The Train Continues to Roll

Today marks our 30th day of doing large scale agile development at John Deere ISG. For me it is hard to believe how well things are working. I remember the week before we rolled out agile we were having hard discussions about whether this was the right time to make the change with a critical deadline. One day Dean and I were walking back from a meeting and I asked “Is this how all rollouts go?” His answer that day was, “No, you guys are reaching the one sigma range to the zany side (see yellow star).” Last week I asked him the same question and his response was, “The Release Train progress is nothing short of awesome.” You’re still one sigma off, but it’s to the good side this time.” I also remember another conversation a week before I was heading to EU to get teams started over there. Someone said, “Let’s not rush the EU training, can we wait until Dean comes over in November to do the “official” training. My response was, “Sorry, I booked a nonrefundable ticket.”

I’ve always known that there is so much potential in the people at Deere, we just needed to figure out a way to unleash it. Well, I think the power of the people is unleashed!  Everyone should be proud of where we have come from and where we are heading. I know everything is not perfect and there are still challenges ahead of us, but that is what fuels me to come into work every day.

Looking forward I am excited about where we are heading. From an Enterprise level, everyone wants to know what we are doing and how it works. I usually share some Agile slides with them and tell them to come and visit. I tell them there is a huge difference between hearing about Agile and seeing Agile. So don’t be surprised if you see new faces walking around our area or attending daily scrums. On November 2nd, I presented to the CIO and Director of Ag on what Agile is in 30 minutes. Overall, I thought it went really well and they understand the model and support us.

At an local level, everyone department wants to get engaged with Agile. This included Portfolio Planning, HR, Tactical Marketing, Legal, Architecture and Accounting. This is where the next set of challenge will come from, but I know we will find a way to fix them.

 I think those are the topics that I’ll blog about next along with next trains being rolled out.


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