How do I know if Agile is working for me or not? – An Executive’s Dilemma

As Agile coaches, several times when we talk to the Sr. Management in a company to taking agile to a bigger level and adopt it across their business units a common response we get is "I have seen agile working for our project teams. I am also in midst of an agile transformation where we are applying it in large programs. But how do I know the transformation is helping me achieve my goals at an organizational level. Our organization typically tracks executives on finance, people & delivery parameters. In an agile context, how do I ensure that I am on track with the executive-level dashboard (finance, people and delivery)?" As part of this session, we plan to share our experience of how "Balance Score Card" technique was implemented at one of the financial services company following agile. By using concept of balance score card we were able to map the agile goals with the IT organization goals and ensure that the agile methods were giving the desired results.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

1. What is a Balance Score Card [5 mins]

2. Creating Balance Score Card [10 mins]

3. Showcasing a sample Balance Score Card [5 mins]

I had presented this topic at the NCR Agile conference in Jan 2013. The slide deck that was presented is given in the link.

Learning Outcome

1. What are the typical lead and lag indicators that are tracked at executive level

2. How to use balance score card while implementing Agile

3. How to map agile goals with organization IT goals

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Strategic roles, Sr. Management

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Ellen Grove
    By Ellen Grove  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Archana

    My only question at this time is are you comfortable covering all of this in 20 min?  Experience reports will be accompanied by a written component which will allow for going into some detail, but this seems like a lot to cover in 20 min.

    Regards

    Ellen

    • Archana Joshi
      By Archana Joshi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Ellen,

      I have given both 20 mins & 40 mins talk on this topic earlier. During the 40 mins I go into details into concept of BSC and key measurements from agile side. During the 20 mins I focus only on the core part of mapping BSC to the measurements.

      Regards

      Archana

  • Abhilash Chandran
    By Abhilash Chandran  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Archana

     

    This sounds interesting. 

    As part of your presentation will you talk about the steps taken by  you when you realized that the agile adoption is not going according to the plan? How were you able to convince the Sr. managemnt to look for alternatives. sometime it becomes very difficult to convince old Sr. management to change.

     

    Regards

    abhilash

    • Archana Joshi
      By Archana Joshi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Abhilash,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes I will touch upon during the talk on how the Agile Balance Score Card was used for the agile adoption monitoring activities by Sr. management.

       

  • Venkatraman L
    By Venkatraman L  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hello Archana,

    I think its a great topic for the senior management members and also for people who need to provide the visibilty to the senior management. Are you also exploring other methods than the balance scorecard (I can hear you asking why should I when this works) ? Firstly, Do you feel this is a light-weight framework as I have personally read (and not used) that a balanced scorecard is a bit heavy on the teams and in this case, agile teams. Secondly, I believe you need quite a bit of information related to financials at the org level which you might not have at all the times. Is there a strong reason to choose this as the visibility tool ?

    • Archana Joshi
      By Archana Joshi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi,

      1. Yes I agree there are other frameworks too, but given the time constraint of 20 minutes I was planning to focus only on Balance Score Card aspects. If time permits I can touch upon the other frameworks that can also be looked at by Sr. Management apart from BSC.

      2. For this particular case study, we had a very specific ask from the CIO where the CIO indicated that the parameters that he gets measured on are in the financial, delivery and people areas & wants to know how can he monitor with agile coming into picture. When we looked at other frameworks, BSC seemed to be most well suited covering these holistic areas. Hence it was decided to use BSC - 4 quadrant based framework for it.

      3. Yes, BSC talks about several concepts & can get exhaustive. Finance is one of the aspects of BSC. The intent here is not to use BSC as is but leverage the principles that BSC framework talks about in an agile context. Off late, when I was speaking to Sr. Management I always hear them saying that in agile talks mainly about velocity, quality metrics, business value. But we are aslo measured on other parameters like cost & people - how will we know & track those other parameters. Hence I thought of sharing this BSC case with a wider audience in this Agile Forum.


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    Contracts in the Age of Agility

    Howard Deiner
    Howard Deiner
    schedule 3 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    “Fixed price, fixed deliverables, and fixed schedule” contracts are just about the worst way to write contracts involving software, yet they are the most popular – so what are some techniques to use to fix that?

    Organizations that perform professional services for software development or develop software on a work for hire basis are usually engaged bound by extensive contracts.  These contracts are typically characterized as “fixed price, fixed deliverables, and fixed schedule.”  These, of course, are the vertices of the “Iron Triangle of Software Development” and foreshadow a poor outcome due to issues that make the requirements gathering and project estimation phases that precede contract negotiation so prone to error.

    Given this, the question becomes one of “how can I engage clients in a way that allows us each to achieve our goals?”  If Agile and Lean methods are the status quo for good development practices, how can I write contracts for development services that embrace this mindset and let each side achieve it’s goals better?  This lecture and roundtable explores the many facets of this question and provides the attendee answers that they can use going forward.