That First Big Step Toward Agile

Your development team may be ready, but is your organization?

It is not a huge step to get a development team up to speed, and training a Scrum Master is doable, even appointing a Product Owner, but is your organization ready and able to contribute in the way it needs to?

Your Scrum team isn’t the first step in adopting Agile or Scrum.

Is your Project Manager, PMP and all, ready to relinquish some of her control?  Tasks are no longer centrally assigned, instead the team needs to be empowered to assume the helm as far as choosing tasks and taking them to completion and sign-off.

And maybe Payroll doesn’t change much, but what about Purchasing?  Can they turn around buying the software tools that will really enable a team to track their project and progress?  In just one Sprint?

And does the Product Owner really own the product?  Can he really pull the plug on a project gone awry?  Can he help define “done” and sign off on a Sprint’s Potentially Shippable Increment?

Senior Management needs to be on board for a (possibly radically) different development methodology.  Agile means just-in-time requirements, planning and development.  No more massive Waterfall project steps.  All of the questions are just-in-time too and there’s the whole concept of “barely adequate” that scares the be-jeebers out of traditional managers.

Gearing up an Agile team is putting the cart before the horse if they don’t have an Agile-ready environment within an organization.  And who’s job is it to see that that environment comes to be?  The leadership may fall on the super-Scrum Master, but it is a company-wide initiative and needs company-wide participation under the direction of senior management and through the coaching of, well, an Agile coach.

So before you jump in with both feet, build a solid foundation and set yourself up for success by taking it a piece at a time and learn not only by doing, but by planning across the organization.