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Beyond easy agile: How to overcome the challenges of adopting agile in established enterprises

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Many agile methods and strategies are geared towards small teams working in reasonably straightforward situations. That’s great work if you can get it. Most organizations that are adopting agile today have been in operations for decades and sometimes centuries. They are typically dealing with significant investments in legacy systems and processes that won’t go away any time soon. They have an existing culture that is usually not-as-agile as it could be and an organization structure that puts up many roadblocks to collaboration. Their staff members are often overly specialized and many people do not have skills in agile software development techniques, and there are many thoughts as to what needs to be done to improve things, the adoption of agile being one of many. This is certainly not the startup company environment that we keep hearing about.

The presentation reviews the challenges faced by established enterprises when transforming to agile and what enterprise agile means in practice. IT then overviews the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework, a pragmatic and context-sensitive approach to enterprise agile, working through how it addresses the realities faced by modern organizations. We then work through advice for transforming your enterprise to become more agile, including the people-process-tools triad and the skills and experience required of enterprise agile team coaches and executive agile coaches. We end with an overview of proven strategies for adopting agile in less-than-ideal environments

Publicado en: Software

Beyond easy agile: How to overcome the challenges of adopting agile in established enterprises

  1. 1. Beyond Easy Agile: How to Overcome the Challenges of Adopting Agile in Established Enterprises Scott W. Ambler Senior Consulting Partner scott [at] @scottwambler
  2. 2. We’re going to cover a lot of ground @scottwambler 2
  3. 3. Agenda •  What is easy agile? •  The challenges faced by established enterprises •  Enterprise agile in practice •  Pragmatic agile over purist agile •  The agile adoption triad •  Coaching in established enterprises •  Transitioning enterprise IT teams •  Parting thoughts @scottwambler 3
  4. 4. What is Easy Agile? The Mindset Perspective @scottwambler Agile Skeptics Agile Promoters Avoids Change Embraces Change 4 “Easy Agile” “Hard Agile”
  5. 5. What is Easy Agile? The Context Perspective •  “Easy agile” –  Small, near-located team –  Straight forward problem to solve –  “Whole team” with the authority and responsibility to succeed –  Technical environment is of reasonable (or better) quality –  Everyone works for the same organization •  “Hard agile” is when you’re dealing with one or more of –  Geographically distributed teams –  Large teams –  Complex problem to solve –  Team depends on other teams to succeed –  Technical environment is complex –  People work for different organizations, often with competing goals @scottwambler 5
  6. 6. The Challenges Faced by Established Enterprises@scottwambler 6
  7. 7. Every team interacts with, and affects, other teams @scottwambler Delivery Team A Delivery Team B Enterprise Architecture Operations Data Management 7
  8. 8. IT departments are multi-modal @scottwambler 8
  9. 9. Multi-Modal Delivery: Your Mix Evolves As You Improve @scottwambler 9
  10. 10. External challenges •  Digital transformation •  Pace of technical change •  Value streams are emerging, evolving, and disappearing •  Complexity •  Security threats •  Disruptive competitors •  Dramatic political changes •  Our customers expect to be delighted @scottwambler 10
  11. 11. Internal challenges •  Digital transformation •  Organizational structures •  Aging workforce •  Organizational silos •  Alignment between business and IT •  Alignment within IT •  Alignment between IT and funding •  Staff retention •  Traditional cultures •  Waterfall governance •  Lack of stakeholder involvement •  Specialized staff •  Workspaces @scottwambler 11
  12. 12. Many Agile Delivery Teams Work at Scale •  26% of agile teams are more than 20 people •  71% of agile teams are geographically distributed in some way •  62% of agile teams are dealing with regulatory compliance •  78% of agile teams are working in medium to very complex domains •  93% of agile teams are working in technically challenging environments •  96% agile agile teams work with other teams in their organization •  58% are working on agile teams with non-FTEs involved •  17% of agile teams are working in an outsourcing situation @scottwambler Source: SA+A 2016 Agility at Scale Survey 12
  13. 13. Enterprise Agile in Practice @scottwambler 13
  14. 14. Teams are composed of unique individuals… @scottwambler 14
  15. 15. …and every team faces a unique situation Source: Team Size Two Hundreds Geographic Distribution Co-located Global Organizational Distribution Single division Outsourcing Compliance None Life critical Domain Complexity Straightforward Very complex Technical Complexity Straightforward Very complex @scottwambler 15
  16. 16. @scottwambler Every team approaches initial requirements differently Every team collaborates differently Every team approaches testing differently Every team needs different kinds of help from other teams Every team approaches deployment differently Implications: •  Prescriptive, easy agile “cookbook approaches” won’t fit well •  Instead we must piece together the right strategies for the situation that we face 16 Context Counts
  17. 17. Every organization is unique @scottwambler 17
  18. 18. Strategic Agile : The Agile IT Department @scottwambler 18
  19. 19. Pragmatic agile over purist agile @scottwambler 19
  20. 20. Disciplined Agile (DA) is a context sensitive The DA framework is empirical: –  Originally based on observations from dozens of organizations world wide, and has evolved since then based on continuing observations –  Encapsulates inputs from hundreds of practitioners –  Hybrid framework that adopts proven ideas from many sources, including agile, lean, and traditional methods and frameworks –  Implements insights from industry research @scottwambler 20
  21. 21. Every delivery team will make their own process choices @scottwambler 21
  22. 22. @scottwambler 22 Goal: Address Changing Stakeholder needs
  23. 23. @scottwambler People ToolsProcess The Agile Adoption Triad 23
  24. 24. What Challenges Did You Face During Your Agile Adoption? Changing our business culture Adopting agile technical practices Changing our IT culture Using our existing tools in an agile manner Adopting new agile development tools Adopting agile management practices @scottwambler Source: SA+A 2014 Agile Adoption Survey Most Difficult Least Difficult 24
  25. 25. How Important Were These Issues During Your Agile Adoption? Changing our business culture Adopting agile management practices Changing our IT culture Adopting agile technical practices Adopting new agile development tools Using our existing tools in an agile manner @scottwambler Source: SA+A 2014 Agile Adoption Survey Most Important Least Important 25
  26. 26. Transition Factors: Focus of Effort @scottwambler People 80-85% Individuals and interactions: People evolve to an agile mindset, learn new skills, and adopt improved collaboration strategies Process 5-10% Adopt new practices and techniques at the team, department, and organizational levels Tools 5-10% Adopt new tools, adopt new ways to use some existing tools, and abandon some existing tools 26
  27. 27. Transition Factors: Transition Strategies @scottwambler People Process Tools Teams don’t understand how agile fits together, nor the implications of their actions Cargo cult agile layered on top of your existing processes Overly complex “standardized” agile Cargo cult agile with “standardized” automated bureaucracy Agile kids playing with shiny new toys Teams of agile zealots working in small rooms Disciplined agile teams capable of working at scale 27
  28. 28. Coaching in an Established Enterprise @scottwambler 28
  29. 29. The Usual Transformation Strategy @scottwambler Dev Team 1 Dev Team 2 Dev Team 3 Dev Team 4 The Plan: Dev Team N … Dev Team 1 Dev Team 2 Dev Team 3 Dev Team 4 What Happens: Fail 29
  30. 30. An Enterprise Aware Transformation Strategy @scottwambler Dev Team 1 Dev Team 2 Dev Team 3 Dev Team 4 Dev Team N … Enterprise Architecture Information Management IT Governance … 30
  31. 31. Types of Coaches •  Team coaches –  Help delivery teams to be agile and to practice agile –  5+ years of agile experience •  Specialized coaches –  Work with non-delivery teams or niche delivery teams to be agile and to practice agile –  5+ years of agile experience, 5+ years of experience in the specialized area •  Executive coaches –  “Go to person” when other coaches run into problems outside their scope of influence –  Help business and IT executives to be agile and to lead agile –  10+ years of agile experience, 10+ years of enterprise experience @scottwambler 31
  32. 32. @scottwambler 32
  33. 33. Transitioning Enterprise IT Teams @scottwambler 33
  34. 34. Challenge: Our “Bodies of Knowledge” Aren’t Compatible IT Activity Bodies of Knowledge Development The Agile Canon Project Management PMI PMBoK, Prince2 IT Governance COBiT Enterprise Architecture TOGAF, Zachman, IASA, DODAF… Data Management DAMA Quality Various ISO specifications Business Analysis IIBA BABoK Operations ITIL @scottwambler 34
  35. 35. Challenge: We Have Different Priorities IT Activity Priorities Development Build great solutions Project Management Deliver solutions on time and budget IT Governance Ensure people do the right thing Enterprise Architecture Guide the enterprise long term Data Management Get the right data to the right people Quality Verify and validate the right solution is delivered Business Analysis Identify stakeholder needs Operations Run the IT ecosystem @scottwambler 35
  36. 36. Challenge: We Have Different Attitudes Towards Agile @scottwambler Agile Skeptics Agile Promoters Avoids Change Embraces Change Operations Enterprise architects Data management Quality assurance Project Managers Developers IT Governance Business analysts IT Executives Business Executives Finance 36
  37. 37. Implication: You require different coaching strategies @scottwambler Agile Skeptics Agile Promoters Avoids Change Embraces Change Show you understand their issues Show you understand their issues and that you know how to their job more effectively 37 Show them new ways Show you understand their issues
  38. 38. @scottwambler 38
  39. 39. Strategies for Enterprise Agile Transformation 1.  Accept the situation that you actually face 2.  Stop looking for easy, prescriptive answers 3.  Look beyond software development 4.  Be prepared to scale agile tactically and strategically 5.  Address people, process and tooling simultaneously – But focus on making your people awesome 6.  Evolve enterprise IT teams in parallel with delivery teams 7.  Adopt a comprehensive approach to coaching 8.  Recognize that transformation is a journey, not a destination @scottwambler 39
  40. 40. Got Discipline? @scottwambler 40
  41. 41. Additional Slides @scottwambler 41
  42. 42. Adopting Agile Across an Organization @scottwambler Grass Roots Adoption Concern Management: Practitioners: Supported Adoption Support Adopted Supported Adoption Wave 0: •  The fact that people want to improve their productivity is a great thing •  Part of the panic results from a lack of understanding of disciplined agile Wave 1: 3-6 months •  Start with an assessment to determine where you are •  Run one or more pilot projects •  Learn from your experiences to tailor strategy for next wave of rollout Wave 2: 2-5 years (or more) •  Adopt agile across more and more teams as your resources permit •  Provide training, mentoring, and coaching to everyone who needs it •  Some people will be very threatened by agile and will need more help •  Be flexible - Individuals learn at different rates and ways 0 1 2 42
  43. 43. Scaling Agile Tactically @scottwambler Agile •  Construction focus •  Value driven lifecycle •  Self-organizing teams •  Prescriptive •  Project team aware Tactical Agility at Scale Disciplined agile delivery with one or more scaling factors: §  Large teams §  Geographically distributed teams §  Compliance §  Domain complexity §  Technical complexity §  Organizational distribution Disciplined Agile Delivery •  Delivery focus •  Risk-value driven lifecycle •  Self-organization with appropriate governance •  Goal driven •  Enterprise aware 43
  44. 44. Strategic: The Agile IT Department @scottwambler 44
  45. 45. Scott Ambler + Associates is the thought leader behind the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) framework and its application. We are an IT management consulting firm that advises organizations to be more effective applying disciplined agile and lean processes within the context of your business. Our website is We can help @scottwambler 45
  46. 46. Tactical vs. Strategic Scaling Tactical Agility at Scale The application of agile and lean strategies on IT delivery teams. This includes the ability to apply agile on teams of all sizes, on teams that are geographically distributed, on teams facing regulatory compliance, on teams addressing a complex domain (problem space), on teams applying a complex technologies, on teams where outsourcing may be involved, and combinations thereof. Strategic Agility at Scale The application of agile and lean strategies across your entire organization. From an IT point of view this includes the majority, if not all, of your IT delivery teams as well as a the IT-level teams support activities such as enterprise architecture, operations, support, portfolio management, IT governance, and other topics. From an enterprise point of view this includes all divisions and teams within your organization, not just your IT department. @scottwambler 46
  47. 47. What Scaling Factors Do Software Development Teams Face? 61% 48% 61% 92% 68% 43% 78% 37% 42% 88% 64% 45% Geographically Distributed Team Size > 10 Complex Domain Complex Technology Organizationally Distributed Compliance 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Non-Agile Teams Agile Teams Source: DDJ State of the IT Union 2014 Q2 Survey @scottwambler 47
  48. 48. Basic/Agile Lifecycle A full Scrum-based agile delivery lifecycle. @scottwambler 48
  49. 49. Exploratory “Lean Startup” Lifecycle Sometimes it takes time to identify what your stakeholders actually need @scottwambler 49
  50. 50. Lean Lifecycle A full lean delivery lifecycle @scottwambler 50
  51. 51. Lean Continuous Delivery Lifecycle Your evolutionary end goal? @scottwambler 51
  52. 52. Shuhari and Disciplined Agile Certification At the shu stage you are beginning to learn the techniques and philosophies of disciplined agile development. Your goal is to build a strong foundation from which to build upon. At the ha stage you reflect upon and question why disciplined agile strategies work, seeking to understand the range of strategies available to you and when they are best applied. At the ri stage you seek to extend and improve upon disciplined agile techniques, sharing your learnings with others. @scottwambler 52
  53. 53. Scrum Extreme Programming LeanKanban DAD is a Hybrid Framework Unified Process Agile Modeling Agile Data“Traditional”Outside In Dev. DevOps …and more DAD leverages proven strategies from several sources, providing a decision framework to guide your adoption and tailoring of them in a context-driven manner. SAFe @scottwambler 53
  54. 54. Disciplined Agilists Take a Goal Driven Approach Goal Factor Advantages Disadvantages Considerations * Option Default Option * Explore the Initial Scope Form the Initial Team Address Changing Stakeholder Needs Source Team size Team structure Team members Geographic distribution Supporting the team Availability Indicates a preference for the options towards the top Co-located Partially dispersed Fully dispersed Distributed subteams @scottwambler 54
  55. 55. Governance is Built Into DAD •  Governance strategies built into DAD: –  Risk-value lifecycle –  Light-weight milestone reviews –  “Standard” opportunities for increased visibility and to steer the team provided by agile –  Enterprise awareness –  Robust stakeholder definition @scottwambler 55
  56. 56. Would You Like This Presented to Your Organization? Contact us at @scottwambler 56