So when my friend mentioned that a good indicator for agile transformation success was a company had hit rock bottom I knew exactly what he was referring to. In this particular case he used the examples of the FBI Sentinel Project and Healthcare.gov website debacle. In both cases, it wasn’t until each was a total disaster that Agile was actually tried with any seriousness and rigor and in both cases the results were amazing.
One of the reasons I have proposed the concept of CAO (Chief Agile Officer) is for situations such as these where someone at the top level of the organization can arbitrate using the entire organizational as a lens to determine best courses of action. It sounds like you are both on the same organizational level so it would help to appeal to a higher management level in instances where two of the same level cannot come to a satisfactory conclusion.
As an Agile Coach who has worked at his fair share of large companies, I spend a lot of … More Too Many Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs) →
Most of my 7+ years of Agile coaching and scrum mastering has been working with existing waterfall organizations and helping them become more agile. During this period I have seen a wide range of companies and a wide range of successful adoption, but I have noticed one thing that is constant. This was brought home recently as I reflect on my most recent agile presentation/discussion given at Geekdom in San Antonio last week.
In this Agile open forum the majority of the questions dealt with transitioning from waterfall to agile. This is where I first publicly broached Apke’s law which states:
Your transition to agile will only go as far as the highest ranking manager who understands and supports it.
Continue reading Apke's Law →
I have had the good fortune of managing Agile (scrum) implementations at a number of different companies over the years. I have had some great success and some implementations that were not so great. While not unique, my experience is such that I have enough data points to start seeing patterns, especially patterns of failure. That is, while I cannot confidently tell you what will most certainly work in your particular situation, I am eminently qualified to tell you what will not work.
Continue reading The Reason Your Agile Implementation will Fail →
I had the wonderful opportunity to have a panel discussion recently regarding Agile. In my warped world, there is no greater pleasure than getting grilled on how Agile can be implemented in the real world. As such conversations are wont to do, a consistent theme emerged. In this particular conversation it was all about Trust.
If someone asked me to pick one word that could be used to describe a low functional Agile team versus a high functioning team, there are two words that come to mind – Discipline and Trust. Of these trust is probably the most important in that it can be hard to acquire, difficult to keep and easy to lose. As a scrum master, my team has to trust that I have their best interests in mind at all times, that the metrics I compile will never be used to punish them. They need to trust each other to be able to commit to a body of work for any particular sprint, etc.
Continue reading Trust and Agile →