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Hands-on Agile: Agile Maturity—Fad, Trend or Holy Grail—Survey Results

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The slide-deck summarizes the preliminary findings from a survey among agile practitioners what factors influence the maturity of an agile transition at an organizational and at a team level.

SURVEY INTRODUCTION 2017-10-19:

“This was the best sprint we have ever had. We are becoming (more) agile.” Somehow, a sense of progress always seems to be fuzzy notion when it comes to ‘agile.’ And the question at the heart of all of it is always the same: How do we find out that we are ‘agile’ and are not merely practicing a form of cargo cult version of it?

Providing a path to an ultimate state of being has been a core principle of many teachings in philosophy, sociology, politics, and religion: If you follow this code, if you accept the guidance of your life by the following rules everything will be fine. (And for everyone’s convenience, we provide you with a book, a guide, and probably even a checklist.)

To no one’s surprise, the agile world is not exempt from that. What started with the Manifesto for Agile Software Development — four values and twelve principles that fit on a single page —, was followed by the still light-weight Scrum Guide. Today, the caliber of teaching has changed — just have a look the big picture diagram of SAFe® — and even in the agile world, the path to the promised land seems to be meticulously laid out.

Help us to understand better what the goal of becoming ‘agile’ means for an organization by contributing to this short anonymous survey. It will not take more than five minutes of your valued time. Of course, the results of the survey will be shared at a later stage.

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Hands-on Agile: Agile Maturity—Fad, Trend or Holy Grail—Survey Results

  1. 1. Agile Maturity Fad, Trend or Holy Grail? Hands-on Agile #4 © Stefan Wolpers • Berlin, November 30th, 2017
  2. 2. Twitter: #HoA4 stefan@age-of-product.com
  3. 3. About the Speaker Agile Coach, Scrum Master, and Product Owner since 2006: stefan@age-of-product.com
  4. 4. Why Do Organizations Want to Become ‘Agile’? stefan@age-of-product.com
  5. 5. The ‘Why’ Question (1) “By the end of 2018, 80% of all projects will be agile.” stefan@age-of-product.com
  6. 6. The ‘Why’ Question (2): Command & Control 21st Century Taylorism: • Functional silos prevail • Projects, budgets & initiatives rule Source: Scientific management (Wikipedia) stefan@age-of-product.com
  7. 7. The ‘Why’ Question (3): C-Level Motivation Typically named reasons for doing “Agile”: • Become more efficient • Deliver more & faster • Improve predictability Actual benefits of becoming “Agile”: • Create learning organizations • Autonomy, mastery and purpose • Minimizing risk, improving ROI stefan@age-of-product.com
  8. 8. 1. Is there a destination or just a journey ahead? 2. Are we on the right route? 3. How do we know we’re making progress? The ‘Why’ Question (4) stefan@age-of-product.com
  9. 9. Becoming ‘Agile’ in Practice stefan@age-of-product.com
  10. 10. The Agile Path (1): There’s Plenty of ‘Agile’
  11. 11. The Agile Path (2): Business Agility Source: Domains of Business Agility stefan@age-of-product.com
  12. 12. The Agile Path (3): Packaged ‘Agile’ Source: SAFe® stefan@age-of-product.com
  13. 13. The Agile Path (4): Agile Onion Source: What Is Agile? Processes & Tools Practices Principles Values Mindset This can be adopted C&C style This requires cultural & organizational change Move to a learning organization Less powerful, more visible More powerful, less visible stefan@age-of-product.com
  14. 14. The Agile Path (5): Kniberg’s Scrum Test stefan@age-of-product.com
  15. 15. The Agile Path (6) stefan@age-of-product.com
  16. 16. The Agile Path (7): Open Issues? stefan@age-of-product.com Benefits of an ‘agile maturity model’: • Six Sigma or ISO 9000 for ‘Agile?’ • How to measure progress? • What’s the ROI when moving from project- to product-mode? • Agile patchwork organization: • Are happy agile islands acceptable? • Or: Destination Holacracy? • How to overcome resistance?
  17. 17. The Survey stefan@age-of-product.com
  18. 18. The Survey (1) stefan@age-of-product.com
  19. 19. The Survey (2): Fundamentals Four Questions: 1. What factors contribute to a team’s growing maturity in agile practices? 2. What maturity levels do you see at a team level? 3. What factors contribute to becoming an ‘agile’ or a learning organization? 4. What maturity levels do you see at an organizational level? Responses: 86 stefan@age-of-product.com
  20. 20. The Survey (3): Preliminary Taxonomy Agile Maturity Indicators: 1. People: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose 2. Organizational Excellence 3. Technical Excellence 4. Communication & Collaboration stefan@age-of-product.com
  21. 21. The Survey (4): Autonomy Self-organization: 1. Empower teams (Decisions, accountability) 2. Focus on outcome 3. Respect Scrum values (Commitment, focus, openness, respect, courage.) 4. Safety to raise & discuss issues 5. The team handles its own problems (No scrum mom.) 6. Supporting each other as team members (Bonding.) 7. Holding each other accountable (Agile is a team sport.) stefan@age-of-product.com
  22. 22. The Survey (5): Autonomy Accountability (individual): Choosing tools & devices (e.g. software) stefan@age-of-product.com
  23. 23. The Survey (6): Mastery Learning: • Short feedback loops (User tests, customer development) • Use of retrospectives • Continuous team coaching (Guilds, code mentors etc.) • Stakeholders live up to their responsibilities • Hands-on experience over credentialism stefan@age-of-product.com
  24. 24. The Survey (7): Mastery Competence: • T-shaped people • Active knowledge sharing • Continuous learning, • No withholding of knowledge • Knowledge sharing beyond the product and tech realm • Budget to attend conferences • Center of Excellence for Agile stefan@age-of-product.com
  25. 25. The Survey (8): Mastery Team building: • Cross-functional teams: • No dependencies w/ other teams, • End-to-end delivery capability • Stable, long-living teams • Support by an experienced scrum master stefan@age-of-product.com
  26. 26. The Survey (9): Purpose Inclusion: • Product discovery • Product roadmap creation • Release planning stefan@age-of-product.com
  27. 27. The Survey (10): Organizational Excellence Culture: • Embrace and celebrate failure (Validate hypotheses by running experiments) • Curiosity as a norm • Undogmatic attitude, live Shu-Ha-Ri • Transparency: • Share information and data at all levels, • No more gated information or information brokers stefan@age-of-product.com
  28. 28. The Survey (11): Organizational Excellence Leadership: • Focus on innovation, quality and business value (No more HIPPOism.) • Supports of ‘agile’s way of working’ fully • Enforces ‘agile’ as the core of the company culture • Respect for roles, principles, and processes (The ‘real’ PO.) stefan@age-of-product.com
  29. 29. The Survey (12): Organizational Excellence Management: • Managers to servant leaders • Trust in people and teams • Provides tools and facilities necessary to become agile • Gemba and Kaizen become standard practices stefan@age-of-product.com
  30. 30. The Survey (13): Organizational Excellence Organizational design: • Abandon functional silos for cross-functional teams • Remove redundant middle management layers (Flatten the hierarchy) • No more command & control, compliance driven management • HR aligns with requirements of self-organizing teams • The organizations morphs into a team of teams stefan@age-of-product.com
  31. 31. The Survey (14): Organizational Excellence Clear objectives: • Shared vision among all actors • Clear strategy • Clear priorities stefan@age-of-product.com
  32. 32. The Survey (15): Organizational Excellence Business value focus: • Customer centricity mindset • Delivering business results • Shifting the IT focus business needs • From project budgets to product teams stefan@age-of-product.com
  33. 33. The Survey (16): Technical Excellence Engineering level: • Built-in quality: • Code reviews, • TDD: • Test automation, • Test coverage • Pair and mob programming • Practicing Scrum, Kanban, XP stefan@age-of-product.com
  34. 34. The Survey (17): Technical Excellence Process level: • DevOps: CI, CD (Deployment at will) • Regular cadence of releases • Identifying suitable metrics: • Lead time, cycle time, • Number of experiments, • Team health • Open sourcing code stefan@age-of-product.com
  35. 35. The Survey (18): Communication & Collaboration Trust & respect: • Benefit of the doubt for colleagues • Safety to disagree • Honesty • Candid peer feedback stefan@age-of-product.com
  36. 36. The Survey (19): Communication & Collaboration Conflict resolution: • Constructive disagreement (Disgree, but commit approach.) • Non-violent communication stefan@age-of-product.com
  37. 37. The Survey (19): Communication & Collaboration Collaboration: • Zero tolerance for political games • No scripted collaboration • No incentives to withhold knowledge (Or information.) • No finger-pointing, no blame-game stefan@age-of-product.com
  38. 38. What Is Next? Can we apply analytical thinking –e.g. measuring factors & calculating a state of agility— to complex social systems? stefan@age-of-product.com
  39. 39. Contact Information Stefan Wolpers Email: stefan@age-of-product.com Blog: Age-of-Product.com Newsletter: https://age-of-product.com/subscribe (Join 12,950 peers) Slack: https://hands-onagile.slack.com/ (Join 2,100 peers) Twitter 1: @StefanW Twitter 2: @AgeOfProduct

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