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5 Signs You Are In A Waterfall Agile Transformation

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Do you sometimes feel that your Agile teams are running harder and harder - trying to become more Agile, but find themselves in the same place or even worse than they were before? Before you pull out your hair, trying to do more of the same, is it possible that your Agile Transformation is being run like a Waterfall Program?

In this presentation, we will explore 5 common real-world signs of waterfall thinking contaminating Agile Transformations. We will also explore some experiments we could try out to adapt the structure of the transformation so we create eco-systems more compatible with Agile.

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5 Signs You Are In A Waterfall Agile Transformation

  1. 1. 1© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com RAVI VERMA
  2. 2. 2© 1993-2014 Scrum.org, All Rights Reserved About Me… • Education:  Bachelors in Computer Sc. & Engg.  Masters in Entrepreneurship • Certifications:  PST (PSF, PSM, PSPO), PSE, PSM II, PSPO II, PSD I  Evidence Based Management Consultant  MBTI Certified Practitioner  Certified in Advanced Conflict Resolution  Certificate in Organizational Development • Experience:  Sr. Principal – Enterprise Agile Deployment, Sabre  Founder & Org Whisperer – SmoothApps  17+ years in SW Delivery, Consulting  Siemens, HP, Avaya, Cisco, AT&T. among others  Dev Background: C/C++, VC++, Win32 SDK, Oracle…
  3. 3. 3© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com SIGN #1: Fixed Scope (Or Increasing) Fixed Cost Fixed Schedule VARIABLE QUALITY: Ship Now, Patch Later! Fixed Backlog (Or Increasing) Fixed Cost Fixed Schedule VARIABLE QUALITY: Ship Now, Patch Later! Have you noticed this…? Any experiments you might suggest…? Waterfall swim-lane? Education on pros/cons & informed decision making?
  4. 4. 4© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com SIGN #2: Have you noticed this…? Any experiments you might suggest…? "If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there" A paraphrase of an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Chapter 6 of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland • Lack of quantified business outcomes • Note: Improving velocity is NOT a business outcome! Evidence Based Management for Software Organizations – EBMgt ™ -Scrum.org
  5. 5. 5© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com SIGN #3: Have you noticed this…? Any experiments you might suggest…? "If you can’t see the scoreboard, how do you adjust your game?” • Lack of empirical management of transformation – via transparency, inspection & adaptation Compelling Scoreboard – 4 Disciplines of Execution -Franklin Covey Execution
  6. 6. 6© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • High anxiety & reactiveness • Lack of intentional, deliberate, thoughtful responses with high urgency “No time for all this empiricism b.s. – we need to move fast or we will be left behind” • Tendency to throw large amounts of time and money at the problem: tools, consultants, training • Lack of risk management via frequent testing of hypotheses, validated learning & course correction • Note: Pre-requisite: quantified value & compelling scoreboard SIGN #4: Have you noticed this…? Any experiments you might suggest…? "If you build it, they will come.” Field of Dreams scale value -Ravi Verma Monthly cadence of Transformation Sprint Reviews, Review compelling scoreboards for business outcomes, Lead vs. Lag indicators, diagnose & adapt activities
  7. 7. 7© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • Discomfort with looking at the mirror • Fear of considering one’s behavior as part of the problem • Unable / unwilling to engage in guided introspection & adaptation • Exhibit #1: Me SIGN #5: Have you noticed this…? Any experiments you might suggest…? “Go Agilize those minions and other non-Agile losers! I am too busy for this nonsense!” Feedforward – Marshall Goldsmith What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith Influencer – Grenney, Patterson, Maxfield, Switzler Heart of Change – John Kotter
  8. 8. 8© SmoothApps 2016 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com Closing Thoughts… The 5-2-3 Rule ““When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money” – Susan Heller External spend per quarter Leader hours spent per week Impediments removed per week”Then… .5 2 3 X X X -Ravi Verma “When preparing to transform, forecast your investment:
  9. 9. 9© SmoothApps 2015 All rights reserved. www.smoothapps.com • What was your most valuable takeaway? • What is one baby step you will take in the next 30 days to reduce needless suffering in the name of Agile Transformation? Ravi Verma The Org Whisperer

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