One of the questions I am often asked is ‘How do I sell an organisation agile? The answer is I don’t… The business has often decided they need to change because something is no longer working for them, or because their current way of thinking is no longer meeting the needs of the organisation or the customer. As an Agile Coach I do not go into a client with the mind-set of a particular method, more that I need to hear what their motives and their problems are to help them lead them to the right solution. Sometimes that might not even be agile or the method they initially asked for.
Much of the work I do is helping clients change. I am careful not to use the word ‘transformation’ because many companies do already have good practices in place as well as good people. It’s my job to help them to evolve the way they work and think in a more Agile and Lean way.
I never really know what I am going to arrive to find, and each and every organisation is different in the way it runs and is structured. Saying that I still have a thought process that I follow as an Agile Coach and I wanted to give you all a glimpse into what that is.
The easiest way for me to do this is to show you a mind map. I may not do all these items listed, but they serve as a reminder for me to think broadly about what I am trying to achieve.
The mind map that I am sharing is very much based upon a Scrum evolution. I would have different ones for different methods, Kanban for example. My mind map is also based upon my experiences and will naturally have holes.
Evolving organisations is a tough job and involves blood sweat and sometimes tears. It is important like any project you are running to have a vision. That vision will evolve over time and will likely be in stepped increments. You can’t go from zero to a hundred in one swoop. So I have a vision of all the different aspects. A vision to maybe prove that we can run Scrum in their environment, we call this a pathfinder team. The vision might also be to advance the principles and practices of your existing team. I use Evolutionary Stages for this as my vision and end goal.
Whatever change you embark on with an organisation, it is important to make sure that you understand where you want to end up and make small incremental and iterative changes along the way, banking the items you want to maintain and learning from any failure you have. You will see one of the items on the mind map is how you communicate progress of what you are doing. This is absolutely key and one of the the things people fail at early on. Good news needs to be published and shared.
So there is lots to think about in the mind map and so over to you. If there is something specific on there you would like me to blog about further. Leave me a comment and I will get on it.
Email Helen Meek
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