Company Culture as the Key Agile Milestone
Technical Director at CERTICON: http://www.certicon.cz
Co-founder of Agile Consortium at Czech Republic: http://agilnikonsorcium.cz
Agile blog: http://soch.cz/blog
What is Agile Culture ?
SW development projects are failing
by IT Corex:
• an IT project is more likely to be unsuccessful than
• about 1 out of 5 IT projects is likely to bring full
• the larger the project the more likely the failure
1st step: change practices, skills, processes…
Try Agile ;)
How difficult is to introduce given practice?
How useful are the following practices?
What was the most challenging during the agile adoption?
Team Customer Team Change Management
Communication Communication Responsibility Resistance Support and
and Cooperation and Involvement Understanding
What would you do differently?
• Hire a good full time coach
• Involve both design and testing
• Co-locate as much as possible
• Adjust the length of sprints for every project
• More customer focus
• Involve more business stakeholders
• Work more on responsibility, auto-organization
• Be aware of the change, it’s hard
What would you recommend ?
• Agile cannot be implemented top-down only nor
bottom-up only. Agile needs to be a grass roots effort
that has executive level sponsorship.
• Don't cheat and never ever let a sprint go past its time.
• View coach and customer as KEY roles and ensure the
right people are in these roles.
• Don't sell Scrum as the dogma.
• Make sure everyone involved in an agile effort
understands the Agile Manifesto's Values and Principles
• Forget about "scrum tools". Use a real physical
whiteboard and super-sticky post-its.
• Don’t forget the communication is everything.
• Attend Agile conferences.
Agile needs culture…
Any method to be adopted must be essentially compatible with the culture.
If the culture doesn't support or embrace Agile, it will never work as a process.
Agile changes culture…
At the same time certain cultures will be very difficult to change – i.e. heavy,
authoritarian, top-down cultures. Maybe not impossible, but it could be close.