REX by Szergej Nemcsenko, Agile Coach, Scrum & Kanban Master
"I would like to share with you my recent amazing experience of team- and organisation-transformation which generated appreciable business and human results.
Moreover, it helped me to specify my professional mission and to test the advices of several very smart Agile Coaches. For example, Mike Cohn, Allan Kelly and Matthias Patzak. You will find a few useful links bellow. Please, feel free to share your feedback and advice in comments.
My current professional mission (Scrum Master / Agile Coach) is to support an organization to transform/improve its internal culture and processes around IT development on the way that this organization conquers/develops the market quicker, more efficient, and less expensive.
This successful experience gained during such transformation consists of 3 following phases.
The first phase was an adjustment of the basic processes, experimentation and setup of best Agile tools and approaches in the scope of the team. During this phase, my focus was rambling between the following areas: mid-term business vision, business analysis, UX, technical excellence (craftsmanship), DevOps and support. Moreover, it's was almost always necessary to ensure/foster the additional development of the classical Agile soft skills: self-organization, proactivity, positive mindset, transparency, experimentation, focus on the highest priority and simplicity. As a result, our teams increased the productivity and significantly reduced the "time-to-market". This step can take between 0.5 and 1 year depending on the initial maturity, process- and technical-debts. If you have the similar situation, I do really advise to refer to the MountainGoat's blog.
The second phase has started after the high and stable productivity and quality was already achieved. It was the phase of the business impact increasing. We started with clarifying the business needs of every business request: why do we want to deliver it to the customer and how we can measure/quantify (!) the success. It was a real mind-shift for the PO, BA and stakeholders to be able to measure the business value of the feature in numbers. It took a few months before the team started to measure it. At the same time, we adjusted the product from the technical point of view, to be able to provide such kind of measurement for every new feature. During this phase the most helpful source of inspiration became for me #NoProjects and Allan's blog. The following quote reflects the required mindset: “As a general rule of thumb, when benefits are not quantified at all, assume there aren't any” .
During the third phase we switched to the advanced level of the organizational transformation. It started as soon as we were able to identify and provide clear measurement of the business impact. The evidence-based planning and management have been done by the team, top-management, and the relevant business representatives. Starting from this maturity level, our organisation was doing the actions which were even impossible to imagine before: business change planning, business-deployment control, and business efficiency of new features measurement. It was a new level of team's “mindfulness”. As a result, our impact on the business significantly increased. The presentation “Strategic Portfolio Management with Kanban” from Matthias Patzak helped me to clarify our process for myself.
So, what's the next? I have some ideas, but it has not been tested by me yet. Due to some external reasons, I switched from this product & team to a new one. So, we started the same "journey" from the beginning 🙂 But now, our environment is more complicated: 5 feature-teams, team-members from Western, Central and Eastern Europe, an outdated code and processes in IT- and business-departments, several “walls” between the teams, etc.
Thanks for your attention and feel free to share your experience of Agile transformation."