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Myths, Legends and Monsters of Enterprise Agility


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Myths, Legends and Monsters of Enterprise Agility

  1. 1. Myths, Legends & Monsters The Quest for the Grail of Enterprise AgilityFrançois Bachmann, SPRiNT iT
  2. 2. Who’s talkingFrançois Bachmann• « The Urban Traffic Parable »• « The Art of the Retrospective » (• Organisational Development Coach since 2004• Interests: Systemic Thinking, Complex Adaptive Systems (like a Jam Session @AgileEE )
  3. 3. What You Should Get
  4. 4. Your initial situation• Pilot project « success »• Request/need to scale this success• Existing company]Out of Scope[• Introduction to Agile, Lean, Scrum, XP, …• Growing an agile company
  5. 5. Warnings(1)Scaling is always complex
  6. 6. Warnings (2)Agile is a mindset, an attitude  plan lots of time for full-fledged adoption
  7. 7. Starter: A customer myth« Normal Change » at a Swiss bank Source:
  8. 8. MythA traditional or legendary story that can contain a moral lessonBuilt on Archetypes Gods, animals, angels, demons, other worldsUsed to justify a social institution and its way of viewing the world Source: dictionary.reference.comTold at ceremonies (start, transformation, end) Principal purpose: federate
  9. 9. Myths: project choice / dimension« Let’s do Agile within a fixed-price contract » « We apply Agile but only to Development »« We do ALL our projects with Agile»
  10. 10. Myths: RolesScrumMaster: Thor / Superman /James Bond / Chuck Norris« Three Roles is enough for any company »  Scrumdamentalism (H.Kniberg)« In our company, we’re all like a big family»
  11. 11. Myths: transition « Just use Scrum of Scrums and everything will be fine»« Trust me, in this company we know what change management is! » « To really become Agile, you have to destroy & rebuild from scratch»
  12. 12. Summary: Myths• Main purpose: federate• Used for justification of status quo• Usually involve superhumans • Reveal values of the company
  13. 13. Legend (lat. legenda = to be read)• Official shape of the rumour spread during coffee breaks• « I know someone who… »• Urban Legend• Can end both ways• Finishes with a lesson to learnPrincipal purpose: education
  14. 14. Legend: Company Culture « My cousin tried to introduce Agile in his company: it didn’t work at all! Now I agree that they have a very special company culture….»« Actually, our company culturehas always been agile; let’s just change theterminology and we’ll be fine»
  15. 15. Customer Legends: Company Culture• Mediterranean: mix of nationalities• Web company: resource allocation > flow
  16. 16. Legends: Organisation« It seems that this won’t work in an outsourcing context… » « Another team in our division used it during a few months, their productivity dropped… and they switched back afterwards»« What about my career plan? »
  17. 17. Legends: Transition« A well-planned transition is the cornerstone of success: plan the work, work the plan»« Let’s just establish a matrix between the old and the new roles»
  18. 18. Legend: Tool« Company X bought tool Y when they moved to Agile and the whole enterprise is now using it. But how can I convince my management? »
  19. 19. Summary: Legends Purpose: Institutionalized Learning « What hasn’t worked in the past and what were the consequences » Advice: are a very efficient communication tool: « Worst Practices » or NotHow-Transfer©
  20. 20. Monster (lat. monstrum: wild beast)• Impersonates resistance• Gatekeeper• Requires the hero to go beyond the normal plan
  21. 21. Monsters: Middle Management« I’ll be the Scrum Master for all teams »« I can replace the Product Owner, if needed »« Well, someone has to assign the developers to projects, no?! » Strengths: network, relationships Weaknesses: conflicting priorities, overestimates his potential influence Fights for: his position and his « power »  Approach: give him a catalyst role, actively include in information exchange
  22. 22. Monster: Project/Process OfficeDistinguishing marks: once they understand Agile is not going away, they will try to govern it and create rulesStrength: power to standardizeWeakness: mechanistic world viewFights for: being the process master and force their rules on developers Approach: 1) produce their artefacts and 2) when the right time comes: question the value of these artefacts (not of the Project Office!)
  23. 23. Monster: SaboteurDefinition: Person who is involved but has a hidden agenda (subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction)Strength: internal knowledgeWeakness: bottleneckFights for: « unofficial » priorities Approach: make responsibilities explicit, confront one-on-one if necessary
  24. 24. Monster: AgileGuruPretends to sell the One And Only AgileDistinguishing marks: elitist, likes to fight (he/she usually wins)Strength: *very* convinced by his Agile flavorWeakness: exclusive, tends to work aloneFights for: his Truth (destroying others)Approach: recall Agile values, let him show how his flavor brings them forward
  25. 25. Summary: Monsters• Strongholds, Gatekeepers• Have power & reputation• Often easier to « turn around » than to overpower• Advice: don’t play on their territory!
  26. 26. Summary Properties How it’s helpful Suggested approachMyth Historical, federates and passive-implicit communication, heroes, illustrates common strategy and long term follow-up « Best values (world view) Practices »Legend « Worst Lessons learnt, active-explicit communication, Practice » NotHow-Transfer© use & recall in major retrospectivesMonster Personalized Strong, potential negotiate, convince, align on objection , ally, when aligned values Gatekeeper with your cause
  27. 27. Enjoy the Quest, brave knights!
  28. 28. Thanks! © Pixar Technologies, FrBachmann