Agile Up!

Many organizations implement Agile. Quite a few of these feel that something is not working well: while there is a great promise in Agile it can be abused and misused.

 

Bettering the implementation is not impossible, yet day to day work is pressing and people don’t have the time to invest there, and so the situation persists.

 

Agile Up! will take your agile implementation back to the road for success. let our experience guide you to safety.

Test Yourself: Is something wrong with your Agile implementation?

  • Do you find yourself being the slave of some tool?
  • Do people grudge about too much “agile” meetings?
  • Is quality poor?
  • Do you think that instead of “Agile” it should be called “Chaos”?
  • Are people miserable?

If the answer to at least one of these questions is “Yes”, something could probably improve in the way you practice agile. Time to Agile Up!

First things to look for in order to Agile Up!

The first thing to understand is that you’re not alone. We see many organizations that struggle with their agile implementation. Getting it back on track is not so tough.

The second important thing is that if it doesn’t feel good, something’s wrong. People who practice good Agile are happy with the way they work – you can get there too.

Common issues we find in organizations:

  • While agile asks for “self organized teams” management is keeping the hierarchical management style
  • Productivity is low because teams are not cross functional and a lot of coordination is required
  • Quality is low because QA and Dev are not in same teams and so there is no common accountability
  • It is very difficult to pull big projects as everyone are busy with the next iteration, loosing sight of the big picture
  • People don’t understand what should really be done in each scrum event and so see it is a waste of time

“Self Managed” means the team manages themselves. The team should make their own decisions. Management should guide and support them. Once people start taking responsibility for themselves they feel better. Remember that many of the people in the teams have families, they bought a home – why can’t they manage themselves at work?

QA should be a part of the team. Period. It can’t be in another building. It can’t be in another team. Dev and QA should work together and not one against the other. QA’s purpose is not to open defects. QA’s purpose is to light all the dark corners and guide Dev.

Agile Up! your Scrum

Scrum tends to fulfill the proverb “can’t see the wood for the trees.” Once scrum gets into the organization everyone focuses on the next iteration. We recommend to build a kanban board depicting the entire End to End flow of product development, to see the entire picture. Suddenly the iterations become less important for management and they let the teams do what they need to do and management focus on the road ahead.

Scrum events:

Backlog grooming is usually missing. Backlog grooming is where we cultivate the scope and get it ready for the sprint. Have a one hour meeting of the team with the product owner to discuss what we’re going to do next.

The purpose of planning is to agree and align on the iteration’s goals. That’s it.

The daily meeting should be no longer than 15 minutes – that’s where we plan what we’re going to do today.

Demo for product owners should be taking place all the time, not at the end of the iteration.

At the end of the iteration we have the iteration review where we should everyone what we planned to do and what we did, and sometimes we even demo some of the things we did. Immediately following the iteration review, after every one except team members left, the team (that includes the product owner and scrum master) tries to find out one thing they will do different in the next iteration, trying to get better. An experiment.

Good resources to start with (in alphabetical order)

Dan Pink’s Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose – A short video talking about what motivates us.

David Marquet’s Turn the ship around  – A book about leadership.

G. Kim, J. Humble, P. Debois, J. Willis’s The Dev Ops Handbook  – A book about devops.

Henrik Kniberg’s Product Ownership in a nutshell – A short video about scrum.

Agile Up! courses

We are currently offering the Agile Up! using Jira/TFS (two separate tracks) course to help you Agile Up! your implementation quickly by using the best of these tools in the context of Agile.

We would be happy to talk with you about how we can help you Agile Up! contact us today.

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