Presented by Tom Perry & Tom Looy

“I hate red string.” Tom and I have heard this multiple times in our coaching careers. You know, that blob of red string that’s on the wall after a Big Room Planning event. Why do we and others hate it? Because you can’t see anything. You can’t see the unique value stream, the team dependency chain, of any of the features in a release. And you can’t see how these team dependency chains can conflict with other feature dependency chains in the release. And without seeing the complete set of team dependency chains within a release sprint teams will not be able to effectively plan, let alone deliver the work that they have committed to.

So how can you capture the information in the big blob of red string on your wall in a way that can actually be useful?

Tom and I will discuss several bad planning patterns that result from not being able to collectively visualize all the value streams within a release. We will also show how to effectively visualize your release plan using a social network visualization tool. Finally, we will discuss Eli Goldratt’s Critical Chain, a key part of his Theory of Constraints, that will help mitigate the risk of missing your release commitments.


Thomas Looy is an accomplished Agile program manager, coach, trainer, and mentor with a distinguished career spanning diverse industries, including retail, finance, construction, insurance, SaaS, and telecommunications. With a wealth of experience in leading Agile transformations, Thomas has worked with Fortune 100 clients to integrate Lean, Theory of Constraints, and Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge into organizational systems, enabling the successful implementation of Agile methodologies. As a Senior Enterprise Agile Coach Consultant at Hyperdrive Agile, he directly supported C-level executives in Enterprise Agile transformation, delivering valuable recommendations, targeted training, and expert coaching. Thomas is also a seasoned entrepreneur, having co-created a startup project, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and strategic vision. With a Bachelor of Science in Education, he combines his educational background with extensive Agile expertise to drive Agile excellence and transformation in organizations. Thomas’s commitment to Agile principles and his track record of success make him a trusted advisor and leader in the field of Agile program management and coaching.

Tom Perry is a storyteller. In his 25-year career as a software developer and architect, he has used his talent for storytelling to lead digital transformations, including at Visa, which resulted in a 30% decrease in defects and 60% faster time-to-market, and at USAA, where his exceptional coaching skill led the development team to delivering their first features eight times faster than had been projected at the start of the project. Tom also produced and ran the annual Agile Management Northwest conference. His successful Agile coaching engagements include USAA’s People & Culture division, multiple divisions within Experian, and a landmark engagement at AssetMark which saved the company 1.5 million by eliminating redundant analysis meetings for their teams. Now as an instructor and educator, Tom uses stories and real-world examples to inspire his students to see Agile and Scrum training as something they can integrate into their lives and work right away to create remarkable improvements — not just the efficiency of their work, but their own engagement and morale as well. He has written a guide to software project management called The Little Book of Impediments, and regularly writes blogs for Hyperdrive and his personal website. Learn more about Tom & his upcoming ICAgile certified classes here.

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