Agile2015 is just a week away. I will be presenting my talk on Product Owner Teams: Leading Agile Program Management and want to share some thoughts ahead of time on the problem we are solving with the PO Team. I summarize the Goals in a couple of bullet points: Provide Agile Teams with the support, guidance and coaching they need to get the job done Improve and accelerate your product delivery by improving your Agile Transformation I focus the talk on four key Objectives: Provide clarity through a well defined feature backlog Hold Agile Teams accountable for making and meeting commitments…read more
Adopting agile is never about adopting agile practices. It’s not even about adopting an agile culture. While those things are important, if you don’t achieve better business outcomes, adopting agile is not worth the investment. Your journey toward greater business agility starts by identifying what outcomes are most important to your company’s success. This knowledge helps you lay a foundation for making decisions about how to tailor your approach and guide your transformation to measurably show progress toward your critical business objectives.
Agile tends to focus on adaptability, but predictability is most often cited as the reason for an agile transformation.
As organizations scale, product quality often suffers. Agile focuses on quality from requirements through implementation.
Many organizations struggle with 18 month delivery cycles. Agile helps your team accelerate time to market and revenue.
Cost savings are tough to promise, but agile can help make sure you are only spending money on the features most likely to generate revenue.
As companies grow sometimes they slow down and lose the ability to innovate. Agile can help you get back your competitive edge.
Delivering on time is only important if you are delivering the right product. Agile can help you get the feedback you need.
We start by helping you take a look at what your company values from a planning perspective and comparing that against what your customer values from a delivery perspective. Organizations often find themselves operating in ways that don’t align with the goals of their customers. They might try to adopt agile to get things in sync, but end up out of alignment with how the rest of their company does business. Getting everyone working together is a process that can be planned and executed with clearly defined goals and measurable outcomes.
Far too often agile is sold as a predefined set of roles, artifacts, and ceremonies, and when those roles, artifacts, and ceremonies don’t work in your organization, it’s somehow your fault. The problem is that adopting agile is more about creating the conditions for agile to thrive rather than simply teaching people a new process or a new way of thinking. Adopting agile is about forming teams, building backlogs, and regularly producing working tested product increments. Transformation is about systematically removing barriers to making that happen.
Making the journey involves defining a team based organizational structure, a governance model to coordinate value, and a metrics strategy to guide and shape your transformation activities. We help you craft a pilot approach to exercise the structure, validate the framework, and challenge any assumptions made during planning. Metrics guide and inform our progress and help to shape the remainder of the transformation. Finally, we prepare your team with the knowledge and skills necessary to sustain the changes after our consultants have moved on.
latest field notes
The LeadingAgile Blog
In an agile transformation, one of the first things we work towards is to create an ability to deliver in a predictable manner. As described in our compass and our journey, there is a clear path for organizations that embark on an agile transformation. By becoming predictable, an organization can make and keep promises. In essence, we are working to stabilize the value delivery system. There are many things that can contribute to an unstable value delivery system. Ready backlog is one of these. The following diagram illustrates three fundamental elements of agile. Clarity means that we have a system…read more
Ever heard these from teams before regarding timeboxing? “What we do won’t fit into a 2 week window” “The nature of our work is too creative for a timebox” <<<Fill in your variation here>>> If you work with agile teams, some variation of these statements will be familiar. I consistently hear new teams say this over and over when I form new sets of teams. Here’s the deal, the problem is not the time box. In fact, the time box is exposing problems you need to solve! Let’s check out some examples of the team’s timeboxing complaints above. “What we…read more
Placeholder stories, in general, are a bad idea. Estimating placeholder stories to reserve capacity or to get credit is a very bad idea. Define “Placeholder Stories” Of course, all stories are “placeholders for a conversation”, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I am also not talking about things like “Refactor the such-n-such class as we start work on the something-or-another Epic”. I’m not talking about having a known customer problem but not yet knowing what to do about it, if anything. Those are specifically identifiable work. Those should be in the backlog (for the sprint or the release), and I don’t call them placeholders. I’m…read more
There is so much I’ve been wanting to write the past year or so about the business of LeadingAgile. Those of you following our blog for a while will know that it wasn’t all that long ago that I was working at VersionOne, left for Pillar, and then started out as an independent consultant and formed LeadingAgile. I got really busy really fast and quickly started selling more work than I could do alone. So I began growing the team. Over the past few years we’ve built a really awesome group of consultants and an equally awesome group of support staff to help us run…read more
Ready to Go?
If you’re ready to get started, or even if you’d just like more information, the first step is to reach out and let us know you’d like to talk. Our team will setup a quick call to learn more about your organization, what you’d like to accomplish, as well as your budget and how soon you’d like to get started. Next we’ll put you on the phone with Mike, Dennis, or Jim to dive a little deeper into your goals and current challenges. If we both think there is an opportunity to help, next step is to get in a room to talk and explore our approach in more detail.