Taking Agile to the next Level

Over the last 6 months I have been ratcheting up my communication on the benefits and success of Agile within my organization. We have been slowly working on it since November, but haven’t had much traction. In late May I decide to grab a hold of the steering wheel and push on the Agile gas.

Well, we must have been doing a good job at it that management is ready to take the jump and has given me and a few others the permission to roll Agile out to a larger group.

Choo, Choo, here comes the Agile train! Man, am I stoked!

The first thing I knew I had to do was bring in an expert that could help us develop a rollout plan and get us headed down the right path. After a week of phone call interviews to experts in the field of Agile, we decided to bring in Dean Leffingwell. Dean knocked our socks off during the interview and it felt like a perfect fit for our organization. .

Last week was the first official 2 day visit to Deere for Dean. Our goal of the visit was to start the tipping process, meet and convince management, excite and answer question for employees and get us started down the agile path. Mission accomplished!

So over the new few months I thought I would start blogging about rolling out Agile at Scale.

Here are a few pictures from Dean’s visit and attendes from the embedded group during my agile speach I made.

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Kanban Experience Complete – Thank You LSSC10

So last week we wrapped up our final regression cycle prior to releasing so I decided to have a project retro with all team members (product owners included). What no one knew is that I took probable 20 pictures over the course of the last 4 months as memories. I put these memories into a PowerPoint and asked everyone to write down what memories they had about that picture. Each team member wrote down on one sticky note what their thoughts were. Based on the sticky notes, we captured the top things we wanted to change, continue to do, or stop doing going forward. Here are some of the results.

  1. Continue to use the “wall” as our visual control. Everyone thought it provided great visibility to what was going on. (Big thanks for Chris Schinkle for the presentation that inspired me)
  2. Continue to use WIP limits in each column. Most of the conversations were related to completing testing prior to starting a new card. Team members would say, “’let’s finish this card, prior to starting a new one.”
  3.  Let stick to 15 minutes during the standup. Sometime we started problem solving during this meeting.
  4.  Let’s implement Mercurial so that we don’t have headaches over branching and merging.

Overall, everyone learned a lot and had fun doing it. Bottom line is LSSC10 was well worth it. Now, off to Agile2010 to learn some more.