For Maximum Awesome: An Interview with Joe Justice


CP: Fantastic. The thing is, you talk about it and it all sounds so great and so fantastic—really so awesome. Why haven’t other companies done this?

JJ: A lot of them have. A lot of them are now. We are seeing Scrum, agility, Extreme Manufacturing, Extreme Programming, and even now Extreme Innovation deployed in most of the Fortune 50 companies. If we go to the New York Stock Exchanges’s top IPs of all time IPOs, the money generated by their initial public offering—all of the top ten tech companies are Scrum companies. Companies are seeing the advantages of this. What Team WIKISPEED brings that is a little bit new is a clear set of technical practices that allows Scrum and many other agile practices to be used in hardware work—that is pretty new.

Only a few companies are doing that now—less than a hundred—and most of them are doing it because they work with Team WIKISPEED. I’d say most companies haven’t done it already because they haven’t yet become familiar with the technical practices required to use agility in hardware, also in sales, in research and development, in your legal department, in human resources. It turns out by quoting the Extreme Programming practices to manufacturing, we found we were able to generalize them to many other types of work. Now we have a whole bunch of Agile 2.0 companies—by that, companies that use agility across the entire company, from the board of directors to the delivery teams.

Those teams have usually started using Extreme Manufacturing in hardware or Extreme Programming in software. Then, they work with Team WIKISPEED to generalize those practices across their whole org. Those companies are now at the top of their sectors across the board.

CP: You talked about Extreme Programming and all these extremes. And you are the founder of Extreme Manufacturing. Looking now into the future—kind of big picture—how do you think this is going to impact the economy and, really the world as it operates?

JJ: It’s starting to happen. Last year I was invited to the world financial conference on sustainability and I was invited to speak to a number of EU delegates about Scrum being used to stabilize the European economy. That was amazing. I did not have the knowledge to talk about how we would stabilize the European economy, but I did know a lot about Scrum, and I got to share that.

In the EU delegates’ opinions that attended—the European Union delegates—they said, “Yes, absolutely, our job now needs to be passing policy that makes it easier for companies to start with Scrum and for existing companies to convert to Scrum as soon as possible.”

Not that Scrum is the only answer—agility as a whole is—but Scrum is the rightest left way to do it with teams. It has a highly successful track record, which helps these companies. We are seeing it transform at a global political level right now. The EU, in pockets, is adopting Scrum. Also, the United States Department of Defense has mandated agility for all defense deliverables. As a result, I now work with most of the military and defense contractors.

CP: Wow, that's pretty awesome.

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