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GRIDIRONOPS
What Women's Tackle Football Can Teach Us
About Competitive Software Delivery
therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gm...
About me…
• Defensive End
• 4 years w/ NY Sharks
• 2 years as Marketing Director
• 2013 2nd Team All-American
• 2014 All-A...
THE CULTURE QUESTION
“We estimate that, by 2018, 90% of organizations
attempting to use DevOps without specifically
addres...
WHY FOOTBALL?
“People who work together will win, whether it be
against complex football defenses, or the problems of
mode...
Football Culture
• In football, culture is CRITICAL to success
• Overlap between DevOps and Football:
• Specialization
• M...
WHY WOMEN’S
FOOTBALL?
“The sport is all eleven people working together at the same
time, or the play breaks down. Those ar...
Culture Change As Adults
Like the members of a software delivery organization, a
successful women’s football team requires...
therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
SPECIALIZATION VS. SILOS
“You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from
a problem. Like the defense on a footbal...
Silos Specialization
✔ Refined Skillsets ✔ Refined Skillsets
✖ Limited Scope/Orbit ✔ Fosters "Big Picture"
✖ Encourages "G...
On the Field: The Example
To demonstrate the effect of silos vs. ineffective and
effective specialization, let’s take a lo...
On the Field: The Setup
Let’s say that after the ball is snapped, the Left DE rushes
up the edge, but the DT’s don’t get a...
CRG LG
LT
RT
DE
DE
DT
DT
QB
CRG LG
LT
RT
DE
DE
DT
DT
QB
DON’T: Focus ONLY on the
task you’ve been given,
without taking ac...
On the Field: Good Specialization
Left DE completes assignment, staying outside until QB
has passed her and can no longer ...
The Bottom Line
DO YOUR JOB… until…
The Job is Done
-or-
The Job Changes
• Communication and Education are KEY to knowing
...
Exercise: A Little Healthy Competition
What to do: Have internal competitions with
short-term goals.
• Football teams are ...
MISSION FOCUS
“Winning isn't every thing; it's the only thing.” - Henry
Russell ("Red") Sanders
therealkatierose.comcrashr...
The Mission
• Provides a purpose for ALL levels and roles within the
organization
• Helps ensure that iterative goals are ...
The Focus
In order to keep team members focused on the Mission,
they must believe:
1. The Mission is good.
2. The Mission ...
Goal & Mission Definition
• Who is affected?
• E.g., Individual, Team, Organization
• What is the frame of reference?
• E....
On The Field
Let me tell you my story…
therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
The Bottom Line
• Leadership is important, but only lemmings march off the
cliff. Intelligent, top-performing team members...
Exercise: Visualization
For Team USA in 2010, the players and coaches were
faced with a unique challenge. As the first wom...
Exercise: Visualization
In software delivery, the end result can be “ethereal” until it
is finally realized.
Have your tea...
In Closing
• Don’t be afraid to encourage friendly and appropriate
competition within the organization.
• Promote educatio...
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GridIronOps

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What Women's Tackle Football Can Teach Us About Competitive Software Delivery

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GridIronOps

  1. 1. GRIDIRONOPS What Women's Tackle Football Can Teach Us About Competitive Software Delivery therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  2. 2. About me… • Defensive End • 4 years w/ NY Sharks • 2 years as Marketing Director • 2013 2nd Team All-American • 2014 All-American • UI/UX & Web Developer • Sr. Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton • 14 Years on the “Operations Side” therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  3. 3. THE CULTURE QUESTION “We estimate that, by 2018, 90% of organizations attempting to use DevOps without specifically addressing their cultural foundations will fail.” – Ian Head, Gartner’s Research Director therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  4. 4. WHY FOOTBALL? “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.” – Vince Lombardi therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  5. 5. Football Culture • In football, culture is CRITICAL to success • Overlap between DevOps and Football: • Specialization • Mission Focus • Teamwork • Agility & Flexibility • Continuous Assessment • Some roles achieve more “glory” that others, but we all (hopefully) find it rewarding. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  6. 6. WHY WOMEN’S FOOTBALL? “The sport is all eleven people working together at the same time, or the play breaks down. Those aren’t football lessons; those are life lessons.” – Jen Welter, Team USA Linebacker and first female NFL Coach in “What Did Football Teach Me” by Emory Hunt therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  7. 7. Culture Change As Adults Like the members of a software delivery organization, a successful women’s football team requires that grown adults make significant cultural changes. “For women the culture of football is being learned at an older age but still plays a major role in the success of women’s football.” – Coach Lybrant Robinson Former NFL & CFL Defensive Lineman Current NY Sharks Defensive Coordinator therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  8. 8. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  9. 9. SPECIALIZATION VS. SILOS “You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  10. 10. Silos Specialization ✔ Refined Skillsets ✔ Refined Skillsets ✖ Limited Scope/Orbit ✔ Fosters "Big Picture" ✖ Encourages "Good Enough" ✔ Encourages Ownership & Accountability ✖ Susceptible to Failure From Communication Breakdown ✔ Increased Communication Channels & Feedback Loops ✖ “Tunnel Vision” ✔ “Head-on-a-swivel” ✖ Teams are Homogenous ✔ Team Roles are Diverse therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  11. 11. On the Field: The Example To demonstrate the effect of silos vs. ineffective and effective specialization, let’s take a look at a basic scenario of defensive line play. QB CRG LG LTRT DEDE DT DT Quarterback (QB) is the player who will have the ball. Defensive Linemen (DL) are the players who will try to tackle the QB while she has the ball. Offensive Linemen (OL) are the players who will try to protect the QB from being tackled by the DL. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  12. 12. On the Field: The Setup Let’s say that after the ball is snapped, the Left DE rushes up the edge, but the DT’s don’t get a push up the middle, leaving a potential running lane for the QB. QB CRG LG LTRT DEDE DT DT therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  13. 13. CRG LG LT RT DE DE DT DT QB CRG LG LT RT DE DE DT DT QB DON’T: Focus ONLY on the task you’ve been given, without taking account of other potential risks. DON’T: Sacrifice the completion of your own job to compensate for another’s. Silos Poor Specialization therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  14. 14. On the Field: Good Specialization Left DE completes assignment, staying outside until QB has passed her and can no longer bounce outside. She then pursues QB, forcing her back inside. DT is able to get off her block and tackle QB for a loss. CRG LG LT RT DE DT QB DT DE therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  15. 15. The Bottom Line DO YOUR JOB… until… The Job is Done -or- The Job Changes • Communication and Education are KEY to knowing WHEN the job is done and/or has changed. • Don’t be afraid to call “HELP!” therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  16. 16. Exercise: A Little Healthy Competition What to do: Have internal competitions with short-term goals. • Football teams are constantly in competition WITHIN the team • Include both: • Role-base competitions (allow roles to compete AGAINST each other) • Team-based competitions (those that involve teams made of a mix of clearly-defined roles) • This will help team members: • Understand specifically how each role is depending on the others • Understand how/when to call “help” • Build bonds across roles, not just within them therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  17. 17. MISSION FOCUS “Winning isn't every thing; it's the only thing.” - Henry Russell ("Red") Sanders therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  18. 18. The Mission • Provides a purpose for ALL levels and roles within the organization • Helps ensure that iterative goals are defined in support of overall business goals • Acts as a “North Star” to guide individuals in the absence of appropriate iterative goals Without it: • Individuals are incentivized ONLY to meet personal and iterative goals • Silos develop • Morale can diminish as individuals don’t feel their work is valuable or worthwhile therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  19. 19. The Focus In order to keep team members focused on the Mission, they must believe: 1. The Mission is good. 2. The Mission is possible. 3. They can impact the success of the Mission. Otherwise, they will prioritize individual goals (which do meet those criteria) higher than the overall mission. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  20. 20. Goal & Mission Definition • Who is affected? • E.g., Individual, Team, Organization • What is the frame of reference? • E.g., Task, Project, Timeframe • How is the goal achieved? • Define success. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  21. 21. On The Field Let me tell you my story… therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  22. 22. The Bottom Line • Leadership is important, but only lemmings march off the cliff. Intelligent, top-performing team members must believe in where leadership is taking them. • The mission must be relevant to each team member. • Leadership must demonstrate to each team member that his or her role is critical to the success of the mission. • Communication and inclusion: team members should be informed so that they can make the best possible “on-the- field” decisions in support of the mission. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  23. 23. Exercise: Visualization For Team USA in 2010, the players and coaches were faced with a unique challenge. As the first women’s squad to compete in a World Championship, they didn’t have any previous examples of victory to look up to. Their coaches guided them in visualization exercises to help them build that image of success within their own minds. Coach Mark “Mac” Mclaughlin had each player picture herself on the stand while the Gold medal was being placed around her neck. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  24. 24. Exercise: Visualization In software delivery, the end result can be “ethereal” until it is finally realized. Have your team members picture what the completed project will look like and how completing the mission will actually feel. This will give your team members a way to actually “focus” on the mission and how they can help affect it. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com
  25. 25. In Closing • Don’t be afraid to encourage friendly and appropriate competition within the organization. • Promote education, awareness, and ownership in order to achieve effective specialization. • Provide your team members with relevant, attainable goals and make them real. • Work to ensure all team members recognize the value in their role and others’ roles. therealkatierose.comcrashrose@gmail.com

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