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    August 28, 2023

    SPC Journey: Episode 12 - I'm an SPC and a Veteran

    Watch Applied Frameworks SAFe® Fellow and SPCT, Phil Gardiner hosted the latest installment in the SPC Journey series. 

    SPCs come from a variety of backgrounds and one’s life experiences can lead an individual to excel in the many roles and responsibilities in which SAFe Practice Consultants may serve.  Watch to hear from two US Military veterans who have embarked upon a new journey as SPCs and change agents. Adam Mattis is the Head of Expert Programs at Scaled Agile, a SAFe Fellow, and SPCT. Travis Moorer is an SPCT Candidate and Senior Consultant with Applied Frameworks.

    Topics Include: 
    • From military service to SPC, and beyond
    • Lean-Agile Lessons from Military Service
    • The power of teams
    • Insights into Leadership and Change
    • Write the vision: content vs intent
    • Tips for a new career with SAFe

    About Travis Moorer

    Travis is a business agility coach, trainer, and SAFe Program Consultant who is cleared for Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS/SCI). As a Consultant, Travis coaches clients in large enterprises to improve product quality, process flow, and customer engagement. Travis credits his decades of military service for teaching him first-hand the value of high performing cross-functional teams.

    About Adam Mattis

    Adam Mattis is the Head of Expert Programs at Scaled Agile, a SAFe Fellow, and SPCT. He has spent his professional career helping organizations improve how they deliver value to customers and to build exciting and engaging products. Adam is also a retired member of the US Army, a Veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, and a recipient of the Purple Heart, awarded for wounds received in combat.

    About the SPC Journey series:

    The SPC Journey is a series of webinars and panel discussions, hosted by SAFe Fellow Phil Gardiner,  designed to help SPCs and those they support on their journey to learn, grow, and succeed in implementing SAFe.

    Episodes include:

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC, Now What?!? with Harry Koehnerman, SAFe Fellow

    SPC Journey: From Theory to Practice with Travis Moorer, SPCT Candidate

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Coach with Rachele Maurer, SPC 

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Consultant with Michael Robertson, SPC, and Charles Rapier

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Trainer  with Rebecca Davis, SAFe Fellow

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and I Lead a Transformation with Angela Smith, SPC @ Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and I Head a LACE  with Alena Keck, Head of Lead Agile Center of Excellence at Vodafone 

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and We Build a Community with JC Titus, SPC, and Takeisha Murphy, SPC from Ingenico North America

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and an RTE with Mike Robertson of Applied Frameworks, Matt Davis of Salesforce, and Sally McDonald of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield

    SPC Journey: I’m an SPC and a Mentor with SAFe Fellows Joe Vallone and Dr. Steve Mayner

    SPC Journey: I'm an SPC and I Focus on Profit with SAFe Fellow Luke Hohmann And Principle Partner at Start with Profit Andrew Long



    * Transcribed using ai. Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors

    Phil Gardiner  00:22

    Welcome everybody give people just a minute or two to join in and then I'll get into introductions just curious where people are are dialing in from I'm outside of Dallas Texas

    Adam Mattis  00:56

    in Raleigh Phil

    Travis Moorer  01:10

    I'm in South Carolina

    Adam Mattis  01:17

    some would argue Travis there's only one Carolina and you're not in the right North Carolina or the right Carolina either

    Travis Moorer  01:27

    I'm a new transplant I'll let that sink in for a little while.

    Adam Mattis 01:30

    I look transplant too so neither one of us have any room to talk any trash

    Phil Gardiner  01:37

    Yeah, I think Travis is two blocks away from Georgia Right?

    Travis Moorer  01:41

    Um, yeah, I'm right on the border

    Phil Gardiner  01:48

    New Zealand very nice and very early. A Mr. Mr. Harper, from the Space and Missile System Center. Good to see you. May TNT ah, Ottawa, Canada, a mark. I was born in I was born in Windsor. So Hello, fellow Ontarian. Toronto. Nice. I was in Toronto. weeks ago, teaching my first leading safe class in some time, and it was it was awesome. It brought back so many memories. You know, just the goodness of face to face classes was really, really exciting. Alright, um, I'll go ahead and get started here. We are recording this and so we'll have it posted up on YouTube afterwards. I'd like to invite our two esteemed guests here to save share a little bit more. My brief introduction here is I've known Travis or for many years now. I encountered him when I was working in the government sector. And Travis impressed me with his background is discipline his situational awareness and other things that came from his background. And he went from being a trainer for this defense contractor working at into becoming what he is now is an SPC T candidate, and soon to be ideally an SPC T. Also with me today as our guest is Adam Mattis, somebody who I encountered on my own journey when I was an SPS TT candidate. And I've learned a lot from him he leads or CO leads the felt the safe fellows and safe experts program at Scaled Agile Incorporated. And so if you want to become an SPC t you you'll definitely encounter Adam on your on your journey. With that said, what else do you want to share about your backgrounds? Travis?

    Adam Mattis 03:45

    Travis, go first man.

    Travis Moorer  03:47

    Oh, thank you. So I absolutely love what I'm doing here. And as Phil mentioned, I started off as a soldier in the United States Army. 22 years in the intelligence community, doing testing and development. I was a systems engineer. We built some of the weapons systems that were being used in the warfighter. We use Waterfall development, which is a story all on its own. But as I matured, and left the military and started my civilian chapter of life, I fell into agile, and I met Phil, and I was bitten by the Alpha bug and I was just like, where has all this stuff then, the entire time I was in the military. And not long after that. I actually met Adam, who helped to introduce me and to, you know, safe and, and the formal training. And it's been one great journey. I mean, this has just been awesome. And I'm sure we'll get into some of the experiences and things that we've shared, but I'll cap it here. I've had the opportunity to learn from the two The gentleman that I'm sharing the panel with, have a lot of respect for them and other people in the field. And I just want to let you know that this is almost surreal, right? It's like, you know, you get to look back. And what I really would like to do is to give back to the veteran community, give back to the government, give back to the military, all the tips and tricks that I've learned, that will help them not to have it so difficult as they continue to do the next iteration of future planning and weapons for the government and military.

    Phil Gardiner  05:33

    Awesome. And that's, that's your mission is why we love supporting you on it, Travis, because it's good stuff. How about you, Adam, tell us a little bit about about your background. Sure. Thanks,

    Adam Mattis 05:44

    Phil. Travis, and I gotta say, man, it's it since the first time I met you has been nothing but a pleasure. I'm glad to know you. I'm glad to consider you. You know, brother, not just in safe sense, but and all that stuff hanging on the wall back there. So hey, everyone, my name is Adam Mattis. I never wanted to be in tech. Let me leave by saying that. Tech has chased me. Basically, my whole life. I actually I built and sold my first startup before I joined the military, I had one that failed. It was a dial up internet service provider that operated from my parent's garage. That was expensive. The second was a company that preceded That was one of the first platforms that helped auto dealers and motorcycle dealers get cars on the internet to sell and just expose that inventory. So after I sold that I decided, you know, Hey, I am not a tech guy. Clearly, with my five foot nine frame, I'm meant for athletic greatness. And if you don't know me, that's definitely sarcasm. But at the ripe old age of 23, I needed to figure out what that meant, because the baseball bug had passed by that point. So join the military. And when I joined the military, as with a lot of the things I do, is with very clear intent. I didn't want to be an officer, I didn't want to get caught in bureaucratic mess. I wanted to go to the Special Operations community and spend my life there doing hard athletic things. So that was my intent. And like all best laid plans, they don't tend to work out. So on my first deployment to Iraq, I was just your regular run of the mill grunt. I wasn't a smart guy like Travis. I was just some dude doing hard work. I ran across a roadside bomb in 2005. And that ended my military career. So when I got out of the military following that explosion, I went back to what I knew, which was tech, and I started doing consulting around architecture, engineering practices, and things like that with a company called VeriSign. worked with them for a lot of years picked up my first exposure to agility in helping an organization launch a refactored wireless billing and OSS platform. And then I did my first government contract with the SSA. Fast forward a bunch of years, I discovered safe in around 2013. And I've been part of that community ever since I ran a company called Madison company before rolling all that up into Accenture eventually. And it's been a journey ever since. And I'll say that my perspective with safe has been I've never, I never came at this work or any engagement as a safe transformation or a safe engagement, all of the problems we were trying to solve or something else it was either we need to be more nimble with our strategy. We need to be better at product operations, we need to be better at enterprise operations. And in solving those problems. It just seemed to be that safe was always the tool that we pulled out of the toolbox to help solve some of these macro level challenges to achieve something else. And you know, you fast forward to the concepts of business agility, and well, that's just what we've been doing all along, right. It's not about doing the mechanism for the sake of doing the mechanism. But we're trying to achieve something whether that's in marketing, HR. Building cafes was one interesting side project. But I think it's best said that there are problems though the names though our industries may be unique. The way we solve those challenges, no matter the words that we use, are largely the same. And, you know, through my time now was safe. I left Accenture after my transition agreement was up, and I got the invite to join the Scaled Agile Home Team and since then, I've had the opportunity to contribute to IP do a lot of writing. And as Phil said, now with my buddy Joe, we we Shepherd and serve the safe experts community. Phil, back to you.

    Phil Gardiner  09:34

    Awesome. Yeah. So as you can see, we've got you know, some really, really great people here. I want to just touch on something so I never served. I I've got pins and plates and I can't say that's the excuse. It's just it wasn't I wasn't wired for that. But what I what I've always been just impressed with is the discipline and the the sacrifice that it takes. And so, you know, I I remember a conversation with Travis about why I chose him to join us over some individuals that had more credentials, more experience and things like that. And you know, the thing that I'd like to convey kind of piggybacking on what you said to Adam is that safes a framework, right. And it's powerful. And it can help solve a variety of problems. But simply becoming an expert at the framework at knowing every you can, you can repeat every word off the framework site doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be effective. And so when I think about Travis's journey, and when I think about, you know, how I've gotten to know Adam, and the things he stands for, and the concepts he's introduced me to such as Extreme Ownership, I see that I truly believe that those individuals that have chosen to serve our country or another country out there, right, because it's not just us, veterans that are out there, but there's things that you learn, you know, and I, when I think about the leadership class that Scaled Agile had that Dr. Steve banner created, and the life maps and stuff in there, the things that harden you, right, and I think I hypothesize that there's a lot of hardened people from life experiences that are in the military. And I, I have a sense of joy watching as, as Travis exceeds, you know, what I'm capable of in the areas that he has backgrounds in? And, you know, I would, would, it's would speak to anybody out there that has, you know, friends, family, or if you yourself are a veteran, and you're thinking about a civilian career, as Travis mentioned, you know, the things that you learned, and the stuff that's in here, right, that's the stuff that's going to aid you in helping enterprises become successful with safe, and all the things around it. With that said, you know, Travis, Adam, do you have any thoughts on that, on that, on that line of thinking?

    Travis Moorer  12:00

    Yeah, sure. I would just like to add this when we talk about some of the traits and skills, military personnel, what just came to mind for me is his, you know, it's often said that, you know, the United States has the best military people around, and there are days that I would look around the unit and have a go, you have got to be kidding me, like, that person or that person. Um, but what I've learned from that is, and I don't use absolutes, often, but I literally believe that I can work with anyone seeing the potential in people and the team and knowing how they fit, and how to motivate them and get them to buy in what makes, you know, military professionals brain is the ownership aspect, right? I'm here for a reason helped me to discover my purpose. And that is a trait that I learned and many others that have served in military, you learn to really discover your purpose. And sometimes it takes a little while it's some folks take a little longer than others. But as you discover your purpose, and what brings you joy, and you tap into that, that's the basis of any high performing team. And so I really like to start there and take that, you know, into when I'm talking about agile or save, or anything we talked about the team's first thing is just understanding that we're people. And if you can understand how people work and what gets them going, that's a win.

    Adam Mattis 13:37

    As anything, so yes, and you. So, I've done a lot over the years since I've been on the military, I felt a need to educate myself, and just do a lot of hard things. And no matter what I achieve, no matter how many letters are be passed my name, or how many degrees are on the wall. The most valuable things that I've ever learned came from the time when I was a private first class in the United States Army. And that today teaches or has instilled on me that you're not above any kind of work, right? Picking up cigarette butts when you don't smoke, painting rocks in the rain, which is actually something that you do when you're not fighting a war, cleaning up oil spots in the motor pool. All of it needs to be done and the ability to do those things. Today, no matter what it is, right, no matter how much you're paid or anything else. Just getting the things done that need to be done because they need to be done is something that I'm most grateful for. I mean, I the last large event that we held in Boulder, I was out there a day or two early just to make sure that everything was was done in ready and it wasn't and I was I was polishing tables, and I was sweeping floors and our CEO came in and why he was there on a Sunday. I don't know but um He said, he said, Adam, what are you doing? You know, there's other people that can do that for you. And I said, Yeah, but I'm here, right? These are my standards, these are the things that need to be done, I'm going to make sure they get done. And that just, that's what I'm probably most grateful for, from my time in the military is just you're not above any task, if something needs to be done, well, who needs to do it the person in the mirror. So delegation is an important skill, but also is having the ability to just do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Don't complain, just execute.

    Phil Gardiner  15:30

    You know, it's interesting, you say that Adam brings to mind for me, the early conversations with say, 5.0, and this idea of the value stream network versus the functional hierarchy, right. And as, as coaches and consultants will oftentimes see people uncomfortable to step outside their, their silo. And when you think about that, that picture that kind of shows this value stream network on one side and the functional hierarchy on the other, and save kind of being that translation layer. I use hearing you speak about that i There are definitely probably some patterns there that show when individuals are invested. And this is something that, you know, when Travis and I both worked in the government sector for that defense contractor, the park that the purpose that people had, whether they were a civil servant, or military personnel or contractor, they were all about the mission. Right? And I will, it will I miss, and I hope to be able to do more work in the government sector, because there's that satisfaction when you're at a at a PI System demo. And they talk about, hey, we save lives this quarter. Right? I mean, there is a you know, Travis was there at that one I was talking about it was it was really powerful. And so, you know, those, I think you've got you're onto something there with with this idea of no works beyond you, and what can you do? Because that's, that's kind of what it's like to be on an Agile team, as Travis said, What are you when you think about this? Are there any other lessons that that you bring from military service that either ones that you think veterans are uniquely qualified for, or ones that that, you know, you might let veterans know, hey, this, this skill or this, you know, this, this capability you have is marketable, and it is useful in this in this kind of civilian line of work.

    Adam Mattis 17:26

    So I think one of the things I'll throw out there fillers, and it's a challenge to everyone here, and that's, you know, you can't let the resume be the barrier to who you hire, because there's everything about what we do that can be taught, what can't be taught is discipline is a mindset is the ability to execute is the, you know, just just that work ethic, right? And, you know, I was fortunate when I got out of the military, that I was able to convince someone to take a chance on me. Because if that person hadn't agreed to take a chance on me, well, I won't talk about the other jobs that I had applied for that were law that were lined up, right, but I wouldn't be here today. So every veteran, I mean, Travis is a little bit different, because he had actual skills, right? When he came out, he had jobs that translated right, my job was kicking doors and walking streets. So those things don't really translate. So I did have some experience from the past, but it wasn't really relevant. So you've got to understand why it's important to take a chance on somebody, right? They're not going to have the perfect resume, the words that they use on that resume aren't going to make a lot of sense. But if you see character, if you see aptitude, train for the skill. 100%.

    Phil Gardiner  18:43

    Absolutely. And, you know, that's advice that I think you've probably heard before on this series. You know, it's who you choose, it's not about the fact that they have the SPC certification. It's about the end of the individual themselves. So just a little note here, please put your questions into the q&a. And that way, I can make sure to factor them in as we go. We do have one question here in chat that I'll ask towards you, Adam. So we have several doers on our team that do a large portion of the work. There are also folks that sit back and watch. Adam, how would you go about getting these folks to pitch in?

    Adam Mattis 19:22

    That depends on my level of influence. Now. I mean, honestly, people see that sometimes and they're intimidated. Part of being a doer is also understanding how to engage others and how to delegate. Because if you if you are doing and you're doing at a high level, some people might be afraid to get in your way. So part of being a doer is also creating space for others. You have to invite others to the table, invite others to the work. And let's just be honest, there's some people out there that they're just they're not doers, right? And they want to find every opportunity that they can to not do and you need to understand the difference between creating Space in making it safe for somebody to want to come in and help and do alongside you. And also knowing how to recognize the ones that just don't want to do. And I would also caution that don't be too quick to jump to conclusions, because sometimes if you're a doer, you're doing this can be quite intimidating.

    Phil Gardiner  20:18

    Yeah, I'll just dive smirking here a little bit, because on my own journey, my bar is pretty high, and almost too hot, too high at some points. And Travis, somebody I had the honor of mentoring. You know, there were times when I look back in my career and working with Travis where he was more than capable, and probably would have been better than me in some situations. But I I struggled with that on my own journey. Right. And so I never thought that he doesn't want to do it. It was more about this. And as Travis and I talked about it, there were times when it's frustrating, because there's you know, I think, perhaps you want to share some of your, your thoughts on that topic.

    Travis Moorer  20:54

    Yeah, sure. I was just gonna pitch in there, when you talk about the doers, and folks that kind of sit back and watch. There's an understanding that that sometimes I'm a doer, and there's an understanding that sometimes we miss, it's not always that I don't want to do, it may be that I'm intimidated. And what I want to bring up is, you know, when I came in, and I was was new and started doing some of these transformations and doing work, I struggled with something that that maybe some of you struggled with, but I had an impostor syndrome, right? I aside, you know, I've gotten the book knowledge, I haven't really done this and working beside, we had some great agilus on our team. And I would sit back and look at them, and I would constantly measure myself and go, you know, I can't do it, this person does, or I can't do it, that person does. And somebody's gonna see me and realize that I don't match up, I don't have the name recognition. And so there were things that I would shy away from doing outwardly. But there were other things that I would shine and do inwardly. And I had to really get get coats. Matter of fact, Adam and Phil both helped me a lot with this and just just be you. You don't have to try to do it like the next person, do it your way, and develop your own way and get comfortable. And so as I began to do that, I started to ask for more and more responsibility. And I actually I'll tell this story, teaching with Phil is is is a treat. Because early on, Bill really, really loves and leading safe to do to teach the principles, right. And so I remember the first time Phil actually asked him was like, okay, good, you got it, you can teach the principles. And I was like, yes. All right. And, you know, it's just, it's things like that, that are a vote of confidence when when you're doing something and you're nervous as all get out. But you start to get the head nods, and you see other people participating. Those are the kinds of things so just to go back full circle, when you talk about folks that that kind of sit back and watch. Understand, why are they watching? And how do we engage them and get them involved? And perhaps get them? You know, find out what their fears are and help them to overcome, and they will become more doers? You know,

    Phil Gardiner  23:31

    and I'll try this in our next question here. But I do want to acknowledge what Travis said, he struggled with things imposter syndrome. So have I I mean, I've, I've totally, it's something I think the three of us have in common. One thing that I believe that the three of us know is that you're always going to be humbled somewhere on your journey, right. And those individuals that, that don't ever see opportunities for growth, you know, maybe cut from a different cloth. And I think that's something that I know the three of us have in common is that we're always looking to learn and improve. And that comes across in how we how we coach, how we interact and everything. But that imposter syndrome, find someone you can talk to you about it. Transparency. You know, I can't think of a class where I haven't told a story about where I messed up with something. And I remember somebody's like, Phil, why would you be so negative on yourself in class, I'm like, because if I'm the SPC t and I can talk about how I messed up, it makes it okay to recover from life is gonna happen sometimes. Let's start turning back to the military side. We have a question in here. How did your experiences the military help you keep up keep the workplace drama in perspective, because, you know, moving from military to, to to civilian, there's definitely more drama in the corporate life. I believe we have a different type of drama, perhaps. I don't know.

    Adam Mattis 24:52

    There's absolutely nothing that will happen in a corporate dramatic setting. That's going to measure up to the day where I was laying in history. beaten Iraq bleeding. So nothing who we do here, none of the drama, none of the silliness, it doesn't hold a candle to that. It's just you know, on the other hand, I kind of look at a lot of the things that people get really worked up about, and just chuckled to myself, right, because it's, you know, our threshold for what gets us excited is all different based on our own experiences. And, you know, I'm kind of grateful that there's not a lot of people that have my experience that have my threshold. But at the same time, when I see somebody getting really, you know, upset about this shade of blue versus that shade of blue, I just kind of chuckled at myself. And I'm the first one to just say, hey, whatever makes you happy, I'm cool with whatever, because I know it's not that big of a deal.

    Phil Gardiner  25:42

    Yeah, that's quote, don't, you know, don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff. i That's a life change. When you when you when you have something happen in your life that actually makes that a truism for your soul, it changes things. And I would suspect that many veterans have that, that outlook,

    Adam Mattis 26:03

    but knowing that you came from more of a digital background in the military, what's your thought on it?

    Travis Moorer  26:09

    Yeah, I, I think that what many military members benefit from understanding the mentorship side of the house, everyone needs a mentor. Right? And here's where I've had this conversation about mentors and coaches, right, you can be assigned a coach, in my opinion, but I believe you choose a mentor, because a mentor has to be respected, it has to be somebody that not necessarily has the the life practices and everything all figured out, but somebody that you can trust, and that you can go to when you're just having a bad morning. Right? And that that mentorship relationship will allow you to say things and have a safe space, no pun intended, where you can just be real and talk, you know, hey, I taught a leading safe class and, and I just, I feel like I didn't do well. Or you know, the true story. I was teaching a leading safe class with with Phil, it was actually my first one. And the knowledge gap between Phil and I was like a chasm, right? At this point. Phil still knows a lot more stuff than I do. But I'm, I'm making some ground. But in this case, it was really, really evident. And the feedback showed that it was really harsh. I still remember this. One of the comments was, it seems like Travis was in the training as well. I was like, oh, what stone? And so what I did with that is Phil and I had a conversation. And I realized that instead of trying to answer any questions at all, I just defer to Phil, you know, in my mind, I was like, well, Phil's the expert. He knows it already. I'll just defer to him. And so it Exactly, that's exactly what Phil told me what he when he wrote in the chat is not to sell myself short. And so we had a mentorship moment where we came up with a strategy that you know what, I'm going to attempt to answer the question first, and Phil will add a little color if needed. And I began to just observe and watch as I would answer questions, and Phil have less and less to say, and that'd be like, Oh, wow, I know, I know this. But does everybody else know? And can they see?

    Phil Gardiner  28:30

    And it was great to watch. I mean, I that was a very, you know, satisfying moment for me because you see Travis, connecting people to the framework and those values and principles and practices differently than I would. So you know, if you have the opportunity to serve as a mentor, you're gonna learn from the mentee as well. Let's go on back to the the questions and chat. We've got one here. How do you coach and motivate team members who simply do not have the base capability or competency for the role? At what point do you say perhaps the role is not the right fit for the person? I'm, I've got a strong opinion on that one. So I'm going to actually defer it to Travis or, or or Adam to take that

    Adam Mattis29:11

    Travis go first,

    Travis Moorer  29:12

    well, push ups. So when we talked about that, the question disappeared, I just want to bring it up again. There we go. Motivating team members who don't seem to have the competency for that role. That's where relationships come in. Right? All team members, you've got to know who you're serving with. And so I bring that into the civilian world, know that people who are around you, you know, what are they good at? What are they not so good at? And sometimes we put people in roles that that they don't prefer, and it doesn't make them, you know, less of a great person like like, Take me for instance, if you want to know something about lpm I'm probably not the first person that you should ask. There are other People that are more knowledgeable than I am doesn't mean that I can't answer a question or that I'm poor at it. But, you know, if if I continue to show a level of discomfort, then the conversation needs to be had. And that's again, where mentorship comes in. And we certain people have the attitude that if I don't know, I'm gonna go find out. And I'm going to search. And I don't have a problem to tell me. You know, I don't know the answer to that. But I'm gonna go figure it out. Okay, and when you understand, most people are looking for a way to answer your questions, right? This is from some other training that I had, we want to help. We just don't know how. And so I, I've never got to a point where I found a person that I just totally gave up on. But there are some people that I said, You know what, this might not be your niche right here. But we're going to put you over here because you thrive in this place. And it's all about helping us to come to that together to figure out where do we excel the most? And then help us grow in the areas where we're weaker?

    Adam Mattis 31:11

    I think it's a great point, Travis, I think, from a leadership perspective, the first thing that you always need to do is not look at the person but look in the mirror, right? How did that person get in that role? Did you hire them into that role? Did you place him in that role? Do they ask to be put in that role? So understanding how they got there is important and understanding your role and their development is another right? Have you given them the tools that they need to be successful? Have you given them the training? Way too often, I see people that are promoted into roles. And then we think that's good enough, right? If you go from, say a scrum master to an enterprise coach in six months, and we just kind of threw out there and said, You're a great scrum master now go, and that person is struggling. Well, guess what? That's not that person's fault That's on you. Because you gave them the opportunity then didn't support them. Now to Travis's point, not everyone's cut out for every role. Sometimes we can self nominate ourselves into a role because we think it's one thing and learn that it's another. I think, as a leader, we have to help people put pride aside sometimes and just have the crucial conversation and say, you know, hey, Travis, I know you want to this man. But I mean, come on, do you do really enjoy what you're doing? And given the opportunity to say, You know what, this, isn't it, and then you find them a new home. But again, there's, I always try and believe in the limitless potential of people. But not all people believe in their own limitless potential, right. So you're gonna sometimes get some, you know, toxic jerk faces that come around. And you need to also recognize when, you know, maybe this team, this organization just aren't the right fit for this person and figure out how to have that conversation too, right? We can't develop and manage our way out of every interpersonal situation, that's not a good fit. So as a leader, again, you need to be able to identify the two, when is it on you? When can you co create a solution? And when you just need to say, you know, graciously, thanks, but no, thanks.

    Phil Gardiner  32:59

    repoint. I want to I want to keep my keep my opinion out of this for today. On that topic. I want to get more questions I'm enjoying and people putting questions into into into the q&a. So we've got one from Sean here. I have long felt that military experience helps many transitioning, transitioning, transit, transit, transitioning into good agile lists, what happened to help you see that you were a good fit for the role? Was there a specific training or an event that helped you saw yourself being a great fit for this agile role?

    Adam Mattis 33:32

    But I'll say, Shawn, I fell backwards into it right? When I started doing this stuff, there was no such thing as an agile role. And I'll throw a little jab and say, you'll probably find that Marines and army people make great agile lists, but Air Force and Navy people don't. And let me tell you why. With my snarky comment, I think what made this sort of work easy for me is that my entire time in service was spent focusing on how do I do more with less? How do I do more, given the constraints that I have? We don't have the money, we don't have the assets. We don't have communication back to anyone to ask permission. So how do we act with intent? How do we act within the guardrails that we were given? How do we adjust what we're doing based on the intent and purpose that we were given in the absence of senior authority? So I say that jokingly, because the Marine Corps is 100%. Always in that situation. They get everybody's hand me downs, they never have enough. When we first went overseas, we didn't have enough, but the Navy and the Air Force, they're always eaten well, and they always seem to have money. So they maybe they don't have so much of that scrappy attitude. And if you're not familiar with the military, you'll understand you might not understand that my joking is completely appropriate.

    Travis Moorer  34:49

    I'll just add this as well. I think that military experience is really good because you're forced to work as a team will take us out of this point, you know, in the army, we've always been taught that you should know, two jobs above you and at least one beneath, right. And we were taught to be cross functional. Because when you're out there in the middle of the desert, and something goes wrong, you're a team, you. There's, there's nobody else to call, it's all on you. And so that was an aspect that I pulled, you know, cross functionality and learning how to trust my, my team members to get the mission done. And with that mentality, I mean, that transitions into many different safe roles. Right, one of the best positions that I ever had was being a senior noncommissioned officer, where I was leading people. And then I had to deal with personalities. And you know, that's like, the scrum master role right there, I gotta make everything work. I've got to understand, there's all these unique specialties and capabilities and things that people know how to do. And I've got to bring this team together and get them to work to get this job done. And so that's that's a role that that translates very nicely. When you talk about leadership and the different levels of leadership, whether it's a squad platoon, you know, or anything larger, it marries very well to the corporate structure. I

    Phil Gardiner  36:20

    have a question for either of you. kind of piggybacking on this, what is the was there a moment for you personally, where you went from seeing, okay, I mean, there's a job opportunity in this agile stuff, too. I want to I want to make this my career. What, what, what caused that spark? And we have a question in here chat, you know, kind of how did you form your new mission? When you started your civilian life? And I'm kind of piggybacking on that a little bit. And then just, I believe that there's a moment where something happens, and you're like, Okay, this is going from, from, from paying the bills to I want to do this, right, it became your your, what was that for each of you

    Travis Moorer  37:02

    I can tell you that very quickly. I actually had a moment I worked for a very large military contractor. And they they lost the contract, and I was laid off. And that was the best thing that ever happened to me, actually. Because it gave me an opportunity to really jump into the ocean of agile and say, so much so that somebody actually read my resume. And they called me back and they were like, wait a minute, you got all these cyber related skills. We've got a job that we want you to do. And I needed work. And true story. I did that for two weeks. And I realized, I don't like doing this cyber stuff anymore. I want to go do Agile stuff. And I called him up and I told him, you know, thank you, but no thanks. I'm gonna go work for another company. And I'm going to be an advocate full time. And so that was my defining moment where I realized I, I just I love the interactions. I love this. This is really what I want to do with my life.

    Phil Gardiner  38:11

    And I'm anything you you want to share.

    Adam Mattis 38:12

    Yeah. So I will say that my my first contract in this space was during 2009, right when when the world was in a bit of a reset, and the contract I accepted was prime under Lockheed. And the sub was to make the Social Security Administration, this one specific area of the organization in Agile shop. Right? So when I did that work, I can say to close it out, the most productive thing I did over the course of that year was drill a hole in a conference table and route some AV wires, because messy wires drive me nuts. But where that was a tipping point for me was whenever the team and I would walk through the Lockheed headquarters, and you would see people sitting at their desks looking miserable, you'd see them sleeping. And you realize that the relationship there between the two was so strained. And there was such lack of transparency in what needed to be done, that people had basically lost their will to do anything other than show up. And I thought, How unfortunate is that? I'm an outcomes and results driven person. I like to build stuff. And I thought, people have a right to get excited about what they do. They have a desire to understand how what they're doing is contributing to an outcome. So I need to make sure that every person understands what they're working towards and how they're contributing. And that's what really led me into this line of work was to give people that transparency, we need to all understand what we're building, how we work together as a team and how we deliver value. And that's around the same time I started to Read Dean's books and understand what he was trying to build. And then eventually, that's what kind of brought me into the safe ecosystem. And I'm sure you can guess why I nerd out on it now, because it's all about transparency and alignment. You know, and seeing people change and have their opportunity to gain excitement about their work. It's been amazing. And I have to say, selfishly, I really get excited, coming across people now who I've met, who I met many years ago, and they talk about how our first interactions changed their lives, how they were doing this thing, you know, and then we had a class together, or I consulted with them, or whatever it may have been. And it sparks something in them that completely change the trajectory of their lives. So that's pretty exciting stuff. I mean, it definitely gets you up in the morning.

    Phil Gardiner  40:48

    Yeah, it's great stuff. Anything you'd add about kind of, you know, how did you form your new mission? Or things like maybe we covered that already? What about the there's another question here? Once you saw safe, do they click ah, that aligns with the mindset that we got trained for right example, focus on outcomes work as a team, etc, versus kind of the corporate project management stuff? I know, you know, Travis, you mentioned the previous webinar, when we first kicked off this, this one about some things are taught and some things are caught. And I do remember one click moment for you. But are there others? Or maybe if you want to reshare, that one.

    Travis Moorer  41:28

    There are many moments where where this begins to click. One in particular is I worked in testing and evaluation, right. And so we had this project that over many, many years, 10 years of working on this project, we never delivered anything to the government, it was I call it the self licking ice cream cone. Right? We did just enough to get funded for the next year. And that was that the attitude was abysmal. Right? Our shop, every year, we we never got to talk to the customers. We never saw, you know, any any positive results from the things that we were doing. It was just we were working, working, working. And who wants to do that. And so for that reason, I'm really, really passionate about seeing the value that is delivered, right? That's what really gets me up in the morning knowing that, hey, I was a part of that team that did this. We provided this to someone and they're happy with it, or they took our work. And now they're going to do great things. And I can't talk about any of them because they're top secret. But I've worked with some of the largest government contractors out there. And we've delivered some really great things that I look at, and I smile to myself, as I'm doing something, and I'll see something and I'm like, that's something that I worked on, I had a piece of that, and that nobody can take that away from me. And it really drives me now to do more.

    Phil Gardiner  43:08

    Awesome. I've got one other topic here I want to explore and if we get more questions, absolutely. But, you know, when you think about transitioning, and this is something where you know, I never served, so i I can only know things in theory and secondhand. But you know, any advice you have for somebody who, you know, just ended their service, or is approaching the end of their service and wants to look at, they look at the success and the awesomeness of the two of you. And any tips and advice for a new career with say, for veterans out there soon to be veterans.

    Adam Mattis 43:49

    I would say if a bonehead like me can do it. Your chances are pretty good. But in all seriousness, think about what you want. Avoid the temptation to go back to what you knew, before you join the military. Don't listen to the people who were your friends before you joined, and probably don't, don't have the same perspective and vision that you do. Don't be afraid to try. And for the love of it all use your GI Bill. Right. You can buy yourself a lot of years by going to school getting paid to go to school. I mean, I think it's still an E five base pay plus also your basic allowance for housing, I think that's like close to six grand a month, right? You can go to school, you can live on six grand a month, take advantage of it, do not let that slide by educate yourself. It's okay to not know what you want to do. Right? If you would have told me I was going to be doing this thing called Safe and show me that big picture back in 2006. I wouldn't even know what to thought or what to think. I think you're nuts but bet on yourself. Always. Don't let other people bring you down. Invest in your education.

    Travis Moorer  44:58

    Yeah, those are great points. And Abby Just add this, don't sell yourself short. There's a lot of intangible skills that you pick up in the military that are so useful. Number one, you're used to showing up to work on time, right? Don't Don't let that be undervalue. 

    Adam Mattis 45:15

    Travis,like, hold on, we got to triple stomp that because most people in corporate America struggle to show up to anything on time, like showing up. And being on time is a highly valued skill. So show up on time, huge, if you put that in your resume, you'll probably get a golf.

    Travis Moorer  45:34

    Most definitely. And there are just other things about having a military mindset that are going to put you at the head of the pack. And so I think it is great to understand lots of training the military puts into you, and I'm talking about the basic stuff that everybody gets that discipline that, you know, being cool under fire, so to speak, and not panicking and, and just having the ability to know that I need to talk to somebody those mentorship skills, reach back into the community, right and talk to some of the people that are still in I have friends that are still in the military, that I reached back and talk to them. And I tried to drop little nuggets and seeds and say, you know, hey, this is what I learned when I was in. And number three, I'll say this, I did this, I stayed too long, I was actually afraid to get out of the military, I did two years extra. If I would have known then what I know now, I would have stopped at 20. And so don't let the fear of the unknown. I joined the military at 17. It was the only thing I ever knew only job I ever had. And I was scared, you know, what am I going to do. But don't let that fear overtake you. There are so many great opportunities after military life.

    Adam Mattis 46:52

    Let me throw a few things in there on the opposite polarity too. And that's you know what to leave behind. Right? So your military bearing is good when you're in the military. talking louder doesn't make you more, right. You don't get bonus points for how creatively you use the F bomb. The knife hand will land you in HR. Right? Soft skills are not a bad thing. And one of the things that I still struggle with is this stoic stone face that I learned overseas, they kept me alive. Boy raises a lot of questions. And political, even before we started, Phil said to me, he's like, Adam, I still know how to read you. And in my head, I'm like, when but the reality is, it's okay to be vulnerable, it's okay to show a little bit of emotion. And please control the F bombs seriously. gets you in trouble.

    Phil Gardiner  47:47

    I will, I will piggyback on that, that, you know, I try to you know, transparency and alignment are, are are probably my two favorite core values of safe and in life. And I spent many years trying to own the fact that I just love being vulnerable and transparent. Because, quite frankly, if if you see me for who I am, then I know what you really think kind of thing. But, you know, if you are trained to withhold that understand that, you know, sometimes connecting isn't is those soft skills and you know, being vulnerable. You know, we last question we've gotten here, you know, big on mentoring someone who needs help, what our stories on helping folks get on the safe agile track, even though they have no technology background, I want to say one thing first is, so while I've got to technically have a technology background, because I ran all the front end tech, or at&t for many years, I couldn't code to save my life. And so I don't want you to think that you have to be a highly technical person in order to be able to have a career inside Lean and Agile, because it really does come down to your ability to relate to people to connect them to the values and principles and practices. And so those those personal skills and those self discipline, self awareness, it's hard to come up in our conversations today are our most important. And I'll just just tell you a little insight with Travis right. So we were this defense contractor, we were getting a domain this is back in 20 2019. And safe is not really in the government yet. There was a couple of dabblings here and then but there really wasn't a great use case out there yet. And we were getting demands for classes and I just couldn't be there all the time. We got a small team and here's the person who has training experience who has government experience. I mean, he's he's been in the Army right for for 20 years. And so for us it was really about font, you know, introducing him to the framework, but then helping him learn to harness his personality, his skills, his traits to Be able to connect people to the framework. And so with that said, Travis and Adam, do you have any any any stories you share about getting people going, even if they don't have a technology background,

    Adam Mattis 50:11

    I'll say I'm an easy target. Right? When I were I grew up, we, we didn't have anything, we were pretty poor. And the only reason I'm where I'm at is because the first person to take a chance on me, was a person who was building websites. And I wanted to learn how to build websites, too. And that person took time to teach me that. And then someone else took a chance on me when I got out of the military, when I didn't necessarily have all of the skills needed. But that person saw that I would figure them out. Because of that. I'm a sucker for a scrappy story. All right, if you show me that you've overcome adversity, that you've got the right attitude and the right aptitude, I don't care what your background is, I will take a chance on you and I will do everything I can to develop you. And that's, that's just a blanket statement. I don't care who you are, where you're from anything about you, if you show me that aptitude and that attitude. Like I'll make, I'll do everything I can, I'll give you all the tools to help you win. And we'll figure the rest out.

    Travis Moorer  51:13

    You know, I think that's one of the traits that all the people on this panel have. Same thing here, and somebody took a chance on me, and Phil tells the story, but to get my foot in the door, I was not the most qualified, you know, agilus, that that applied for that job. And there were things that I didn't know, and they took a chance on me. And we take that, and we give back. Right? And so I will train or work with with anyone. And Phil's absolutely right. You don't have to have a tech background. You don't even have to know, you know what Agile is. And so when we talk about just knowing people and having the ability to change lives, right? It's, that's, that's what we're looking for the fit, you know, what kind of person are you? And what can you do when you're given that tool in that opportunity. And so I'm really grateful. And because I'm grateful, I'm the same way as Adam, as I'll help anybody. And I'm looking for somebody to, you know, give back to and help them to become, you know, where I am, as I'm trying to get where others are. So each one helps. Well,

    Phil Gardiner  52:33

    I think we're about at our time box, I do want to, I try and keep this, this, this series to really be focused, this was created to be a community thing. Really, you know, Harry countermine helped me kick this off July of last year, really just kind of be something to explore this journey of an SPC. And on that note, I usually don't you know, I don't try and sell stuff here. But I do want to plug Travis here of the little bit because he's been on this journey, a multi year journey to become what's called an sp CTS, safe practice, consultant, trainer, transformation architect, trusted advisor. Right? The T stands for lots of stuff. And if you're interested in, in becoming an SPC, Travis is doing what you call his pairing test in early December of this year, December 4, and he's teaching with one of my own personal safe heroes, Jennifer Fossett. She was I was telling you I before being humbled, I applied for a job at scaled agile in early 2014. And he was basically Hey, Dean, you should hire me because I'm awesome. I really wasn't, but I didn't know that yet. And I was interviewed by Jennifer and Alex and Drew, and they loved my energy and my attitude, but I had no experience. And so, you know, Jennifer brings that much experience to the table. Travis is leading the class with Jennifer there to co teach with him. And you know, it's a great experience to be part of a veterans journey here to go from, you know, from retired military to SPC, to SPC t if you're interested and you're listening to this reach out to me or Travis we can work out a little discount for you. But, you know, you can start your SPC journey as well. I feel weird saying that, but at the same time, I also I want to I want to see Travis become an sp CT because then it's kind of like okay, now he's out there making more SPCs himself. All right. Any any final closing thoughts from the two of

    Adam Mattis 54:37

    you? Thanks, Phil. Good MC.

    Travis Moorer  54:40

    Thanks, Phil. Thanks, everyone, for showing up. Appreciate this was fun. All right.

    Phil Gardiner  54:45

    We'll see you see you next time around. I think we're looking at a government or lpm topic next time. So welcome. Thanks, everybody.


    Tag(s): Webinars , SAFe , SPC Journey

    Phil Gardiner

    As leader of Applied Frameworks’ SAFe Practice, Phil is responsible for large-scale transformations and guiding change agents as they learn to apply the Scaled Agile Framework. Phil has served as a leader, coach, and consultant at some of the world’s largest companies as well as government organizations such as the US Department of Defense. Prior to becoming a consultant in 2015, Phil spent sixteen years at AT&T as a leader and internal change agent, working to bring products and services to market faster through the use of technology and Lean-Agile methodologies. Phil is a SAFe Fellow, and a Certified SAFe Program Consultant Trainer® (SPCT), one of less than 100 people who hold this certification globally. He is an active collaborator within the Scaled Agile Community and is cited as a subject matter expert in a variety of topics including Lean Portfolio Management and Agile Product Management. In addition to his SAFe expertise, Phil is an agile coach with experience in a variety of other Lean-Agile methodologies and approaches.