Agile Adoption Preparation

I’ve recently been coaching at a company, and I’ve seen the most impressive agile adoption preparation ever. And we haven’t even “started” yet.

“Normal” Agile Adoption Preparation

Most companies call us in to help kick-off their agile adoption, but they have:

  • Already decided on the approach (Scrum) and details (sprint length, day of week, etc)
  • Already decided how many teams and who would be on the teams
  • Already decided who would be Scrum Master

But they don’t:

  • Train everyone, including management and leadership
  • Change how they build software – TDD, CI, CD, ATDD/BDD (DevOps & XP)
  • Consider whether the organization is structured best for agile (PMO, Dev & QA reporting lines, Program Management, etc)
agile adoption preparation
Scott Dunn, CST, CEC, Agile Coach and Trainer, CEO of Rocket Nine Solutions

A Better Way

After some discomfort with what I was seeing with a SAFe adoption, despite initial fondness for SAFe, I went to look into LeSS (Large Scale Scrum). One line that stuck with me from the class with Craig Larman –

“It’s the difference of Owning, versus Renting, your agile adoption.”

Signs of Owning your Agile Adoption

That’s why I’ve been so happy with the current agile adoption preparation. We haven’t kicked off, and it’s been a couple months. But they have:

  • Formed an Agile Roll-Out leadership team (Kotter’s Guiding Coalition)
  • All read the new Large-Scale Scrum book
  • Clarified WHY the company needs to go agile based on a grouping and prioritization of all their perspectives
  • Decided on what their products were, and the to-be process that will build them
  • Sent nine people to the Certified Agile Leadership workshop, where managers learned new aspects of how to lead in a collaborative environment and how to change culture.
  • Decided to let the developers and testers choose what team they want to be on
  • Already planning on investing by sending team members to the CSD training and LeSS workshop

Agile Adoption – Changing Managers

They already have more agile advocates in management than I’ve seen in a dozen companies. Management has already changed. In the past, I felt I was on police duty, tracking down the managers who were breaking the Scrum rules. During this period of agile adoption preparation I’ve heard managers say things I’ve never heard, like “I know my role is no longer to be the expert, but help create my experts so that I’m not the bottleneck,” and “I know I’ll likely be letting a lot of my people report to someone else since that makes more sense for alignment.”

They already own this.

And we haven’t even started yet…

Learn more about our Certified Scrum Developer training coming up.

Click here for our Large Scale Scrum class coming up.