How to Get Management Support for Agile with Scrum Methodology

Hi, I’m Scott Dunn of Rocket Nine Solutions doing Agile Coaching and Training in the Southern California area. Today we’ll talk to you about how to get management support for Agile with scrum methodology. Now our certified Scrum master and certified product owner and even the scaled Agile classes that we do. We got lots of questions about how to get the manager to support these ideas and implementing all of these.In the class it sounds great, looks good, lots of great results. So how do we get the manager to buy ’em because it’s not just the people on the Scrum Team and the Scrum Masters. It’s the business owners, it’s the product owners and the folks in the PMO and other groups who all need to buy into this as well because it’s going to impact them and that’s the point. A couple of ways we might recommend is to look at change is:

Number 1. What’s in it for me? or for management the better to ask the question ‘What’s in it for them?’ that you’re going to approach them saying ‘I know this address is a need of concern for you’ rather than simply going on and saying ‘This is the right thing to do, it’s going to disrupt things and they’re trying to way out’ The feedback that you might get from their people whether they’re happy or not happy with how things are going and the wins that they’re going to get there. Presented as a cell of here’s all the wins that you might get. Now within that context think about the people that you have to talk to and their personalities are like. Some people are very much looking for the wins for the people. Some are looking for the wins for process improvement in making things stable and consistent. some people are looking for decisiveness and actually getting things done. So there might be advice to action to some of these people. So within that their personality types.
Secondly, truly we see cultural change as far as  who’s adopting right now. Scrum has been around for over 10 years.So the mindset that the folks are adopting now or what Geoffrey Moore called ‘Crossing the Chasm’ . the late majority in general are a little more risk-versed. So they like to see a plan, they like to come make sure they better had. They’re not looking forward to change and they don’t enjoy that change. Truthfully, Scrum is very disruptive. So people drop off into this chasm of disruption before they come up to the new normal for them. So we want to be mindful of that and try to help frame it as a way of the win. Within that perhaps suggests a small team or pilot group somewhat isolated, not a mission critical effort. A small medium sized project that’s still visible and maybe kick off Scrum with them. Nothing beats success within this organization for the rest of the group they’ll say ‘Hey if that can work there, let’s do that’.
Without that you can also look at other case studies that have been successful and point them to look at those. Facts are helpful, numbers are helpful but we’re not necessarily purely logical creatures or moist robots as they some would say. I want to hear stories of how others succeeded even better if it’s in our industry or this type of group. Being mindful to companies who have been around for a long time are very large and very distributed have a harder time with change as well. So if you can find companies that match that, then that would be good. We’ve had 10 years of experience so far with Scrum so there should be lots of case studies to find there or either go on the web or going to conferences. There is a situation of a large company in San Diego, Mitchell whose whole Agile-ness has really kicked off and caught steam. When some people came in, they go to a conference of leadership and heard the stories of other companies who are also very large and very old of how they had some wind for that. So nothing beats hearing stories from real people. If you can’t encourage leaders to take part in conferences or the local user groups and get out there and hear some of these.Or as a chief educator for Scrum, ‘You’re bringing some of those memories back with you because you’re the one going out there and finding these things. So try to spin that up.
In addition, there are lots of people. they want to know what they need to do and they really can win in doing this.So we want to help support them with that”s the way that they can do. A lot of these ideas and information are drawn from a book called ‘Switch’by Chip and Dan Heath on how to change when change is hard.Also the book ‘Influencer’ by Joseph Grenny. Those are just two great books to help people to change and look at change in a number of ways. It might encourage and inspire to those around you to jump in with you on this journey. I hope that is of some help to you, good luck on your way and we’ll talk to you soon!

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