agile transition

Articles

Man doing martial arts routine on the beach Agile Shu-Ha-Ri for Business Innovation

The learning pattern Shu-Ha-Ri—originally from the Japanese martial art aikido—has been adapted to apply to agile adoption, with the three levels sometimes interpreted as imitate, assimilate, and innovate. However, it is easy to oversimplify Shu-Ha-Ri, which can slow or halt your agile adoption. Agile is not just another process—it requires changes to our mindsets. Here's how to approach this as a cycle of learning.

Daryl  Kulak's picture Daryl Kulak Hong Li
Barriers in front of a road It's Not Just Culture: When Teams Impede Agile Adoption

Cultural norms can hamper successful agile transformation. Many of these habits and customs are started and perpetuated by senior leadership, but that’s not always the only source of resistance. Often, ingrained behaviors and thinking can occur within the team, including business partners, that also can hinder agility. Five of these barriers are explored here, as well as mindset antidotes to help get the team on the road to agile success.

Joe Schofield's picture Joe Schofield
Cars speeding down a highway Accelerated Quality Using Agile

One of the huge benefits of agile is improved or increased quality. However, many newly agile teams report their product quality decreasing at the rate at which delivery is increasing. Leanne Howard has some solutions for these teams, including making quality everyone's responsibility and embracing a shift-left mentality. To get accelerated quality in your agile initiatives, you have to truly be agile.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
Horse leaping over a barricade Countering 5 Barriers to Enterprise Organizational Agility

Many now recognize that organizational agility is critical to business success, but historical patterns of resistance still abound. Before you can change work processes, you should first tackle the traditional mindsets that can pose challenges to the transformation. Here are five traditional behaviors that impede agility, as well as some actions you can take to counter them by changing the corporate mindset.

Joe Schofield's picture Joe Schofield

Better Software Magazine Articles

Cover of the Summer 2018 issue of Better Software magazine Great Big Agile: An OS for Agile Leaders

Following agile ceremonies may make an organization feel good, but that’s only a start. “Great big agile” requires leadership at all levels to focus on self-organization and empowerment as a universal framework.

Jeff Dalton's picture Jeff Dalton
DevOps and the Culture of Code DevOps and the Culture of Code

Migrating an organization to continuous integration requires adoption new processes, tools, and automation. DevOps relies on dramatic culture change to encourage total transparency and collaboration among all project stakeholders.

Patrick Turner's picture Patrick Turner
Agile Outside the Development Team Agile outside the Development Team

Most developers have tough encounters with business-oriented nondevelopers. An expert business analyst shows how an understanding of each others’ perspective will result in project success.

Ron Healy's picture Ron Healy
How Agile Has Shrunk Documentation How Agile Has Shrunk Documentation

Agile teams enjoy focusing their time on product features while keeping documentation to a minimum. But every team needs to consider what documentation is really needed. How much is enough?

Sandeep Maher's picture Sandeep Maher

Interviews

Wilson Mar Retooling and Retraining in the Era of AI: An Interview with Wilson Mar

Wilson Mar, systems architect at McKinsey & Company, discusses the age of AI, saying the best way to stay with the times is to be a risk-taker and a nonconformist. He talks about who the modern Luddites are and says companies need to recognize and accept different modes of communication in order to keep jobs in a time when technology is taking over.

 
Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
8 Ways to Ruin Your One-on-Ones: An Interview with Jason Wick
Video

In this interview, Jason Wick, senior manager at MakeMusic, discusses his STAREAST presentation about eight ways you could be making your one-on-one meetings completely useless. He discusses in depth what he feels is the number one way to ruin these meetings: holding back on feedback. He also offers advice on how you can educate your team leader to avoid the pitfalls that lead to ineffective one-on-ones.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Agile Transformation 101: A Conversation with Adam Auerbach
Video

Adam Auerbach, VP of Quality Engineering at EPAM Systems, chats with TechWell Community Manager Owen Gotimer about how an inexperienced team can start its agile transformation, the value of stand-ups and retrospectives, and how to make remote teams feel more connected.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer
Bob Galen Strategic Leadership in Agile: An Interview with Bob Galen
Video

In this interview, Bob Galen, principal agile coach at Vaco Agile, talks about the importance of getting rid of silos by breaking down the barriers of “them and us” and becoming “we.” He also discusses the need for agile managers to steer away from a tactical management view toward a more strategic leadership view. That means leading their teams by setting expectations and guidelines and being available to help if needed, but ultimately just trusting their teams to get the job done.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West See the Forest, Not Just the Trees: Improving Quality and Flow in a Continuous Delivery World
Slideshow

There are many companies today implementing agile and DevOps practices, usually enabled by a microservices architecture. Most of them are focused on continuously delivering value to their customers within the boundary of a time-bound sprint. If you work at one of these companies or want to move in that direction, how does the quality delivered by your team today compare to in the past? Has it improved, stayed the same, or gotten worse? Are you actively using that data to improve quality? Join Ashwin Desai as he reviews how his company implemented a lean-based approach that allowed them to measure quality and flow. You will leave with an understanding of the measurements applicable to an agile organization implementing continuous delivery can be used to improve quality and reduce rework.

Ashwin Desai
Agile DevOps West Follow the Money: How to Talk to Executives about Agile
Slideshow

When agile transformations fail, many agilists blame their executives for not caring about or understanding agile. However, few people focus on the different languages that IT and business people speak, and the different outcomes that both sides desire. Rather than blaming each other, what is needed is more empathy for the results that others care about and more understanding of the languages that others speak. Steven Granese will share his stories from working with executives while leading their agile transformations. He will describe how to explain agile using the language of executives: business outcomes and financial results. You will leave with a new appreciation for communicating with executives. Get ready to realize that you've been advocating for and evangelizing agile all wrong!

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Steven Granese
Agile DevOps West Reality-Driven Testing in Agile Projects
Slideshow

Many agile teams rework previously deployed stories, even after plenty of in-sprint testing. Even well-groomed, refined stories, framed with typical, alternate, and error scenarios and gracefully described in well-formed Gherkin, continue to encounter all sorts of bugs. Software engineering consultant Rob Sabourin sees rework in over 20 percent of deployed stories, but he can show you how agile teams can drive rework down dramatically, often achieving near-zero rework after a story is done. Rob teaches teams to identify and implement relevant testing activities above and beyond those derived from well-formed requirements. He seeks out testing ideas relevant to what is really being changed in the technological solution, finds ideas based on what the user actually does in the workplace, and discovers rich test ideas based on the target environments.

Robert Sabourin
Agile DevOps West The Hard Part of Every Agile Transformation
Slideshow

When it comes to an agile transformation, going through the motions of adopting a new set of attitudes, processes, and behaviors at the team level is easy. The hard part is building the enabling structures that allow agile to thrive, aligning the flow of work, measuring progress based on outcomes, and achieving communicable results that will resonate with stakeholders. This talk will cover the hard part. Mike Cottmeyer will explore the economic rationale behind going agile, considerations that will drive your organization’s change approach, what the fundamentals of an agile ecosystem look like, and the organizational patterns, governance models, and metrics necessary to establish that ecosystem.

Mike Cottmeyer

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