Evelien was asked to help an organization transition to Agile using Scrum. There were multiple teams in that organization which Evelien and others started working with. With a mix of training and hands-on support they started working with all the teams. However, later it became clear that leadership in that organization was not aware of what Agile or Scrum meant in practice. Leadership started to ask for the same things, and in the same way that they always had. Effectively pushing the teams back into waterfall!
We discuss what we can do, when starting to work with a new organization, to help leadership understand what changes when we adopt Agile.
About Evelien Acun-Roos
Evelien Acun-Roos is an experienced Agile Trainer at Xebia Academy, Professional Scrum Trainer at Scrum.org and a Certified Trainer for “Training from the Back of the Room”.
Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).
The Agile Coach team, at that time, had 9 people. And they all saw different problems in the organization. They struggled with slow decision making, problems at the team level, but when it came to seeing solutions, they all saw different approaches.
Over time, they recognized they needed to coordinate their work to be successful. If nothing else, because several teams needed to be involved in solving some of the problems the organization was facing.
The coaches started asking themselves: “Are we really performing as a team?”
This was what started the need for regular collaboration between the coaches.
At first, they started by having a regular get-together with the team of coaches.
Helping the organization see the whole, even when tackling local problems
She started her Agile transition after a long stint within a waterfall organization, and she shares some of the most contrasting changes she experienced when moving to an Agile organization. Ultimately, she reminds us, the Agile approach is much closer to the final purpose: solving a problem for a customer out there. And she reminds us that we should try to keep that purpose front and center at all times.
Learning to be persuasive: a key lesson for Scrum Masters and all agile practitioners
When we dive into Katrina’s most important lesson learned in her Agile journey, we discuss the need to bring our best persuasive game with us. We discuss some of the reasons why the ability to persuade others is so important, for example testers will often be outnumbered in an Agile team, and their ideas are less likely to be followed if they can’t “bring others along”. In this segment, we refer to a key book for all wanting to learn more about influencing colleagues and building collaborative relationships: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
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About Katrina Clokie
Katrina is an accomplished and experienced IT leader. She is a regular keynote at international conferences where the main themes include leadership, knowledge sharing, and communicating change. In 2017 Katrina published her first book, A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps. Katrina was a finalist for the Inspiring Individual of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.
Peter and Michael just finished the first half of a book they are writing together on the topic of shifting our attention, and focus from the “product” focused techniques to “people” focused techniques in order to achieve superior performance.
Jeff is also the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).
Why does Management resist Agile change?
This is the first question of the episode and one that Scott and Jeff have worked together on for years. Scott shares how his past as a developer has helped him understand the role of management in an Agile organization.
We also talk about how to understand the reaction of managers when employees come to them with gripes, or ideas for changes to implement. We tend to think that when managers don’t do what we ask, they haven’t listened to us. Is that really so?