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
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.
I don’t always follow the same story splitting approach when I need to split a story. It has become intuitive for me so I might not be able to write about everything I do or what goes through my mind or how I know. But I can put here what comes to mind at the moment: Look at your acceptance criteria. There is often some aspect of business value in each acceptance criteria that can be split out into a separate story that is valuable to the Product Owner. Consider the tasks that need to be done. Can any of…read more
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘agile’ as we know it isn’t the best starting place for everyone that wants to adopt agile. Some folks, sure… everyone, probably not. For many companies something closer to a ‘team-based, iterative and incremental delivery approach, using some agile tools and techniques, wrapped within a highly-governed Lean/Kanban based program and portfolio management framework’ is actually a better place to start. Why? Well, many organizations really struggle forming complete cross-functional teams, building backlogs, producing working tested software on regular intervals, and breaking dependencies. In the absence of these, agile is pretty much impossible.…read more
From Wikipedia: “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that he doesn’t see any suit of clothes until a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” Something has been nagging at me for a while. You’ll see shades of it underlying the themes in my last several blog posts. You’ll see…read more
I was talking with a colleague about project planning and I thought she was asking about projecting an end date for an upcoming development effort. I said, “That’s easy, backlog story points divided by capacity equals days to complete.” I made a couple of additional comments about dependency management and PTO, then she interrupted my monologue, “the question is not, when will we be done, it’s how do we meet a fixed delivery date.” “Well, since we’re doing development in sprints, we are always working towards a fixed date.” She gave me a pained smile, “Okay, wise guy. I guess…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.