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How to Convice Management & Clients to go Agile

How to convince Clients and Management on AGILE
As a Project Manager you want to run your projects in an Agile way - Great! However, the reality is that the journey is not as easy as it first appears, for two key reasons:

a) Your clients have never worked in an Agile way,

b) Your senior management and executives who, for nothing other than historical and familiarity reasons, are fixed on traditional project approaches.

You know that without their backing, you have no chance. So, how and where do you start to address this?

This session will focus on building awareness and then aim to create desire to adopt Agile practices. We will be looking at the view point of a CEO, COO and CFO. We will then illustrate why complex problems are best resolved by self organising teams and finally we will address the concern of remote and distributed team work.

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How to Convice Management & Clients to go Agile

  1. 1. Why Agile? Creating Awareness & Desire Persuading Clients and Management to adopt Agile Practices PMI CH Chapter, 28th August 2013 Matthew Caine & Klaus Bucka-Lassen Co-Founders, The Swiss Agile Leaders Circle
  2. 2. Agile some people call it a methodology or an approach yet it is about People and Results .
  3. 3. Agenda 1. Let's face the “Facts” 2. The Management Team’s Concerns & Questions 3. Solving Complicated and Complex problems
  4. 4. Klaus Bucka-Lassen is the CEO and founder of aragost Trifork ag. Other Co-Founders Since graduating in 1996 with a Masters in Computer Science Klaus has worked as a software developer and architect, project leader, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer and coach for organisations in CH, DK, DE, CA and Australia. In his free time he flies, skis, drives motor bikes sadly his formula 3 licence expired. Fredi Schmidli Line C.A. Sorensen Pragmatic Solutions Trifork Matthew Caine is the CEO and founder of M.C. Partners & Associates. Since graduating in 1992 in Computer Science Matthew has worked as a Software developer, project leader, people manager, consultant, entrepreneur, speaker and coach for organisations in CH, UK, DE, US and Poland. When he cannot be found, he will be in remote Northwest Scotland fishing in the sea. Mischa Ramseyer Rainer Grau Pragmatic Solutions Zühlke Engineering
  5. 5. Assumptions ● You have heard of “Agile” ● You are not looking for tips on Standups ● You are looking for persuasive ideas ● You want immediate take-aways
  6. 6. The bigger the harder McKinsey & Company October 2012 | by Michael Bloch, Sven Blumberg, and Jürgen Laartz
  7. 7. Huge overruns The Project Management Hut, Nov 2012
  8. 8. And there is more ... ● “Agile projects have a three time higher success rate” [Standish Group, 2012] ● “Water-Scrum-Fall … fails to realize Agile’s business benefits, such as faster time-to-market, increased business value, and improved flexibility and responsiveness” [Forrester, 2011] ● “Say Goodbye to Waterfall” [Gartner, 2012]
  9. 9. Recruitment Trends Must-Have Skill: Agile (28.2.201 m Source: www.p More Organizations Seek Agile Skills 9.7.2012 ( e: www.p 2) Sourc Demand For Agile Skills Outstripping Supply .12.2012) (26 Source: www.i )
  10. 10. “Facts” ● What is a Get your facts first, then you can distort them as successful you please project? There are lies, damned lies and statistics ● How do you measure value? ● Representative surveys? However, evidence is overwhelming, that there are better ways of doing things ...
  11. 11. Convincing the Management Team The Drowning CEO The Bouncy COO The mad CFO
  12. 12. Deadlines, Pah! Goto Conference 2013: “That Gantt chart, the greatest lie of the last 20 years… it is immediately out of date”
  13. 13. For a Swiss Medtech, 6m CHF
  14. 14. Swiss Alternative Investment Firm Each time the software vendor was 1 day late… ● ● ● ● 2 man years of UAT re-planned External resources re-secured Internal “business” expectations dashed Reputation loss for vendor and client Put a figure on it...
  15. 15. With Agile you will have Something! No more MS-Project licences to pay :-)
  16. 16. What Would You Prefer to Pay For? Documents $ $ $ $ $ Time $ $ $ or Software? $ $
  17. 17. Does Your Organisation Learn? Of course! After each project we write a debrief report but ● ● ● ● Is one really written? Are the right people still available to write it? Is it ever read? What about during the work?
  18. 18. Plan Do Check Act Cycle Learn as we go, not afterwards: Continuous Improvement Institutionalise: ● Retrospectives & Reviews ● Impediments Management ● Managers that “clearing the way” for the teams.
  19. 19. e.g. Product (Scrum) Development Retrospect every Sprint!
  20. 20. e.g. Agile (DSDM) Project R R R R R R
  21. 21. What about Priorities? Everything in every project is a must-have! Maybe, but in Agile we have to Prioritise…! Unlike traditional where developers decide based on a 100+ page document… The business decides (highest value item first) and re-evaluates constantly!
  22. 22. Remote Teams To save costs we have near-shored to Krakow, Poland. Agile only works with Co-Located teams! Well, what if I told you most teams are not co-located, traditional or Agile… Remote means: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● on another continent in another country in another company in another building on another floor in another room more than 25m away… … outside of passive hearing.
  23. 23. Remote Teams & “Community Decay” Agi le k eep sd eca ya way But traditional promotes decay Yes co-location is ideal for all types of project, but Agile is better when the team is remote
  24. 24. Collaboration & Contracting My client wants Fixed-Price We only do Time & Materials… also heard of this thing called “Money for Nothing, Change for Free”... But we don’t trust!
  25. 25. Prefer Partnership to Contracts! Clients want FP. Suppliers want T&M. We prefer a mix, based on partnership e.g.: ○ ○ FP for each Sprint T&M until the client says enough (making it cheaper anyway) The partnership is tested early rather than at the end: ○ ○ Frequent delivery (of software!) Greater transparency Legally, put into a “Framework” Contract (Rahmenvertrag)
  26. 26. Financial Accounting How can I book/cost the efforts if requirements, design, code and testing are all in one short period of time? ● Actually Agile is great if you want to write off the investment over a number of years (CapEx). ● With limited OpEx, the ability to capitalize software development costs can make the difference between starting a project and having it rejected due to budgetary reasons. ● Partnering with an Agile firm can give you the flexibility to capitalize more of your software development costs. i.e. start projects now! e.g. Tier 1 bank chose an Agile supplier for 9000 days CapEx’d over 5 years… worth 13m CHF.
  27. 27. An Agile Attitude, If not STOP! We are flexible… we are thus Agile... No… what matters is this: ● ● ● ● ● The work is aligned to the company’s strategy You are comfortable with uncertainty You and your team accept that change is inevitable That the project does not have to be 100% completed You do not need to have everything planned in detail and thus known in advance
  28. 28. Scaling We like silos… we have clear handovers and we can scale… Matrix is the answer! But… ● Aren’t the co-ordination efforts high? ● Don’t things fall through the gaps? ● Isn’t there a “Them and us” blame game? ● How about the Project Manager, with all the responsibility and accountability but no executive power?
  29. 29. To Scale we need to “Split Cells”
  30. 30. Matrix - Focus on Function (Skill)
  31. 31. “Value” is at 90 Degrees! What “Value” do they bring? ” V e lu a R “ al e is h e er !
  32. 32. Guilds / Special Interest Groups Rotate 90 Degrees & We Can Scale
  33. 33. Product (Scrum) Development Use the Scaled Agile Framework (
  34. 34. Project (DSDM) Environment
  35. 35. Raise Motivation? Of course all our people are Motivated! I am! They work for me, we pay them, they get 20 days holiday and coffee is cheap... Denning discovered 1 in 5 were motivated. One exception: A certain set of people. So to raise motivation 100%, you only need to have 2 in 5 motivated! Think about it… what would this means to your revenue! Agile motivates because of: Autonomy, Purpose & Mastery (Dan Pink, “Drive”)
  36. 36. What Projects Suite Agile? Our projects are large and very complex … Agile will not work! Sorry, wrong answer
  37. 37. Complex vs. Complicated Is this the shortest route from A to B? Is it the fastest then?
  38. 38. Cynefin Agile De-c e Auto ntralized nom y BDUF Insp & A ect dap t rts ted pa onnec ach other Interc cing e n influe redictable unp => Dete r & pr ministic edic table d ralize Cent and m Com trol on &C Fail safe design Fail early, fail cheap le tab ble a ta pe Re redic &p Intu ition © Dave Snowden
  39. 39. The Human Knot
  40. 40. Changing the nature of the problem ● Can we reduce complexity ○ Typically not ○ Complexity will continue to increase ● Trying to reduce complexity leads to ○ Organizational silos ○ Working in big batches
  41. 41. We Need Agility for Complexity Our projects are large and very complex … THEREFORE we need to be Agile! ● ● Agreed, the world gets more and more complex (globalization, social networks, communication, information flood, etc.) In IT we have ○ Many stakeholders with different needs that change frequently and are difficult to articulate ○ Context changes rapidly, e.g. competitors, law & compliance, economy, globalization, public opinion ○ Near infinite number of approaches, technologies and tools to help achieve the goal ○ Individuals with different skills, adaptiveness, opinions, interests; Teams with trust, antipathies, ambition, language, culture, etc.
  42. 42. Wrap Up! ● The Facts are there! ● The Management Team’s concerns and questions have been answered (and more!) ● Agile is the most appropriate approach for large complex projects ● You have a set of persuasive arguments and take-aways
  43. 43. Questions