This episode’s guest ‘Ines Garcia’ has literally written the book on how to run successful Agile projects in Salesforce and has an incredible way of looking at the world, she’s an Agile Coach, a Salesforce MVP and is helping organisations build in a sustainable way. So they can have a positive and better impact on the well being of communities and the planet we live in.
At the Salesforce Posse podcast, we interview influencers in the Salesforce ecosystem so that we can gain a better understanding of how to excel in everything from AdminToArchitect.com.
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01:45 Why Agile?
03:14 Why did Agile come about
04:10 What are the mistakes Agile teams make?
06:00 The flows in the system. Leaving
06:46 Ines Garcia’s Origin
08:30 How do we make time more engaging and satisfying
09:00 Scrum master certification
11:20 Ines Garcia’s Books: Becoming more Agile & Sustainable Happy Profit
17:15 Where should Sustainability start? At movement, company or individual level?
19:00 How do we design things to align with nature
21:30 The Purpose Economy
23:00 How to Contact Ines
23:50 Sustainable Cook Book
Francis Pindar 0:00
Hello, my name is Francis Pindar, and you are watching or listening perhaps to the Salesforce Posse podcast, where I speak to influencers in the Salesforce ecosystem. And in this conversation, I’m going to be talking with Ines Garcia, who I’ve known for many years. But when I first met her, she was working in the Salesforce ecosystem with a passion for Agile. But now she is not only the author of two amazing books, becoming more agile whilst delivering Salesforce and sustainable happy profit. But also she’s an Agile coach, a Salesforce MVP, and is helping organisations to build in a sustainable way. So they can have a positive and better impact on the well being of communities and the planet we live in, if you are interested in Agile, or how sustainability really can be a force of good within companies. And I think you’re going to get a lot of value out of this conversation within Ines. So let’s get on to it. Hello, Ines, and welcome to the podcast.
Ines Garcia 1:11
Hello, Francis. Thank you for having me.
Francis Pindar 1:13
Oh, great. I think God, it seems like forever since we last saw each other I think because you did London’s calling a couple of times. But it’s like since then it’s just been virtual craziness.
Ines Garcia 1:26
I think that’s Well, for us. And for many more,
Francis Pindar 1:28
you actually the talks you done at Dreamforce. All around agile, and you’re living in this kind of Agile world. But you know, there’s I think a lot of my students I have a lot of people that listen to this may use agile or in away or not heard of it before. And I think a lot of even for me, it’s like, there’s loads of different frameworks out there. And methodologies and ways of working, I suppose from, you know, extreme programming, kind of Kanban, agile scrum, and then also the kind of more traditional ones like, you know, PRINCE2, PMP. And I think it’s like all why agile, I think and what what are the benefits of it?
Ines Garcia 2:06
Big question, I suppose agile, like other names comes with a lot of baggage. What I find often when I go to help organisations and teams is that there is a sense of, they’re maybe doing Agile, but what I see and the results are not fermenting in a way that they would expect, one would expect with the principles that those frameworks bring. So in a very simple manner, what I like to do sometimes is just to drop the name at all, I tend to refer to, to our colleagues who out of what we’re trying to do here is to deliver better value do that sooner, safer, happier, at the end of the day, that’s the aim.
Francis Pindar 2:48
I don’t know, if you’re the same as me, it’s like, there’s all these different ways of doing things. But actually, you can use elements from all of them really to kind of really support what the business and the objectives of the business are trying to get out to support the team that same as you, but it can become a, I think, is quite good. Are you dropping the word agile? Because then you kind of set you in this kind of mindset of that’s the way I should be working, which may not be the benefit for the business. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Ines Garcia 3:13
In that sense, like think that this Agile has been around for more than 20 years, people that they were already developing software in different ways and the more traditional and standardised manner, they came together, they drop their differences. They let them like in the other side of the door, and they discuss what were the commonalities of the things that they were doing differently. And that’s where the Agile Manifesto emerge. And for whoever’s listening this if you haven’t checked it out, please go to AgileManifesto.org. And have a look about the about why were they there where they were trying to achieve. And so when things become trending is very easy for core of the content to dilute and I think is, if you haven’t had the greatest experience with a type of agile, unfortunately, that may be a reason of your experience. So there is a better way, and there are hosts out there.
Francis Pindar 4:09
So what are the common things that you kind of noticed when you work with companies that say they’re doing Agile, but it’s fragile, or it’s just not quite achieving? What is the kind of common things do you kind of see within the projects?
Ines Garcia 4:22
Some of the anti-patterns, I suppose we could call it is that we expect to be able to foresee the future. And if anything over the last 24 months, we have proven wrong, that ain’t going to happen. If we look at natural systems, we can get the Inspire how nature works, in a sense that nature is built to adapt to change to help storm and the trees still being able to flex. So how can we mimic some of these concepts in the way that we organise ourselves and in the way that we build the products and services that we put to market.
Francis Pindar 4:49
So Is that because the first book you did was all around agile and you’d like to talk about the Agile Manifesto and the people that came together at point, which I found out found really interesting. How did that connect into your sustainability and agile? And how does that kind of fit into the same world?
Ines Garcia 5:16
The same world, the common denominator is me. I work for myself and I struggled to put myself into a box because I have really wide interest of different things like the first product I kind of put out there was a card game makes a my love for games, because I really like board games with the work that I do with Teams. Why not? inventing is part of the process, always learning is part of the process. Sometimes I wonder if I enjoy more of the process of learning than the outcomes. And what has come more apparent to me is that the way that we behave, society political structures, the systems that we in bam, they all conceptual systems, they don’t really tangibly exist, we make them up, there are flaws in the system, unless the system is designed to leave the place better than how we found so in a very abstract way, in a very meta meta meta way, there are similarities. I come from communications background, that’s what I study, I landed in the Agile world by being interested of how others do better what they do. So I ended up working internal communication. And yes, digital has lot to do a lot of tools that the things that can help there but at the end of the day are humans problems that we are trying to solve.
Francis Pindar 6:35
So is that why you because I sort of noticed on LinkedIn you kind of you started off at Lappin, the cutting out kind of restaurant was that where you had that communication experience?
Ines Garcia 6:44
I’ve done lots of jobs in my life from promo and from my family business is a wine shop. And if you want to get to my heart, you do that also through my tummy. Lots of different jobs and I study comm See, used to be a double degree PR advertising marketing that five years and I was already working for tourism of Gerona of the city where I was studying, then I ended up working as well. For segway I don’t know if many of you will remember, two wheels one platform is supposed to revolutionise so part of my job was convincing politicians to jump into this thing of a summer in August, everybody disappears. I said to my bus, I’m gonna get to London for a month. That’s how I landed here. And I was finishing my uni the air like sometimes I will take the first plane in the morning coming back the last one at night just to present my final project and very intense. And I did all sorts of jobs because I was holding my rental flats there, my rental flats and life over here. And so all sorts of different things. And for me, it came apparent that over time, I kind of miss the big boom of social media and for our communicators, somebody that wanted to build their professional career around that, well, he was a big moment and to kind of be doing all sorts of things. So you find your pace, and you’ll find your ways to go back to do what you love. And so I ended up coming back into internal comms. And in one of the organisations that I was working, actually, they were trying to embed Salesforce into the internal tools. So that kind of came to mind. And I read a lot and I really liked to experiment sometimes with humans. In a way, that’s how we organised how can we make it more engaging? How can we make it more satisfying the time because the time that we have is perishables, we should really make the most out of it. And with that I my investigations that are raising hearing agile, do you suggest that so I borrow bids, and I try stuff with my team. Thanks to them for meant right. I think over time I come to the conclusion.
Francis Pindar 8:51
Was that based on just you learning yourself? Or did you go on training to learn agile at that point?
Ines Garcia 8:57
Yeah, at that point. And so what I decided to do is to put myself through this scrum master certification Scrum is a framework that applies some of the principles of agile and extends with some coloured ceremonies, like some touch points into your delivery cycle, to help you to align with your team help you to get better at your process, essentially, is that and so going through this motions, and then I finished there are several path into the scrum mastery, sort of professional path. And I finished that like few years ago, so there is always learning and things become more clear as more than you do at the end of the day is a practice.
Francis Pindar 9:40
Yeah, it’s not just about I always think of it as like, you can kind of functionally know it, I suppose. But that doesn’t give you a you know, you need to actually practice experiment with it, play with it, really learn it and see what works for you. And yeah, and just that kind of experience of doing it but also that kind of X Factor. turf war, I get a kick out of my burndown graph or whatever it is, that kind of drives you to improve and do better. Some
Ines Garcia 10:07
of the analogies, I think they are commonly uses. I hope I’m not like butchering the idea, but from the film of Karate Kid, where the kid is being told to watch the car, but he wants to learn karate, you just do what the master says, Do it, do it. And then those forms and those mannerism and those disciplines, they come to us later on. So in essence, it’s a bit like this practice, and then you will just get better.
Francis Pindar 10:38
Yeah, definitely. And I think also just learning things that are kind of outside of your industry or your area of expertise, I suppose I found I learned that quite early on when I kind of went worked in film post-production, you know, agile in film paths for post-production does not exist. But a lot of the concepts from agile they were using, and it was, as they just called it the film pipeline. It was just there doing the show and tells every morning show what had progressed the previous day, the wall of the time before it all got digitalized the wall of all the shots and the stages of productions, you could literally pick see, looking at the wall exactly where the film is set, but also the things that I didn’t use in my kind of coding world that I kind of picked up and kind of thought that’s quite interesting. But yeah, also actually, when I was reading your book, I’ve got them here. Actually, you’re kind of agile, becoming agile, and I haven’t quite finished. I’ve got a little way through sustainable Apple profit, but not there. But especially with your agile book, like your references to other materials, other books and stuff. That because I’m a big reader, and there are loads actually a lot of the books like yeah, just Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you know, the cornerstone, I suppose, of classic books, but there’s a couple of others that I just had never read, which I started got on our audiobook drive The Surprising Truth that motivates us. Not read, but yeah, fascinating. So what how with the books, what drove you to go watch today, I’m going to write a book, the passion of agile, what drove you to do it,
Ines Garcia 12:09
so it wasn’t a day, the session of a time when it came more apparent is that I only have certain hours a day. And I really want to the I’m on this quest to demystify like them what Agile was about, but to help others to see that there is a better way to do business, I can see that there is a commonality of the messages subliminal or maybe not. So subliminal messages on trying to fit into this content, creating a product where you do the effort once and can span in a way, way there that I could do with which I love to do anyway with articles and community conferences and supporting local community groups. And all of that I will do and continue to that is a way to extend the influence, hopefully to reach others, to give them the tools, the ability and to debunk so many myths, there is a better way to do business, there is a better way to enjoy work, and there is a better way to spend your perishable time. Let’s do it. I have fun.
Francis Pindar 13:13
I think also, especially with that always found like, especially the ground sustainability, diversity, and all this other lace kind of stuff that companies will kind of almost like go on this training course and learn this, because we need to look like we’re being sustainable and diverse. And then you come back and then but they don’t really kind of engage with actually making a change in their in their business. And I don’t know, I kind of seen like even last couple of years are kind of a bit of a seismic shift in to companies going well actually, we really need to look at a product creation process and seeing really how we can be more sustainable and more environmentally friendly, I suppose. So what from some of the from the Agile book and moving into this kind of sustainable happy profit was that just that that came about with working with companies and wanting to move and learn more about that kind of side of business,
Ines Garcia 14:03
it was a very selfish quest, where at personal level, I made changes and I continue trying to evolve in the way that I can reduce my footprint and leave the place better than how I find and it’s hard. It’s hard in terms of decisions that you make things that you purchase, or you then purchase or things that you grow yourself. So wish me luck with my tomatoes this year. So there are many, many things that we can do. And I think in general, there has been a why their educational piece and awareness piece into the wider population at the masses. And there is a common understanding at the system level at the political level that we need to change. Yet as a one person company, it was very difficult for me to translate some of these ideas into how do I run my Ltd better. So that was a very selfish question. I started, I started reading lots of things, there is a myriad of information, it can get really overwhelming loads of different frameworks, lots of different things to account for. And I took the path of talking with the organisations that they were doing things differently. Over two, three years, I had fantastic conversations, and I learned a lot from others. And some things or face some frame, some tools, some actions, I started practising, you know, I was my own lab rat, and with my own company, and in the way that I may not engage with certain industries anymore to the work that I do, every single decision that we take can leave the place better. So it’s really up to us. So knowing that this massive population is kind of aware, as a consumer, for me, it’s very difficult, I was doing a French drain because of some dumb issues in the house, blah, blah, to be able to find the right product that you see there. upcycle, or it doesn’t have big damage is really hard. So all the things that I learned and the things that I was practising if it didn’t feel fair for me, just to keep it for me, because I already published another book, I thought, Let’s reuse the framework. And there you go. In the second book, The Sustainable happy Prophet came to life. At the very end, I had this revelation of, I’m just gonna fit scope creep. I’m gonna fit the handbook at the end to help even more tangible I think we really liked like one page or two pages, because there is just so much going on. So people can quickly like refer back and look at it. So yeah, that was a big extra scope against the clock. I’m hearing good things from it.
Francis Pindar 16:38
It’s also it’s like kind of the myths of like, always drives me nuts with with your recycling your plastic at home kind of thing. But actually, it’s not recycling its downside claim, because it can only be recycled down to another form of plastic, really a park bench or whatever it may be. But it still ends up in as rubbish at the end of the line is still not really eradicating plastic altogether is great. A first step by Coca Cola, still plastic bottles, biggest waste in the world, I think for plastic, but also, I think there was a I read somewhere that was somewhere that was eliminating single use plastic and loads of people going, Oh, no, but I’ve seen those things where the youth are trying to put stuff into pots and sell it buying it. And it’s a complete disaster, but actually by governments actually saying, hey, let’s stop single use prices. Just an example, could drive the innovation to come up with alternatives that are a lot more environmentally friendly. So do you think that governments do have a part to play and it’s not just kind of companies being able to or is it literally, it’s got to come from a company base.
Ines Garcia 17:43
For me, it was the book, it was the revelation to find that we have this massive gap where politics is aware, yet has precious and some systems constraint. I’m not gonna solve our economic system in this conversation today. But there are some things that the results are way too slow, and it has low pots and they are not agile enough for the speed of change that the world deserves. at the population level, I’ll tell you my own constraints in my consumerism decisions is very tough. I can empathise, now, we have this middle saying that is a great player in the marketplace, organisations and you know what they are made up of individuals of us. And so bringing back the designers, the ones that are creating, we’re creating products, software, how the things talk to each other, how much they talk to each other, how efficient it is, how much of it with it, every single decision, it can make a difference, it has to come from within. In terms of plastic card, this is also a massive subject. Because we seem sometimes to design things for one function and designing it for one function, it misses a heap of context. So if you design plastic came about because is an easy way to store liquids, we then think beyond that, to where the materials come from. If you look at nature, a leaf has no toxicity on it, you can take one leaf out of the whole plant, and the thing will continue absorbing energy producing new trends. At the end, when it’s done its job, you will go back to the ground and it will decompose into multiple different things. It doesn’t become a leaf again. So and the way that we design things is like how can we make that in line with nature?
Francis Pindar 19:35
Yeah, it’s I think it also is that fallacy that actually doing thinking that way will be less profitable for the business. I remember there’s a company in Germany that made carpets and they basically looked at their whole supply chain and realise that all the raw materials that make up a carpet was constantly being cleaned at every different step of that process. And actually just piling Looking at all these companies that were supplying those were all materials, they eliminated a lot of waste from just the cleaning and the the materials being used. So much. So the carpets were almost simpler, leave more hair created in, in more basic such that actually, when they fitted the carpets, they wanted the customers to contact them in five years time. So they could take the carpets back to then reuse those raw materials from it to create new carpets from it, which then also helped the customer, because then took away the carpet, it all went back into the supply chain, that he got better relationships with the customer, because they can offer a discount, because obviously they’re making money off the carpet that they put in 510 years ago. And just the whole circular nature of it. And that was all driven by it all started kicked off the process when he was the German government said the wastewater from factories had to be a lot cleaner than it was and then just trying to reduce the amount of chemicals that actually resulted in better profit and a more interesting way of creating their products as well.
Ines Garcia 21:12
So yeah, and there are great stories, I think this idea of you want to cheap, good legs to actually you ended up with something very mediocre. In the work that we do. You see sometimes conversations are being very polarised and we ended up something Yeah, kind of in the middle. There are more variables. And I think when we look at the business, you can in fact deliver in a more sustainable way on a happier way. And profits will be a result, not a compromise. When I speak with CEOs and the conversations goes down into the aim of the game. The vision of the organisation is to generate more profit, I challenge that is not an organisational vision. We have a big problem over here. Why do you exist? There has to be a purpose. I think we entering in the age of purpose, purpose, economy, purpose, economy. Profit is a result a result of doing the things in a way that leaves the place better than how you found
Francis Pindar 22:15
I think that there’s another kind of as you said, it’s like the people in the masses wanting to to work for those companies that are making a difference and that what I’m doing isn’t damaging the environment. And then actually the good people that people that are what using their feet to walk to those companies, you start becoming less competitive almost just by the fact that you’re not being sustainable. And people can see that be interesting how it moves on over the years,
Ines Garcia 22:41
I help from competition to collaboration or my favourite work co-creation. When you see that all parties and everybody has a place to play, you achieve much more than generating resistant and putting effort on against fascinating
Francis Pindar 22:57
for those who don’t know where to contact you if they wanted to contact or find out our books, where should they go?
Ines Garcia 23:03
I would like to believe I miss it to find so if you go to Google in his GetAgile, so I should be out there in the community of Salesforce. We use Twitter quite a bit. So there you can find me at Zenith calm that Okay, the second one, there is a story behind One day One day we’ll have time this will be the good place to go. I suppose Amazon easy to find the books and the game and stuff.
Francis Pindar 23:30
And then you’re coming to London’s calling as well. Yes, yes. Brilliant. So if you want to meet up there, maybe there as well. So brilliant. Thanks so much. Is there anything else you wanted to shout out about while we’re here?
Ines Garcia 23:42
Well, one of my very last inventions if I may, we came together for a bit a few people from the community over the beginning of March 2020 where we start cooking things and retain each other you couldn’t really go and eat somewhere else so we start showing up look I cook this I cook that and bring something alive food is something that brings us together that all the time has become a cookbook we launch a cookbook
Francis Pindar 24:12
absolutely vegetarian one provide
Ines Garcia 24:15
Yeah, yeah, we should definitely increase our percentage of plant base is very nutritious is less footprint and many many together
Francis Pindar 24:24
because we’re vegetarians at home it kind of each of us get it at some point. But we can use our numbers Amazon as well.
Ines Garcia 24:32
Of course all profits go to nonprofit organisation that are focused to help those that they don’t have enough to eat. So trying to like bring the love of foods for the love of others.
Francis Pindar 24:44
is fantastic. Loving it. Well look forward to seeing you at London’s calling. Thanks so much for being on the show.
Ines Garcia 24:50
Thank you, Francis. It was a pleasure