GOTO is a vendor independent international software development conference with more that 90 top speaker and 1300 attendees. The conference cover topics such as .Net, Java, Open Source, Agile, Architecture and Design, Web, Cloud, New Languages and Processes

Workshop: "Continuous Improvement: Identifying & Avoiding Hell"

Track: Training / Time: Thursday 09:00 - 16:00 / Location: UNI 2.3

Keywords: Learning, Collaboration, Interactions, Communication, Team Effectiveness, Continuous Improvement, perspectives, Team Culture, Kaizen, Agile, Lean
Abstract: We all love the term 'Continuous Improvement' - which is an honourable intention - but the 'wrong' kind of push for Continuous Improvement can produce the opposite effect on team collaboration and culture than is intended (e.g. apathy). We have learnt the hard way, that in the real world, even if you are Agile/Lean, it doesn't mean you will automatically continuously improve!
So, why is this? How can Continuous Improvement create a negative impact on teams and culture? How do we avoid it? What are other ways of handling this need to consistently overcome challenges in an ever-changing industry? And how does Agile/Lean deal with these difficulties and are they really any better?
This workshop will alternate through discovery exercises and contemplative review points to collaboratively explore what Continuous Improvement initiatives REALLY feel like on the ground and investigate how else we might want to approach 'always getting better' by looking at and drawing from your own ideas, other industries and different perspectives.
What you will walk away with
By the end of this workshop, we will have exposed the common issues and mistakes people make with Continuous Improvement, and learnt at least one practical technique that can be tried the very next day (as well as perhaps inventing your own) – at the very minimum, you will have enough information and insights to begin creatively developing solutions to issues in your own context.
Prerequisite Knowledge: This workshop is relevant to anyone who has been through, is establishing, or considering rolling out ‘Continuous Improvement’. The principles discussed are applicable across all levels – and sceptics are welcome.
Learning Outcomes:
As a result of this workshop, you will
• be able to define at least two generic weaknesses of a Continuous Improvement program
• understand the reasoning behind these weaknesses
• recognise how/why the weaknesses do/do not apply to Agile/Lean teams
• understand the different ways Agile/Lean handle Continuous Improvement
• be aware of a different approaches to Continuous Improvement
• walk away with useful techniques to combat the highlighted issues
• use this understanding to think creatively about how you can strengthen your own endeavours

Katherine Kirk, Independent Consultant & Researcher

Katherine Kirk

Biography: Katherine Kirk

Now an independent consultant and researcher, Katherine has solid experience contracting and freelancing in a variety of roles within the IT and Media industries: from blue chip investment banking to media conglomerates. Most recently she spent time as an Agile Coach at Rally after a period consulting as Delivery Improvement Specialist, Project Manager and Agile Coach at the BBC in the Future Media division in London. Katherine often finds herself specifically tasked with working with really "troubled" projects, where simplistic solutions don't quite cut it.

She is an active participant of a community of Lean and Agile practitioners in Europe who explore and challenge the status quo through experimenting and collaborating and is particularly interested in contextually driven edge-cases and the cultural interaction between hierarchical management and Agile teams. She supports this interest by studying an MSc in Software Engineering at University of Oxford, specializing in Process Improvement, Managing Quality and Risk, and Software Systems Security. Katherine also holds a first class BSc (Hons) Multimedia Computing.