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AGILE! Who cares - Tell me what to do @ADC2014


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"AGILE! Who cares - Tell Me What To Do. " I presented this at Agile Day Conference 2014 in Pune, India

I bet you have encountered this title in your role (e.g. Agile Coach or Mentor) when helping teams in transitioning to Agile. So I did encounter this too and in one such discussion, Chris (Principal Architect) asked me to share my thoughts on handling a Scrum team who simply wanted to be “told what to do”. On the surface, this doesn't seem like such a bad thing. In fact, I’ll bet these folks are bright, capable and work very hard. So if there is an issue with this in agile teams, what is it? And why would it be a problem? Hence this session is about "Transitioning to Agile".

Published in: Leadership & Management
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AGILE! Who cares - Tell me what to do @ADC2014

  1. 1. AGILE! Who cares - Tell me what to do by Suman Guha
  2. 2. About me ● Technical Program Manager & Agile Lead with Red Hat. ● An Alumni of University of Glasgow, holds a degree in Computing. ● PMI-ACP, CSM,Agile Practitioner for 8 years and an Engineer. ● Agile Experience since 2007. ● Areas I work: opensource, linux (Fedora, Red Hat), Cloud Infrastructure (OpenStack, Docker), web, mobile, product discovery, user experience, data mining, machine learning, agile, lean, xp, scrum, devops, ● Countries I lived/worked: Europe, North America and India. ● More about me can be found here
  3. 3. Story On March 28, 2014 I just finished my session on the topic of self-directed teams. One of the listeners asked to share thoughts on handling agile team members who simply wanted to be ...“told what to do”...
  4. 4. Resistance such as ● ….but Agile is an “IT Thing” ● ….“Here’s the requirements. See you in 6 months” ● ….as long as I get my stuff I don’t care if you want to use/follow Agile.
  5. 5. Challenge(s): Command and Control ● Traditional Management style ● Managers only take high level ownerships ● Teams follow orders
  6. 6. What’s wrong with that style ? ● Nothing, if you want only managers to think. ● Fail to engage the intellectual power of the team. ● It does n’t scale as thinking as a team vs manager.
  7. 7. Other Challenge(s) ● Software projects are notoriously complex. ● Simply following directions or plans. ● Changes and obstacles. ● Team members who simply “mails it in” and tell the team what to do are “anti-pattern”.
  8. 8. What would you like to see ? ● Teams to stay engaged. ● Discovering better ways to solve customers’ problem. ● Working together than blindly following a plan. ● Having a voice and “skin in the game”
  9. 9. How do we overcome ? Lead Transformation and plan out Agile Transformation Roadmap
  10. 10. Not everyone makes the transition Command and control vs Collaborative, empowered and self directed Takes some time and “deprogramming”
  11. 11. Define The Strategy By creating an End-State Vision for the Transformation GovernanceStructure Metrics
  12. 12. Lead The Transformation ● Form Teams ● Train Teams ● Coach Teams
  13. 13. Retrospective! Retrospective is mission critical during transition. ● Often underestimated but very important ● Focus on team in retrospective,”management free zone” ● Get the Manager out of the room.
  14. 14. How do we overcome ?...continues Define Roles and Responsibilities for smooth transitioning
  15. 15. 8-Step Process for Leading Change Book: “Our Iceberg Is Melting” An outcome of 30 years of research, By-Dr. John Kotter New York Times best-selling author, award winning business and management thought leader, business entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and Harvard Professor.
  16. 16. Wrapping up! ★ Make It Stick - Create a new culture . ★ Hold on the new ways of behaving and make sure they succeed, until they become strong enough to replace old tradition. ★ Build Trust. ★ Value results. ★ Build agile teams that truly engage self-direction. Remember - You can’t win it all and That’s OK.
  17. 17. Q & A What Questions Do You Have ?