Agile Coaching Services
Implementing an agile approach to software delivery is very challenging. This is because it requires everyone in the firm to change their behavior and think differently.
It Starts At The Top
Senior management must understand the benefits of fostering a culture of trust without fear. We must accept the fact that mistakes will happen and the team needs the opportunity to learn from them and improve. The trick is to do this without causing dire harm.
Agile follows a Build – Measure – Learn feedback loop that allows this to happen.
It is critical to use small batch sizes as we experiment and learn so we can fail fast without catastrophic results.
The Build portion is easy. Developers are accustomed to developing software. The other two are a bit trickier.
We need to be sure we Measure how well we are doing and Learn so we can improve. For example, we could track how many story points are Done each sprint and have retrospectives to discuss how we can improve.
Productivity is measured by the amount of value the team delivers into production. Software has no value until it is used by customers. When we do this, we increase quality and confidence across the organization.
We must optimize the entire system, not just individuals and make all work transparent.
It is common for people to work on many things at the same time and not even realize how much work they are doing. There are many studies that show how inefficient multi-tasking is.
This hidden work bogs things down and causes delay. By making the team’s work visible, we are more likely to work on the proper things.
The Delivery Team
Everyone responsible for the delivery of software has accountability. The business owners must have the patience and take the time to explain what is required by the product being built. This means they must have a passion for the product and understand the marketplace so proper product decisions can be made.
There will be many new ideas competing for delivery. Everything cannot be delivered and often we need to say no. Our backlog of features we plan to build should be short.
Software engineers must develop a software solution that is designed for change and be flexible in their architecture.
The team must also be willing to work on anything they have the skills to do. When a team is cross functional, there is much more productivity.
A challenge for an Agile Coach is guiding a firm in adoption of Agile tenants within the culture that exists in the firm. My first objective is to always understand the existing challenges a firm is experiencing. I then investigate how agile tenants will improve the situation and guide the team in implementing them.
Sometimes, the culture of a firm clashes with textbook agile practices. When this occurs, I explain the consequences of deviating and adjust the practice to meet the firm’s unique needs.
Contact Me today to discuss how I can help your firm improve.
- Product Ownership in a Nutshell is a video about much more that being a Product Owner. It is one of the best general agile videos I have seen.