Steps to Invigorate Your Agile Transformation

It’s been a little more than 18 months since we initially launched our Agile transformation and 9 months since we formally moved from being project-based, siloed, and process heavy to become product-focused, collaborative, and agile.  We have made incredible strides throughout our transformation and have countless success stories from our journey – however – we are definitely still evolving as an organization. Every day provides new opportunities to learn and grow but every day also presents opportunities for a little complacency or regression to set in.

To continue evolving positively, here are a couple of things we will be doing to keep up our momentum:

Bring Back The Transformation Team.  When we first launched our transformation, we started with a small team, the guiding coalition as John Kotter would say, to get things started on our change journey.  They assessed the current situation, determined our initial core values and principles, and created the first draft of our Agile framework.  It’s time to bring a new version of this team back together for a period to do another assessment, affirm the values and principles, and propose additional refinements to the framework based on the progress we have made to date.  A fresh perspective could be just what’s needed to continue our advancement.

Address Real (and Possibly Nagging) Issues. Based on their assessment, leverage the transformation team to pinpoint the areas that still needs work or attention.  With some experience under our belt, many pain points should be readily apparent such as silo remnants that have not been fully cleaned up or other areas within the company who have not yet made the transition to Agile. Also, how is leadership doing with all this change? Have they fully embraced the concept of self-governing and self-accountable teams? If not, now may be the time them to work with them to establish a few Agile Leadership Principles to help guide their decision-making. Wherever and whatever they are, relentlessly seek out areas causing pain in the value stream and address them.

Notch Up the Discipline Around Following The Framework – Just a Bit.  It may be time to have the Scrum Master remind the team to be mindful of Scrum mechanics and coach the team in areas where they can improve. This is especially true if retrospectives are bringing up the same issues sprint after sprint without meaningful change. Perhaps there continues to be story hang-over or daily scrums have become disorganized and lengthy. Maybe user stories and acceptance criteria are not as crisp as they should be causing the team to struggle to live into their sprint commitments. The excitement and energy that comes from a team in flow is contagious so persistence is key to keeping them there.

Ramp Up the Celebrations. Spend a little cash and find something to celebrate…there is always something to celebrate! Take pride in all of the work and energy spent on your transformation so far!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Steps to Invigorate Your Agile Transformation

  1. Bring back the Transformation Team can help check in to see where you are and hold your feet to the fire. When we went through a similar transformation it was helpful to have a few people from the outside review and assess things. Your link to John Kotter’s site is not working correctly.

    Great post Len!


    Tom Henricksen