Author Archives | Liza Wood

About %s

After a dozen years leading video game development projects in a variety of roles, I decided to pursue a Master of Data Science at the University of British Columbia. Studying data science doesn’t mean I’m moving away from leading people. Growing data science teams need collaborative, pragmatic, Agile leadership to connect data to all areas of the business. I would like to share that point of view, along with my experiences, on this blog.

Adjust Your Sails

November 18, 2014


Sailboat and mountains

  I have been catching up with old friends lately. Over the years, everyone has had shifts of the wind in their lives. It is always inspiring to hear their stories about how they adjusted their sails. Some have ended up in unexpectedly successful places. Others are still on their journeys but are going in […]

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Agility At Spotify

November 16, 2014


Diagram of Spotify's Engineering Culture

While there has recently been a lot of debate surrounding Spotify’s business model, their product development practices and culture have been getting a lot of positive buzz in the Agile community. Earlier this year, Henrik Kniberg posted two videos on Spotify’s technology blog that describes how the team works. They are inspiring and should be watched […]

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Project Management Lesson From Star Wars

November 15, 2014


Axis Agile Stormtroopers Doing Sprint Retrospective

When asked what I do, I often tell people “I’m on the Dark Side” as a reference to an engineer’s view of management and/or project management. Little did I realize what Darth Vader’s role was in the construction of the Death Star! I have watched the classic Star Wars movies multiple times and only thought […]

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Creating A Culture Of Trust

November 14, 2014


Wallaby eating from hand

According to Great Place To Work, from 2004-2008 the top 100 high trust companies out performed the next 100 by 43% in terms of revenue. In 2009, the year after the start of the global economic crisis, that grew to 126%. Building trust in your organization has a real impact on the business. During her presentation, […]

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Portfolio Planning With Benefits Maps and Triggers

November 13, 2014


Building benefit maps at #bscadc — David Hussman (@davidhussman) November 12, 2014 Inspired by the presentation on coaching and leading Agility to further my product thinking, I decided to learn a lightweight way to set portfolio strategy and priorities. In his presentation, Simplify Project and Portfolio Planning With “Real Options”, Matt Barcomb explained the need for […]

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Learning Kanban Fundamentals: Kanban Racing Challenge

November 12, 2014


Racing remote control car around an obstacle course

“The Kanban Racing Challenge is an immersive workshop where you learn the basic practices of a Kanban team by building an obstacle course for radio-controlled cars.” Really? Build an obstacle course, race a remote-controlled car and practice Kanban in a half-day workshop? Sign me up! This was the first time Nate Oster ran the Kanban Racing […]

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