One of the most important things an organization can do in order to help teams deliver working, test software is to manage organizational dependencies. In this SoundNotes interview, LeadingAgile Enterprise Transformation Consultant, Andrew Fuqua shares his thoughts on how organizations can manage and remove dependencies in order to better their teams to deliver.
00:08 Interview Starts
00:45 Some background on Andrew
01:25 How the topic of Managing Dependencies Across the Value Stream (until we can break them) came up on LeadingAgile’s internal Slack channel
03:20 The difference between breaking dependencies and managing them across the value stream
04:55 Figuring out where the dependencies exist within your organization
06:35 Dependencies and user stories vs. dependencies created by the organizational structure
08:07 How cross functional do your teams need to be before you can fully address dependencies within your organization?
09:31 Making responsible choices when it comes to setting up cross functional teams that can deliver fully tested working product
11:08 How do you help an organization figure out what is reasonable to achieve with setting up teams
11:52 Changing the organization in an iterative manner
12:32 Refactoring the organization is an ongoing effort
13:38 Stable Teams vs. a constantly changing organization
14:41 Key things you need to focus on if you want to remove dependencies within an organization
15:53 Techniques you can use to surface where the dependencies exist
16:24 Why you need multiple ways to identify the dependencies and remove them
17:05 Managing the environment you are in
18:42 Manage the heck out of the dependencies that matter, until you can break them
20:16 What’s the right way to do this? There is no best practices, just good practices given a specific context
21:07 Helping your organization learn to cope with impact of the dependencies you have in place
22:25 Are we leaning into the waterfall or just being practical by having design work a Sprint ahead?
23:02 If you feel your organization needs to have design work ahead, is that a bad thing or are there times when that is ok?
24:49 It’s ok, but it’s not ok that it’s ok… refactoring organizations in flight
25:42 Other suggestions for managing dependencies
27:05 Why would you commit to something you have no control over?
28:55 How do you deliver on the promise of the epic and know what is “good enough” to release?
31:26 Being flexible about what you have to release can help you manage dependencies as well
31:58 Steps you can take right out of the gate to help the organization cope with dependencies
34:05 Are there elements of a waterfall approach that can help if you are able to maintain an Agile mindset
35:52 PUT THE PMBOK AWAY! Just worry about the real world stuff and manage that stuff.
37:26 Andrew’s parting words of advice for managing and removing dependencies
39:17 The Lean + Agile Atlanta UnConference
40:30 How to reach Andrew if you want to follow up with him on this conversation
For information on the Lean + Agile Atlanta Unconference: http://www.leanagileatlanta.com
You may also want to check out Mike Cottmeyer’s post on Managing Dependencies here: https://www.leadingagile.com/2011/10/dependencies-break-agile/
Or his post on How to Structure Your Agile Enterprise https://www.leadingagile.com/2014/02/structure-agile-enterprise/