4 learnings and insights that I believe may help to enable Agile-leadership in the presence of failure and change

location_city Online schedule Dec 1st 09:50 - 10:20 AM CEST place AIR people 2 Interested

In this brief talk, I will share my real-world learnings as an Agile Coach working at the team-level, value stream-level and at the organisational-level.

I have 4 learnings and insights that I believe may help to enable Agile-leadership in the presence of failure and change:

  1. Team outcomes aren’t always valuable business outcomes
  2. Customer value isn’t the same as business value
  3. Leaders care about delivery more than we realize
  4. Agile Coaches can’t empower teams

I will share some context regarding our teams and other delivery structures, ways of working, the challenges and related strategies that we are employing to overcome the challenges.


Outline/Structure of the Lightning Talk

A large percent of Agile Transformation fails. I believe that a significant reason for this is due to poorly implemented change management, particularly related to the people and expectation management.


In this talk I will explore four themes using the following structure:

  1. Alignment on expectations
    1. What: Team outcomes vs business outcomes
    2. Observation: Misalignment negatively impacts the teams’ morale, their ability to deliver quality, and may stall the transformation
    3. Solution: Coach at different levels using different styles of coaching.
  2. The meaning of Value
    1. What: Customer-led innovation vs planned delivery
    2. Observation: A customer-centric approach isn’t always the best approach
    3. Solution: Protect the team, deliver what’s needed for the current moment, adapt and grow.
  3. For Leaders, delivery is everything
    1. What: Align delivery expectation to the key-decision makers
    2. Observation: Delivery means different things at different levels
    3. Solution: Provide transparency, improve alignment, address dependency management…provide access to data, build trust with stakeholders.
  4. Agile Coaches don’t make an organisation Agile
    1. What: Roles and expectation need to be communicated in a business language
    2. Observations: Agile transformation are rarely started just for improving the well-being of the staff
    3. Solution: Be clear on the role of Agile in the organisation. Over-communicate on what is being delivered and how. Don’t start with an Agile Transformation. Don’t start with the teams…start with a mindset shift at the leadership level. Work with partners to create an environment that fosters Agility.

Learning Outcome

Key learning outcomes include:

  • The role of feedback. How to NOT have crucial conversation as an Agile Coach.
  • Alignment:
    • The importance of cross-chapter alignment and how doing it well significantly helps teams
    • Why it’s necessary to elevate planning beyond teams and think about value streams
    • Dependency management is a necessary evil
  • Dealing with limitations (such as budgets and staffing cuts) and still be able to grow Agile mindset in the company
    • We launched a community initiative open to the general public
    • We challenged the prevailing view about who could be Team Coaches
    • Collaborating across siloed departments to have people help grow some of our initiatives across all the managers

Target Audience

Scrum masters, Agile Coaches, Managers, Change Agents

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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    Before the pandemic, medium-to-large sized organizations approached transformations with a carefully crafted multi-year view. Businesses focused first on the development of a targeted end-state, and then it's delivery through the execution. This created a silo when developing the strategy vs. executing it. Moreover, this was an intuition-based approach to transformations, with immeasurable amounts of associated risk. The post-pandemic world is demanding a much higher degree of business agility due to unpredictability. Businesses must align the new customer expectations with an ever-shrinking time-to-market. There is a need to drive organizational transformations with an iterative mindset towards a scalable culture of inclusive innovation, while ensuring a positive ROI.

    Through this workshop, I will share an approach to data-driven transformation. Data-driven transformations enable the ability to pivot when there are changes in the market. Data-driven transformations enable data-driven businesses, which are highly agile and scalable. I have developed this approach over the last two year and have field tested it with the clients in three industries with positive ROI and a measurable + faster time-to-market. 

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