An Executive Scrum Team

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Scrum, like most of the agile processes, was created with the software projects world pains in mind. However, more and more it’s getting clearer that those pains are not exclusive to the software world, and they are present in whatever projects where change is a constant. In the executive business world today, change is a constant, and be prepared to them is a must. This way, Scrum reveals to be an appropriate framework to be used in executive business teams once they start to work focused on ROI (Return On Investment) and in the business goals, acquire teamwork spirit, making strategy and execution nearer, improve continuously and deliver value quickly. In this work the author will talk about his experience on using Scrum with senior management and how the results supported Scrum promotion for other projects inside the company.

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An Executive Scrum Team

  1. 1. An Executive Scrum Team Alexandre Magno Figueiredo segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  2. 2. Agenda 1. What led me to use Scrum with executives? 2. Some “pains” in the executive world 3. The Scrum Executive segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  3. 3. Alexandre Magno, CST - novembro.2008 segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  4. 4. 1. What led me to use Scrum with executives? segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  5. 5. Using Scrum practices to support executive teams wasn’t planned at any moment segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  6. 6. I noticed that some agile practices could help those teams, once I noticed that - surprisingly - many problems from project world also repeated in the executive world segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  7. 7. Planning Poker in the director’s board The CIO of a certain bank called me in his room to ask about something he considered “curious”: he was just walking by the project’s floor when he saw many people playing cards during working hours! segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  8. 8. Planning Poker in the director’s board After explaining the whole Planning Poker process to the director and telling him that it stimulates communication and avoids influencing opinions, I was amazed by a “Ha...that’s what I need for our management meeting!” segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  9. 9. “Coffee break” at IT floor “I loved those boards”, the CIO told me after the meeting. “With them I have daily updates about the project without having to ask anyone”. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  10. 10. TaskBoard in the CIO’s room With the visibility the team’s radiators gave him, it didn’t take long to elaborate a Board with the projects and actions under the CIO’s responsability. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  11. 11. TaskBoard in the CIO’s room With the visibility the team’s radiators gave him, it didn’t take long to elaborate a Board with the projects and actions under the CIO’s responsability. This model was showed in a management meeting and replicated to other fields. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  12. 12. Short term goals and planning aligned to the goals Attending some Review Meetings, the CIO understood how interesting it was working with short term goals within a short time-box. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  13. 13. Short term goals and planning aligned to the goals Attending some Review Meetings, the CIO understood how interesting it was working with short term goals within a short time-box. It didn’t take long to be asked to help him - the CIO - on elaborating a way that he could work with his managers’ team on small “sprints” with short term goals. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  14. 14. For some time, I kept questioning myself if what I was starting was something of real value or if - because of my passion for the Agile way of working - I was involved with something fictitious and would suffer the consequences in a near future. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  15. 15. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  16. 16. 2. Some “pains” in the executive world segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  17. 17. In software projects we are used to hearing complaints about requirements change. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  18. 18. In software projects we are used to hearing complaints about requirements change. However, this “pain” is not restricted to the software project teams - the business reality requires frequently changes in the company’s strategic plan, right after being created. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  19. 19. The problems with silos in software projects made us to consider using multi-disciplinary teams and the same thing is happening in the business world. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  20. 20. The problems with silos in software projects made us to consider using multi-disciplinary teams and the same thing is happening in the business world. How to make an HR manager focus not only on his own goal but turn him into a team member, which in turn is compound of managers from different areas and make them focus on the company’s goal? segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  21. 21. The “solutions” don’t deliver what they can, mostly because of the gap between who creates the strategic plan and who executes it. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  22. 22. The “solutions” don’t deliver what they can, mostly because of the gap between who creates the strategic plan and who executes it. In the most of the companies, executives are capable to plan competitive business strategies, but are not capable to implement them. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  23. 23. The “solutions” don’t deliver what they can, mostly because of the gap between who creates the strategic plan and who executes it. In the most of the companies, executives are capable to plan competitive business strategies, but are not capable to implement them. In organizations focused on long term results, projects considered strategic are sponsored and in many cases managed by higher levels. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  24. 24. To Norton and Kaplan (2001), there is a misbelief that the right strategy is a mandatory condition to reach success. They estimate that in 70% of the cases, the real problem is not a bad strategy but its bad execution. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  25. 25. 3. The Scrum Executive segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  26. 26. After the isolated experiences I mentioned before, I decided to think on how to apply something really close to Scrum as proposed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in an executive team. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  27. 27. The flow segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  28. 28. 1 day The Executive Team (First who...then what) 30 days Portfolio Backlog Executive Sprint Executive Review ------------------- Planning Meeting & Retro Company’s Vision ------------------- (Strategical Planning) ------------------- Who would help? ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- PO PO PgO ------------------- ------------------- PO Product Product Program ------------------- Backlog Backlog Backlog Product PO Backlog PO Product Backlog Actions segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  29. 29. The Executive Team segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  30. 30. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The Executive Team (First who...then what) The Executive Team was formed by managers or directors of the unit (Sales, IT, Finance, Support, HR and Marketing). segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  31. 31. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The need to have a facilitator for this became apparently right in the first meetings and because of this the team got an Executive ScrumMaster. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  32. 32. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The need to have a facilitator for this became apparently right in the first meetings and because of this the team got an Executive ScrumMaster. The Executive ScrumMaster was an executive (PMO) for the company with knowledge in the process Scrum and in facilitation and leadership techniques. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  33. 33. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The Portfolio Owner (or Executive Product Owner) was the Executive Director. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  34. 34. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The Portfolio Owner (or Executive Product Owner) was the Executive Director. An Executive Product Owner owns one or more portfolios. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  35. 35. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The Portfolio Owner (or Executive Product Owner) was the Executive Director. An Executive Product Owner owns one or more portfolios. This role is responsible for prioritizing Executive Backlogs. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  36. 36. THE EXECUTIVE TEAM The Portfolio Owner (or Executive Product Owner) was the Executive Director. An Executive Product Owner owns one or more portfolios. This role is responsible for prioritizing Executive Backlogs. The owner makes sure the vision and strategy of the organization mirror the portfolios. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  37. 37. Company’s Vision - Strategical Planning - segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  38. 38. COMPANY’S VISION Executive Product Vision Increase 30% the incomings The Executive Team (First who...then what) Company’s Vision (Strategical Planning) 1. Build Mission Statement 2. Define Business Values 3. Define Goals 4. Develop growth strategies for Values and Goals 5. Negative propensites - risks, impediments => Create the Portfolio Backlog segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  39. 39. The Portfolio Backlog, or The Executive Product Backlog segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  40. 40. PORTFOLIO BACKLOG The Executive Team (First who...then what) Portfolio Backlog ------------------- Company’s Vision ------------------- (Strategical Planning) ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  41. 41. PORTFOLIO BACKLOG Having the right vision to guide our executive team, we started the creation of an Executive Product Backlog (or Portfolio Backlog) That Backlog was made of: :: Executive Stories :: Executive Themes :: Executive Epics segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  42. 42. PORTFOLIO BACKLOG Having the right vision to guide our executive team, we started the creation of an Executive Product Backlog (or Portfolio Backlog) That Backlog was made of: :: Executive Stories :: Executive Themes :: Executive Epics Those Backlog Items were created by the Executive Product Owner with support of the Executive ScrumMaster and the team segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  43. 43. PORTFOLIO BACKLOG business case other business informations increase strategic annual incomings in 30% plan Executive Portfolio Owner usually an executive Executive Product Backlog (Portfolio Backlog) action Sponsor: Metrics Executive In order to gain more control over the sales process closure and follow up, the sales department needs a Priority: Kick-off date: P Story CRM tool and methodology ROI estimates: Sponsor: In order to increase the participation on the Brazilian Priority: Metrics usually an executive north and northeast region, the unit needs a Pg project Kick-off date: partnership plan to work with regional companies ROI estimates: Executive Theme Sponsor: Metrics In order to increase our brand visibility the unit needs Priority: P a marketing campaign that comprehends different Kick-off date: medias ROI estimates: Sponsor: Metrics In order to reduce the default in 50% the financial Priority: P department needs to elaborate an active collection Kick-off date: strategy ROI estimates: usually an executive In order to reduce the turnover and waste in the Sponsor: Metrics program bonus model, the unit needs to restructure the HR Priority: P strategy. Kick-off date: Executive Epics ROI estimates: Resource Portfolio Backlog Asset Portfolio Backlog segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  44. 44. PORTFOLIO BACKLOG Besides the annual strategic plan, where the projects usually come from, there are other sources. Daily, problems and opportunities, such as market and clients demands, technological improvements, legal or environmental requirements, etc., are brought to discussion to be resolved. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  45. 45. Executive Sprint Planning Meeting segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  46. 46. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING The Executive Team (First who...then what) Portfolio Backlog Executive Sprint ------------------- Planning Meeting Company’s Vision ------------------- PO PgO (Strategical Planning) ------------------- PO ------------------- Who would help? ------------------- ------------------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ------------------- ------------------- ------------------- segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  47. 47. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING Our Sprints, which were 30 days long, started with a Sprint Planning Meeting segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  48. 48. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING Our Sprints, which were 30 days long, started with a Sprint Planning Meeting In this meeting the Executive Team met to plan what they would work with in the following Sprint. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  49. 49. Executive Sprint Planning Meeting Balance Sprint’s Goal Portfolio Identify tasks Who would Select what fit help? on the Sprint Define Velocity Estimate it if Estimate it if needed needed segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  50. 50. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING The Executive Product Owner presented the goal and explained all the priority items. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  51. 51. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING The Executive Product Owner presented the goal and explained all the priority items. The team clarified all doubts and discussed which roles IT would be involved in each item, IT in an activity called Who IT Would help? IT support support support HR segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  52. 52. EXECUTIVE SPRINT PLANNING MEETING Executive Backlog Sponsor: In order to reduce the turnover and waste in the Priority: bonus model, the unit needs to restructure the HR Kick-off date: P strategy. Identifying premisses for the project Identifying the team for the project Gathering the history of all plans During the Sprint Planning used up to now Meeting, the team started to identify what tasks would be Gathering financial data from the currently plan needed to execute each item, anticipating any problems and Defining the budget for the project risks. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  53. 53. Executive Sprint segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  54. 54. THE EXECUTIVE SPRINT The Executive Team (First who...then what) 30 days Portfolio Backlog Executive Sprint ------------------- Planning Meeting Company’s Vision ------------------- (Strategical Planning) ------------------- ------------------- Who would help? ------------------- ------------------- PO PO PgO ------------------- ------------------- PO Product Product Program ------------------- Backlog Backlog Backlog Product PO Backlog Those projects were executed inside the “departments” PO using Scrum and, in most of them, had the Executive Product Backlog Scrum team member as the (Chief) Product Owner or Program Owner. Actions segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  55. 55. The Executive Daily Meeting segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  56. 56. THE EXECUTIVE DAILY MEETING 1 day The Executive Team (First who...then what) 30 days Portfolio Backlog Executive Sprint ------------------- Planning Meeting Company’s Vision ------------------- (Strategical Planning) ------------------- ------------------- Who would help? ------------------- ------------------- PO PO PgO ------------------- ------------------- PO Product Product Program ------------------- Backlog Backlog Backlog Product PO Backlog PO Product Backlog Actions segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  57. 57. THE EXECUTIVE DAILY MEETING Everyday, the team did a Daily Meeting. Believe me, it’s a hard task! segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  58. 58. Executive Review & Retro segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  59. 59. THE EXECUTIVE REVIEW & RETRO 1 day The Executive Team (First who...then what) 30 days Portfolio Backlog Executive Sprint Executive Review ------------------- Planning Meeting & Retro Company’s Vision ------------------- (Strategical Planning) ------------------- ------------------- Who would help? ------------------- ------------------- PO PO PgO ------------------- ------------------- PO Product Product Program ------------------- Backlog Backlog Backlog Product PO Backlog PO Product Backlog Actions segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  60. 60. THE EXECUTIVE REVIEW & RETRO At the end of the Sprint the executives presents the results to the Executive Product Owner, just like a regular Sprint Review. Thru those results he evaluated if the Sprint Goal was met or not. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  61. 61. THE EXECUTIVE REVIEW & RETRO At the end of the Sprint the executives presents the results to the Executive Product Owner, just like a regular Sprint Review. Thru those results he evaluated if the Sprint Goal was met or not. Finally, the team did an Executive Retrospective. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  62. 62. CONCLUSION segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  63. 63. Despite being just the first step in reaching more adequate techniques for executive projects and programs, using Scrum in this scenario was a very good experience. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  64. 64. Despite being just the first step in reaching more adequate techniques for executive projects and programs, using Scrum in this scenario was a very good experience. As a result: :: a new behavior of their executives. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  65. 65. Despite being just the first step in reaching more adequate techniques for executive projects and programs, using Scrum in this scenario was a very good experience. As a result: :: a new behavior of their executives. :: execution and strategy were closer. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  66. 66. Despite being just the first step in reaching more adequate techniques for executive projects and programs, using Scrum in this scenario was a very good experience. As a result: :: a new behavior of their executives. :: execution and strategy were closer. :: greater visibility of how executive actions were aligned to the business goals. segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009
  67. 67. If you wish to know where your company is heading to, don't look at the static strategic plans. Instead, look at your projects portfolio Thank you! alexandre.magno@adaptworks.com.br segunda-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2009

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