Keeping Culture Coherent at Scale

James Ross

James Ross

CTO, Envato

James Ross has been around in agile circles long enough to remember when suggesting working in an agile way was a career limiting move. Now that it’s a career limiting move if you don’t profess unwavering loyalty to everything agile, James finds himself frequently spending the opportunities he gets to use a microphone to call out some of the many ways we might be getting agility wrong.

James is currently the CTO at Envato. He is a popular speaker at various conferences, including Agile India, Agile Australia, Building Business Capability and the Lean, Agile and Systems Thinking (LAST) Conference. He is the co-author of what he thinks is the only book that takes a test-driven approach to the teaching of fundamental computer algorithms. He hopes it’s not the only one because it’s not a very good idea laughing

Abstract of Talk

Like all cultures, agile culture is built on shared beliefs and principles. From its founding on the agile manifesto, this culture has spread memes like “Release early, release often”, “minimum viable product” and “you build it, you run it.” But have you ever found yourself debating what “early”, “often”, “minimum” or “viable” actually mean in practice? As teams grow, it gets harder and harder to ensure that everyone means the same thing even when they say the same thing, and this threatens the integrity of any culture. This talk is about some of the things Envato has done to keep its technical culture coherent as the team has grown from fewer than 30 to more than 150 people. It involves unpacking these memes into more detailed and practical forms that are easy to understand and easy to apply yourself. Come along and learn how you can keep your culture coherent at scale too smile