Announcing our 2017 Chaos Monkey: Simon Wardley

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Foolish enough to volunteer for the job; smart enough to enjoy it through the hard work and stress.

Scottish, but living in Sweden.
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Simon Wardley

Simon Wardley, 2017 Chaos Monkey

We’re super happy to announce that the SAFe Leadership Retreat’s Chaos Monkey this year will be Simon Wardley.

Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries. From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system.

But more than this, he’s the innovator behind the most interesting way of designing and expressing strategy and value chains that I’ve encountered in the last year: Wardley Mapping.

I’m also super impressed with his thinking about the different contexts for agility as Pioneers, Settlers and Town Planners that I think has a lot to say to us and our sweet spot in product lifecycles that goes beyond the simple ‘BiModal IT’ debate.

You can read Simon’s full bio here.

If you want to see him in action, I recommend this video from Lean Agile Scotland last year.

About Chaos Monkey

Since our first event, we’ve invited someone from outside the SAFe Community to the Retreat to help keep us grounded in reality and break up cosy consensus and Road to Abilene type problems. This role is great in challenging our assumptions — spoken and unspoken — and asking the un-askable questions.

We also find that having someone whose experience is different injects a little bit of noise into our system; noise that is essential for creativity.

We look for someone super smart, tough minded, with experience of the enterprise context. They’re not necessarily supportive of SAFe’s methods (some skepticism helps), but should have empathy for what we’re trying to do, acknowledging that we’re all seeking Better Ways to meet the challenges we see.

Previous post holders have included Chris Matts and Will Evans (who is joining us this year as a participant).