Agile - sharing experience

The idea with the blog is to share experience about Agile in practice, I have been facilitating CoP (Community of Practice) with Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Team members etc. since 2010 with the purpose of sharing learnings from team to team...

“Learn from the mistakes of others-you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” quote from John Luther

Change Management

Agile in practicePosted by Rune Hvalsøe Fri, December 28, 2012 07:25:43

One important learning from my work with Agile is this :

"To succeed with Agile, Management's need for results must be greater than their need for control"

To me, Agile is all about improving the way we work.

In Europe we need to improve the way we work, we will never be able to continue the same way and compete with developing countries.

We need to combine existing ideas to improve how we work and we need to create new ideas.

I have been using several ideas over the last couple of years, i.e.

VSM (Value Stream Mapping) - to identify bottleneck and waste in our way of working.

5 Dysfunctions of a team – to improve team work, in Management teams, Scrum teams and any other team.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Focus your energy in “Important – Not Urgent” to improve your situation!

Pomodoro – focus your work and get things done!

Kanban – great for maintenance and other work that keep coming and which you cannot estimate

CoP (Community of Practice) - you must learn from your mistakes, but to become an expert you must learn from others.

It is important to adjust any ideas to the environment that you have without losing the idea and value… ;-)

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Working in mixed environment

Agile in practicePosted by Rune Hvalsøe Mon, November 26, 2012 13:57:27
I have never tried to work in a company where we have been 100% Agile, there is always someone who are not working with Agile methods and very often do not know about Agile.

There is a huge difference in the impact of others not working with Agile, it is my experience that it very much depends on the support from higher level management.

I have worked in a company where the decission to go Agile came from the top level management and I have worked in companies where we started to work with Agile as a bottom up idea, i.e. without higher level management support.

When I worked at Nokia, we implemented Agile on request from higher level management, this gave us mandate and commitment to work with Agile, in the beginning we did very often meet people who did not know about Agile/Scum (other than what Google give you), but they were always positive to learn and explore the new way of working.

I once worked in a company were we was using both Agile and traditional water fall methods, our team was working with Agile, however the product program was still using Microsoft project, and we had to give them feedback about our plans, deliveries etc. - they did not accept a burndown based on the teams velocity, so our SM had to use his Sunday to convert our backlog and burndown to a Microsoft project document...

I was participating in a seminar about Agile development methods - in practice it was about Scrum - and we discussed the success rate for implementing Agile bottom up rather than top down and there wasn't anyone who had a positive story about bottom up success.... :-(

My recommendation is to get higher level management to approve that the organisation work with Agile methods to avoid too many other challenges.

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So simple and yet so difficult

Agile in practicePosted by Rune Hvalsøe Sun, November 25, 2012 19:00:07

I use to say that it takes about 5 minutes to explain how Scrum works, but my experience is that it takes between 3-6 month to learn to work with it.

It is a mindset change and it require that you understand why you do the different things and what you are trying to achieve.

Most people are lazy and will resist change, I grabbed the picture below from this blog

It is a pretty good description of what most teams go through. They usually have the old way of working, i.e. water-fall model with Microsoft Project plans and a Project leader who execute the project...

In my experience the project leader often ask the developers and other involved parties what needs to be done, when it should be done and how long time it will take and then create and maintain a project-chart - in Scrum there is no project leader, but the team act as the project leader and the Product Owner (PO) act as the customer representive requesting work from the team in right priority.

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