An interview with Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan of LeanDog

This blog is about our interview session with Jeff “Cheezy” Morgan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of LeanDog. He worked as an agile coach for 14 years, has focused on more engineering practices and XP practices for developers & testers. He is majorly interested in continuous delivery and currently working more on that space. These are the following leadership questions we discussed with him:


1. Who is the person that has an impact on your life as a leader?

I would like to tell I have learned a lot of things from so many people. I get to learn new things from everybody I meet, it hasn’t been one person who really shaped my life. If I look back and say that I was really influenced by a couple of books I read and so many speakers. As an Entrepreneur in general, if I speak about conferences, we meet people talking and sharing ideas. Even more than attending the session, we get to interact and we have a chance to conversate, that also continuous to influence me.


2. What are the changes you make has a leader in your organization?

It is all about trying to find ways to release software more rapidly and to keep the quality high. So a lot of people believe that has pure engineering in general but it is more than that where engineering aspects is an easy part, the cultural changes are a lot more do count. But the lot of work I do is depicts towards teaching people in more technical aspects. As a developer role will teach the people the curve and do things like that, and in testing role teaching people to do better, testers are really better coaches, how to collaborate better with development and as a Project Owner you have to think like is more about moving business to the project, and more about the product focus. This all more depend on how you interact or engage with the team, and in fact, feedback loops. In the operations side, I think of DevOps, we move away from manually administering the infrastructure tools and making use of everything all the way from. We step back and say, just apply the same techniques and same ideas where we apply patterns to the operating system or the way we instruct machines.


3. How do you implement the agile-lean values like people, cultures and innovations in your organization as a leader?

There are so many values, but it is really about finding ways to continuous improvement of culture, finding ways to eliminate the nature and process, it is to help about dealing with circumstances. I think agile also brings human aspects like talks about the people and their interactions. It is not just about trying to find the ways to eliminate and add a human cause, it is more about continuing to as a group of peoples working together, I think agile also deals with that aspect. So you can look into that both of those has categorized and measures things. If you look at the metrics around that, it is another interesting aspects, those are really designed to keep within the team.

For example, once you start to take agile metrics, when we put them up in an organization, usually bad things happen. So that was in the team, which is something need to be reported. Whereas lean metrics are really void in space, the lean metrics can be applied whether you are doing the agile in a process or whether you are doing the waterfall, does not matter. Things like cycle time, if you want to compare one team with other, might be able to do that, we should really be looking at comparing teams, the process of the product is another great metrics of concerned, this applies to teams how they are doing. When we look at agile, it is team focused and lean is more outward when it comes to the team. Whenever we think about working in an agile organization, at the portfolio level, value level, the lean typically works because of this ideas.


4. According to you, what challenges today’s leaders are facing?

Few years ago the challenge was convincing people to try agile, but no more we have that kind of challenges, has we have a track record of people using agile are quite successful. But the challenges today are ‘How do we scale?’, ‘How would we do effectively?’, ‘What do we do this middle manager?’ as we are doing more agile and more lean, ‘What role does a Project Manager's play?’, in many cases, it is very little. When we consider about human error, the challenge is what we do with this instance. So it is more on that, as we take big companies or completely big structures, we organize them back together again with a lot of changes, I think this is another really big topic. We don’t spend enough time thinking about change management aspect and another one is how do we bring about the change, and how do we provide the support for the people who are driven toward the change.

Watch the complete interview session here:

Thanks to Jeff Morgan for joining us in this interview session. To join us in our upcoming events please visit our events listing page.

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