Agile Methodology – webinar wastefulness and cultural shifts

07.09.2011 1

My Team Lead and I just sat through 70% of a webinar and opted out early.  The subject was supposed to be about scaling organizational change around Agile Methodology, which was exciting for us as we’re right in the middle of creating a cultural shift in our organization.

We have embarked on a path to firm up our agile processes and provide accountability right from the product owner down to the individual coder.  We’re keen on entrenching good methods and process because we’ve got big plans and want  to establish “how we do it!”  This is part of bigger plans  that we have for implementing test driven development and paired programming – the company is maturing!

What we found was a webinar that pointed us to reading cultural theories by well-published management authors.  The take-aways before opting out were: respect team members, don’t let anyone on the team talk trash, and try to provide enabling challenges.  None of those are bad ideas, but where’s the hands-on practical experience and other inside tips that we should know and was hinted at in the webinar summary?  As we’re ramping up and putting components into place, I’m becoming more and more convinced that the key to implementing a cutlural shift around Agile are hands-on ideas like is this:

  1. Plan  - identify what you think you need to accomplish and then determine how you’re going to do it.
  2. Assign resources to the tasks in the plan.
  3. Work the plan.
  4. Meet daily so that you can be flexible with any road blocks.
  5. Have a show and tell at the end of the week where the team can review the successes for the last 4 days!  Have management attend so that they can see the results and keep the buy-in strong.

(sounds like a sprint, hmmm….)

Inside Tip:  Set office hours completely devoted for discussing any change induced worries that team members might be having.  Also, don’t talk trash and help each other get there.
Now if I was to package this and throw in a few war stories, I might have a webinar myself.  Hopefully with useful content!


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