“Being agile” is a mindset change.  You can’t “be agile” just by following agile processes.  Agile practices have intended benefit which you likely will not achieve if you just “do agile.”  Assessing the processes and practices to understand why they have been put in place, and what they are trying to achieve, will help you start to see how you can produce the intended value agile is meant to bring.  When you and your team can see the intended value of the practices then you can perform better as a team, deliver more accurately and more frequently, and please your customer and users much more consistently.

We will explore agile practices such as the Scrum ceremonies, WIP limits, specific information radiators, etc. to assess what they are really trying to achieve.  Agile processes derive in part from psychological attributes and needs.  Humans execute agile delivery and to come together better as a team, keep our customers and upper management comfortably informed, produce what our customers and users really want, and consistently deliver high quality software, we need to fulfill our psychological needs and address our human factors.  This session will help you to understand what the intended goals are in these practices, what mindset changes may be necessary, and how you can ensure that your team achieves the value.  If your team is just “doing agile” then your project will likely wind up as another one that “was not well-suited for agile” in the eyes of your team, upper management or customer.  If your team can ”be agile,” then upper management will celebrate your success and your customers will applaud the efficiency by which your happy team routinely delivers the precise features they are looking for.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

(3 mins) Introduction and Establish a definition for “being agile” and “doing agile”

(2 mins) Audience Poll: Get a number of practices out on the table to discuss intended benefits

(5 mins) Pre-discussion Table exercise: Ask each table to discuss an agile practice from the list with a goal that each table will determine a set of intended benefits/outcomes for that practice. The aim is to cover around three practices across the tables. Each table will discuss a practice but multiple tables will be speaking to the same topic to give a more robust list of potential intended benefits and values. Collect the responses for discussion after the topic has been presented.

(20 mins) Present the topic showing that each practice was created as a means of achieving specific valuable outcomes. Discuss both the psychological intentions as well as the underlying coordination, artifacts and actions that cause the practice to be so important to the methodology.

(5 mins) Facilitate a brief open discussion around the three practices from the first table exercise and review their original responses based upon the material I presented.

(5 mins) Post-Discussion Table exercise: Ask each table to discuss a different agile practice from the list again with a goal that each table will determine a set of intended benefits/outcomes for that practice. Collect the responses.

(5 mins) Facilitate a brief open discussion around the three practices from the second table exercise.

(10-15 mins) Finish out with open discussion around the intentions of specific practices and Q&A.

Learning Outcome

It is my goal that attendees leave this session with an understanding that they can't just follow the process and expect to get all the results agile promises.  They need to think about why these practices are part of the process and ensure that their actions achieve the same results. 

Attendees should come out of this session more aware of mindset, behaviors, and actions that will help them and their teams better drive results and really deliver to their potential.  Understanding this and practicing agile in this way can be the difference in a failed agile attempt versus a successful agile implementation.

Target Audience

Anyone practicing agile. Agile team members. ScrumMasters. Coaches.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    John, please modify the timings for a 60 minute slot. The session slots were supposed to be 30 & 60 minutes, not 60 & 90. I goofed.

  • Paul Boos
    By Paul Boos  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    It's all about mindset, I'd love to hear another fellow practitioner's perspective.

  • Dante Vilardi
    By Dante Vilardi  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    John knows about - and lives - the Agile mindset. This sounds like an informative session!


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