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Company Culture as the Key Agile Milestone


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The presentation I was given at Agile Riga Day 2011.
The success of agile adoption process is not hidden in methodology itself, but it should correspond with
inside company culture. That’s something which part of the agile community already forgot and most of
the companies never really understood. My role as a coach is to remind both groups about the
importance of company culture, help them understand how huge the culture shift might be and what
they could possibly expect out of it both good and wrong. There is no cookbook how to adopt agile
methods, but indeed there are some better and easier ways how to get there.
presented at Riga Agile Day 2011 by Zuzana Sochova

Published in: Business

Company Culture as the Key Agile Milestone

  1. 1. AGILE CULTURECompany Culture as the Key Agile Milestone Zuzana Sochova
  2. 2. Prague is where I live…
  3. 3. Historical city…
  4. 4. “Hey, let’s start agile!”
  5. 5. We are special, agile won’t work for us!
  6. 6. SW development projects are failingby IT Corex: an IT project is more likely to be unsuccessful than successful about 1 out of 5 IT projects is likely to bring full satisfaction the larger the project the more likely the failure 1st step: change practices, skills, processes… Try Agile ;)
  7. 7. There is no cookbookon how to adopt agile
  8. 8. How difficult is to introduce given practice? 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
  9. 9. How useful are the following practices? 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
  10. 10. What was the most challenging during the agile adoption? 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Team Customer Team Change Management Communication Communication Responsibility Resistance Support and and and Understanding Cooperation Involvement
  11. 11. What would you do differently?Hire a good full time coachInvolve both design and testingCo-locate as much as possibleAdjust the length of sprints for every projectMore customer focusInvolve more business stakeholdersWork more on responsibility, auto-organizationBe aware of the change, it’s hard
  12. 12. What would you recommend ?• Agile cannot be implemented top-down only nor bottom-up only. Agile needs to be a grass roots effort that has executive level sponsorship.• Dont cheat and never ever let a sprint go past its time.• View coach and customer as KEY roles and ensure the right people are in these roles.• Dont sell Scrum as the dogma.• Make sure everyone involved in an agile effort understands the Agile Manifestos Values and Principles• Forget about "scrum tools". Use a real physical whiteboard and super- sticky post-its.• Don’t forget the communication is everything.• Attend Agile conferences.
  13. 13. No common practice to use… ajpscs
  14. 14. AGILE is Culture of Trust, Communication and Support
  15. 15. Self-organization
  16. 16. CollaborationOrcas Attack Seal
  17. 17. Company Culture as the Key Agile MilestoneCollaborative Agile Culture Quality Flexibility Be smart Sharing Self-Reliance Responsible Sustainable Successful
  18. 18. Feels like chaos from the top…
  19. 19. …but perfectly working in fact
  20. 20. Starting agile…Understand where you are
  21. 21. Starting agile…Understand where you want to go
  22. 22. Agile is a change ofwhat you believe in
  23. 23. Evolution process
  24. 24. It’s a philosophy… … so go deep inside
  25. 25. Change?
  26. 26. Kotter’s 8 steps of successful change Create a Sense of Urgency Pull Together the Guiding Team Develop the Change Vision and Strategy Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in Empower Others to Act Produce Short-Term Wins Don’t Let Up Make it Stick
  27. 27. Must the culture be here before Agile or will it emerge from the adoption process?
  28. 28. Do You Believe In Agile Culture?Agile needs culture…Any method to be adopted must be essentially compatible with the culture.If the culture doesnt support or embrace Agile, it will never work as a process.Agile changes culture…At the same time certain cultures will be very difficult to change – i.e. heavy, authoritarian, top-down cultures. Maybe not impossible, but it could be close.
  29. 29. Empower people
  30. 30. Adoption ManifestoDo believe in agile company cultureBe able to embrace a change and overcome resistanceBelieve in peopleHave willingness to take risksHave DESIRE for Agile methods
  31. 31. Thank you for your attentionZuzana ŠochováAGILE & SCRUM TRAINER, CONSULTANT AND