Agile Cross-Pollination: Growing Agile Adoption at Farm Credit Mid-America

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What happens when the business side of your company, after seeing the success of Scrum used by your IT side, tries to use the same techniques and practices? This presentation will provide an overview of the Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) journey to Agile adoption within IT and its internal business partners. Scrum was first introduced within its application development team in 2008, then Kanban was introduced in 2011. Gradually adoption grew and now over a dozen IT and business teams have chosen to also adopt some of the same practices and techniques. Come hear FCMA's story of cultivating an Agile work environment within and outside it's IT department. See how the job of the developer, product owner and tester become easier with business-side Agile adoption. Learn some of the surprising benefits gained when IT and the business side of a company are utilizing similar approaches to agile work management.

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Agile Cross-Pollination: Growing Agile Adoption at Farm Credit Mid-America

  1. 1. Agile Cross-Pollination: Growing Agile Adoption at Farm Credit Mid-America 1 Farm Credit Mid-America
  2. 2. About Farm Credit Mid-America • $19B agriculture lending cooperative • 95,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in IN, OH, KY and TN • farm real estate financing, operating loans, equipment & livestock loans • Crop insurance and farm leasing We help farmers feed America! 2 Farm Credit Mid-America
  3. 3. Agenda • Planting the Seeds of Agile Adoption • Cross-Pollination with Business Partners • The Harvest 3 Farm Credit Mid-America
  4. 4. Planting the Seeds of Agile Adoption 4 Farm Credit Mid-America
  5. 5. History of Adoption • 2008 • Began with one pilot project using a CSM • “By the Book”, focusing on technique • Functional managers for QAs, BAs and developers • 2009 • Trained all team mates in Scrum • Procured VersionOne tool • Director implemented “Story Points per Developer” • 2010 • More training • Work assigned, not volunteered by team mates • Story sizes start to grow (13, 20+) 5 Farm Credit Mid-America
  6. 6. History of Adoption (cont.) • 2012 • • • • • • 6 Hired CSC and CIO, each with 8+ years Agile experience Teams of 4 developers, 1 BA, 1QA report to one leader Eliminated “Points per Developer” metric Started recording/resolving impediments Implemented “coaching” culture 13 software releases Farm Credit Mid-America
  7. 7. History of Adoption (cont.) • 2013 Introduced Scrum/Kanban to other IT teams Create the Leader Board Changed from Individual bonus to Team bonus program Changed from high walled cubes to low walled honeycomb Performance reviews focus on communication, collaboration, team focus and innovation skills • 26 software releases • • • • • 7 Farm Credit Mid-America
  8. 8. What we learned • • • • • • 8 Functional managers  Team Leaders Points per Developer promotes individualism Smaller stories are better Smaller and more frequent releases are better Tracking impediments works! Other IT teams followed suit Farm Credit Mid-America
  9. 9. Examples of IT Work Boards Infrastructure Business Applications Service Desk Security Intranet 9 Farm Credit Mid-America
  10. 10. The biggest value to the IT department was… 10 The business teams took notice of our success! “Show us how you did it!” Farm Credit Mid-America
  11. 11. Planting the Seeds of Agile Adoption Cross-Pollination with Business Partners 11 Farm Credit Mid-America
  12. 12. WHY it all started • Leader Board • Impediment Board reflected the bottle necks in development – Training material not ready in time – Business partners not available for Demos and UAT 12 Farm Credit Mid-America
  13. 13. WHERE it all started • Training • Loan Accounting • Operations 13 Farm Credit Mid-America
  14. 14. HOW it all started • Introduced Scrum & Kanban • The Myth of Multitasking • The Name Game 14 Farm Credit Mid-America
  15. 15. Two Simple Rules of Kanban… 1: Visualize your work 2: Limit work in progress 15 Farm Credit Mid-America
  16. 16. Start Simple Let it evolve over time… 16 Farm Credit Mid-America
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  18. 18. • Task switching Myths of Multi-tasking • Reduced productivity • Reduced quality 18 Farm Credit Mid-America
  19. 19. Want proof that it doesn’t work? 19 • The Name Game Farm Credit Mid-America
  20. 20. Planting the Seeds of Agile Adoption Cross-Pollination with Business Partners The Harvest 20 Farm Credit Mid-America
  21. 21. Benefits to business teams • • • • • • 21 Wow, look how much work is in play! Are we working on the right things? Some over-worked, some not. Easy to rollup for weekly/monthly reports. Do we still need weekly reports? Powerful tool for coaching and developing others Farm Credit Mid-America
  22. 22. Benefits to business team leaders • • • • • • • 22 Wow, look how much work is in play! More sense of accountability among team mates. I need to help prioritize their work! I need to help remove impediments! I need to delegate more! Maybe I don’t need a weekly report any more! Maybe I don’t need a weekly staff meeting anymore! Farm Credit Mid-America
  23. 23. Benefits to business leader of leaders • • • • • • • • • • 23 Wow, look how much work is in play   I need to help prioritize their work! I need to help remove impediments! I need to delegate more! I can quickly see evidence of progress. I can see patterns in issues between boards. I can forecast milestones easier now. I don’t need to follow-up as much as before. Maybe I don’t need a weekly report anymore! Maybe I don’t need a weekly staff meeting anymore! Farm Credit Mid-America
  24. 24. Benefits to Application Development • Business partners allocate time to UAT and demos. • Less re-work with business partners involved more. • Rewarding to know we are working on what’s most important to business. • Mutual respect and appreciation. • Managing business partners expectations easier. • Stronger partnership between business and AppDev. 24 Farm Credit Mid-America
  25. 25. Comments from Leaders of leaders • “Biggest surprise was the revelation of how much work people were engaged in. This is powerful in helping me and my leaders prioritize the work that really needs to get done.” • “I love seeing team mates offering to help each other, when they see someone overwhelmed or falling behind. Camaraderie has improved.” • “What a powerful tool to help us stay focus on what really matters to the business. We can easily show how our work directly aligns to our business goals and objectives.” 25 Farm Credit Mid-America
  26. 26. Challenges in using Scrum/Kanban • • • • • 26 Finding and staying within our WIP limits Some on team still do not embrace this Some see the number of cards as a competition Some cards stay on board for a long time But we are a team of specialists! Can it work for us? Farm Credit Mid-America
  27. 27. Summary • Agile techniques are not just for Application Development. • Value in “speaking the same language”. • Helps keep the company (from top to bottom) focused. 27 Farm Credit Mid-America
  28. 28. Questions? 28 Farm Credit Mid-America
  29. 29. Contact info Alston E. Hodge 502-631-3175 alston.hodge@e-farmcredit.com blog: www.alstonhodge.com Meetup: www.meetup.com/Louisville-Agile-Forum/ 29 Farm Credit Mid-America
  30. 30. Sample Kanban Boards 30 Farm Credit Mid-America
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