Crossing Over: Implementing Scrum from the Dark Side

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Talk given at SUGSA on 8 May 2014. A personal reflection on making the transition from being an Agile team member, to being an Agile manager. Includes mistakes made and lessons learnt in the process …

Talk given at SUGSA on 8 May 2014. A personal reflection on making the transition from being an Agile team member, to being an Agile manager. Includes mistakes made and lessons learnt in the process of introducing Agile (Scrum) to the team I now manage.

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  • 1. Maritza van den Heuvel Beyond Agile – Tales of Continuous Improvement http://scrumfamily.wordpress.com @maritzavdh
  • 2. In a galaxy far, far away …
  • 3. Linguistics Research Technical Writing Testing Support Product Owner Product Manager “NOT TEAM”
  • 4. • the process wasn’t mine anymore • the “how” wasn’t my job anymore • new responsibilities for “what” • new responsibilities for delivery • relying on the team to get things done • feeling helpless – I had to trust more deeply • feeling sad – I embracedAgile! 
  • 5. • 3 years - adjusted to the new conditions • started training my jedi mind control (otherwise known as influencing skills) • needed new challenges and growth (plus I wanted to change the world!) • brief sidestep into a similar role • Pearson: setting up my own team
  • 6. (NOT) Episode III
  • 7. - linear hierarchies - top-down decision-making - accepting a given system, not creating it
  • 8. - simple and flat team structure - visible and transparent reporting - decisions at the lowest responsible level - expecting team to engage with process - team commitment to focus delivery - team collaboration as a shared value - Agile/Lean software development
  • 9. - No immediate need – digital support - Used Personal Kanban as talking point - Shared articles, blogs and links - Introduced LeanKit Kanban - #leadershipfail - Mistake: Individual work, NotTeam - Mistake:Tool over Process & Principles - Mistake:Too subtle and informal - Regroup!
  • 10. - major team role change & new members - explicit software focus and structure - open with team about Agile intentions - explicit team agreement to learn and try “help me, to help you” - First Change: Board & Daily Standups - Next Step: Overview/IntroTraining - Shock:They hated Kanban!Chose Scrum
  • 11. - believed that Kanban would be chosen - obsessed and analyzed for a week - proposed some changes to the training - realization: team wasn’t ready - they chose what *they* needed - structure - team cohesion - progress check points
  • 12. - Full team ScrumTraining and Kickstart - Ongoing coaching support - Shared ScrumMaster responsibilities - Two POs, collating work across multiple project backlogs into a single sprint backlog every two weeks - So far so good … Mostly Positive Results
  • 13. - Asking & expecting team to solve problems -Accepting & valuing team process solutions - Challenging & interrogating team thinking -Withdrawing from Scrum meetings - Supporting individuals with new skills - “Guide on the Side” - Work tools, environment, knowledge, funds - Insulation and Business Communication
  • 14. • observing - seeing the work honestly • questioning - interrogating the work • applying - courage to try something new • evaluate - interpret and adjust "seeing the system" - lack of contextual awareness, lack of ability to change things, waiting for somebody to tell me the answer ~ Bob Marshall
  • 15. Maritza van den Heuvel • @maritzavdh #edtech #agile #lean #scrum • http://scrumfamily.wordpress.com • Beyond Agile - Tales of Continuous Improvement • Innovation Lab Director: Pearson South Africa