Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Three Steps to Agile?

Applying Agile Principles for coaching people to shape a growth mindset!

More and more organizations are adopting Agile not only as a project management practice but more as a principle to run business, from doing Agile to being Agile, what’re the logical steps to follow or what’s your success formula?

Take the time to assess your IT & leadership skills: How do you know if your current workforce has the skills they need to lead or contribute to an Agile organization? It's essential to have a baseline of data to plan for skill gaps and effectively align your organizational structure. Remember- teams are supposed to self- collaborate. Assess and compile an organizational change management plan including communication. It's important to have authentic advocacy from leadership and some experienced change agents. You also must understand & have the awareness to your naysayers.

Coach people to shape a growth mindset. This means that everyone should understand quicker iteration means, the quicker they can learn from mistakes, adapt and act. This can be a competitive weapon. Explain why Agile is a good thing for your organization, in order to gain the agreement of all people. Apply Agile principle to the coach instruction: Individuals and interactions can teach you more than processes and tools. Working software can teach you more than comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration can teach you more than contract negotiation. Responding to change can teach you more than following a plan. Understand methods like scrum, kanban, XP and TDD, these are tools to agility, it's not the goal. Before implementing any method, everyone should know how this helps them facilitate changes, learn and adapt quicker. Create a culture that encourages and fosters fearless learning for everyone--not just preferentially for the highly visible siloed project/programs. Just as important- Encourage on-going education (not just training) for all leaders and team members, even for those who think they are already Agile.

Assess the Agile maturity of your resources/ workforce. The goal would be to move them to higher levels of maturity, at a pace that is sustainable and comfortable for them and organization.
•Agile is considered as a silver bullet but in fact it is a silver mirror.
•Success is not an automatic process.
•Agile provides greater flexibility and it requires great discipline especially at team member level. Great power comes with great responsibility.

Some say a long term plan is like a map and agility is like a GPS. The GPS regularly release short-term maps, learns from the satellites, adjust, orients and updates. If you were to take a trip to an unknown location would you prefer a map or a GPS? From doing Agile to being agile is a tough journey, there are perhaps no linear steps to follow through.  Patience & trust will also be a long way journey as everyone is adapting to change and learning!


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