Interview to Claudio Perrone
Who are you?
I’m someone like you, who is driven by the opportunity to grow and learn.
I love to experience the world first-hand and I made a lifetime commitment to design and invent systems to help teams and individuals develop insanely-good habits of thinking.
Tell us the story of your Agile journey.
For many years, I had worked as a software developer and solutions architect using traditional waterfall approaches in large companies.
I was quite proud of my work.
Despite my best efforts, however, bringing software to success always required heroic efforts.
I thought it was simply the messy reality of our industry.
My world, however, turned upside down in 2001, when I met an Agile pioneer at a software architecture summit in Seattle.
He opened my eyes to a world I had never imagined before.
WHAT??? At first I thought that agile methodologies such as XP were yet another fad.
But evidently I was wrong.
So I questioned my beliefs and embraced change.
Over the following years I got involved in a few startups. I used XP, Scrum, the Kanban Method, Lean/A3 Thinking, and so on. One of these companies even won awards and recognition, only to fail a few years later… in a very Lean & Agile way.
A CIO once asked me: “If you were so smart, why did you fail?”
That question puzzled me for 3 dark, long years.
Until, one day, Eric Ries published his book on Lean Startup and showed me the true nature of the challenges I had faced.
We live in a turbulent world of extreme uncertainty. Operational excellence is not enough.
Fast forward to today:
I invented a new continuous innovation & change method called PopcornFlow and I live by its guiding principle: “If change is hard, make it continuous”.
In doing so, I developed a habit of committing to about 5 personal change experiments every single week.
I work with teams who are able to sustain 5-10 change experiments each week.
I believe — no, I know — we are at the verge of a new revolution.
Why the Agile Portugal Conference?
I’ll give you 3 reasons:
1. I have an idea worth spreading and fighting for. I want to thank the organizers for inviting me and for giving me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned so far.
2. A few months ago, I had a business conversation with a couple of entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley who have the means and ideas to innovate within the fashion/retail industry. They were exploring the startup scene here in Ireland to eventually build a R&D team. They expressed some valid concerns about what they had discovered so far.
I must confess I was a little surprised when they said they had identified Portugal as another candidate to establish their business as they’d have lots of government incentives. That got me curious. My mission is to infiltrate your network and learn more about your world, ah ah.
3. The Agile Portugal conference has an impressive list of talks and workshops. If you want to know more about business agility and live in Portugal (or nearby), you’d be a fool if you missed this event. On my part, I’ll do my best to help make it truly memorable.
Why should an Agile practitioner attend your keynote/workshop?
Imagine if you could learn to evolve really fast — almost as fast as some of the most adaptive micro-organisms on earth…
How far would you go?
This is what PopcornFlow is all about: a philosophy, principles, actionable techniques and tools to introduce rapid change in organizations and innovate like some of the best and most aggressive Lean startups around.
Look, I’m not coming to Portugal to tell you what you know already.
Your time and my time are too valuable to simply waste it by telling each other how cool Agile is.
I’ll freaking hurl you into a world of ultra-rapid experimentation!
The workshop is going to be epic. You’ll co-design experiments to address your own problems and experience how continuous innovation & change can help you win your own war against personal and organizational inertia — starting on Monday morning.
And, by the way, if change so damn hard in your organization, do all you can to bring your team and/or boss too!
I’ll win half of the battles for you; you’ll all thank me later 😉