Is it easy to get a crash course in football by Pele or Maradona for a week and produce a world cup winning football team?

Answer is NO. Then why do lots of people in the corporate world think of hiring scrum trainers & expert developers to train their team for a week and then expect their team to undergo a transformation at a magical scale?

German football team made it a point to transform their team and it took them a lots of years before they were able to reach the pinnacle. A quick side by side comparison of what is causing agile transformation to fail.

Vision

Football: Someone was there owning this entire transformation, the German football association spent a lot of time identifying talent in their teens and groomed them.

Office: In the corporate world switching jobs every few years have become common, but there is no passing on of the context, resulting in the new person taking charge, starting from all over again, as well as frustrating existing good performers who have to rebuild the perception.

Infrastructure

Football: Players expecting state of the art training facilities, fitness programs and new shoes are not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Office: Computers have become so cheap compared to the salaries, yet the policy of providing the best tools and good work environment are archaic.

Coach vs Management

Football: Coaches are given their due powers to help the team achieve the goal. It is very easy for anyone to comment on how professionals should play their game, there would be no use adhering to the metrics if the team cannot win. Winning is the only measure for management.

Office: Often coaches are seen as part of the management or management tries to heavily influence coaching which results in a team which will work either for metrics or to please higher ups without the actual result that it had aimed for.

Training

Football: Just the ability to kick the ball does not make a footballer. Training will be introduced to increase physical strength & stamina, better mental wellness, injury prevention, tactics and strategy.  A heavy investment is made in the training facilities.

Office: In the software industry a generation is about 2-3 years. Computer science degrees are nowhere near what is state of the art in the industry. At many places the on boarding process is either very shallow or not up to date with the recent developments, leaving people to learn most of the things hard way. Given too many things to learn and the information overload, this results in inefficient learning and application of knowledge on the job. We need to prepare people to find answers that are not available on Google.

Team composition

Football: Rookies don’t learn by watching greats from the bench, instead they play along with the veterans. Every sports team makes sure to have the right composition with a mix of rookies, emerging players and veterans. That is how they sustain a winning team.

Office: Architects and Leads often do not code or are not part of the team every day, this means that most of the time the team just looks up to for advice or waits for reviews. There should be a good mix of people at all experience level so that there are enough people to try new things, enough people who have mastered few things and enough people who challenge change.

Above all – Persistence

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

2 min - Introduction

3 min - Failures and their reasons observed during agile transformation

10 min - What worked and still works for us

3 min - Recap

2 min - Q&A

Learning Outcome

Agile teams can be formed only with a sustained effort at the ground level with a great focus on people, not tools or certifications. Take care of the individuals and teams, they will scale it for you.

Target Audience

Managers, Architects

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Vinod, you've hit the nail on its head. Request you to please update your proposal with links to slides and videos from past presentations. Without these the committee would not be in a position to select the proposal.

    • Prasad
      By Prasad  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Vinod,

      Since you have associated this talk under scaling agile.. what is your take on creating 100 such football teams..

      ~~ PP

      • Vinod Kumaar R
        By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        We have to start with 1 team, later with the help of the coach identify people as seeds to start new teams. This has to be a constant activity and we have to create enough avenues for people to meet and share experiences across teams. People outside the team should be involved in running activities like retrospectives, planning meetings, group reviews etc. It will take time but it is worth the effort, that is what I have observed when we have built new offices from ground up.

    • Steve Ropa
      By Steve Ropa  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Vinod, I like where you are going here.  I'm wondering two things:  Is 20 minutes enough, and might you want to expand your target audience beyond managers and architects?

      • Vinod Kumaar R
        By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        The content I have is good to be presented in the given span of time and presentation will be around one central point. May be I should an extra 10 minutes buffer for Q&A. 

        I chose managers and architects as the key audience becuase they are the ones who drive the changes in their teams and have the highest impact through their decisions, most of the team members I have coached echo these thoughts but feel limited in their ability to influence their managers. 


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