Sabotaging Agile by Tomas Kejzlar

Speaker Tomas Kejzlar
Sabotaging Agile
  • workshop
  • 60
  • 90
  • coaching
  • enterprise
  • management

Agile is about maximizing value. The value we bring to our users by delivering working products. The value we bring to our stakeholders by providing visibility and achieving business goals. The value we bring to ourselves and our teams by making the work enjoyable. But! There is a big hidden danger that can destroy all that: sabotage. Intentional or not, sabotage has become commonplace- the CIA Sabotage Field Guide being the most known example. In this session, we will examine why sabotage happens, how can we recognize it and what can we do to prevent it from undermining our road to great products, satisfied stakeholders and happy teams.

This session will most probably run like this:
  • introduction, the meaning of"sabotage"
  • the CIA manual
  • general sabotage techniques in organizations(includes common patterns, their recognition and prevention)
  • sabotaging agility and organizational change(includes common patterns, their recognition and prevention)
  • the moral aspects of sabotage
  • share sabotage you have observed, feedback & closing
For each sabotage pattern / technique, we will introduce common signs how anyone may spot the sabotage and also tools / methods /actions that can be taken to prevent sabotage. We will be paying special attention to sabotage techniques closely related to agile, working in
teams, leadership vs. management and sabotaging culture of an organization.
Before the end of the session, we will briefly discuss moral aspects of sabotage, as it ties very strongly to both understanding the why behind sabotage and also helps with the prevention. To prevent sabotage, we usually have to ask why are people sabotaging work and ask ourselves, if their sabotage is not only a manifestation of something wrong going on(for example, if you treat people like slaves, that might result in sabotage, however this sabotage may be morally justifiable- so you should not only blindly prevent, but look at the deeper causes behind any sabotage).
The session is intended to be funny, but also highly educational, especially in the later parts(the moral dimension of sabotage- which in general conveys the message that if people in your organization are sabotaging work, you should firstly look at how they are treated, as sabotage is often the last weapon of the powerless). 
Constraints and Class Arrangement


Session History
The Sabotage talk has been presented at various agile conferences. Most notable of them are:
  • Agile Europe 2016, where the talk was so popular the room capacity has been exceeded
  • Agile Prague 2015, where the talk was rated in top 3 talks of the conference
  • Agile Slovenia 2015
Tomas has more than 10 years of experience as a software developer, team leader, senior manager and a agile coach in the banking and pharmaceuticals sectors in Prague, Czech Republic. Tomas also lectures agile approaches and organizational change at Czech Technical University.
Fred, a military veteran with more than 20 years experience in software, is the owner of Williams Technical, and founder of the Open Learning Center in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a regular speaker at Agile Prague conference and frequently speaks at various other agile-related events.
Fred Williams
Last Updated 08 Feb 16:19