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Succeeding With Agile:A Guide to TransitioningMike Cohn1
Founding member anddirector of Agile Allianceand Scrum AllianceFounder of MountainGoat SoftwareRan my first Scrumproject i...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®1. Why transitioning to agile is hard2. ADAPTing to agile development3. A framework f...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Why Transitioningto AgileIs Hard4
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®1 Change is not top-down or bottom-up;it’s bothTwo simplistic views of change:Top dow...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®It is tempting to codify things that work in a givencontext into best practices†Once ...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®3 The transition process must be congruentwith the development processPart of the mov...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®4 We cannot predict how an organizationwill respond to changeHow we traditionally vie...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®“From a very early age, we are taught to break apartproblems, to fragment the world.T...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®“This machine imagery [Newtonian view]leads to the belief that studying the parts ist...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The Newtonian view leads tothinking of change like thisCurrentStateDesiredStateAssess...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®We need a different mental modelThe organization as a Complex AdaptiveSystem (CAS)Joh...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Differing views of successSuccess =closing the gap with thedesired stateNewtonian vie...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Local goals and gapsLocal agents (individuals, project teams,discipline coworkers) id...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Traditional model ofchangeComplex, adaptive model ofchangeBehavior is predictable and...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®ADAPTing toAgile Development16
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®that the current approachisn’t workingto changeto work in an agile mannerearly succes...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®...the developers are not meeting expectations for codequality. One of our challenges...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®AwarenessCommunicateEstablish a visionNarrow the focusMetricsRun a pilotDesireA clear...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®AbilityPairing (of all sorts)Bring in outside coachesDevelop your own internal coache...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®PromoteCelebrate and share even small, early winsGoal is to build momentumWant a feel...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®TransferTransfer the effects of agile beyond thecurrent groupA team transfers to its ...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®An AgileTransitionFramework23
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®On projects we learn we cannot precisely anticipate:our users’ requirementshow long i...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®An agile processCancelGift wrapReturnIteration2-4 weeksReturnIteration goalIterationb...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Activitiesto supportthe goalsQuarterly Monthly3-4 goalsDecide how pervasive to gowith...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Who?Sponsor—senior person responsible for successArea managers or leads who can make ...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Who should not be on theguiding coalitionPeople with big egosDon’t understand their o...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action teamsUsually more than one at any timeEach focused on a different goale.g., te...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Quarterly3-4goals 1 eachGuidingcoalitionActionteamsMonthly iterationsIteration planni...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action team membersTry to form these teams organicallyPossible with a point person to...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action team memberconsiderationsThink aboutWho has the power to make or break thetran...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Additional considerationsWho will gain or lose something by the transition toagile?Ar...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The Role ofLeaders34
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Leading an agile transitionAction team and other formal leaders mustlead the transiti...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Pre-requisites of self-organizationA boundary within which self-organization occursCo...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Using the CDE modelWhen stuck thinking about how to nudge theorganization think of th...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The team consists of four developers, twotesters, a database engineer and you.Thedeve...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Patterns ofAgile Adoption39
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Six patterns, three decisionsTechnical PracticesFirstIterative FirstStart Small All I...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The most pressing issuesfacing the project are onesthat can be solved withtechnical p...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to transition morethan a handful of teamsconcurrentlyYou are starting with a...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®There is reluctance tocommit fully to agileThe risks of failing an all-at-once transi...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to send a clearmessageTime is criticalYour team isn’t too small ortoo bigUse...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to experimentYou don’t have anyorganizational supportYou expect strong resis...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®approach and committed toachieving itYou are likely to face stiffresistance and want ...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Three expansion patternsSplit and Seed 147
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Grow and split 248
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Internal coachingAttend planning meetingAttend 2 daily scrums perweekSpend 4 hours wi...
® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Mike Cohnmike@mountaingoatsoftware.comwww.mountaingoatsoftware.com(720) 890−(303) 810...
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Succeeding with Agile

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Succeeding with Agile

  1. 1. Succeeding With Agile:A Guide to TransitioningMike Cohn1
  2. 2. Founding member anddirector of Agile Allianceand Scrum AllianceFounder of MountainGoat SoftwareRan my first Scrumproject in 1995Typical programmer tomanager etc. progressionAgile coachand trainerMike Cohn - background® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®2
  3. 3. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®1. Why transitioning to agile is hard2. ADAPTing to agile development3. A framework for transitioning4. The role of leaders5. Patterns of agile adoptionTopics today...3
  4. 4. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Why Transitioningto AgileIs Hard4
  5. 5. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®1 Change is not top-down or bottom-up;it’s bothTwo simplistic views of change:Top downPowerful leader shares a visionBottom-upnew approachBut, transitioning to agile is neither top-downnor bottom-upIt’s everywhere, all together, all-at-once5
  6. 6. ® © 2003–2008 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 long2Best practices are tempting†Source:Anderson, P. “Seven Layers for Guidingthe Evolving Enterprise” in The Biology of Business.6
  7. 7. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®3 The transition process must be congruentwith the development processPart of the move toagile is a move to self-organizing teamsMoving to self-organization requiresself-organizationWrite Feature 1Write Feature 2Self-organize7
  8. 8. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®4 We cannot predict how an organizationwill respond to changeHow we traditionally view our organizations:Behavior is highly predictableOnce set in motion, will continue in motionAn organization change strategy can bemapped out:And we’ll end up right where I predict8
  9. 9. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®“From a very early age, we are taught to break apartproblems, to fragment the world.This apparentlymakes complex tasks and subjects more manageable,but we pay a hidden, enormous price.We can nolonger see the consequences of our actions; we loseour intrinsic sense of connection to a larger whole.When we try to ‘see the big picture,’ we try toreassemble the fragments in our minds, to list andorganize all the pieces. But, as physicist David Bohmsays, the task is futile—similar to trying to reassembleThus, after awhile we give up trying to see the wholealtogether.”Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline9
  10. 10. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®“This machine imagery [Newtonian view]leads to the belief that studying the parts isthe key to understanding the whole.Thingsare taken apart, dissected literally oris that the more we know about theworkings of each piece, the more we willlearn about the whole.”~Margaret Wheatleyin Leadership and the New Science10
  11. 11. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The Newtonian view leads tothinking of change like thisCurrentStateDesiredStateAssessmentGapAnalysisPlanVision11
  12. 12. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®We need a different mental modelThe organization as a Complex AdaptiveSystem (CAS)John Holland in Complexity:The Emerging Science atthe Edge of Order and Chaos by Mitchell WaldropA dynamic network of many agentsacting in parallelacting and reacting to what other agents are doingControl is highly dispersed and decentralizedOverall system behavior is the result of a hugenumber of decisions made constantly by many agents12
  13. 13. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Differing views of successSuccess =closing the gap with thedesired stateNewtonian viewSuccess =the environmentCAS view13
  14. 14. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Local goals and gapsLocal agents (individuals, project teams,discipline coworkers) identify local gaps basedon their local goalsVisionCurrentStateLocalactionsInspectDesiredStateCurrentStateLocalactionsInspectDesiredStateCurrentStateLocalactionsInspectDesiredState14
  15. 15. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Traditional model ofchangeComplex, adaptive model ofchangeBehavior is predictable andcontrollableBehavior is unpredictable anduncontrollableDirection is determined by afew leaders.Direction is determined throughemergence and by many peopleEvery effect has a cause Every effect is also a causeRelationships are directive Relationships are empoweringmeasures of valueResponsiveness to the environment isthe measure of valueDecisions are based on factsand data.Decisions are based on patterns andtensions.Leaders are experts andauthorities.Leaders are facilitators and supporters.Adapted from Olson and Eoyang, Facilitating Organization Change.15
  16. 16. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®ADAPTing toAgile Development16
  17. 17. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®that the current approachisn’t workingto changeto work in an agile mannerearly successes to buildmomentum and get others to followthe impact of agile throughoutthe organization so that it sticksDesireAbilityAwarenessTransferAwarenessDesireAbilityPromotePromoteTransferADAPT17
  18. 18. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®...the developers are not meeting expectations for codequality. One of our challenges is that we’re still hackingour way through lots of legacy code that isn’t unit-testable or automated yet, but is mission critical and theperson who has been working mostly on that area ofcode consistently leaves holes in the design andimplementation of new pieces of that code.We alsohave the issue with at least one other developer as well.I’m the ScrumMaster and...1.Is this a problem of Awareness, Desire or Ability?2.Thinking about ADAPT, what might you try?18
  19. 19. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®AwarenessCommunicateEstablish a visionNarrow the focusMetricsRun a pilotDesireA clear vision (again)Share examples of successPublic praise for the right behaviorAlign incentivesTurn the transition over to individualsBuild momentumTools for building...19
  20. 20. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®AbilityPairing (of all sorts)Bring in outside coachesDevelop your own internal coachesFormal trainingPracticeTools for building...20
  21. 21. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®PromoteCelebrate and share even small, early winsGoal is to build momentumWant a feeling of inevitability around the transitionReduce upcoming resistance before it startsSend people on an agile safariAttract attention and interest21
  22. 22. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®TransferTransfer the effects of agile beyond thecurrent groupA team transfers to its departmentA department transfers to its divisionetc.If you don’t transfer, the transition willeventually and inevitably failToo much organizational gravity pulling us backtoward the status quoExample:If you don’t align promotions, raises, annualreviews, those will work against you22
  23. 23. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®An AgileTransitionFramework23
  24. 24. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®On projects we learn we cannot precisely anticipate:our users’ requirementshow long it will take to develop a feature or entiresystemwhich design will be bestthe set of tasks necessary to develop a featureSo we devise alternative approaches:Rather than ask for upfront specs, we deliver partialsolutions, solicit feedback, and repeatRather than design the whole system, we designincrementally and adjust based on what we learnWe need to do the same for thetransition effort24
  25. 25. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®An agile processCancelGift wrapReturnIteration2-4 weeksReturnIteration goalIterationbacklogPotentially shippableproduct incrementProductbacklogGift wrapCouponsCancelDaily.........Transitionbacklog...IterationmonthlyWeeklyAlteredorganizationAn agile transition process25
  26. 26. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Activitiesto supportthe goalsQuarterly Monthly3-4 goalsDecide how pervasive to gowith agile—developmentonly or full companyAllIdentify which issues agilecan solve or help with.DFTransitionbacklogWeeklyDiscussprogressRemoveimpedimentsMeet weekly to execute,monthly to plan,quarterly to strategizeEquivalent to daily standupsEquivalent to iterationsEquivalent to releases26
  27. 27. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Who?Sponsor—senior person responsible for successArea managers or leads who can make it happenEstablish a “guiding coalition”DBAQA PMOUED27
  28. 28. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Who should not be on theguiding coalitionPeople with big egosDon’t understand their own limitationsSnakesSomeone who poisons relationships among teammembersReluctant participantsLack time or enthusiasmBut may have needed expertise or political clout28
  29. 29. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action teamsUsually more than one at any timeEach focused on a different goale.g., test automation or user experience designSome teams in an organization will be organicIndividuals notice something needs to be achievedOthers will be formally-sponsoredGuiding coalition puts someone in charge of achieving a goalthat hasn’t been picked upUsually best only if an organic team doesn’t form29
  30. 30. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Quarterly3-4goals 1 eachGuidingcoalitionActionteamsMonthly iterationsIteration planning to identifytasks the action teams (andmembers of their deliveryteams) can make progress onLike the daily standupA chance to synchronizeworkWeekly cycle30
  31. 31. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action team membersTry to form these teams organicallyPossible with a point person to start the teamTrue product owner for the team is the guidingcoalitionBut this starting person acts as a combination day-to-day product owner and ScrumMasterInitial membershipStart with 1-3 members who “get it”Ask each of those members to pick 1-2 more31
  32. 32. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Action team memberconsiderationsThink aboutWho has the power to make or break thetransition to agile?Who controls critical resources or expertise?How will each be affected?How will each react?32
  33. 33. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Additional considerationsWho will gain or lose something by the transition toagile?Are there blocs likely to mobilize against or insupport of the transition?teams’ opinions and results are taken seriously?Can team members put their personal interestsaside in favor of the organizational goal?33
  34. 34. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The Role ofLeaders34
  35. 35. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Leading an agile transitionAction team and other formal leaders mustlead 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 responds35
  36. 36. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Pre-requisites of self-organizationA boundary within which self-organization occursCompany, project, team, city, role, nationalityContainerThere must be differences among the agents acting inour systemTechnical knowledge, domain knowledge, education,experience, power, genderDifferencesTransforming ExchangesAgents in the system interact and exchange resourcesInformation, money, energy (vision)Glenda Eoyang: Conditions for Self-Organizing in Human Systems36
  37. 37. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Using the CDE modelWhen stuck thinking about how to nudge theorganization think of the:Containersformal teams, informal teams, clarify (or not)expectationsDifferencesDampen or amplify them within or between containersExchangesInsert new exchanges, new people, new techniques ortools37
  38. 38. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The team consists of four developers, twotesters, a database engineer and you.Thedevelopers and testers are not working welltogether. Developers work in isolation untiltwo days are left in the iteration.They thenthrow the code “over the wall” to thetesters.?Would you change a Container, Differenceor Exchange to address this issue?38
  39. 39. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Patterns ofAgile Adoption39
  40. 40. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Six patterns, three decisionsTechnical PracticesFirstIterative FirstStart Small All InorStealth Mode orPublic Display ofAgilityor40
  41. 41. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®The most pressing issuesfacing the project are onesthat can be solved withtechnical practices.You aren’t starting a hugenumber of teams at onceTeam members have solidtechnical backgroundsThere is a desperate need toimproveUseful whenTechnical Practices FirstVery rapid improvements arepossibleThe transition can be quickAdvantagesTechnical practices supporteach other in subtle waysThere is likely to be strongresistance to somepracticesOutside coaching will likelybe neededDisadvantages41
  42. 42. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to transition morethan a handful of teamsconcurrentlyYou are starting with a stalledprojectLots of different technologiesare in use by various teamsUseful whenIterative FirstIt’s easy to startIt’s hard to argue againstAdvantagesThe team may not chooseto add the technicalpracticesDisadvantages42
  43. 43. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®There is reluctance tocommit fully to agileThe risks of failing an all-at-once transition outweigh theadvantagesYou can afford the time ittakesUseful whenStart SmallCost of mistakes is minimizedYou can almost guaranteesuccessAdvantagesConclusions may not becompellingIt takes a lot of timeAgile teams will need towork with non-agile teamsDisadvantages43
  44. 44. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to send a clearmessageTime is criticalYour team isn’t too small ortoo bigUseful whenAll InIt’s over quicklyThere’s no organizationaldissonance from using twoprocesses at onceIt can reduce some resistanceAdvantagesIt’s riskyIt’s costlyIt will likely require areorganizationDisadvantages44
  45. 45. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®You want to experimentYou don’t have anyorganizational supportYou expect strong resistanceUseful whenStealth ModeThere’s no additional pressureNo one knows about it untilyou tell themNo one can tell you not to doitAdvantagesYou won’t have anyorganizational supportSkeptics will only hearabout success, they won’twitness itDisadvantages45
  46. 46. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®approach and committed toachieving itYou are likely to face stiffresistance and want to face itall at onceUseful whenPublic Display of Agility (PDA)Everyone knows you’re doing itso you’re more likely to stickwith itIt establishes a vision to worktowardare committed to transitioningAdvantagesAnnouncing something beforeyou do it can make you lookfoolishResistors will come out of thewoodworkDisadvantages46
  47. 47. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Three expansion patternsSplit and Seed 147
  48. 48. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Grow and split 248
  49. 49. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Internal coachingAttend planning meetingAttend 2 daily scrums perweekSpend 4 hours with theteam per sprintduties such as:349
  50. 50. ® © 2003–2008 Mountain Goat Software®Mike Cohnmike@mountaingoatsoftware.comwww.mountaingoatsoftware.com(720) 890−(303) 810−2190 (mobile)50

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