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Thursday, August 9 • 14:45 - 15:15
ExxonMobil: False Starts, mis-steps, and the emergence of something great (Michael Adrian, Jeff Rosenbaugh) POPULAR

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ExxonMobil has formally been on a journey in pursuit of agility since 2012. In that time, we've pivoted multiple times as we've understood the complexities of transforming a large enterprise with over 140 years of history. As we've worked the transformation, we've found that with a 6,500 person IT workforce, certain tech stacks dating back to the 1960s, and a large global footprint brings specific challenges that have forced us to forge our own path. We have had to learn to embrace our culture, understand our own organizational limitations and peculiarities, and reshape our expectations for how we're going to be successful over the long term.
In this report, we'll highlight where we've been, how we've had to approach this change differently than others in our history, and what we'd do differently if we could do it all over again.
View the Experience Report

Lessons Learned from Your Experience:
  • Understanding the complexities of a VERY old enterprise
  • Management support is not a binary thing and understanding the political landscape can help drive long-term success
  • While many have wanted us to, we cannot transform the entire company at once and certainly found ourselves in a very bad situation with too much transformational WIP
  • Learning from our loosy-goosy early days, we now focus on making sure we set structure, plans, and non-regrettable steps early in the process
  • ExxonMobil has a cradle to grave hiring strategy (college to retirement, very few experienced hires) which requires a different approach for success
  • As some agile transformations publish that they've lost 30+% of their organizations during the journey, our organization has very little appetite for that
  • Upskilling the organization cannot be done via external hires - management of change and training are major investments ($$$ and time)
  • Changing mindset around valued skills has been extremely difficult (e.g. building internal coaching capabilities has been a significant challenge)
  • Finding others to partner with has been a key!
  • Developing a relationship w/ Target has helped us build our own Dojo, which has been a huge success
  • Working w/ other enterprises in non-tech industries has helped us effectively answer senior management concerns around agile only working "for software development companies"
  • Scaled Frameworks != Salvation
  • We made a decision to use a scaling framework as a basis for discussing transformation at the senior leadership level which has led to some unintended outcomes
  • We've re-focused on "little a" agility and foundational principles, hoping to drive non-regrettable behavior in areas where we cannot commit full-time coaches


avatar for Jeff Rosenbaugh

Jeff Rosenbaugh

Transformation Office Manager, ExxonMobil IT
Jeff is a force multiplier who has been accused of having a “larger than life personality” and being a bit of a trouble-maker (though hopefully in a positive context). He’s spent his career coaching on innovation, searching out bleeding edge technology, and evangelizing an Agile/DevOps... Read More →

Thursday August 9, 2018 14:45 - 15:15 PDT
Torrey Pines Room 1, 2, & 3