As I promised, I would start blogging about the Agile rollout I am leading within my organization and describe how things are going so that others can learn just as I have learned from many others that have gone through the same experience.
The last two weeks was everything I thought it would have been. It included lots of excitement a few fears and everything in-between. Our scope of the first rollout was 120 people involved in 10-20 projects with all kinds of critical dates to other organizations. We also added 40 managers, some from my organization and some from other parts so that they can understand the change.
Managers were introduced to basic and advanced agile principals and practices, scrum as a mechanism for implementing team level software agility, agile technical and quality practices and the Agile Release Train as a means to provide strategic alignment and visibility across the organization. Teams were trained on similar topics, but focused on the Agile process called Scrum. Teams learned about backlogs, sprints, roles and how it will be applied at ISG.
In addition to training, 14 scrum teams built “Big Visible Informational Radiators” that are posted around the buildings that show their daily status and objectives of the next four weeks. These BVIR’s will serve as a communication means to the organization. These teams are not alone in learning Agile and are supported by two highly experienced qualified coaches to answer questions and help ensure objectives are being met.
Looking forward, we will monitor the status of these 14 teams and make adjustments that will be applied to future team rollouts. In addition to monitoring status and planning for the next wave, I will travel to Europe to engage more managers and teams on the model we are applying.
As for my retro on the first rollout:
- Having everyone in one room rather than doing training in small groups
- Including everyone that is working on the same system
- Creating the teams ahead of time
- Having coaches on site so that they can help in breakout sessions
- Training the managers before the teams were trained so that they can support their people
- Having managers and directors talk before the training explaining how they support this initiative
- Making sure food showed up on time
- Ordering rolling white boards for each team so that they could use them for task boards
- Collected all of the critical dates and made them visible to all team members so that it would help with sprint planning
- Met with coaches to give them more context so that it could be applied during training
Overall, I thought it went great and have received compliments. However, here is no real end to this Agile endeavor where execution will be flawless, or even “good enough.” I have entered a new Agile state where change is the norm, rather than the exception. Agile is not a destination, but rather a journey and I look forward to this journey we are on.
Take a look at the video from wave 1.
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