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Liz Keogh

 Liz  Keogh
Liz is a Lean and Agile coach, developer, and a published poet, based in London. She's a well-known international speaker and a hard-core BDDer, focusing on conversation and discovery over tools, and is also known for her haikus, her Evil Hat, and writing software with pixies. She won the Gordon Pask award in 2010 for deepening existing ideas and coming up with some pretty crazy ones of her own. She is currently working on a BDD book in collaboration with Dan North, and training as a qualified hynotherapist to help people transition into leadership or other challenging roles.

Presentation: "Learning and perverse incentives: "The Evil Hat""

Time: Wednesday 14:05 - 15:05

Location: St James’s Suite, Fourth Floor


In a lot of transformations, focusing on the things which go wrong can seriously inhibit the ability of a team to learn. At worst, it can create a blame culture in which the team tries to hide its mistakes. At best, the team are continually chasing their weakest skills and practices, rather than anchoring them to the strongest ones. Management and leadership behaviour, inappropriate metrics, retrospective actions and a desire to reduce variance to make estimation and planning easier can all inhibit innovation and continuous improvement. Systems feed back on each other, often creating perverse incentives, with the opposite effect of the one intended. Yet learning is an inevitable part of any Agile project, and missing an opportunity to learn is waste.

In this talk, we look at why learning is so important and how we can learn in a balanced way, focusing on and acting around what went *right* as much as what went wrong. Includes many real world examples and some simple patterns and tools for creating, and protecting, a learning environment.