Several years ago I had the opportunity to support a growing consulting firm with their transformation to Scrum. It's been exciting to watch Highland Solutions learn, adapt, and grow as a team in their ability to organize and deliver great client solutions.
The attached Case Study describes their approach and some of their learning along the way. It also highlights the significant benefits they've seen as a result of their Agile Transformation. There were multiple challenges being faced by the organization in 2012 when they began their agile journey:
One of the most common conversations I’ve had with clients over the last few years is how to move from a traditional or waterfall style of development to using Agile and Scrum. Based on those discussions and years of experience leading and supporting these transformations for my clients, I’ve compiled this short guide on planning and executing an agile pilot or an agile transformation in your organization.
A common question I get during my Agile training courses is what is the difference between Agile Adoption and Agile Transformation. It's a great question. I see five key differences worth talking about.
But first let's agree on our terminology. These are my working definitions for these two terms though I realize that people don't use these two terms consistently.
One question that I get frequently from leaders during Agile training is about how to make sure everyone is busy. How do we make sure that we are getting the most out of every person? They have a seemingly perverse focus on individual efficiency rather than on team effectiveness and throughput. Rather than focusing on creating an environment for high performing teams, they try to make sure that everyone is busy all the time. This is another form of local optimization.
During training courses, I often think it would be helpful to have all of Scrum and Agile summarized on one page. It’s actually not so easy! Even though the Agile Manifesto is just 4 values and 12 principles, and the Scrum Guide is 17 pages, it is still hard to summarize all that on one slide. We’ve tried anyway, and I am interested in your opinion on our efforts.
Looking for resources to help you succeed with Agile or make the transition to Scrum? You’ve come to the right place. Bookmark this guide and leverage it for all questions you have related to Agile Pilots, Training, and Transformation.
Whether you are just beginning to learn about Agile and Scrum and need guidance on best strategies for an Agile pilot, or a seasoned Agile Leader who is looking to create high-performing teams, we have tips, plans and strategies to help you avoid pitfalls and ultimately succeed with Agile and Scrum.
I met with some of the key internal champions for Agile at a client recently and they asked for my help. They have been trying to encourage the Agile and Scrum teams in the organization and mature their practices and they found that their teams had hit a wall and were not progressing. It was as if they had run into a brick wall.
That brick wall was the executive leadership team. The leadership team said they wanted the benefits of Agile, but frequently acted in ways that undercut the agile teams. The attitude of the leadership team seems to be:
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to teach 3 agile training sessions in a row, 2 for clients and one at Northwestern University. In those classes, I learned a few things from the attendees. These were challenges that the participants saw to implementing Agile in their organization. They were often stated as objections or ways in which they did not think Agile would work for them.
Is your organization undermining the benefits of Scrum without even knowing it? As an agile coach, I find that many of my clients today are trying to improve on their use of Scrum. Scrum is a simple agile framework that can be difficult to implement. For some, it is difficult because people continue to do things the same way with Scrum as they had done previously. Or they misunderstand or disregard the rules of Scrum that they don't feel are important. And when they keep doing things the same way and disregard the rules, they don’t realize the benefits of Scrum and agile.