I’ve been noodling around on how to distill the LeadingAgile perspective on agile transformation down to its most non-negotiable core. I thought it might be fun to write up a manifesto to guide thinking around transformation.
The LeadingAgile Transformation Manifesto
Agile transformation is about systematically creating an environment for agile to thrive in your organization.
At the delivery level, agile is about forming teams, building backlogs, and producing working tested increments of product.
At the enterprise level, agile is about team-based organizations, adaptive governance, and metrics that support the flow of value.
Anything that prevents you from doing these things, either at the delivery level or across the enterprise, is an impediment that must be removed.
Of course, this is a tightly packed description.
It doesn’t say anything about the attributes of an environment where agile can thrive, or the nature of an agile team, a description of a backlog, or even what it means to produce a working tested increment of product.
It doesn’t describe anything about what it means to form a team-based organization, to apply adaptive governance, or the nature and form of metrics that support measuring the flow of value.
It doesn’t describe the kinds of things that will inevitably get in the way of forming teams, building backlogs, or producing working tested increments.
It doesn’t describe the kinds of things that will inevitably get in the way of forming team-based organizations, applying adaptive governance, or installing metrics that support measuring the flow of value.
It doesn’t say anything about installing Product Owners or ScrumMasters or what kind of training you need to do, or what to do about culture, or what to do about the people that don’t seem to want to get on board.
The point is… if you form teams, build backlogs, and produce working tested software… and you remove all the impediments… whatever they happen to be… I believe everything else will take care of itself with minimal effort.
At scale… if you form team-based organizations, use lean/kanban-based adaptive governance, and install healthy metrics which promote the flow of value into the marketplace… everything else will take care of itself with minimal effort.
In the absence of this minimal subset, nothing we do works.
In the presence of this minimal subset, nothing much else matters.
So… you’re job in leading an agile transformation is to create an environment where agile can thrive. Your job is to form teams, build backlogs, and produce working tested software. Your job is to create team-based organizations, apply adaptive governance, and install metrics that promote the flow of value.
Anything that gets in the way is an impediment to transformation.
Anything else is vanity and won’t make any difference at all.