Going Agile, But Are You Leaving Your Teams Behind?

schedule 04:15 PM - 05:00 PM place Tiered Classroom

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.  

 

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

Outline/structure of the Session

Opening Activity (10 minutes)

Categories: I will hand out a card to 4-5 people in the room, and each card has a different category on the card such as hobby, favorite color, food, sports team.  The participants will then self-organize themselves in groups based on their answer to see who has similar interests and introduce themselves to each other.

This is a stark contrast to how we do things at our offices.  When we assemble teams in the workplace, we dont allow them to choose their own team, but yet expect them to gel together and perform, while little thought is generally given to building up those shared interest or understandings inside the team - why is this? 

Introduction

We will be talking about the importance of communities to high performance in two parts - building inside teams, and how to enable the success of the teams, and second, how to structure the organization to enable team success, including communities of practice.

Part 1 - Building up your Agile teams

Team Building

  • A high performing organization transitioning to Agile starts with effective teams
  • What do we mean by effective teams?
  • What makes a high performing team?  I'll discuss the research done at google as to what they found made a high performing team (https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/)
  • Using trust, support, shared experiences/understandings and leadership (not management!) as levers to build your team up

Organizational barriers to team high performance

  • Evaluate your value chain for product or software delivery - what delays, blockers, handoffs or impediments does the team have? 
  • Are you delivering value to your end users fast enough?
  • How can you start removing these barriers?  Deployment, Contracting, Staffing, Budgeting.... the list is endless.

Part 2 - Spreading Agile Across the Organization

Building your Agile Community

  • Building effective teams is far easier than growing this across the organization - can be done in isolation, free from constraints and politics
  • Start spreading Agile across the organization by opening communication channels and engaging leadership to start to spread and share messages about team building
  • Especially important in large organizations that rely heavily on a matrix organizational structure, begin to build teams among managers and leadership - this will ensure they deliver aligned messages, directions and goals.
  • Driving accountability through all levels of the organization to strengthen the community

Building Communities of Practice Across the Organization

  • Building communities of practice or tribes across the organization will help spread best practices and ideas
  • COP's must be an active, facilitated effort by someone inside the org - it wont happen without initiative or leadership
  • Cross-pollination of ideas across projects, portfolios and programs - a rising tide lifts all ships

Closing and Q&A

  • Challenge the audience - how are you going to change your focus on how you assemble your teams and enable them for success?  What organizational changes are in your sphere of influence?

Learning Outcome

The learning outcome for this talk is to call out the importance of teams, team building and community across the organization in times of organizational change, including Agile transformation.

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Team Leads, Managers, Directors

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal

  • Liked Andy Bacon
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Andy Bacon - The Super Agile Satchel

    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 Thomas Cagley
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Thomas Cagley - Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts

    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 Chris Murman
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chris Murman - Things Are Broken: A Case Study In Moving Tooooooooo Fast

    Chris Murman
    Chris Murman
    Sr. Agile Consultant
    Solutions IQ
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    “Move fast and break things.” — Mark Zuckerberg

    Mobile is no longer a hobby for companies. In that world, speed is the key. My company embraced the principle of “welcoming changing requirements, even late in development.” It’s allowed us to grow, and we have accomplished some amazing things.

    It’s also caused some challenges for teams. They felt the pain of this pace, and our clients were frustrated by delayed releases.

    This presentation describes a 3-month case study I ran to measure things like team communication, productivity, and quality while implementing Scrum for the first time. The results were convincing, and allowed us to learn what happens when you value speed more than anything else.

    I hope you’ll join me in seeing how we learned to work smarter instead of harder.

  • Liked Kalpesh Shah
    keyboard_arrow_down

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

    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 Shawn Faunce
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shawn Faunce - What You are Doing Wrong with Automated Testing

    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

    Aakash Srinivasan - CHARACTERISTICS OF AGILE REFLECTIONS

    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.

  • Liked Michael McCalla
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Michael McCalla - Accomplishing the Unfathomable: Lean Startup in a Large Scale Enterpise

    45 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    What if I told you we are experiencing the thrills of a lean startup and the perks of large enterprise?

    We have proven it can be done, and not in any old environment, but the highly regulated and governed one that is the financial industry.

    Sad to say, Agile has become a marketed commercial solution. This trend has caused us to get away from the essence, roots, and intent of Agile. By nature, Agile is an adaptive methodology that stresses continuous improvement. However, ironically we have somehow managed to sell Agile as a bill of goods that will magically solve the problems of all organizations. The truth is there is no one-size- fits-all framework because every organization is unique and has its own set of challenges.

    There are a number of different approaches to adopting agile. The key is finding which blend of agile and lean practices will enable you to achieve your objectives.

    Although the “Lean Startup” methodology originated in small start-up environments, its concepts and techniques can be expanded to the corporate enterprise. In fact, many companies are adopting Agile because they are seeking innovation, agility, and a competitive edge. The lean start-up methodology is geared towards achieving these exact objectives and can be setup to work within a large enterprise.

     

  • Liked Jess Long
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jess Long - Found In Translation - Building Alliances Through Analogies

    Jess Long
    Jess Long
    Agile Coach
    Barclaycard US
    schedule 1 year ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Tutorial
    Intermediate

    Meaningful analogies, through words and imagery can help transform an individual’s mindset.  Explore relatable parallels and impressionable pictures that help any cynic overcome self-imposed mental barriers around Agile. Discuss techniques for better assessing your audience and catering your communication accordingly. Use real life comparisons and relative material to challenge your listener’s world of familiarity and preconceived notions. Help launch Agile-foreigners and skeptics into a heightened sense of realizations and theories around Lean concepts and Agile specific principles.

  • Liked James Gifford
    keyboard_arrow_down

    James Gifford - Fibonacci Maru - The Unbeatable Product Development Simulator

    90 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    The Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and again appears in the 2009 Star Trek film. The tests describe a no-win scenario or a solution that involves redefining the problem and testing one's character. This exercise was the inspiration for the Fibonacci Maru. Teams will be put to the test as they develop a product and release it to their customer base. As the feedback and metrics pore in real time. Will the teams stay the course or pivot based on the build measure learn cycles? This is a 90 minute highly interactive workshop that will educate Agile professionals on developing products using the Lean Startup to plan and shape the product.

  • Liked Alan Zucker
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alan Zucker - Agile Transformation—It’s About the People

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    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

  • Liked Alan Zucker
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Alan Zucker - The Project Box: Beyond the Triple Constraint

    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Traditionally, project managers are told to optimize scope subject to constraints on time, cost, and quality. This is embodied in the expression, “better, faster, cheaper—choose two.” The phrase has become a rhetorical distraction to effective project management. It presumes a magic bullet; if you can precisely balance the constraints you will be successful. In reality, the triple constraint poses a calculus problem that has no tangible solution.

    The project box introduces a new and better paradigm for describing the interaction of time, cost, quality, and scope for many software projects—particularly Agile projects. The project box simplifies the calculus of managing the project constraints:

    • Duration is set,
    • Scope is time-boxed and negotiable,
    • Quality is both time-boxed and imperfections are expected, and
    • Cost is proportional to duration.

    The project box represents a paradigm shift for managing software projects. It recognizes the primacy of time and reorients the other dimensions accordingly. To traditionalists, the project box provides a new worldview for managing time, scope, quality and cost. To Agilests, it provides a better representation of their principles and replaces the inverted triangle.

    To read the full article: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2015/november/the-project-box-evolving-beyond-the-triple-constra

  • 45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    While there are many examples of Agile  methodologies being used in government, the number of agencies realizing success from it is much lower. A recent survey of Federal CIOs shows that while over 90 percent of respondents reported some form of Agile adoption, 50 percent believe they are ineffective at implementing Agile.

    So why the gap? If agencies can stand it up, why are they stumbling to realize the promises of Agile?

    Understanding this gap and the reasons causing agencies to stumble will help you to recognize similar issues impeding Agile adoption, understand ways to address those challenges, and reflect on your own journey transitioning to Agile. 

    This presentation will address these questions by telling the story of ongoing Agile adoption within the IRS around a large-scale IT modernization project. It will describe the organizational characteristics that challenged Agile adoption and integration, and share lessons learned through our Agile journey to date.

  • Liked Ken Furlong
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Ken Furlong - Local Efficiency vs. Global Efficiency – What They Are and Why You Should Care

    90 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    “We should do it because it’s more efficient.”  Well, perhaps not.  Do you mean it’s more locally efficient or more globally efficient?

     

    In this talk, we’ll discuss the differences between local and global efficiency and how “it’s more efficient” is often times a fallacy that will lead to poor results.  We’ll look at the positive effects of optimizing for the whole (i.e., global optimization) and how to know where in the system to look in order to do that.

     

    This talk will introduce the basics of Systems Thinking and Theory of Constraints so that participants are familiar with the concepts and continue their learning afterwards.

  • Liked Trent Hone
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Trent Hone - Building Better Battleships: the US Navy’s Lean Design Process

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Customers weren’t satisfied! The process took too long! And the end product was bug-ridden and didn’t perform to specifications. Does this sound familiar?

    The US Navy’s ship design process had all the common problems we see in product development today. Come learn how these problems were solved in a real-world, large batch system over 100 years ago through minor changes in organizational structure and process design.

  • Liked Joey Spooner
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Joey Spooner - Getting a Kanban system to work in Jira

    90 mins
    Tutorial
    Intermediate

    How do you do Kanban in Jira? There is a default Kanban system provided by Jira, but what do you do when you need to accomplish more than simply moving issues across a board? How do you manage blocks and defects? How do you set up your Kanban system in Jira to provide you with decent metrics? These are just some of the questions we will discuss and you will learn how to address through this tutorial.

    I will cover how you can take a team from an analog system into Jira by using some mindful planning and thoughtful approaches.

    You will leave this tutorial with a set of easy-to-follow steps that will help you get more out of Jira with your Kanban system.