Missionizing Your Agile Team

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Agile teams operate in the context of an organization, whether it's a small start-up or a global corporation. Organizations that are clear about why they are in business will have a mission identified that expresses what they're all about. A great mission can provide the spice that transforms a team from one that delivers features and projects, to one that passionately delivers business value with fire-breathing intensity. This session will explore how you can utilize the mission of an organization to spice up a team's work, and how a team with a great mission behind it can influence agility throughout an organization.

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Missionizing Your Agile Team

  1. 1. Missionizing YourAgile TeamJeff Lopez-Stuitjeff@radoration.comwww.radoration.comTwitter: jefflopezstuit
  2. 2. How do these statements land on you?
  3. 3. “Why We Work Here:We look forward to a world where children grow strongin communities free of need and full of promise, wherepeace and justice flourish, and the most vulnerable livein confidence.This organization helps transform the lives of childrenand families in need around the world, and extendsassistance to all people, regardless of their religiousbeliefs, gender, race, or ethnic background.When you work for this organization, this is the missionfor which you’ll be working. It is a mission thatmotivates us and gives meaning to the work we do everyday.”
  4. 4. “The simplest, most heartfelt mission statementyou’ll ever see:Number 1:We will develop visible, effective, differentiatedbrands to build shareholder value for clients, long-term relationships for us, and profits for both.Number 2:We will all have fun in the process.Number 3:There is no number 3.”
  5. 5. “Our mission is to provide everyone from first-timeparticipants to professional athletes with the world’sbest sports and fitness equipment, footwear andapparel.We are dedicated to active lifestyles, sports andwellness.The passion for sports is at the core of our business.Our primary motive is setting and achieving targetsand moving beyond our limits in life, business andtechnology, enabling people to achieve their highestgoals in sports and improve their well-being.”
  6. 6. “Guided by relentless focus on our strategicimperatives, we will constantly strive to implementthe critical initiatives required to achieve our vision.In doing this, we will deliver operational excellence inevery corner of the Company and meet or exceed ourcommitments to the many constituencies we serve.All of our long-term strategies and short-term actionswill be molded by a set of core values that are sharedby each and every associate.”
  7. 7. “The mission of this company is to organize theworld‘s information and make it universally accessibleand useful.”
  8. 8. missioThe act of sending
  9. 9. agile development (agilis explicatio)The act of delivering
  10. 10. An agile team can get contextfor what it delivers from amission.A mission can be made visibleto an organization by an agileteam that delivers working stufffrequently.
  11. 11. A great mission can provide the spicethat transforms a team from one thatdelivers features and projects, to onethat passionately delivers businessvalue with fire-breathing intensity,and…………..
  12. 12. … the best way in the world todeliver an organization’s missionis to do it with agile teams
  13. 13. How do you find the missionstatement?• Ask someone! (start with your Product Owner)• Visit a web site• Read at an annual report• Look at what the competition is doing• Watch how your customers are behaving. What is their mission?
  14. 14. Or, when in doubt…
  15. 15. Self organize!Why did you decide to work here?What made you get out of bed and come to work this morning?
  16. 16. “Life is denied by lack ofattention, whether it be tocleaning windows or trying towrite a masterpiece.” -- Nadia Boulanger Composition Teacher
  17. 17. Practices forMaking a Mission Visible• Read the mission out loud at the beginning of an activity• Invite people close to the mission to participate in your review sessions• Create an information radiator
  18. 18. Skillfully use the mission when theteam wants to charge up its work• Target their use for when the team wants to spice up their work• Remove them when they no longer get attention• Context is king. Use what will provide context for the team’s current work.
  19. 19. Turn Up the Heat:Make Sources of Your Mission Visible• Is there a source document related to your mission that can inspire your team to action?• Examples: • Images of your mission in action • Scientific treatise • Religious and philosophical text • Astounding social science or business statistics
  20. 20. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did notcome to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a managainst his father, and a daughter against her mother, and adaughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’senemies will be the members of his household. He who lovesfather or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and hewho loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy ofMe. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is notworthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and hewho has lost his life for My sake will find it.” - Matthew 10:34-39
  21. 21. "I call this Revolution 2.0. I say that ourrevolution is like Wikipedia, OK? Everyoneis contributing content. You dont knowthe names of the people contributing thecontent…everyone was contributingsmall pieces, bits and pieces. We drewthis whole picture. We drew this wholepicture of a revolution. And that picture— no one is the hero in that picture.” -- Wael Ghonim, Google
  22. 22. The Product Owner Holds the Mission• The mission provides context to your team for their work, but it’s still the product owner that owns the backlog.• A team can inspire a product owner (and the backlog) by asking probing questions about the mission.• Your product owner holds the mission for the team! Help them do their job by delivering inspired working software!
  23. 23. Exercise• The folder on your table has a mission statement, story cards with your team’s current sprint backlog, and a page with information just for a Product Owner• Choose a Scrum Master and a Product Owner.• Review the mission statement and the backlog. Discuss with your Product Owner how the user stories in the sprint backlog relate to the organization’s mission.• Assignment #1: Create a theme for this sprint that spices up the team’s work with the context provided by the mission• Assignment #2: Congratulations! The team successfully delivered all of the stories in this sprint. Your executive sponsor has invited some very important people (customers, vendors, or investors) to the review session. With a few bullet points, tell them how what you delivered contributed to the organization’s work toward its mission.
  24. 24. Mission smells• If the mission is hard to find, or isn’t inspiring, maybe the enterprise isn’t up to something big enough• Your choices: 1. Enroll the enterprise in a bigger possibility, with a bigger mission 2. Enroll yourself in creating a bigger mission somewhere else 3. Thank you. I’ll just go back to coding this feature now.
  25. 25. Agility Makes the Mission Real• Agile teams produce working products frequently.• An agile team working in the context of a mission makes that mission visible throughout the organization with every completed iteration.• A team that delivers can make agility a basic nutrient for sustaining the mission.
  26. 26. Your mission, if choose to accept it…• Coach your teams to make their work visible throughout the organization.• Make your workspace an area where visitors can see the mission at work….with agility!• Know that you are the ones. It is no accident that you’ve been invited into this team to help them produce results.• Through your work practicing agility, the mission transforms from a “statement” to something that continously renews itself.
  27. 27. A mission gives contextto an agile team.An agile team gives lifeto the mission.
  28. 28. Thank you! Jeff Lopez-Stuitjeff@radoration.com

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