For years, the agile community has taken the approach that an Agile Transformation was about teaching people the principles, practices, and mindset of an Agile organization. While principles, practices, and mindset are incredibly important; they are insufficient for successfully orchestrating a transformation at scale. Everything about agile assumes that you have complete cross-functional teams, clearly articulated and strategically aligned backlogs, and the ability to produce a working, tested increment of software at the end of every sprint. This begs the question… what do you do if you don’t?
Over the past 10 years of helping orchestrate some of the largest agile transformation in the world, we’ve come to learn that the real work of an agile transformation is about creating the conditions for agile principles, practices, and mindset to take hold. In the small, it’s about how you form teams, how you build backlogs, and how you produce working tested software. In the large, it’s about creating a team based organizational structure, and agile governance framework, and metrics which support, enable, and reward delivering with agility. It’s about having a plan for what to do with dependencies, and more importantly, how are we going to break them.
Creating the conditions for agile to thrive, is as much about refactoring the organizational architecture as it is about refactoring the technical architecture. What compensating controls do we put in place while we are dealing with dependencies, and how to dismantle those controls once the dependencies are broken. It’s about having a clearly articulate end-state and a tightly orchestrated and funded plan for how you are going to get there. It’s about enlisting key stakeholders, aligning the enterprise, defining and end-state vision, a roadmap, and a credible plan that will move the organization forward with a high degree of certainty.
This talk will explore several models for how to think about defining your organizational end-state, how to break big organizations into smaller groupings of teams, and how to put together a credible and accountable plan for stewarding the organizational as it moves ever closer to greater business agility.
- Four quadrants