Agile Transformation—It’s About the People

The Agile Manifesto declared independence from constraining, process-centric software development methodologies. The Manifesto advocated for a product-focused, team-centric approach. Organizations embracing Agile must remember that people are the key to its success.    

Agile represents a culture transformation as well as a new way of working. Some organizations may struggle with the transformation. They are accustomed to carefully implementing a rule-based methodology, rather than a value-based set of principles.

There is no single path to becoming Agile or sustaining its accomplishments. Here are some recommendations for the journey:

  1. Embrace Enthusiasts, Avoid Purists

Organizations adopting Agile need ardent enthusiasts to support the transformation. The enthusiasts should be knowledgeable and experienced practitioners who can bear witness to its benefits.

  1. Manage the Organizational Change

An Agile transformation is a significant organizational and cultural change. The change will threaten power structures and disrupt established business relationships. Many employees will initially be skeptical or, at worst, resist these changes. Consequently, Agile transformations should be thoughtfully planned and executed. Simply declaring that "we are now Agile" will not work.

  1. Focus on People Over Process and Tools

The Agile Manifesto declares that people and collaboration should be valued over tools and processes. Agile fundamentally puts people at the center of the software development process.  

To read the full article:

https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2016/june/agile-transformation-its-about-the-people

 
29 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 0 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  • People, process, & technology
    • Over valuing process and technology in waterfall development
    • Value of people in Agile development
  • Embracing enthusiasts, avoiding purists
  • Managing the organizational change
  • Focusing on people over process and tools

Learning Outcome

As Agile has moved mainstream, it has spawned its own industry of methodologies and tools. Organizations embracing Agile must remember that people are the key to its success.  

In this session, participants will learn about real-world challenges transforming organizations to Agile and tangible lessons for putting people first and being successful.

Target Audience

Executive Leadership, Project Managers, PMO Organizations, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Dan Neumann
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Improve Your Team: Explore Cognitive Bias

    Dan Neumann
    Dan Neumann
    schedule 10 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Many team challenges can be tracked back to cognitive biases: our judgement gets anchored, we think we're better than we are, and we are our own favorite reference point. And even though we're encouraged to "think outside the box," there are conditions where we have a bias against creativity. If that's not a recipe for a tough team environment, I don't know what is.

    Improve your game by learning about bias! You'll leave this session with strategies for identifying and mitigating bias on your team. 

  • Liked Manjit Singh
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The Power of Mindsets and Questions in Agile Coaching

    Manjit Singh
    Manjit Singh
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” –Albert Einstein, because “every question missed is a crisis waiting to happen.” Discover the technique to ask the questions to make breakthrough differences in decision- making, problem-solving, innovation & culture. Typically, questions open thinking, while answers often close down thinking. Question Thinking is a tool for moving beyond limitations in perception and thinking and advancing to novel and extraordinary solutions and answers.

  • Brian Sjoberg
    Brian Sjoberg
    schedule 10 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Do you want to write great User Stories that provide the vehicle for conversation and confirmation that we build the right thing? Do you struggle with splitting stories so that they still provide business value but can be accomplished within a fraction of your iteration and be potentially shippable to production? We will do a quick refresher on User Story formatting to include Acceptance Criteria. Then we will dive into learning techniques for splitting stories in this interactive workshop. 

  • Andy Bacon
    Andy Bacon
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

     

    Are you a Scrum Master that has a strong affinity to sticky notes, dry erase markers, and other tools of Agile facilitation? Are you tired of seeing the same old blue painters tape on every kanban board? Want to learn some new facilitation techniques that you can use in retrospectives or to build awesome information radiators with your team?

    If so, join me for my session on the Super Agile Satchel.

    During the session, I’ll briefly talk about how the satchel came to be and its awesome contents.  Then we’ll jump right in to actual examples of information radiators that I created with the tools the satchel contains.  I'll discuss why choosing the right materials, colors, and sizes are critical to facilitation and creating information radiators that draw attention, are maintainable, and focus the team on what's truly important.

  • Liked Paul Boos
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Mind Meld: Why Pair Programming Works

    Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    So why does pair programming (or any form of pairing really) work? Well rather than tell you why, let's experience it! 

    This is a simple 3 round exercise that you can do with your teams and managers to demonstrate the benefits of pairing. It will show the linkage between having a shared mental model through collaboration and ease of integrating the resulting work.

  • Liked Thomas Cagley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts

    Thomas Cagley
    Thomas Cagley
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Tutorial
    Intermediate

    Agile reminds us that the focus of any set of requirements needs to be on an outcome rather than a collection of whats and whos.  Storytelling is a powerful tool to elevate even the most diehard requirements analyst from a discussion of individual requirements to a discussion of outcomes. Outcomes are the big picture that acts as an anchor for whole efforts and which is continuously broken down into more and more detailed backlogs. The onion metaphor that is popularly used in agile planning (Cohn’s Planning Onion) can be used to describe the evolution of backlogs. Building an initial backlog is much like peeling through the layers of an onion to get to the core. There are many mechanisms for developing and maintaining the detailed backlogs, including asking, observing, showing and all sorts of hybrids. Using the onion metaphor, techniques for developing and splitting user stories are the second layer of the onion. However, before getting to the center of the backlog evolution onion, composed of features, epics, and user stories, we need to understand the big picture. 

     Presentation:

    Provide an overview of storytelling in a business context and a lean change canvas framework.

    Exercise

    The room will be broken into teams (aisles will be used if auditorium seating).  Each team will be seeded with a common product change scenario. Based on the scenario the teams will be asked to tell the story of the change and capture the story on a small change canvas.  The exercise and session will culminate in by sharing ideas and lessons learned.

    (Note the longer workshop would break the changing canvas into epics and stories)

     

  • Liked Marie Dingess
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Using Visuals to Master the ART of SAFe/Release Planning

    Marie Dingess
    Marie Dingess
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    A well-facilitated large-scale Planning event (such as a SAFe PI Planning) can leave you feeling energized and more confident in your team and your direction. Poorly facilitated events have the adverse effect and can leave you feeling like you’ve just been run over by a Mack Truck.

    There is not a lot of guidance from SAFe on how to facilitate this critical event from their website, other than an example agenda and program board. This session will focus on how information radiators and other visual tools can make a tremendous difference in increasing engagement and collaboration amongst teams in order to orchestrate a thoughtful plan with high confidence.

    We will show battle-tested ways on how visuals are critical to...

    • increase collaboration across teams
    • reinforce development practices & standards
    • track team progress through the day
    • highlight dependencies
    • increase the confidence vote
    • motivate teams to strive for success

    Participants will leave this session with some visual tools and tips they can immediately put to use in their designing their next PI Planning or ANY large-scale planning event.
    “There is no magic in SAFe… except for maybe PI Planning” - SAFe authors

  • Liked Andrea Goulet
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Vulnerability: The Key To Successful Agile Adoption

    Andrea Goulet
    Andrea Goulet
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Software development culture has been dominated by the hero. Rock stars, ninjas, and 10Xers have been the center of attention, giving the skewed perception that great software is the result of a single amazing developer. But this couldn't be further from the truth.

    In this talk, Andrea Goulet, the CEO of Corgibytes, will share her experiences using vulnerability and empathy as drivers for Agile adoption and culture building. 

  • Liked Melinda Solomon
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Creating Compelling Agile Training: Not Just Butts in Seats

    Melinda Solomon
    Melinda Solomon
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Beginner

     Training is often the first step in implementing an Agile transformation within an organization.  Often an agile coach will corral resistant staff members in a room and sell the virtues of Agile with disappointing results.  But at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, students are clamoring to voluntarily attend full day sessions and recommending classes to their colleagues.  The organization has successfully grown the Agile Training Program to include 10 courses taken by 2200+ attendees from 25+ federal agencies.  The training is not required on anyone’s mandatory curriculum, but instead is taken because students feel it provides real value enhancing their ability to work well in the organization.  Effective training doesn’t just educate, but instead changes behavior.  

     

    The masterminds behind the USCIS Agile Training Program will unpack the secrets to their success.  Mash Eslami, USCIS Section Chief of Agile Training, and Melinda Solomon, USCIS Agile Training Lead explore 10 factors that make students receptive to learn.  Part Experience Report, part Case-Study, this session will explore:

    • How to choose your initial audience
    • What to do with resistant students
    • How to structure a course that changes behavior
    • Ways to grow the program
    • And much more…
  • Liked kelly snavely
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Women in Agile and the Confidence Code

    kelly snavely
    kelly snavely
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    This talk is inspired by the book ‘The Confidence Code’ by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

    What is confidence and how do you know you have it?   While confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state.  However, you won’t discover it thinking positive thoughts or by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it.  It requires work and choices: less focus on people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking and fast failures.  This is why it can seem harder for women because these behaviors aren’t typically the ‘norm’ for women but generally come naturally for men.

    In this talk we will explore the roots of confidence and the gender gap between men and women.  To ground the learnings, we will also hear interview summaries from four great and diverse women in agile: 

     Lyssa Adkins, Esther Derby, Ellen Grove, and Kat Conner

  • Liked Joshua Seckel
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Acquisition, not Acquisition for Agile

    Joshua Seckel
    Joshua Seckel
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Often, we will use the phrase agile acquisition when we really mean acquisition for agile. Both agile acquisition and acquisition for agile are necessary to deliver efficiently across government organizations. The processes within the federal government for doing acquisition means that we may spend a year or more to award a contract for work to begin. This creates a significant delay is beginning projects or programs that impedes the speed of delivery. Instead, we need to move toward a true agile acquisition process where we change how we execute acquisition so that we can begin delivery in much faster fashion.

    This workshop will examine how to change our acquisition processes to become more agile and able to support the delivery of IT services in a much faster manner. We will look at both successes and failures in acquisition and determine what changes need to be made in order to meet the quickly changing needs of government. Both contractor and employee viewpoints will be considered and discussed. We will look specifically at ways that government is trying to make these changes in the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab, the Office of Federal Procurement Agile training, as well as others and how those activities may play into your organization and procurement activities.

  • Fadi Stephan
    Fadi Stephan
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    One of the 12 principles of the Agile manifesto states that “The best architecture, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” Why is that? and what exactly are self-organizing teams? How does a team become self-organizing? Teams that have always been used to command and control cannot suddenly become self-organizing overnight. Come to this session to learn what self-organizing really means. Understand the attributes of a self-organizing team and some of the challenges you face in getting your team there. Understand how to find the right balance between team learning and team empowerment vs. control? Leave with techniques to help you build and foster high performing self-organizing teams.

  • Liked Ryan Jenkins
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Going Agile, But Are You Leaving Your Teams Behind?

    Ryan Jenkins
    Ryan Jenkins
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Building an Agile organization starts with great teams and a positive culture, but what really happens when your organization starts to transition its product delivery to Agile?  How much focus are you putting on building the culture, teams and growing communities inside the organization to drive real, lasting change?  Do you have a strategy to change the organization and build better teams & communities or do you prescriptively follow a framework and hope the culture change follows?

    In transforming the way you work, focus on things that will enable the long term, sustainable growth of Agile throughout the organization, and the larger the organization the stronger the underlying community needs to be.  This is a key difference between the organization "being Agile" vs. "doing Agile" and one piece of the cultural transition.

    In this talk we'll explore team building and community inside an organization.  We'll look at what helps to enable a high performing team, how to grow your organizational communities around the team to enable them for success, how to prime the organization for the team's value delivery and finally how to spread the knowledge & culture to drive organizational change.  

     

  • Liked Cindy Shelton
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Game of Thrones: Bureaucracy meets Agile

    Cindy Shelton
    Cindy Shelton
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Max Weber and Michel Crozier both got it right when they described the ideal bureaucracy which is the number one impediment to Agile efficiency in the Federal government.   Perhaps a grand re-organization, accompanied by lots of "systems analysis," “customer participation," "cooperative federalism," and "interdepartmental coordination " might lead to something getting done.   Merely to state this prospect is to deny it.   There is not one bureaucracy problem, there are several and the solution to each is in some degree incompatible with the solution to every other.  There are inherent limits to what can be accomplished by large hierarchical organizations.  this though proving session faces the issue and suggests meaningful methods to approach bureaucracy as an impediment and address procedural stagnation, attitudinal fixtures, rule-bounded-ness with interventional strategies.   By understanding ecology of agile governance, strategies can be designed to evolve a system with procedural innovativeness, attitudinal mobility, rule flexibility and wider interest.   A very complicated subject, but one that shouldn't be ignored because it is hard to solve and can't be fully addressed in 45 minutes.

  • Liked Simon Storm
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Take Agile to the Next Level with Agile Portfolio Management with Scrum

    Simon Storm
    Simon Storm
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    As timelines on application development and delivery continue to shorten, it’s no longer enough just to ask folks to work faster. Many managers are stuck between missing deadlines or burning out their people.

    This was just one of the challenges for Promontory Interfinancial Network when it chose to implement Agile Portfolio Management over three years ago to speed the deployment of new financial technology software in an IT division of over 80 employees. Since its implementation, the number successful projects has more than doubled and late-stage overload has essentially been eliminated. Along with improving productivity, project visibility, resource allocation, and clarity of prioritization, the process has also been a highlight in audits and examinations as it demonstrates management oversight and risk mitigation.

    In this session, Simon Storm, Senior Director of Enterprise Applications at Promontory, and the project lead in implementing Agile Portfolio Management, shares learnings from the implementation by the IT Management Team. He discusses how to get management buy-in, tips for customizing the Agile process for your institution, and his insights of how spearheading the Agile process can significantly advance your career by putting yourself in the driver’s seat of improving your organization’s productivity and collaboration.

  • Liked Kalpesh Shah
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Beyond User Stories : Taking Your Team to Next Level of Awesome!!!

    Kalpesh Shah
    Kalpesh Shah
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Great teams make great products, but what fuels this greatness? It's the common understanding and passion for the product but more importantly the singularity of purpose and the feedback loop and how the users are responding to the teams work. 

    The new world of product development is no longer about scope management and delivering the project on time and within budget but it's now more about hypothesis validation and learning from the users and their behaviors.

    The dynamics of product development is changing.  As more and more organizations are moving towards maturing their agile software development approach the traditional barriers of roles are being broken creating new opportunities and fostering a shift in the mindset. Instead of being tied down to scope management and delivering the project on time, Agile teams are focused and inspired by hypothesis validation and learning from the users and their behaviors.

    In this case study we will go over how a portfolio of 12 SCRUM Teams adopted a more outcome approach and how they shifted their mindset from project delivery in Agile way to adopting the Experiment-Measure-Learn-Repeat loop which plays a crucial role in teams overall motivation, performance and moved from being SCRUM Teams to "Product Teams".

    We will also see how we experimented with different team formats and how exposing the team members to different events and user research changed the way they perceived the information of the problem they were solving via features and user stories.

  • Liked Kalpesh Shah
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Standup Poker: How We Hacked Our Daily Stand-Up & Our Teams Mindset !

    Kalpesh Shah
    Kalpesh Shah
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    One the most significant ceremony of any Agile Team is Daily Standup where the team members get together and plan for their day. But quite often the daily standup turns into a zombie status update meeting where team members come together to blurt out their updates and walk away to their desk without ever maximizing the benefit of that meet up.

    In this session I will share a case study of how we created a simple experiment that turned into Standup Poker and revolutionized our Daily Standup. This technique helped us uncover true insights of teams progress and got the team talking about strategic planning and plan to remove any impediments as a "team" on daily basis to accomplish their sprint goal and commitments.

    We learnt that when team members started using this technique, hidden impediments and dependencies started to emerge and team members organically started to re-plan and prioritize their work to accomplish the Sprint Goal. Product Owner also found great value in this technique as this helped them see the teams true progress and engage with the team to re-prioritize user stories and even take a story out of the sprint if required. Scrum Masters started to observe a trend in the confidence level over the span of the sprint and brought that information to Sprint Retrospective to discuss and brainstorm ways to improve and keep the confidence levels high throughout the sprint. The discussions and observations due to Standup poker resulted in teams committing better and more confidently during Sprint Planning and got into the rhythm of always accomplishing their sprint goal, but more importantly they started improving everyday and got into "continuous improvement" mode.

    The content, exercise and message of this session highlight the agile principles of individuals and interactions over process and tools and fostering the mindset of continuous improvement.

    In this session we will share examples, stories and experiences from trying the Standup Poker and how this simple technique converted a bunch of individuals into a TEAM !!!

  • Paul Boos
    Paul Boos
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    We've all heard it; the only constant is change. When an organization begins a journey for Agile Transformation, the changes piles up... Unfortunately most change management approaches focus on creating a project-oriented plan for this. Other approaches like Lean Change are more emergent, but aren't specifically designed to help people to cope with change itself, only to help make the steps smaller. Let's explore some complementary people-centric approaches:

    • Transition Management to help people make the journey through the wilderness
    • Appreciative Inquiry to build on the current strengths, and
    • The Power of Habit, to help people unlearn what is unwittingly holding them back

    As we talk through each of these, we'll focus on the role of leadership and how these techniques can help people become willing, as opposed to being coerced, partners. We'll close with a brief discussion on how to engage people creatively with storytelling and such approaches as Open Space, World Café, and other workshops. In thinking on techniques that complement change management approaches, we can improve the effectiveness and willingness of the people in the organization to join in.

  • Liked Shawn Faunce
    keyboard_arrow_down

    What You are Doing Wrong with Automated Testing

    Shawn Faunce
    Shawn Faunce
    Martin Folkoff
    Martin Folkoff
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    We firmly believe that automated testing puts the "A" in "Agile". Without an effective suite of automated tests your ability to be truly agile (that is embrace change) can only be based on the hope that your latest change doesn't have unintended consequences. Additionally, without automated tests, you are missing a vital component in getting feedback into the development team's hands. In our travels, we have encountered many organizations that are struggling with automated testing. These organizations are successfully adopting many Agile techniques but are failing when it comes to automated testing. We frequently hear "Automated testing just doesn't work for us" (eerily reminiscent of the days when we would hear, "Agile just doesn't work for us"). From our experience addressing their challenges, we have identified anti-patterns common across these organizations. These anti-patterns look like they should work, but are in fact doing more harm than good.

    This talk is about those anti-patterns. We have given those anti-patterns a name and a face to help organizations understand why they are not getting the benefits from automated testing that others are. We describe several anti-patterns, such as the "Ice Cream Cone", the "Monolith", the "Sunk Cost". We explain why these anti-patterns appear to be good solutions, what makes them attractive, and why they do more harm than good. We talk about the right approach and draw on our experiences helping organizations adopt a robust automated testing strategy that instills confidence and provides fast feedback to the development team. We explain what benefits from automated testing the anti-pattern is preventing. 

  • Liked Aakash Srinivasan
    keyboard_arrow_down

    CHARACTERISTICS OF AGILE REFLECTIONS

    Aakash Srinivasan
    Aakash Srinivasan
    vivek angiras
    vivek angiras
    schedule 11 months ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Have you ever wondered how to progressively harness focus on your goals and influence your outcomes?

    Woody Zuill once famously quoted “If you could adopt only one agile practice, then let it be retrospectives. Everything else will follow”. The constantly evolving world of business in modern times demands frequent inspection and adaptation of methods and strategies in order for the latter to stay relevant. The empirical nature of agile features such assessments that can help individuals and teams adjust to constant change and establish a sustainable pace to deliver complex products.

    Behold the ‘Zorro Circles’ of retrospectives to create an excellence in execution in behaviors and tactics. Discover the essentials of designing retrospectives by understanding the multi-layered circles of projects' and peoples' characteristics. Experience the applicability of the ‘Zorro Circles’ in a variety of locales through real world instances and walk away with a handful of effective techniques to design moments of inspection and adaptation in your organization’s ecosystem.