While Agile adoption and practice is a complex model for mid/large sized Product companies to implement, we see a need for some sort of framework that can help drive it.

Why do you need to be Agile? Where do you start, when do you start, and also how do you start? These are questions that reside in most of us during early stages of adoption. Here is a 9-Step breakdown that will help companies and teams adopt multiple Agile methodologies in different situations and scenarios. Maturing it from a ‘Persona Perspective’ framework helps the ‘decision-maker’ have a case for investment, further evaluate if it works, and improve it all through!!

The discussion and idea is just my proposal that should help a team or an organization and is need not be the only way to implement Agile in an organization. Further detailing into these phases can form an overall Mindmap structure that is open to adopting from an organization and people standpoint.


Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

1. Introduction to problem statement - 5 min

2. Where do you begin at an org level and where did we fail? - 10 min

3. What was done better elsewhere and how did we learn? - 10 min

4. Step by step adoption and transition to Agile from any other mehodology you may have. - 10 min

5. Q & A

Learning Outcome

Fail safe method of Agile adoption at an organization, presented in about 35 mins. These include experiments and learnings collected across various teams and companies that lead to organized method of adoption. it is definitely worth spending 45 mins of your time to take away 2 years of learning.

Target Audience

Anyone adoptiing Agile at organization level and want to take advantage of fail-safe learnings

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

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  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks for the proposal Naveen. Can you please share where this approach was used, what challenges were faced, how did your team over come them and finally what was the outcome?

    • Naveen Indusekhar
      By Naveen Indusekhar  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks Naresh. Below inline are the answers:


      1. Where was this approach used?

      A: Most of the 9 steps were independantly applied at various stages in random mode within different organizational groups within the company that I worked. Couple of them have been misses and learnings from other Agile experts and organizations. What I have done is consolidated the practical implementations that have worked (and retrospection) combined with areas where we could have done better. Most organizations like ours struggle to decide between 2 approaches: 1. implement locally and scale across organization and 2. One shot implementation across organization. The proposal I'm making is a combination and with good set of realtime learnings.

      2. What challenges were faced?

      A: The challenges have been of 2 kinds based on 2 models of implementation:

      (i) Teams which went ahead with Agile for a single team struggled to coordinate and deliver products which had dependency with teams that weren't agile. The small set of team decided the future of Agile implementation of that BU. Luckliy for us, we succeeded with that team to some extent to impress the org to move that direction. This could have easily gone the other way without management support.

      (ii) Teams that went SAFe (another Business unit) and implemented it across 40-50 member sized teams had challenge in getting all of them to move towards Agility. In most cases one team pulled down the other team because they were still catching up. Implementing SI, Devops, release teams across this common set was a challenge as they were located in different countries and time zones. It took teams 6-12 months to get some sort of predictable delivery in place. We could have done better with initial assesment and proposal that was missing in this case.

      3. How did you overcome the challenges?

      A. Going top down and bottom up at the same time helped us a great deal in Business Units where we succeeded. We worked closely with management to get their buy in, invested time and efforts to train product management in aliging to Agile, worked with external facing business units like Sales, Marketing, etc to show them the flexibility they had in changing requirements. Most importantly teams go passionate once they understood their responsibility and empowerement that came along. Coach connect with teams was the game changer. One more aspect that I'm covering in other paper is transformation of Engineering Manager role in Agile workd. this was handled sensitevely and they backed the transformation all the way. In some teams we changed the employee success evaluation method to team success (working with HR) and this helped in resolving Dev-QA split issues and more importantly the Bell curve measurement. Agile PLF helped a great deal as well, which had a high level organizational direction, at the same time open for customization within teams. And of course the technical track of XP practices, strict Definition of Done tracking, Acceptance Criteria, and other practices helped.

      4. What was the final outcome?

      A. In the last 2-3 years organization as a whole has 90% migrated to Agile methodologies. For a large organization this is a significant number. While there are still gaps in the way it is implemented (just by the shear numbers), it has been an effective transformation. The journey is still on. Some of the success stories are knit around world class quality metrics, predictability, teams that can run with no management overhead, individuals engineers thinking 'What' instead of just 'How', gap between dev-QA diminshed (some teams have no black box testers), cross functional skills gained, happy PMs for their freedom of changing/planning during the execution, evolving design, reaction to market (especially Consumer), and great work-life balance.

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