Did We Forget Someone on this Journey? - Understanding how to Incorporate "the Business" in an Agile Transformation

You've sent the managers to Scrum Master training. The development team is getting pretty good at writing automated tests and have most of the release process automated. Your CIO is recognizing that Quality Assurance, Security, and Independent Testing is going to need to change to take advantage. But something isn't right. Specifically, you're still not producing products that delight customers. Or, you are producing products that delight customers, but they can't see the light of day because of other stakeholders.

The dirty secret in Agile Transformation is that for all the talk about how the IT organization needs to change to engage with customers and produce working software, what gets less talked about is how comfortable the customers, or the proverbial "Business", has gotten with the status quo before Agile.

In this talk, we explore who are the stakeholders that comprise "the Business", what barriers they often face in adapting to Agile, as well as some practices that can help you ensure that they have seat on the Agile Transformation train.

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Tell a Story (10 minutes): Walk through a typical Agile Transformation story that highlights the emphasis in terms of training and coaching resources placed on development teams and managers, and the effect of leaving out business stakeholders which limits the ability to reach the ultimate goal of delivering value.
  • Empathize with the Business (15 minutes): Facilitate a quick exercise to develop a persona of different business stakeholders (a Product Owner, a Business Executive, and a Support Staff member) to understand how an Agile Transformation will affect them and see the transformation through their eyes
  • Get Practical (10 minutes): Discuss practical steps that can help business stakeholders understand the implications of agile for them, and also give them tools that enable them to partner with IT to deliver value iteratively borrowing from innovation methods like Design Thinking and Lean Startup
  • Q&A and Experience Sharing (10 minutes): The purpose of the talk is to stimulate the real learning, which happens from the interactions in the room

Learning Outcome

  • Awareness of the impact that an Agile Transformation can have on business stakeholders
  • Practical Actions that coaches, IT and business executives, and business staff can take to feel a part of an Agile Transformation

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Product Owners, Business Champions


Understanding of basic Agile terms and approaches like Scrum or Kanban. Experience in participating in an agile transformation

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

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