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Most Agile adoptions put emphasis on training team members or specific roles. Having a group of “agile” teams does not provide the holistic change that is required within an organization looking to …

Most Agile adoptions put emphasis on training team members or specific roles. Having a group of “agile” teams does not provide the holistic change that is required within an organization looking to improve by adopting Agile, Scrum or Lean practices.Organizational Agility requires culture and paradigm shifts, changing the way work is approached, tackling impediments that are transparently exposed and in many cases, restructuring. Many organization leaders and managers say “this sounds great but where do I get started”? Join us for this session on how leaders can pragmatically begin the shift from traditional management to Agile management, enabling self-organization and becoming designers of the new environments that many organizations need to create in order for a successful Agile transformation.

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  • It is important to note that adopting Agile should not be the goal.Agile is a philosophy or a framework to approach solving a complex problem or project.Agile is NOT a magic bullet or a silver bullet.Adopting Agile will not solve problems that the organization has today.Due to the highly transparent nature of Agile, it will expose impediments and problems that the project or organization already has but will do so very quickly.It is up to the project team and/or the leadership in an organization to decide how to address the impediments or problems exposed.
  • Consider the reasons survey respondents have given as an answer to “why agile”?Are these reasons necessarily the goal for their product or service?Or do Agile methods enable these organizations to achieve the goals that they have for their products and services?What are those goals? Is it to improve the quality of the user’s lives? Is it to delight their customers? Why are they in business?
  • For an organization to adopt agility, it takes a commitment and a cultural shift. Having a certain number of teams trained and or “rolling out agile” to all teams, does not mean that the organization is “agile”.
  • Steve Denning is the author of the award winning books “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Re-inventing the Workplace for the 21st Century”, “The Secret Language of Leadership” and “The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling”.Denning maintains that traditional management is broken. The life expectancy of Fortune 500 firms is down to 15 year trending downward towards 5 years.Denning says that organizations need to delight their customers and that Leaders in organizations need to change from controllers of people to enablers of self-organization to bring about creative problem solving.The leadership shift needs to move from single-minded profit focus to continuous transparency and radical transparency.
  • What do we mean by Organizational Agility?BusinessDictionary.com defines it as: The capacity of a company to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market. A high degree of organizational agility can help a company to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, the development of new industry-changing technologies, or sudden shifts in overall market conditions.
  • The ideas in this slide are adapted from Peter Michael Senge.Peter Michael Senge is an American scientist and director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of “The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the Learning Organization.”
  • Note in the previous slide our organization’s Vision and its Current Reality were two different things.What thoughts do you have for achieving congruency between the Vision and Reality?A place to start may be identifying what the Obstacles or Barriers are from our Current Reality that are preventing achievement of the Vision.
  • Consider these Agile Team attributes in the context of Organizational Agility.If there are participants who are not familiar with these qualities and characteristics about Agile Teams, spend a few minutes discussing these, explaining how this differs from traditional project teams.What potential obstacles do you see here for your organization?
  • Consider the Product Owner role, ScrumMaster role and Team role in Scrum. If the organization is adopting a different agile method, such as eXtreme Programming, there are similar roles with a Coach but the Customer is also in the driver’s seat much like the Product Owner role in Scrum.What potential obstacles do you see here for your organization?
  • Consider the way that initiatives are funded and organized in your organization currently.Typically, funding is approved at the project level and a team is put together to satisfy that project. Scope is typically “locked down” and managed through change control, discouraging items that deviate from the baseline.With Agile, the focus is on a product, or service. The investment or funding decision is made strategically at the product level.A team remains intact, dedicated to the delivery of this product or service. The knowledge grows as the team continues to work together and their velocity, or ability to get things done each sprint, increases the longer that they are together. Scope is expected to change based on the market, the customer reactions, regulatory compliance, etc. and the framework enables the team to be able to inspect and adapt accordingly.What potential obstacles do you see here for your organization?
  • Consider Roles vs. a Team approach.Are we asking people to abandon their expertise and become generalists?What environment changes are needed to promote team work?What potential obstacles do you see here for your organization?
  • Consider Requirements gathering.In traditional projects, requirements are agreed to up front with a lengthy document detailing what is known about that.The document becomes the focus and change is controlled through a process that discourages any alterations.The agreement is that all requirements – regardless of necessity – are complete by the end of the project.With Agile methods, requirements are broken into smaller, incremental items often referred to as “User Stories”. Documentation is done but not up front. Emphasis is placed on having a discussion, a conversation and allowing the details of this requirement to emerge through that interaction. Documentation is efficient as we only need to document the results of the conversation. Change is encouraged based on customer feedback, market reactions, etc.Highest priority requirements or stories are complete every iteration releasing value earlier than the end of a project.What potential obstacles do you see here for your organization?
  • In agile methods such as Scrum, XP, Lean, etc. the idea is to move quality “up” in the process. QA is not a team that gets to check things at the end. We want to produce working software increments at the end of each sprint or iteration which means it has to be tested and accepted.In order to achieve this, QA is PART of the team, not a separate team. Testing becomes a function, not people. Ideally acceptance tests are identified before a line of code is written so that the code is written to pass the test, not fail it. Regression testing is performed within the sprint, not waiting until an “integration phase” to find out if there are issues. Automation is critical to increasing the efficiency of this process.Think about any paradigm shifts or potential obstacles that you see in transitioning to Agile based on your current quality structure or practices. This can be both team structure as well as technology. Are processes 100% manual?
  • Whatever is incented tends to be what we create more of.If we are incenting individuals to perform in a singular function, we will create more of this in our organization.What potential obstacles do you see for your organization in moving to working in an Agile way where compensation is concerned?Hiring practices?Career development?
  • Wehave looked at some potential obstacles and hopefully understand the Vision of where we want to be.In order to realize that Vision, we must confront our Current Reality.Consider all of the obstacles that you identified.Which of those obstacles are within your Circle of Control? If you do not have control over the item(s) in question, what is available to you or who is available to you?Is there someone or something in your Circle of Influence to be able to address the obstacle?If the obstacles falls outside of both your Circle of Control AND your Circle of Influence, what help is needed to address the obstacle so that the Vision can be realized?Items escalated to Managers and Leaders can be captured on a Backlog to be prioritized or ordered for addressing.
  • It may not be enough to simply identify obstacles that are preventing us from realizing our Vision and prioritizing these obstacles outside of our Circle of Control and Circle of Influence for help from senior leaders. As agile leaders, can we think a few steps ahead or outside of the current constraints to adopt more of a “solution” mindset? Ask each other “What would it take to move things more to the left – back into our circle of influence? Our circle of control? Does this require any organizational structure change? Or can it be more of a paradigm shift within the organization? What would it take for you as leaders and managers to be empowered to address the identified obstacles? To achieve the Vision?In what order do we want to tackle these obstacles?
  • What types of characteristics do our leaders need to bring about true Organizational Agility?Inclusive, Collaborative: ability to see that decision-making requires not just getting others to see your own point of view, but requires thinking things through WITH others expanding and enhancing that point of view through dialog.Flexible, Adaptive: the capacity to adjust one’s beliefs, presuppositions and action strategies in the face of new insights and informationPossibility-Oriented: the capacity to “think outside the box”, to see possibilities where apparently none seem to exist; to try on alternative perspectives in order to generate new insightsFacilitative: the ability to let go of being overtly in control. To be able to intervene through declaration of vision and then through indirect control of environment and process rather than only through directive manipulation and management – managing the principles and practices rather than managing the peopleSelf-reflective: the ability to take a perspective on oneself, BEING the change one wishes to see manifest in an organizationCourageous: the capacity to push oneself beyond one’s comfort and beyond one’s current belief systems in the interest of doing better, both personally and organizationallyObservant: the ability to sense situations that may require change or involvement
  • Many may wonder “how long does it take for companies to transform with Organizational Agility”?The short answer is “It Depends”.The long answer is: What is the size of the organization? Larger organizations will take longer to transform based on the size, layers and complexity whereas smaller organizations may be able to adapt more quickly with fewer people, fewer hierarchical layers, etc.It depends on the company’s culture. How adaptable and flexible are its people? Its leaders? Its operations? Its infrastructure?How committed is the organization’s leadership? Are they aligned in their vision to adopt agile as the way that they work or do they see it as a fad or some separate thing they have to do? Are they providing employees with the training, coaching and mentoring that they need to adopt a more collaborative way of working together? Are they committed to making the structural changes needed to be able to respond to change more quickly and to deliver business value faster?What about the commitment to automation? Is testing all 100% manual? What commitment is there to explore automated scripts and packages? What training do employees need to work with this? Is any hardware or software necessary to purchase to adopt test automation?
  • A few years ago I coached an organization through the beginning stages of their agile transformation.It was a small, privately held company that provides contract support services and IT services to a worldwide food franchise.During the transformation, a number of changes were made in the commitment to delivering high quality business value to franchise owners quickly.The IT approach to initiatives moved from project focused to product focused, with an identified, empowered Product Owner in place facilitating the customer needs to the teams executing them.A number of functional management positions were eliminated with those people joining teams or adopting new positions in the organization where they could add value.The teams were trained in the skills that they needed to begin working more collaboratively in a self-organizing way.Teams were co-located with plenty of “real estate” to collaborate on white boards, hold discussions, post Vision statements, Roadmaps, Kanbans or Taskboards, etc.The business got actively involved participating in high level planning, working with Product Owners, attending reviews and demonstrations and providing rapid feedback.Areas of the business also adopted Scrum as the way that they managed their work.Potential contracts and business was ranked on an Opportunity Backlog with visibility given to which ones were in pursuit during a given Sprint and which ones closed during the timebox. Team members gathered in their room for a Daily Scrum to sync and discuss how they were tracking to the Sprint Goal.
  • Fast forward to a few months ago as I began working with a local client on a new transformation.In a very serendipitous twist for me, I discovered that the new client does business with the client I coached a few years ago.This enabled us to open up the communication channels between the organizations and have their leadership ask candid questions of those who have “been in the trenches” and worked through a number of the considerations we’ve raised here today.The CIO of my former client shared a blog post with me that one of his employees had written and I’d like to share an excerpt of that with you here today.
  • Although this is a great endorsement for Agile, please read the full blog where Daniel describes their use of automation and technical practices that are enhancing their agility.Team members are truly trusted and empowered to come up with the “how” they deliver “what” the business has asked of them. Which in his team’s case is pretty challenging given the high volume of credit card transactions they are processing for a worldwide franchise.
  • The additional things that were satisfying for me to learn as a coach is that a few years after I rolled off of this engagement, the great things we started are still going on – they have become the way this company works.Turn over has been very low and people love their jobs.
  • This is not the end of the story. This is only a point in time in this organization’s agility journey.This CIO will tell you we had our ups and downs. There were times he wondered if he was doing the right thing as it seemed like things get a little worse before they get better.Their commitment to continuous improvement and knowing that if they overcame the impediments this way of working was exposing would allow them to do great things and deliver business value for their franchise owners.

Transcript

  • 1. A Group of Agile Teams ≠Organizational AgilityAngela Johnson, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSTCertified Scrum Trainer & Agile Transformation Coachhttp://angelajohnsonscrumtrainer.com@AgileAngela
  • 2. Angela JohnsonPMP, PMI-ACP, CST• 18+ years InformationTechnology - traditionalSDLC and Scrum/Agile• Facilitator PMI-MN AgileLocal Interest Group• Based in Minneapolis,MN
  • 3. After the webinar…• We will send directions to collect the PDU you will earnfrom attending this webinar• We will also send a links to the recorded webinar andpresentation slides once they are posted onlineFor more information, visit www.cprime.com
  • 4. Why Agile?Any Agile Adoption should start out byasking, “Why do we want to use Agile”?Being “Agile” is not the Goal!Agile is about delivering Business Value
  • 5. 2012 VersionOne State of Agile Survey
  • 6. Organizational Agility“A group of agile teams does not an agileorganization make…”
  • 7. Organizational Agility“The new goal for theorganization must be todelight the customer.”•“Making money” is not thegoal•“Being agile” is not thegoal.•“Working software” is notthe goal•Agile, Scrum & workingsoftware are means toachieving the goal
  • 8. Organizational AgilityWhat is Organizational Agility?• The capacity of a company to rapidlychange or adapt in response tochanges in the market• A high degree of organizational agilitycan help a company to reactsuccessfully to the emergence of newcompetitors, the development of newindustry-changing technologies, orsudden shifts in overall marketconditionswww.BusinessDictionary.com
  • 9. Shared Vision or Current Reality?Adapted from The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
  • 10. Shared Vision or Current Reality?Adapted from The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge
  • 11. Potential Obstacles
  • 12. Potential Obstacles
  • 13. Potential Obstacles
  • 14. Potential Obstacles
  • 15. Potential Obstacles
  • 16. Potential ObstaclesNew Quality Practices• Testers are part of the team• Tests drive coding• Testing a user story is done within an iteration – not after• Quality is not a role, a person or a department – it’severyone’s job• Testing is not something performed by a “tester”• Test automation is critical to long-term effectiveness
  • 17. Potential ObstaclesPersonnel Considerations• Focus is on Cross Functional Teams• Delivery is Value Based on the Customer• What support or training do our teams need to make theparadigm shift in collaboratively working in a crossfunctional way?• What happens to our individual incentives in askingpeople to work in teams?• What happens to our hiring practices in asking for crossfunctional behavior and skills?• What about career path considerations?
  • 18. Confronting Current Reality
  • 19. Realizing the VisionUse a Management or Organizational Backlog toPrioritize Next Steps
  • 20. Shift in Leadership Characteristics• Inclusive, Collaborative• Flexible, Adaptive• Possibly-Oriented• Facilitative• Self-reflective• Courageous• ObservantAdapted from Leadership Agility, Bill Joiner & Stephen Josephs and Action Inquiry, William Torbert
  • 21. How Long Does this Take?It Depends…• Size of the Organization• Organization Culture• Flexibility and Adaptability• Commitment ofOrganization Leadership• Commitment to Automation
  • 22. A Case Study• Privately held organization that provides contractand support services to a worldwide franchise• Moved from project structure to product structureenabling faster delivery of business value• Teams are empowered, co-located and highperforming• Better alignment with the Business
  • 23. 10 Reasons I Love My Job3. Integrated teams. Product owner, QA, operations,infrastructure, developers – we’re all on the same team.We work together, and are committed to each other.There is opportunity for growth. Just one month in, I canalready sense it. And many times I’ve already seen wherewins are celebrated by the entire team, and mistakesare owned by the entire team. It’s awesome.http://silvanolte.com/blog/2013/02/09/10-reasons-i-love-my-job/
  • 24. 10 Reasons I Love My Job2. Agile. Weekly sprints. Sprint goals. The ceremonies. Thedaily meetings. The sprint planning. The sprintretrospectives. The sprint board. The stickies. Weeklydeployments into Production. Having a clear sense of whatour focus is this week. Commitment to the work at hand.Establishing a velocity and trusting in the team to perform.Similar to feeling at home with Apple products and OS X, Ialso feel incredibly at home in this environment.http://silvanolte.com/blog/2013/02/09/10-reasons-i-love-my-job/
  • 25. 10 Reasons I Love My Job1. People care. This is the most important thing to me. Iwork in an environment where people really care about whatthey do. Shades of gray, I acknowledge, between just beingsomewhere for the paycheck and having a passion for whatyou do. At my new workplace, I find that people care aboutwhat they do. To do well for their customer because it’s theright thing to do. Because there’s a sense of pride in doinggood. I can get a paycheck anywhere. But I can only do what Ido, and with the people I do it with, where I’m at right now.http://silvanolte.com/blog/2013/02/09/10-reasons-i-love-my-job/
  • 26. A Case StudyThe CIO’s email to me in sharing the blog post:“One more thing. Check out this blog from one of ourdevelopers. I can die and go to CIO heaven now.Thanks for all you did to help us get to where we are.”http://silvanolte.com/blog/2013/02/09/10-reasons-i-love-my-job/
  • 27. Agile Leadership Online WorkshopJuly 16th from 9:00am to 1:00pmIn order for managers to be successful in the agile organization, it iscritical that a common understanding exists across the projectteams and leadership team of agility, the purpose of our continuouspursuit of agility and managers’ roles in this pursuit.• Motivate and Support Agile Teams• Influence the Environment to Enable Change and Improvement• Support the Complex Nature of Product Development• Uncover Gaps between Vision of Teams, Leaders and CurrentReality• Remove Barriers to Achieve the Organization’s Vision© 2013, cPrime Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • 28. Questions