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CA : Recognizing the 10 failure modes in agile transformation - by Andrew Sales

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"Often, organizations fail to adopt agile methods for similar reasons, and many of these reasons are cultural. From checkbook commitment and lack of executive support to ineffective retrospectives and bad product ownership, this talk describes the 12 agile failure modes to avoid so you can succeed with your own agile transformation"

Andrew Sales is a regular speaker at agile events and contributor to the Agile Community:

- 2017 Gartner PPM Summit
- 2017 OOP Conference, Munich
- 2016 DevOps Connection, Paris
- 2016 Agile Alliance, Agile 2016, Atlanta
- 2015 RallyOn Europe, UK
- 2015 Agile transformations in large-scale and regulated environments, Leiden University

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CA : Recognizing the 10 failure modes in agile transformation - by Andrew Sales

  1. 1. Recognizing the 10 Failure Modes in Agile Transformation Andrew Sales, Presales Director Agile Management, 29 January 2018 andrew.sales@ca.com Learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls of agile transformation.
  2. 2. 2 © 2017 CA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. CA Technologies offers software and services solutions that drive agility—allowing companies to sense and respond to change quickly and confidently. CA Technologies (Formerly Rally)
  3. 3. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. The Promise of Business Agility What Improvements do you desire? 3 84% 65% 58% Expect to be able to act on new opportunities faster Expect improved customer satisfaction and retention Higher employee productivity and retention
  4. 4. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. From Adoption to Transformation What does Reality Feel Like? 4 Speed Not able to respond to market threats Quality Dissatisfied customers and poor products Value No clear return on investment Sustainable Growth Cynicism and distrust of the Agile Transformation
  5. 5. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Potential Failure Modes 1. Lack of Executive Sponsorship 2. Failure to Transform Leader Behaviors 3. No Systemic Changes to the Organization 4. No Built-In Quality Discipline 5. Failure to Decentralize Control 6. Challenges with Distributed Teams 7. Lack of A Transformation ‘Product Manager’ 8. Failure to Create Fast Feedback and Innovate 9. Short Changing Collaboration 10. Ineffective Planning for Transforming Beyond IT 5
  6. 6. #1 Lack of Executive Sponsorship 6 CHALLENGES: • Under the Radar – Eager employees ‘hide’ agile from those who might it down. It’s sustainability is unlikely. • Checkbook commitment – lack of continual engagement lead to pockets of agile success at best.
  7. 7. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Leading the Change A Successful Transformation is a Journey It is not enough that management commit themselves to quality and productivity, they must know what it is they must do. Such a responsibility cannot be delegated. W. Edwards Deming 7 Leaders must: • Seek guidance and input from teams. • Recognize the personal commitment they’re asking of their employees. • Celebrate short term wins. • Regard set backs as opportunities for growth. • Have a role in the transformation.
  8. 8. #2 Failure to Transform Leader Behaviors 8 CHALLENGES: • Managers rely on a top-down approach, driving projects forward with little regard for input from the team. • Manager tries to control the team rather than serve the team.
  9. 9. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Embracing Servant Leadership Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership 9 System Neglect • Knows the limits of how much focus can be allocated to issues; • learns what to focus on and what to let go in order to support the team and achieve goals effectively. Acceptance • Knows when to let go and trust the instincts of the team; • accepts the wisdom of the team and is prepared to support it. Listening • Facilitates useful and necessary communication, • pays attention to what remains unspoken • and is motivated to actively hear what others are saying. Inspiration
  10. 10. #3 No Systemic Changes to the Organisation 10 CHALLENGES: • Failed agile transformations suffer from an inability to changes the existing organisation structure. • They zero-in on a specific team’s performance at the expense of organisational success. • There is no view across the value stream. • Organisations are not tracking the concept of cash-to-value through a system.
  11. 11. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Customer Lead Time (Time to market) Optimize the Value Stream 10% Flow Efficiency vs 100% Resource Efficiency • Find the value stream. • Map at whatever level best illustrates the handoffs and bottlenecks. • Start where you are in the value stream. • Find the primary constraint and crush it. • Look for the next primary constraint. And continue. • Expand the boundaries of the value stream and broaden commitment. Touch Time Wait Time
  12. 12. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Organize around customer value True agile transformations push organisational boundaries. 12 When we optimize sub-components of the system we don’t necessarily optimize the overall system. This is true when looking at the people. W. Edwards Deming
  13. 13. #4 No Built-In Quality Discipline 13 CHALLENGES • Scaling up poor engineering practices leading to worse outcomes and a unmaintainable code base. • Struggling to build new features alongside an ever increasing amount of technical debt. • Long release cycles at the end of a phase of agile development. • Poor infrastructure and lack of CI/CD practices.
  14. 14. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Undiscovered Problems Increase in Cost http://www.innolution.com/blog/agile-in-a-hardware-firmware-environment-draw-the-cost-of-change-curve 14 Fast Feedback to Discover Problems Early HW FW SW CostofChange Time CostofChange Time Defn Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
  15. 15. Integrate Code Early and Often Drive down costs with automation 15 Cost Lower costs through automation Time Transaction Holding Integrate Rarely Integrate Often Current Trade-off
  16. 16. #5 Failure to Decentralize Control 16 CHALLENGES • Decision making control is seen as a sign of authority. • Due to this strict, centralized control, decisions are not as informed as they could be. • Waiting for a decision wastes time and human potential. • This control style lowers moral.
  17. 17. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Decentralising Decision Making The Scale Principle vs The Perishability Principle 17 The scale principle: Centralize control for problems that are infrequent, large, or that have significant economies of scale. The perishability principle: Decentralize control for problems and opportunities that age poorly. Striking the right balance is essential—the successful leader will be the one who can decentralize control to move decisions closer to the worker, the one who knows the work best, but know when to centralize control as a service to the flow of value
  18. 18. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Teams Have Autonomy Over How they Work Those Who Do the Work, Know the Work Best 18 Principles + Context = Practices Dan North Must Do Should Do Could Do
  19. 19. #6 Challenges with Distributed Teams 19 CHALLENGES • Geographic dispersion. • Time zone differences. • Rely on emails and long documents for communication. • People are not brought together for collaboration or training.
  20. 20. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Distributed Not Dispersed Increase Distance, Reduce Number of People 20 “... we might expect the upper limit on group size to depend on the degree of social dispersal. In dispersed societies, individuals will meet less often and will thus be less familiar with each, so group sizes should be smaller in consequence.” Robin Dunbar
  21. 21. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Working With Distributed Teams Reducing the Risks 1. Build a positive team culture 2. Get key team members together at the beginning 3. Do a bit more up front planning 4. Do a bit more up front modelling 5. Integrate regularly 5. Recognize that communication is critical 6. Have daily stand-up meetings 7. Have ambassadors travel between sites regularly 8. Have boundary spanners at each site Scott Ambler, Disciplined Agile Delivery 21
  22. 22. #7 Lack of A Transformation ‘Product Manager’ 22 • Think of your transformation akin to product development. • Have this person work closely with the executive owner. • Together they define disciplined exploration and execution.
  23. 23. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. A Roadmap Towards an Agile Transformation What Are We Trying to Achieve? 23
  24. 24. Outcomes, Goals and Activities It’s Not the Plan That’s Important, It’s the Planning
  25. 25. #8 Failure to Create Fast Feedback and Innovate 25 CHALLENGES • Clinging to the idea that a transformation journey is predictable. • One stet of standards and processes for every team on the transformation. • Limited time for continuous learning and improvement.
  26. 26. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Build in Feedback Loops at all Levels Question ‘Why’ as well as ‘How’ The Art of Leadership and Supervision, v. 1.0 26 Assumptions Why We Do What We Do Strategies and Techniques What We Do Results What We Get Double-loop Learning Questions the underlying assumptions, values and beliefs of what we do Single-loop Learning Problem Solving, improving the system as it is
  27. 27. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. 27 Keep Improving Employee Engagement Do It On Time Predictability Do It Right Quality Customer Delight Do It Fast Productivity Responsiveness Software Development Performance Index "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.“ Peter Drucker
  28. 28. #9 Short Changing Collaboration 28 CHALLENGES • Time for collaboration is limited. • Diverse opinions are not welcomed. • No safe environment that supports healthy conflict or speaking up.
  29. 29. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. 29
  30. 30. #10 Ineffective Planning for Transforming Beyond IT CHALLENGES • Focusing on IT is not truly transformative. • Speeding up value delivery in IT may be suboptimal for the Business. • The biggest bottleneck may not be within the IT teams.
  31. 31. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Customers expect you to deliver faster, but... Business and IT rhythms are out of sync and grinding
  32. 32. Consider all Possible Inputs The Solution May be Outside of IT Diminishing return Negative return Increasing return Total Input Total Output Input leads to productive returns. Continue to invest more effort. Input leads to diminishing returns. Stop further effort somewhere in this stage. Additional input is causing a decrease in output.
  33. 33. Copyright © 2018 CA. All rights reserved. Cost of Delay Delay In our experience no single sensitivity is more eye-opening than cost of delay. – Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow Value Time Focus on The Greatest Opportunities Maximize the Economics of the Transformation
  34. 34. Thank You.

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