ADAPTing to Agile Development


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Certified Scrum trainer and author Mike Cohn shows how to succeed with agile through the ADAPT process: Awareness, Desire, Ability, Promotion and Transfer.

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ADAPTing to Agile Development

  1. 1. © 2009 Mountain Goat Software© Copyright Mountain Goat Software®ADAPTingto AgileMike Cohnmike@mountaingoatsoftware.comJune 7, 20101
  2. 2. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Mike CohnFounding member anddirector of Agile Allianceand Scrum AllianceFounder of MountainGoat SoftwareDoing Scrum since 1995Started my career as aprogrammer2
  3. 3. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AgendaWhy transitioning to agile is hardADAPTing to agile developmentIterating toward agilityThe role of leadershipOvercoming resistance3
  4. 4. © 2009 Mountain Goat Software© Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Two simplistic views of change:Top down: Powerful leader shares a visionBottom-up:A team starts and everyone else sees theBut, transitioning to agile is neither top-down norbottom-upIt’s both at the same timeChange is not top-down or bottom-up;it’s both14
  5. 5. © 2009 Mountain Goat Software© Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®It is tempting to codify things that work in a givencontext into best practices†Once we know what’s “best” we stop adaptingOr even thinking about what we’re doingOnce we’ve stopped inspecting and adapting we’renot agile, or won’t be for longBest practices are tempting2†Anderson, P. “Seven Layers for Guiding the Evolving Enterprise”in The Biology of Business.5
  6. 6. © 2009 Mountain Goat Software© Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®The transition process must be congruentwith the development process3Self-organizeWrite feature 1Write feature 2Part of the move to agile is amove to self-organizing teamsMoving to self-organizationrequires self-organization!6
  7. 7. © 2009 Mountain Goat Software© Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Traditional view of the organization is as a machinetogetherOrganizations are unpredictable, living systems47
  8. 8. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Assessment Gap Analysis PlanCurrentStateDesiredStateVision8
  9. 9. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®We need a different mental modelThe organization as a Complex Adaptive System(CAS)John Holland in Complexity:The Emerging Science at theEdge of Order and ChaosOverall system behavior is the result of a hugeagents9
  10. 10. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Local agents (individuals, project teams, disciplinecoworkers) identify local gaps based on their goalsVisionCurrentStateDesiredStateCurrentStateDesiredStateCurrentStateDesiredState10
  11. 11. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Closing the gap withthe desired stateNewtonian Viewof SuccessAchieving a good fitwith the environmentCAS Viewof Success11
  12. 12. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®TraditionalviewCAS view12
  13. 13. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®TraditionalviewCAS viewRelationships are empoweringResponsiveness to the environment is themeasure of valuevaluetensions13
  14. 14. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AgendaWhy transitioning to agile is hardADAPTing to agile developmentIterating toward agilityThe role of leadershipOvercoming resistance14
  15. 15. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Awareness that there is room forimprovementADesireDAbility to work in an agile mannerAPromotemomentum and get others to followPTransferT15
  16. 16. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®We also have the issue with at least one other developer aswell.”1. Is this a problem of Awareness, Desire or Ability?Why?2.Thinking about ADAPT, what might you try??16
  17. 17. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®All individuals will need to move through theAwareness, Desire, and Ability stageBut will do so at different ratesEarly adapters and leaders:Use the Promote stage to build Awarenessand Desire in later adoptersfail17
  18. 18. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Tools for building...AwarenessCommunicate that there’s a problemUse metricsProvide exposure to new people and experiencesFocus attention on the most important reason ortwo for changing18
  19. 19. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®On the following slides, identifycreate ability, promote thetransition, and transfer itsimplications.19
  20. 20. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Desire Ability20
  21. 21. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®TransferPromote21
  22. 22. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Stop!My thoughts on desire,ability, transfer and promoteare on the following pages.You don’t want to see thembefore you think about yourown.22
  23. 23. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Tools for building...DesireCommunicate that there’s a better wayCreate a sense of urgencyBuild momentumGet the team to take agile for a test driveAlign incentives (or, at least, remove disincentives)Focus on addressing any fearsHelp people let goDon’t discredit the pastEngage everyone in the transition23
  24. 24. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AbilityProvide coaching and trainingHold individuals accountableShare informationSet reasonable targetsJust do itPromotePublicize success storiesHost an agile safariAttract attention24
  25. 25. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®TransferTransfer the effects of agile beyond the current groupA team transfers to its departmentA department transfers to its divisionIf you don’t transfer, the transition will eventually andinevitably failorganizational gravitystatus quoExample:If you don’t align promotions, raises, annual reviews, thosewill work against you25
  26. 26. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AgendaWhy transitioning to agile is hardADAPTing to agile developmentIterating toward agilityThe role of leadershipOvercoming resistance26
  27. 27. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Enterprise Transition Community(ETC)ImprovementbacklogImprovement CommunitiesImprovementbacklogImprovementbacklogImprovementbacklogImpedimentsEnergy, suppport, resources,guidance, & direction (occasionally)Iterating toward agility27
  28. 28. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Enterprise Transition Community (ETC)Creates a culture in which passion anddesire to improve thriveDoes not direct the transition effortRemoves organizational impediments to agilityEncourages Improvement Communities toform28
  29. 29. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®ETC membersSponsorsupportedOthersFrom any level but driven by desire toimproveDisbands when the “transition” part ofadopting agile is over29
  30. 30. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®ETC responsibilitiesEngage everyoneSet appropriate aspirationsimpediments30
  31. 31. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Item Who NoteJim (CTO) to talk this up atmonthly development meeting.Let’s see if there’s any interest.Establish an internal program How do we identify gooddevelop them?SCin this.JSGet more teams to doAR31
  32. 32. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Form around the passion of a small numberof peopleExpand from thereDo the real work of improving how theorganization implements agileFocus on goals with practical relevanceExamples:ScrumMaster,Testing, Product Owner,Continuous Integration32
  33. 33. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Working with an ICAn IC works with a project teamWork is not done in an ivory towerMost ICs work in 2–4-week iterationsDisband or refocus when goal has beenachieved33
  34. 34. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®ETC ImprovementBacklog…Establish an internalprogram for developing…Not everything on anIC’s improvementbacklog needs to tieback to the ETC’sbacklogAn IC Improvement BacklogFigure out how to identify goodin this program).Establish an internal mentoring program.34
  35. 35. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Improvement backlogs1.Write some items that you would like an onyour organization’s initial improvement backlogs.2.What improvement communities would you liketo see form that could help with some of theseimprovements?3.What obstacles are in the way of making theseimprovements?4.What obstacles are in the way of forming anETC or improvement community to get started?35
  36. 36. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AgendaWhy transitioning to agile is hardADAPTing to agile developmentIterating toward agilityThe role of leadershipOvercoming resistance36
  37. 37. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Transition team and other formal leadersmust lead the transitionbut cannot do so in the usual waysSelf-organizing groups still require leadershipLead through example, questions, and focus“Nudge” the organization; Poke and prod;See how the organization respondsLeading an agile transition37
  38. 38. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®ContainerGlenda Eoyang: Conditions for Self-Organizing in Human SystemsDifferencessystemTransforming ExchangesInformation, money, energy (vision)38
  39. 39. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Using the CDE modelby altering the:ContainersDEtools39
  40. 40. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®ContainersEnlarge or shrink teamsEnlarge or shrink the responsibilityboundary of teamsChange team membershipCreate new teams or groups40
  41. 41. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Don’t require consensusAsk hard questions41
  42. 42. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Encourage communication between teamsand groupsWho isn’t talking who should?Add or remove people from exchangesChange reporting relationshipsEncourage learning42
  43. 43. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®trouble spots.Think about how you might help them byCotrainers, amplifying or dampening.Note whether you are tweaking their Container,than one.)43
  44. 44. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®database engineer and you.The developers andtesters are not working well together. Developerswork in isolation until two days are left in thethe testers.12The team is failing to deliver potentially shippable44
  45. 45. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®will soon.34team has its own testers who are starting to go in45
  46. 46. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Jeff, a senior developer, is very domineering. Duringiteration planning the team defers to him on everywhen he suggest very low estimates on some tasks.56You are responsible for two teams.Team members on46
  47. 47. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®The self-organizing pathSelf-organization is not something thathappens one timeA team is never done doing itand-respond manner to its environmentAs you see the team self-organize you canWe can view this as the evolution of a team47
  48. 48. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®~Philip Andersondivisions of labor and routines not only emerge butalso self-adjust in response to environmentalmastered the art of planning and monitoring†Anderson, P. “Seven Layers for Guiding theEvolving Enterprise” in The Biology of Business.48
  49. 49. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Evolution is the result of three elements:Variation, selection and retentionConsider a giraffe:Variation: A random mutation that leads to a longer neckSelection: The long neck helps it reach food others can’t; so it it more likely to survive and breedRetention: The mutation is passed to its descendants49
  50. 50. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®1.2. Manage meaning3. Evolve vicarious selection systems50
  51. 51. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®help us survive will be the ones retainedshould surviveWhat message is your organization sending about theWhat messages are sent if the organization:Provides training51
  52. 52. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Manage meaningbees responding to a “danger” messageants responding to a “food found over here” messagee.g., putting the the team in touch with customersOr keep messages outare repeated“Our GM counts the cars in the lot every day at 5 PM”52
  53. 53. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Can take a long timerather than eating ittakes too long53
  54. 54. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®AgendaWhy transitioning to agile is hardADAPTing to agile developmentIterating toward agilityThe role of leadershipOvercoming resistance54
  55. 55. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardsSkepticsSaboteursFollowers55
  56. 56. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Pick one type of resistor. (Or two if you have time.)Identify some underlying reasons for the behaviorand some things you could try to overcome it.Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardSkepticSaboteurFollower56
  57. 57. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardSkepticSaboteurFollowerSkepticsLet time run its courseProvide trainingSolicit peer anecdotesAppoint a champion skepticPush the issueBuild awareness57
  58. 58. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardSkepticSaboteurFollowerSaboteursSuccessReiterate and reinforce thecommitmentMove themFire themEncourage a thriving set ofcommunities58
  59. 59. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardSkepticSaboteurFollowerDiehardsAlign incentivesCreate dissatisfaction with thestatus quoAcknowledge and confront fear59
  60. 60. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Why They ResistLike status quo Dislike agilePassiveActiveHowTheyResistDiehardSkepticSaboteurFollowerFollowersChange team compositionPraise the right behaviorModel the right behaviorInvolve themIdentify the true barrier(awareness, desire, ability)60
  61. 61. © Copyright Mountain Goat Software®®Mike Cohn(720) 890−611061