it’s brand new and it’s such it took us by such storm that practically every company is adapting it now for the most part internally but soon to be externally no I don’t think that the concept of agility will change.

What I think will happen is that some of the concept might be shifted a little bit. Like for example, this is a very, very small example, but it matters at the end of the day. Development teams or teams in general, they are adapting Scrum for some reason. And the Scrum recommends daily scrum, which is a 15-minute huddle. They come together to make sure that they are staying in line with the progress of their sprint. But then you have other ceremonies like sprint planning and you have retrospective review backlog refinement. There are recommendations from Scrum to do them at certain times, certain hours, etc. Like keeping the time boxes at a certain level. But there are a lot of teams that are staying away from it.

They try to minimize the amount of time they need to discuss any of that. They try to adapt into their own way. So they understand the concept now, right? If they have undergone the transformation, they have been practicing it for a few years or even more than that, especially the ones have been doing this for a long time. This is where they start adjusting. And removing which for them are impediments as having that many ceremonies. They might adapt it into a one big one and have it once in two weeks. It depends on their cadence but there will be an adjustment to the entire agility. I’m not sure what it is, but something will change and that will be again another reason why we have to stay in within the fast moving environment and we have to adapt with it because people will start resisting what we’re trying to put on them, the knowledge we’re trying to give them, they’re going to start saying we don’t want to do this anymore, this is the new way, this is how it works and this works. Agility itself is just one beautiful word, it’s flexible, so do whatever you want with it.

But what the founder of SAFe says, Dean Leffingwell, is that I don’t care how you deliver, just deliver. How you do it, it doesn’t matter to me because nobody in the company needs to know what you do in your two-week sprint. What they need to know is are you aligned with the organizational goals? Are you scaling?

 

Vit Lyoshin (44:01)

Yeah, that’s the key at the end of the day, right? As long as the goal is achieved, who cares how you got there. Yeah, and I think for many years people were doing these agile things, removing waste, or adding some optimizations. That’s how, if you look in the history, that’s how many things got invented and improved under certain pressure.

Maybe there is like a natural disaster or maybe there is a war. Those hard times always create these opportunities for innovation and improvements, optimizations. And that’s like kind of through this empirical process, which is that’s what agile is all about. You learn something, you adjust, you move on, you try it. If you fail, great lesson learned. If it worked even better, it works. You have a working solution now.

So I think that’s great. So yeah, I don’t see anything completely crazy showing up anytime soon in this field. And as you said, all these frameworks are relatively flexible so people can tweak. And we see that even with like one team is doing certain things that other teams don’t, and it works for them and it makes them happy and it makes them deliver more effectively. And that’s great. And we leave them as they are and they deliver. So don’t touch it if it’s not broken.

So yeah, I totally agree with that. And if ChatGPT wants to, or somebody wants to work on it and write, or make an attempt to rewrite the Agile Manifesto, I would be curious to see what they come up with. How the artificial intelligence can make it a better version. I mean, it’s very simple and it makes sense. How else it can be improved? I would be curious to see.

 

Anna Zavarzina (46:09)

I’ll be curious too, to be honest to me is more about human nature. I think it teaches you, the agility itself teaches you how to be humble, how to be better, how to be self-managed and self-organized. For so many years we wanted to avoid that micromanagement and people watching over us, nobody cares about at the end of the day. I think we finally have achieved that in the past 10 years, I would say. I think we somehow, somewhere have mostly achieved that by adapting agility.

People feel a little more flexible with their day. They feel a little more flexible with their work. They know that they are heard. They are happier to do this and most likely to stay at one job for longer than they should.

 

Vit Lyoshin (47:21)

Yeah, eventhough some trends show that most recently people started switching jobs more frequently And it’s becoming a norm rather than exception; like it used to like before. People literally were asking questions on the interview like why did you change your job every year or every two years? That was not okay. That was kind of weird right now It doesn’t matter even if you change it every six months.

 

Anna Zavarzina (47:41)

Yeah.

 

Vit Lyoshin (47:48)

I think it’s wrong. I think employers should be looking at this and asking those questions. I certainly would ask those questions. Why you’re changing jobs so frequently?

Because it’s expensive to hire people. And if you’re getting somebody who’s going to live in 6 months or 12 months, well, you know, if it’s a short project, fine. But if I want somebody to stick around for a long time, that’s not good. Because I’ll have to spend more time and money hiring the next person.

 

Anna Zavarzina (48:17)

Right, because you probably have to start thinking about hiring somebody new at the time they’re going to start their job because you know they’re going to leave in six months.

 

Vit Lyoshin (48:26)

Yeah, so that’s maybe also how people in HR and recruiting industry can help us figure it out and implement some of those fancy agile frameworks to figure it out. I don’t know. You never know. Some people find creative ways. 

All right, well, that was great. Thank you very much for your time.

And before you go, I just wanted to ask if you want to share some information, how people can connect with you for networking purposes or if they have a question or whatnot.

 

Anna Zavarzina (49:05)

Sure.

If you don’t mind, you can share my LinkedIn with the audience. That would be great. That’s the best way to connect with me. If you want to chat about your current role, how you can accelerate within that role, or you want to switch, or you just want to chat about something that is relevant to agility, I will be more than happy to do that.

 

Vit Lyoshin (49:13)

Okay. I’ll add it to the description so people can reach out if they want.

Alright, great. Yeah, thank you very much. We’ll talk later. Thank you. Bye.

 

Anna Zavarzina (49:43)

Good. Thank you for having me. Bye!

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

About Vit Lyoshin

Hey there! I'm Vit Lyoshin, and I've been working with technology and cool software stuff for a long time. Now, I'm hosting a podcast where I talk to really smart people who know a lot about making software and managing products.

This podcast is all about helping you understand the tech world. I'll have interesting guests who share ideas that can make a difference.

Subscribe to hear cool stories and learn new things. Your thoughts are important to me, so let me know what you think about each episode.

Thanks for joining me on this fun journey!

Newsletter

Sign up now for the future Newsletter! I'm not sending anything yet, but I'll keep you informed when I launch the Newsletter.

Newsletter

Sign up now for the future Newsletter! I'm not sending anything yet, but I'll keep you informed when I launch the Newsletter.

©2023 Lyoshin LLC. All Rights Reserved.