Ross Clanton on Andy Patton's Antipatterns (Las Vegas 2020)

The playbook for digital agile cloud transformation (no prior experience necessary). The one best way, best practice program to digital nirvana. This week's guest is Ross Clanton. Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. Sooner Safer Happer: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility For Leaders At All Levels, In All Roles


(No slides available)


Jon Smart

Author, Sooner Safer Happier


Ross Clanton

Managing Director, Chief Architect - Technology Transformation, American Airlines



Welcome to Andy patterns. Anti-patterns your playbook for your DevOps, agile digital cloud transformation, no prior experience, necessarily your one best way. Best practice program to digital Nirvana today, I am joined by cus Renton, Russ Clinton, russet, potato ROS, gala, boss, Clanton, uh, Ross Clanton. So Russ, how's the paleontology going?


You caught me Russ, the paleontology do tell what are you getting at?


Tell us, tell us what you do.


Uh, well, I'm the chief architect. I'm the chief architect at American airlines. I'm responsible for leading our delivery transformation. Um, I've kind of made a career out of leading technology transformations, especially over the last seven or eight years. Uh, I've introduced some patterns that the industry uses a lot to drive these things. Um, things like dojo's as immersive learning centers, um, have also been active in setting different community related activities. You're right over there.


Yeah, I'm good. Thank you. Um, so you mentioned, you mentioned dojo's, uh, Russ, so, um, I'm presuming that dojo is that's that's and martial arts terms. So then I'm guessing your nickname is karate kid Clanton. And, um, I'm guessing with the dojo consortium, uh, that there are no doubt you have dojo certifications available for purchase. Um, in terms of measuring success, I find that the account of people who are certified is a fantastic measure and you know what? I can help you there as well. Russ, should you wish any have any certified really agile practitioners and the pattern can help you with that? Um, it is important to spray paint people when they come in the door, so they all know the one best way. Um, so, um, another very good measure for success. Russ is account of how many people are using Jenkins. That's another good measure for success. And I presume this is how you're measuring success, Mr. Russet, potato,


Uh, that is definitely not how we're measuring success, you know, in my experience, um, certifications are fine. I think the problem is that becomes the goal. People start. Alright. Um,




Anyway, I think certification has become the, and what happens is people are focused on training and they get trained on things that they're not actually applying at work and on their job. And I think one thing I've learned is that one of the most important ways to make sure that learning sticks is that you're learning in the context of how you're working. So I, I don't don't really need any crap practitioners in my organization.


So is a bit of advice from DACA, but, um, for increasing productivity, the three keys to attaining higher employee productivity, uh, number one, slogans, number two, threats, and number three mandatory unpaid overtime from, from the genius




Now, you need to talk about that,


But, but absolutely. Um, and obviously, obviously Russ language is important and you have to use the right jargon to make you agile because if you're not using the right jog, and then you're not very agile, for example, NVP, which is in my experience, just another name for phase one, even if phase one takes 12 months, that's your MVP and minimum means doing barely enough, which quite frankly, is nowhere near enough. It means that people are slack looking. If all they're doing is the minimum. Another term that I like to use is hybrid agile. That's a great way to have the certainty of a commitment to a plan, a fixed solution, drop dead milestones that you can hold people's feet to the fire on. And then the word sprint 10 times in the Gantt chart, because clearly we want people to be sprinting continuously, not slacking off. So Russ, what jargon have you found makes you agile?


I just hope no one brings you in to consult with their companies, because what you're saying actually concerns me quite a bit. Um, I think that, uh, actually I probably wouldn't be amazed note. Some of the enterprises I've worked with, um, I am not a big fan of jargon. I think terms like agile get heavily overused terms like dev ops get heavily overused and people tend to make them mean whatever they want them to mean to your point on MBP though, that you brought up. I think, um, it's not about a maximum Viapro viable product. It's not about being phase one. Unfortunately I do think that's how companies tend to step into this agile stuff as they treat it that way. And really what we're getting at there is what is the most minimum you're right over there. Uh, what's the minimum thing you can do to test the value that you're trying to provide your customers. And you only hear that and you focus on that and you iterate and you improve. I did. What were you listening to?


Unbelievable by the EMS.


All right. I hope it was good.


It's unbelievable.


Yeah. So what's your next question.


Continuous improvement, continuous improvement Russ. Um, so very clearly


You've got very strongly about


Absolutely. However, only for the systems of innovation, not for the systems of record, very clearly the systems and systems of innovation need to improve, but the systems are recommending to carry on as they were 50 years ago, a fossilized Relic like a living computer museum complete with 70 year old programmers in period costume. Clearly the legacy environment is predictable deterministic knowable, and there are no new ideas or innovations. So we don't need to optimize for time to learning or value or even improve at all for legacy. Putting aside the fact that some organization managed to create new legacy every single year, such that nearly everything is legacy irrespective of this age, even if it's only two years old, it's legacy makes sense not to improve that. And in my experience, it's too hard. Anyway, then you agree, Russ,


You worked for gardener because it feels like you just explained bi-modal it. And that's probably the worst thing I've ever seen come out of gardener. I really don't believe in that at all. I've lived through that. I've lived through that exact approach that you laid out where we separated things as the fast things and the slow things, drinking beer now in the car and the issue, the issue is when you treat them that way, everything ends up moving at the slowest pace because things are dependent on each other. And I've actually seen how that's impacted organizations before. When I've worked in that, you know, in my current organization, we've fully automated the delivery or our Siebel platform. That's a custom off the shelf platform that people would usually just like you just said, Andy people would view it as the legacy slow thing. And it's not. We can deliver very fast on that platform because we treated it as important to optimize our delivery there. So it's really a matter of what's important to your organization. How are you going to focus on those things? Don't do bi-modal please do not separate things into legacy, slow and new shiny, fast, and move your organization forward. Continuously improve the whole organization.


They seem to


Be in a drink too much of that. By the way,


This interview is brought to you by proper job, the proper job for a proper job for your dev hops transformation sponsored by proper job. Speaking of legacy, Russ leaders don't need to waste their time getting involved in these types of transformations. I find, I believe a case of do what I say, not what I do transformation clearly is for them. They can figure it out. Key thing is to keep on starting initiatives because the chance of success is so low anyway. And besides the funding is available every year anyway, so you might as well start more stuff and key learning. Don't be afraid of failure. If somebody fails, you can just fire them. Am I right Ross?


No, not in my opinion, at least. Um, I think this is a good way for maybe you to get continual consulting income from these, these companies maybe. But, uh, I, uh, I think leadership makes or breaks transformation. It starts with leadership. How do they support their teams? How do they empower their teams? How do they push decision making further down into the organization? It is about embracing failure. I mean, we're trying to get people to experiment comfortable with experimenting and learning and how can they do that? If they're scared of getting fired, if they, if they fail, it's just not going to work. I can tell you don't care, but it's not going to work.


You finished. Um, so middle management, Frozen middle, I call the frozen middle for a reason. They take every opportunity to resist change. In my experience, all you need to do is you need to get out the art of war deal with the resistors, get them out of the way or out of the company is a good friend of mine. Once said, you need to crush the resistance. So how do you inflict change upon the frozen middle Russ?


You don't crush the resistance. You know, I actually did think that way at one point to a certain degree when I was starting driving transformations and companies, and I've learned a lot over the years that these, these leaders play a really important role in running our business and they have a lot to manage. They have to manage the demands of their team, the leaders above them, their business partners. And they're trying to change how their teams are helping their team teams change how they work. It's, that's really hard to do. I think the key is how do you enable those folks? How do you help them learn the new ways of working? How do you help them learn how to support their teams differently? And it's, you know, that's really what it takes for these things to be successful. And, uh, we definitely can't, can't, uh, crush the middle managers and get them all out of the organization. It's




Not going to work the transmission fall


A bit of advice, a bit of advice don't give up the day job, stick to the karate. So that wraps up another Randy, the playbook for dev ops, agile digital cloud transformation, no prior experience necessary the one best way, best practice program to digital Nevada tune. In next time for someone who knows what they're about.


Hi there, John smart here, Andy passengers at the building. If you haven't caught on Andy's my alter ego and advocate for anti-patterns that act as a headwind to delivering better value, sooner, safer, happier. Maybe you can identify with what Andy believes the best practices. Hopefully you're experiencing what our guests are advocating. And to be clear, my role as anti-pattern in this series is a hundred percent parody. All of the guests have signed up for the intentionally uncomfortable banter and insults learn more about these anti-patterns and patterns for better ways of working, leading to better outcomes in my book, sooner, safer, happier, available in all formats. I also encourage you to attend the virtual DevOps enterprise summit, Las Vegas, taking place October the 13th to the 15th, the DevOps enterprise summit events and community are near and dear to my heart. I truly believe it's one of the best places to learn from the actual experiences of our peers and to make new and lasting connections.