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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Learnings from Ken France’s Personal Agility Journey

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In celebration of the 20th year of the signing of the Agile Manifesto, Ken France, Agility Practice Leader and SAFe Fellow at Cprime, shares his professional journey which has been centered around application development and agility. He explains how planes, trains, and automobiles are directly tied to the long and winding road he traveled from being an application developer with a computer science degree to becoming the Agility Practice Leader at Cprime and SAFe Fellow.

This session highlights things he has learned and done along the way and he shares experiences and insights that may benefit others in their professional journey. This talk also features some “cameo” appearances from well-known industry icons who have influenced and supported him, specifically Grady Booch, Dr. Ivar Jacobson, and Dean Leffingwell.

This event was part of Agile 20 Reflect Festival, a global community-led agile event.

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Learnings from Ken France’s Personal Agility Journey

  1. 1. Welcome to the Biggest Global Agile Festival ever! Over 600 Events worldwide in February 2021 www.agile20reflect.org Twitter #MyAgile20Reflect
  2. 2. The Agile20Reflect Festival has been made possible entirely by volunteers, and funded by generous donations from the community to keep this non-commercial. You are welcome to make a donation here: Agile20Reflect.org https://au.gofundme.com/f/agile-20-reflection-festival-foundation All events agree to adhere to our Code of Conduct (CoC) and are open and safe. https://agile20reflect.org/home/community-policy/
  4. 4. OPENING PLACEHOLDER - Replace this with OSU marching band intro video – want to grab their attention right out of the gate
  5. 5. WHO AM I? • Executive enterprise coach cultivating transformational organizations and a recognized highly-rated trainer • One of the first U.S. minted SPCT • 25+ years experience in IT • Successfully supported multiple Fortune 100 enterprises, tackling large and complex scaled agile transformations • Passion to help empower all levels of the organization in their journey to drive sustainable improvements and meaningful change KEN FRANCE VP, Scaled Agility SAFe SPCT/Fellow
  6. 6. APPRECIATIONS Scott Seivwright Cprime Founder, Agile Reflect Festival Martin Burns (RIP 2019) Founder, SAFe Leadership Retreat
  7. 7. THE THREE AMIGOS GRADY BOOCH IBM Fellow IVAR JACOBSON Chairman & CEO, Ivar Jacobson International DEAN LEFFINGWELL Chief Methodologist, Scaled Agile
  8. 8. 1985 - 1990: THE ……. OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY IBM Boca Raton, FL IBM RTP, NC IBM Rosslyn, VA
  9. 9. 1985 - 1990: TAKEAWAYS Tip 1: Carpe Diem – don’t let a little fear prevent you from saying yes to an opportunity Tip 2: Education can’t replace hands-on experience
  10. 10. 1990 - 1996: IBM/LORAL/LOCKHEED GAITHERSBURG, MD March, 1993: FAA Cure Letter
  11. 11. 1990 - 1996: TAKEAWAYS Tip 3: Don’t panic in the face of adversity, work the problem Tip 5: Do the job before you have the job Tip 4: The integration/alignment of people, process, and tools are key
  12. 12. 1996 - 2002: RATIONAL/IBM (AGAIN) Mark Meinschein IBM Kelli Houston Lockheed Martin Rational ”Agile Teams” - Outside/Inside Sales - 3-5 Tech Reps - Shared goals - Self-managing “Siebel Guy” “Sales Guy”
  13. 13. 1996 - 2002: TAKEAWAYS Tip 6: Develop T- Shaped Skills across multiple domains based on your long- term goals Tip 8: “Take care of the customer and I got your back” Mike Devlin Co-Founder Rational Software Tip 7: Cross-functional, aligned teams with shared goals works for ANY kind of team Tip 9: Get a good financial planner early in your career
  14. 14. 2003 - 2011: INTELLIBANK/NUMBER SIX/GOV’T CONTRACTOR Gary Swart, Polaris Partners Ken Clyne, FiveWhyz (Cprime) Craig Rudman, Wiley Nate Oster, CodeSquads “The Marble Run” – Scrum simulation Brian Lyons (RIP 2007) Co-Founder, Number Six Ambassador of ”Mojo” 2007 - 2011 - Brian passing (Sept 2007) - Number Six acquired - “Chop up and integrate” - Cost control focus - 2007-2008 Recession “HiHo!” “Scottie” to my “Frenchie”
  15. 15. 2003 - 2011: TAKEAWAYS Tip 9: Intentionally foster long-lasting relationships Tip 11: Find your “Mojo” but always be humble Tip 10: Startups can leave you with scars but also wisdom Tip 12: ”Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast” Peter Drucker, Author
  16. 16. 2012 – 2017: ….. BLUE AGILITY Eyal Abukasis, Cprime Pratik Bengali, Entrepreneur Empower the Enterprise BLUEAGILITY Cheryl Crupi MetLife SAFe Fellow Partners, ”Sixers” Seven Liz Parnell Fujitsu Enterprise Strategy, Agile, DevOps
  17. 17. 2012 - 2017: TAKEAWAYS Tip 13: Be bold Tip 15: Do a real Trademark search Tip 14: Hire a marketing person Tip 16: Go all in
  18. 18. 2017 – PRESENT: CPRIME/ALTEN Zubin Irani Co-Founder Cprime Gerald Attia Co-Founder Alten David Hussman (RIP 2018) Founder, DevJam Anne Steiner Cprime ”Culture meets Strategy for Breakfast”
  19. 19. 2017 - Present: TAKEAWAYS Tip 17: One Team, One Dream Tip 19: Find your ”why” (Ref: Simon Sinek) Tip 18: Ride out the highs and lows
  20. 20. PRESENT - ?? Dan Teixeira (“Tex”) SPCT, Cprime Dan Weikart SPCT, Cprime Isaac Montgomery SPCT, Cprime Mik Kersten Tasktop Empower the Enterprise BLUEAGILITY ? Next? Yvonne Delaney, Steve Adolph, Kyle Dukes Cprime SPCT Candidates Sue Shreve SPCT, Cprime Luke Hohmann First Root
  23. 23. THANK YOU
  24. 24. QUESTIONS?