Myths, legends and monsters: The Quest for the Grail of Enterprise Agility


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A different view of the obstacles facing the Agile Warrior trying to spread the good news to more than his team (eg. the department, the division, the company). Includes advice on how to deal with obstacles and how to use existing Company Culture.

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Myths, legends and monsters: The Quest for the Grail of Enterprise Agility

  1. 1. Myths, Legends & Monsters<br />The Quest for the Grail of Enterprise Agility<br />François Bachmann, SPRiNTiT<br />
  2. 2. Who’stalking<br />François Bachmann<br /><ul><li>« The UrbanTraffic Parable »
  3. 3. « The Art of the Retrospective » (
  4. 4. Organisational DevelopmentCoach since 2004
  5. 5. Interests:SystemicThinking, Complex Adaptive Systems (like a Jam Session @AgileEE)</li></li></ul><li>What You ShouldGet<br />
  6. 6. Your initial situation<br />Pilot project « success » <br />Request/need to scalethissuccess<br />Existingcompany<br />]Out of Scope[<br />Introduction to Agile, Lean, Scrum, XP, …<br />Growing an agile company<br />
  7. 7. Warnings(1)<br />Scalingisalwayscomplex<br />
  8. 8. Warnings (2)<br />Agile is a mindset, an attitude plan lots of time for full-fledged adoption<br />
  9. 9. Starter: A customermyth<br />« Normal Change » at a Swissbank<br />Source:<br />
  10. 10. Myth<br />A traditional or legendary storythatcancontain a moral lesson<br />Built on ArchetypesGods, animals, angels, demons, otherworlds<br />Used to justify a social institutionand itsway of viewing the world<br />Toldatceremonies(start, transformation, end)<br />Principal purpose: federate<br />Source:<br />
  11. 11. Myths: projectchoice / dimension<br />« Let’s do Agile within a fixed-pricecontract »<br />« Weapply Agile but only to Development »<br />« We do ALL ourprojectswith Agile»<br />
  12. 12. Myths: Roles<br />ScrumMaster: Thor / Superman / <br />James Bond / Chuck Norris<br />« ThreeRolesisenough for anycompany »  Scrumdamentalism (H.Kniberg)<br />« In ourcompany, we’re all like a bigfamily»<br />
  13. 13. Myths: transition<br />« Just use Scrum of Scrumsand everythingwillbe fine» <br />« Trust me, in thiscompanyweknowwhat change management is! »<br />« To reallybecome Agile, you have to destroy & rebuild from scratch»<br />
  14. 14. Summary: Myths<br />Main purpose: federate<br />Used for justification of status quo <br />Usuallyinvolvesuperhumans<br />Reveal values of the company<br />
  15. 15. Legend(lat. legenda = to beread)<br />Official shape of the rumourspreadduring coffee breaks<br />« I know someonewho… »<br />UrbanLegend<br />Can end bothways<br />Finisheswith a lesson to learn<br />Principal purpose: education<br />
  16. 16. Legend: Company Culture<br /> « My cousin tried to introduce Agile in hiscompany: itdidn’tworkat all! Now I agreethatthey have a veryspecialcompany culture….»<br /> « Actually, ourcompany culture has always been agile; let’sjust change the terminology and we’llbe fine»<br />
  17. 17. Customer Legends: Company Culture<br />Mediterranean: mix of nationalities<br />Web company: resource allocation > flow<br />
  18. 18. Legends: Organisation<br />« It seemsthatthiswon’tworkin an outsourcing context… »<br />« Another team in our division useditduringa few months, theirproductivitydropped… and theyswitched back afterwards»<br />« What about mycareer plan? »<br />
  19. 19. Legends: Transition<br />« A well-planned transition is the cornerstoneof success: plan the work, work the plan»<br />« Let’sjustestablish a matrixbetween the old and the new roles»<br />
  20. 20. Legend: Tool<br />« Company X boughttool Y whentheymoved to Agile and the wholeenterpriseisnowusingit. But how can I convincemy management?  »<br />
  21. 21. Summary: Legends<br />Purpose: Institutionalized Learning<br />« Whathasn’tworked in the past and whatwere the consequences »<br />Advice: are a very efficient communication tool: « Worst Practices » or NotHow-Transfer©<br />
  22. 22. Monster (lat. monstrum:wildbeast)<br />Impersonatesresistance<br />Gatekeeper<br />Requires the hero to go beyond the normal plan<br />
  23. 23. Monsters: Middle Management<br />« I’llbe the Scrum Master for all teams  »<br />« I can replace the Product Owner, if needed »<br />« Well, someone has to assign the developers to projects, no?!  »<br />Strengths: network, relationships<br />Weaknesses: conflictingpriorities,overestimateshispotential influence<br />Fights for: his position and his « power »  Approach: givehim a catalystrole,activelyinclude in information exchange<br />
  24. 24. Monster: Project/Process Office<br />Distinguishing marks: once theyunderstand Agile is not goingaway, theywilltry to governit and createrules<br />Strength: power to standardize<br />Weakness: mechanistic world view<br />Fights for: being the process masterand force theirrules on developers<br /> Approach: 1) producetheir artefacts and2) when the right time comes: question the value ofthese artefacts (not of the Project Office!)<br />
  25. 25. Monster: Saboteur<br />Definition: Person whoisinvolvedbut has a hidden agenda (subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction)<br />Strength: internalknowledge<br />Weakness: bottleneck<br />Fights for: « unofficial » priorities<br /> Approach: makeresponsibilities explicit, confront one-on-one if necessary<br />
  26. 26. Monster: AgileGuru<br />Pretends to sell the One And Only Agile <br />Distinguishing marks: elitist, likes to fight(he/sheusuallywins)<br />Strength: *very* convinced by his Agile flavor<br />Weakness: exclusive, tends to workalone<br />Fights for: hisTruth (destroyingothers)<br />Approach: recall Agile values, let him show how hisflavorbringsthemforward<br />
  27. 27. Summary: Monsters<br />Strongholds, Gatekeepers<br />Have power & reputation<br />Ofteneasier to « turnaround » than to overpower<br />Advice: don’tplay on theirterritory!<br />
  28. 28. Summary<br />
  29. 29. Enjoy the Quest, brave knights!<br />
  30. 30. Thanks!<br />© Pixar Technologies, Inc.<br /><br />FrBachmann<br />