An Agile Way to Scale Agile
With an increasing number of large organizations attempting to scale agile, change agents and coaches face some unique challenges. Some of these might be: Where should one start? Which areas should be focused upon for high impact? How to create meaningful change without overly disruptive risks to current business? How to leverage the many agile scaling approaches? How to maintain focus and yet not lose sight of the big picture? How to surface hidden assumptions, so typical at large enterprises? … and so on. This workshop introduces one possible approach that coaches and change agents can use for meaningful conversations in the unique context of their own organization. Inspired by the Scrum at Scale approach by Jeff Sutherland and Alex Brown, the key idea introduced is the notion of a visible enterprise scaling backlog. This backlog is intended to serve as a roadmap and provide transparency for conversations in the organization’s context. It is hoped that it will be one more useful tool coaches and change agents can add to their toolkit.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
- Overview of modules in Scrum At Scale framework – 10 min
- Prioritization of Scrum At Scale modules based on audience feedback. 5 min
- Instructions for prioritization game/activity and distribution of question cards - 5min
- Play the prioritization game -Table Activity – 25 min
- De-brief – 10 min
- Q&A – 5 min
- What questions to ask at each level of organization?
Questions on agility should not be skewed towards practices or culture or technology. Also, they must be meaningful to the level of organization - team, business unit, enterprise.
I propose a user story based way of asking questions at each organization level.
e.g. As an Enterprise do we have a role that prioritizes investments so that ROI is maximized? (This is an example of scaling Product Owner to the level of enterprise) e.g. As BU a do we have a role that facilitates work so that value flow is maximized?(This is an example of scaling Scrum Master to the level of BU)
e.g. As a BU do we have a Planning cadence that matches the cadences of inner and outer levels of the organization so that value is maximized?(This is an example of scaling a practice (in this case Planning) to the level of BU)
- How to assess readiness and prioritize what needs to be done from a scaling perspective?
The Questions can lead to an assessment of readiness at each level through open conversation. It will also provide insights into what areas to prioritize.
- How to make mental models visible and avoid hidden assumptions?
Since the questions are structured, the probability of missing some perspectives can be minimized. Also, the conversations lead to exposing mental models that might usually get ignored.
Change Agents, Coaches, Management
schedule Submitted 5 years ago
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In agile teams, it’s inevitable that team members are expected to be more cross-functional and produce high quality products for their customers. How can agile team members become more cross-functional and take ownership of quality? Often times there seems to be a scarcity of testing talents in agile teams. How can agile teams create high quality products when working with very few or no testing talents?
For agile team members to take ownership of quality, Pradeepa Narayanaswamy exposes the power of “Pair Testing”, a technique that promotes rapid feedback to produce high quality products. For the scarce testing talents, an effective way to become more cross-functional, one approach is for team members to pair up on various (unit, integration, exploratory and several others) testing efforts that emphasize the shared eye on quality and learning. Pradeepa talks about several options for pairing opportunities between various specialties on an agile team. She also talks about some new opportunities to pair with DevOps, Operations, Sales, Marketing and Support members to name a few.
As a new or an experienced agile team member, learn how to spearhead this technique in your team at various levels to generate buzz on other teams. As a tester, learn how to get the non-testing talents excited and experience the value of pair testing.
This session includes a fun Pairing activity and a Group discussion.