» Agile Transformation
Last week I posted that I thought one of the most common reasons that people say Agile did not work for them was the inability to colocate teams. Several people commented that they thought I missed the boat (which is quite possible) and that the most common reason that agile doesn't work is that managers cannot change their command and control behaviors and create an environment where people can do their best work. I agree.
Most of the clients who seek out our help ask about Agile adoption. They usually have a couple of teams developing solutions using a traditional approach, and they'd like them to begin using Agile. For them, it is just a process change. They want their teams to develop faster, or to collaborate closely with the business people. Or they want a simpler process for introducing change that is fast and allows them to be more responsive.
A key part of an Agile Transformation for an organization is forming the Scrum teams. The starting point for most organizations is typically a functional organization such as developers, business analysts, and testers who report to their respective managers. It is common for each person to be assigned to multiple projects. So how do we go from that to having dedicated team members on cross-functional teams?
Many organizations today are running Agile pilots or are attempting an Agile Transformation. They want the flexibility and business agility that Agile methods promise. Leaders play a key role in the Agile Transformation. It is only with a solid understanding of this critical role that the transformation will succeed and deliver the promised benefits.
I’ve been preparing to teach a couple of courses on leadership in an Agile environment and taking stock of those characteristics that make Agile Leaders successful. Reflecting on great Agile leaders that I know, a few key leadership traits that come to mind are as follows.
Ownership - Great leaders take personal responsibility for the outcomes and results they create. They don’t blame others when things don’t go their way, they reflect on it, learn from their experience, and try again. They see themselves as the authors of their experience.