Evidently it’s been an immense challenge for people introducing agility in large organisations, assessing the gap and need, many frameworks have been emerged and the most popular ones as you know are SAFe, LeSS, DAD, Spotify etc.. In my opinion all frameworks are good for the fact that they create hope for these organisations to discover and practice value driven initiatives as oppose to traditional sequential project based approach which is more prevalent because of the organisational system anchored over years.
Yes, you hear me right, if you peep into the operations every organisation has their own system and it exists parallel to the culture, sometimes the system itself is the culture. Whoever joins the company automatically inherits and becomes a part of it. The more they settle they become one of the roots. Just like any government organisations, they have lobbyists, committees, advisory boards etc. Similarly every large company or corporate has their own set.
Below are few key things I believe and practice to cope up as a Coach, Delivery lead, Scrum Master or a team member. I try to encourage agility within my vicinity in the similar environments I get to work with.
Create Partnerships: To build the engagement working with cross functional teams you are bound to come across roles that can create blockers for your swift delivery. Make them them a part of team change, bring them to your team ceremonies. Kickoff the initiative inviting all required influential people that would have input or contributions to the delivery. Meeting one-on-one with important people seeking feedback and giving updates ahead of time has always helped building long term Partnerships.
Master yourself on teaching: While building partnerships you need to allow them to learn the new way of working or doing things, take an opportunity to express and connect to the principles of agility and how they help to better understand situation and set the purpose.Embed value based conversations while focused on business outcomes.
Keep stakeholders informed: In my experience the last thing that the stakeholders want to know are the surprises, believe in them, they are real people with more responsibility, they are very much interested to know where the spend is going and if that is meeting the overall outcome for business strategy. Engage them and create a cadence for regular updates that will enable them to make informed decisions on the impediments, blockers issues and risks.
Uphold the team morale: Choose motivated individuals to begin with your journey towards agility. If teams are happy and have autonomy to solve the problems, they will innovate and produce better and desirable outcomes with ownership and accountability.
Organisational Conflicts of interest: There will be frictions for continuous flow, manoeuvre it and identify one or two areas of improvement, every time you hit the road block.Use ‘Value Stream Mapping’ to identify delays, it helps to analyse the time consuming activities in the flow, also can use Lean, Kaizen approaches for the same.
Find the moderators: Not everyone on the journey will be on board. as per HBR blog on uncertainty, in regards to changing the mindset in not so interested or enthusiast people, you need to channelise it through your trusted moderators, they are the people who understands the value and importance of your transformation approach, seek their help to become the bridge and try closing the gaps.
Generate interest on their teams, help them to get their things sorted with agility. Let them realise the value in it, that will be time consuming but the word will start spreading across.
Shri is an agilist working as a Scrum Master and agile coach, passionate about bringing people together for a purpose to work as one unit right from forming till performing. Focused to deliver customer eccentric business outcomes. Also a critical thinker to tailor solutions within given constraints utilising the goodies of agile way of doing things. Lean thinker. Love the concept of fail fast, learn and move on to build solutions. Also a believer in People being the most essential part of the whole equation in building products.
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