I got an interesting invitation to head to Malmo, Sweden this year for the Oredev 2009 conference. I’ll be doing two talks in the agile track… one on scaling agile and the other an experience report based on the coaching gig I did earlier this year. Regular readers will recognize some of the topics I plan to speak about.
The Manager’s Guide to Agile Adoption
Agile methodologies are helping teams deliver software faster and with much higher quality than ever before. Given the success of agile at the team level, many managers are exploring the possibility of implementing these methodologies across the entire product delivery organization. These managers launch their adoption efforts only to uncover many common myths, misperceptions, and obstacles that derail their efforts before they really get started.
Organizations fail to become agile because they don’t understand what makes agile teams work. Breaking past traditional organizational constraints, even the constraints imposed by some of the better known agile methodologies, will free managers to create situationally specific strategies that support the formation of teams and enable them to deliver both reliably and consistently back to the business. Agile teams become the building blocks of agile organizations.
This talk will explore a roadmap for agile adoption that begins with teams and demonstrates how teams work together to deliver more complex projects and portfolios. Mike will expand the team concept to include capabilities and show how capabilities can be organized to optimize value across the enterprise value stream. At each step of the adoption process, Mike will demonstrate how to choose the policies, practices, and metrics that create learning and drive sustainable organizational change.
Agile Adoption past the Team – An Experience Report
Discussions of agile often assume that there is a single team, assigned to a single product, with a single dedicated customer guiding all the product decisions. In reality, many organizations are building complex products that require the efforts of more than one development team. When teams have to coordinate to deliver a highly integrated product, the product owner’s job often becomes too big for a single person.
Not all the interesting scalability problems are reserved for the enterprise. Product Owners have challenges when trying to coordinate the deliverables for only four or five dependent development teams. Quite a few organizations are expanding the role of Product Owner to include Product Owner Teams and Product Owner Teams with Architects. These teams work in partnership with the Product Owner to maintain the product backlog and drive integrated decision making.
This talk explores a 3 month coaching engagement where the customer needed to coordinate requirements and design across five highly dependent development teams. Mike will show how the teams went from zero to hyper-productivity in a matter of sprints by implementing solid engineering practices and deploying a Product Owner team to coordinate deliverables across the entire product delivery organization.
Mike Cottmeyer is a product consultant and agile evangelist for VersionOne. Prior to joining VersionOne, Mike was a senior project manager for CheckFree Corporation where he led a portfolio of projects for their online banking and bill payment business unit. Mike has 20 years of experience leading IT initiatives using a combination of traditional, agile, and lean project management best practices.
Mike is a certified PMP Project Manager and a certified ScrumMaster. He co-created the DSDM Agile Project Leader certification and holds Foundation, Practitioner, and Examiner level certificates. Mike is an honorary member of the DSDM Consortium and a founder of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium.