Courtney Kissler

(She / her / hers)

CTO @zulily

Courtney Kissler joined Zulily in January 2021 as CTO and SVP of Technology. Previously she was Vice President Global Technology at Nike accountable for building a re-usable seamless platform to power Nike Direct to Consumer experiences, core commerce services, user services, consumer data engineering and global retail solutions. She also led the Global Supply Chain, Fulfillment and Logistics teams worldwide and was driving transformation across the supply chain ecosystem. Prior to that, Courtney was the VP of Retail Technology at Starbucks where she led global POS and retail store technology experiences. Courtney spent 14 years at Nordstrom, starting in infrastructure and security, moving into delivery leadership roles with her last role being the Vice President of E-Commerce and Store technologies where she drove a technological transformation essential for outpacing the demands of today’s Omnichannel consumers. In all 3 organizations, Courtney drove transformation in ways of working, moving to more outcome-based delivery of technology using modern practices, including DevOps. Courtney brings diverse technology experience from startups, CyberSafe and WorldStream Communications, to beloved global brands.

Session

Lead with Speed

In this talk, I will share concrete examples about being in an organization optimized for cost & efficiency and the shift to optimizing for speed. I will talk about the leadership mindset shift required and how to still achieve cost and efficiency by leading with speed. This journey started for me at Nordstrom and I carried this philosophy into my roles at Starbucks, Nike and Zulily. I will share the similarities and differences in each role/context, but how the one thing stayed constant – leading with speed. 

Many of us face pressure from our organizations to “save money” and justify the cost of technology. I truly believe focusing on speed as the primary objective will deliver strong results, including managing costs. Some tactics I will share include:

  • Outcome based teams
  • Making all work visible
  • Limiting WIP
  • Understanding velocity and viscosity
  • Architecture/Standards Evolution (some amount of discipline enables speed/agility)
  • Myth busting (speed means sacrificing quality, only unicorns can focus on speed, cloud is more expensive and can’t be managed)

Date

Wednesday Nov 3 / 09:10AM PDT (40 minutes)

Track

Optimizing Your Organization for Speed

Topics

Organizational PatternsAgileContinuous DeliveryTeam Collaboration

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PANEL DISCUSSION

Panel: Engineering Leadership Lessons for Improving Flow

Please join this panel of industry experts to talk about how to lead organizational change to improve velocity and quality.

We will discuss topics like:  

  • How to improve organizational structures to help teams focus on the most important priorities
  • How to recognize and remove organizational, process, and cultural impediments to fast flow
  • How to find the sweet spot between standardization and team autonomy
  • How to manage technical debt, and how to decide whether to declare tech bankruptcy

Bring your own questions and topics as well!

Date

Wednesday Nov 3 / 11:10AM PDT (40 minutes)

Track

Optimizing Your Organization for Speed

Topics

LeadershipOrganizational PatternsAgileContinuous DeliveryTeam Collaboration

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