“Let’s get down to business !
don’t got no time to play around what is this?
Must be a circus in town, let’s shut the sh*t down
Quick gotta move fast, gotta perform miracles
Gee willikers Dre, holy bat syllables
I recently had the ‘lucky’ chance to meet an Agile Transformation sponsor who seemingly had those words from Eminem blaring in his head. 120 associates, 10 teams and I want all of them to be agile by the end of September. How, I secretly wished I had an “Agile Genie” who could perform those miracles
And this was not a one off case. Quite a few Agile ‘Enthusiasts’ I meet , seem to make Eminem’s words their anthem…
Most Agile Transformations are triggered by the Eureka! Moment from someone in the executive management discovering about agile methods (in a seminar or through a book or various other methods) OR it can simply be case of customers telling the service provider to start using Agile Practices and there-in starts the miracle race (of the Star-Trek type furiousity)
……within one month, we should have all managers and team members trained on Agile ( reallyyyyy? )
……our sprints would start from next Monday and all teams need to follow this approach
……. Managers/ team leaders would be made Scrum masters when the sprints start
…..All our requirements should be in the User Story format hence forth
And so the whole organization starts running towards making “Agile” successful. They even have audits and survey questionnaires to gauge how good we are doing Agile. The best agile teams and managers are rewarded for being ‘fully agile’
Wait a minute ! Why do I still hear Eminem singing…..
You ain’t even impressed no more, you used to it
Flows too wet, nobody close to it
Nobody says it was ’til everyone knows the sh*t “
“Let’s get down to business !
Why are we not achieving good results even after implementing Agile !!!!! Why are the customers still shouting !! Why are our team members running away to other teams/ projects and companies ?? isn’t agile supposed to reduce all this. …… Guess, Agile is not for us. It might work in certain situations but not in our kind of situation
So, what went wrong ?? Why did they not succeed with ‘Agile’ ??
Well the answer is very simple yet hard to see when you first start an Agile Transformation. Is an Agile Transformation really that simple that you can simply start tomorrow morning ?
Well, the fortunate or unfortunate answer is a big NO!!!! .
Using Agile methods in your software or non-software product development is not merely about picking a method ( Scrum, XP, DSDM et al), but imbibing the philosophy and identifying how applying it can help your business grow . A few questions that you need to ask are…
WHY ? Agile..
This is the BIG and the most important question that every practitioner should ask. Why do we want to use Agile methods ? What are the business goals we want to achieve by changing the way we work ? and how would we measure success
WHO ? can be Agile..
Not all projects and programs offer the correct home ground for using Agile methods. Though the Agile Principles can be applied to any situation, Agile practices may be hard to follow and sustain in certain projects and may offer stupendous benefits in certain projects. So, choose your way in an informed manner
WHEN ? to be Agile…
Unfortunately, Agile methods do not come with an attached Genie which can transform your team and the work culture overnight. As software development is about people, it needs time to imbibe, understand and emulate. So , plan for the transformation and give sufficient time for people behavior to change before you expect a positive impact ?
HOW ? do we go about using Agile
Plan the transformation. Choose one of the well-established Organizational Change Management techniques (e.g. ADKAR etc). Choose the right team to take it forward from a process and people transformation perspective and DO have frequent retrospectives with those affected by the change to make it a continuous improvement exercise.
And when you have the transformation going, yet another simple question can give you the chances of your success…
Is your ‘BUSINESS’ working for “AGILE” or is “AGILE” working for your ‘BUSINESS’ ???