GrowingAgilePractices2004 Identifying Ways to Promote a more Agile Workplace.
Combined Topics: Bringing Agile to the Organization
- How can you propagate Agile practices through a large organization?
- Initiating the change
Initiator: Chris Kelly, Wendy Ospina
- Chris Celsie: Pricewaterhouse Cooper,
- Eugene Zeozulya: Castle Frank Consulting,
- Brendon Melville,
- Michael Ben-David: Intelliware,
- Gil Bruza, Beverley Dawe: Bank of Montreal,
- Ross McKegney?: IBM,
- Fernando Quenca: Intelli Gauge,
- Satish Vangipurom: Travelex,
- Chris Savage: Economical Insurance,
- Deborah Hartmann: Trader Media
Initial Question: What is Agile?
Summary: Refer to hand out that outlines Agile Manifesto, etc.
Large production Software is often big and takes a long time to run tests on. This makes it tough to integrate continuously. It may take a long time to run the build and test cycle.
Generally, it seems like most Agile practices are in companies that are small. This would offer more of a "Flat" organizational structure that would make it easier to implement Agile practices. This is different from Hierarchical organizations. These organizations tend to have more politics, baggage, and would focus on individual (as opposed to group) accountability that are more about politics. These values differ from Agile values.
Thus, is Agile a cultural problem? How should Agile practice propagation be approached: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? Also, there are different areas of an organization such as requirements, development and testing. Which area should we start at? Does it matter?
Management at higher levels could be a problem. Management that is more "old school" in their thinking/methodologies will be a tough sell, if you can sell them at all. They tend to prefer the current way of doing things (the Path of Least Resistance.)
Management can be a victim of the process itself. The Waterfall model can set Managers/Teams? up for goals that can't possibly be achieved. Agile could be pitched as a way to beat the process.
When introducing Agile processes, they must begin at a lower level but not necessarily the lowest. It is possible that it could start at a high management level that notices the problem since they're likely to be more open to the solution.
Also, requirements are often a big problem. If requirements are bad, then it will be hard to break them down and do something meaningful with them. In essence, you're doomed.
Conclusions / Proposals / Actions:
- Agile needs to begin its implementation at your level. However, it would be VERY helpful to have a champion above you in the food chain to support you. (E.g. If you're a developer implementing the practices but your Manager doesn't buy in, it could be tough to accomplish your goals.) Also, there should likely be someone within the team that champions the ideas. (E.g. If you're a Manager that would like your team to be Agile, you're more likely to be successful if someone on the team buys into your ideas.)
- A Champion should attempt to gather meaningful feedback from Customers so that they can support their positions.
- It would be helpful to break the software into components in order to de-couple groups. This would allow some groups to be Agile outside of the rest of the groups in the Organization. The Agile teams would require a good cross section of skills. These groups could be examples to others within the organization.
- A manager should be the Blocker to buffer the team from the outside world to allow them to be agile. Then, let the results speak for themselves. Good results will allow the practices to bubble up/across the organization.
- If a project is in trouble, it could be useful to bring an Agile consultant in from outside in order to facilitate change and to provide credibility to Agile practices.
- It could be useful to include developers in the requirements gathering process. Many requirements are poorly written and developers could offer a new perspective and help to improve the requirements themselves.
- MANAGEMENT NEEDS TO TRUST THEIR WORKERS AND THAT THEY'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING!
- TODO: Need to add a place on the Web where Canadian Agile Consultants can advertise their services so that if people need help from an outside source, they know where to go.
- Do we have a volunteer to approach agilenetwork.ca to see if they are interested to host this on their wiki? --DeborahHartmann
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