Agile + DevOps West 2019 Concurrent Session : Iterative vs. Incremental—How Your Backlog Makes (or Break) Agility


Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Iterative vs. Incremental—How Your Backlog Makes (or Break) Agility

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Agile is an incremental and iterative approach to delivering value to our customers. But too often, we assume it’s just about ways to slice work into smaller batch sizes and that both approaches are fundamentally equivalent. However, there is a crucial difference and getting the balance wrong frequently results in projects and teams that are AINO (Agile In Name Only) - often without even realizing it! In this session, Mathias Eifert will discuss how to differentiate between incremental and iterative approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and why you really need both. He will explore how iterative thinking shapes the core of agile practices, helps us manage today’s complex challenges, and is a prerequisite to moving your mindset from “doing” agile to truly being agile. Mathias will highlight the practical implications of each approach by discussing real-world scenarios, highlighting common agile anti-patterns and (re)examining familiar story slicing patterns. Attendees will walk away with both a better understanding of one of the most important underlying principles of agility and immediately applicable insights for your daily work!

Mathias Eifert

Mathias Eifert is a Lean-Agile pragmatist and coach at Excella with twenty years of public and private sector consulting experience. He has helped clients to improve their teams, systems, and products by implementing Lean and Agile concepts in a variety of roles, including as an Agile Coach, Solutions Architect, and Process Improvement Engineer. Mathias helps clients discover the power of shortened feedback loops to manage uncertainty, optimize quality and customer experience, and maximize business value. He is particularly focused on coaching organizations to apply Agile and Lean principles to improve their own practices rather than relying solely on acquired process frameworks. Mathias is a frequent presenter at local user groups and conferences including Agile2017/18, AgileDC, Mile High Agile, Big Apple Scrum Day, Keep Austin Agile, Better Software West, and TriAgile.