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Scrum Day India 2019 - The illusion of agility

At the 2019 edition of the Scrum Day India event in Gurugram on 20 July, Gunther Verheyen reflected on his observations of the illusion of agility. He shared how to overcome this illusion of agility that many organizations get stuck in.

Agility is why organizations adopt Scrum. The agility an organization demonstrates outward is not just a result of their product delivery process, but also a function of its internal structures. Many ‘Agile transformations’ are limited to just creating more Agile teams, without touching the overarching structures. Scrum is often twisted to fit the old processes and structures, and its potential for deep improvement and creating a future-proof organization is lost. No more than an illusion of agility is created. What if rather than just complaining and mocking over this finding, we would see it as an invitation to re-imagine our Scrum, as a good way to start re-emerging our organizations?

As an independent Scrum Caretaker Gunther helps organizations re-imagine their Scrum to re-emerge their organizational structures, and thus increase their agility. Gunther consolidated over a decade of experience, ideas, beliefs and observations of Scrum in re.vers.ify. Re.vers.ify is an act of simplicity, rhythm and focus. It is a narrative showing a path, rather than predicting an outcome.

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Scrum Day India 2019 - The illusion of agility

  1. 1. “Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined.” Albert Camus - The myth of Sisyphus
  2. 2. 2© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee My personal compass Throughout the years I have discovered I prefer ideas and ideals over positions and titles. It helped me realize I value independence and freedom of thought over corporate and commercial structures. Rather than regretting or mourning the consequences, I aspire embracing them. I don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.
  3. 3. Gunther Verheyen, Ullizee-Inc Scrum. Connector, writer, speaker, humaniser. The illusion of Agility An invitation to re-imagine your Scrum Gunther Verheyen Scrum Day India 20 July 2019
  4. 4. The illusion of agility Opening of Scrum Day India Gunther Verheyen Scrum Day India 20 July 2019
  5. 5. 5© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee The reality of many organizations (a dysfunctional mess)
  6. 6. 6© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee When waking up to the complexity, fierce competitiveness and unpredictability of today’s markets: “We need an Agile transformation !” We were (are) not organized for complexity
  7. 7. 7© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Combined with: • Lack of team spaces • Team instability • Meeting culture • Delivery / deadline pressure • Regular waves of lay-offs The reality of many Agile transformations A gateway into the domain of… “Catastrophy”.
  8. 8. 8© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee More Agile teams does not make a more Agile organization ??? !!!
  9. 9. 9© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee It is not a transformation if it doesn’t change how you work. It is not an Agile transformation if it doesn’t simplify how you work. It is not an Agile transformation with Scrum if people don’t collaborate. Three indicators to detect the illusion of agility
  10. 10. However… “Inspectionwithout adaptation is pointless inScrum. An act of futility.”
  11. 11. 11© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee All things ‘Agile’ start and end with… people. What the Agile Manifesto says “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
  12. 12. 12© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Agile premises to any Agile transformation People are naturally Agile (adaptive). Process follows people’s natural agility. Structure follows process.
  13. 13. “All models are wrong, even the ones that are right. Some are just more wrong than others.” Gunther Verheyen
  14. 14. 14© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Re-imagine your Scrum • Define your product (or select another meaningful initiative) – Slice if too BIG • Re-imagine your Scrum for the selected initiative/slice: – Use Product Backlog as the single plan – Reset your accountabilities: • Product Owner • Scrum Master • Development Team(s) – Facilitate with tools, infrastructure and a team zone • Create sashimi releases – Through a controlled and automated deployment pipeline Repeat
  15. 15. 15© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Re-imagine your Scrum • Define your product (or select another meaningful initiative) – Slice if too BIG • Re-imagine your Scrum for the selected initiative/slice: – Use Product Backlog as the single plan – Reset your accountabilities: • Product Owner • Scrum Master • Development Team(s) – Facilitate with tools, infrastructure and a team zone • Create sashimi releases – Through a controlled and automated deployment pipeline Repeat Warning! Expect the need to repair: • Funding & finance • Resource allocation • HR procedures • Relationships with product management • … as you progress.
  16. 16. 16© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Firm up your agility Un-growth Following the findings of "The new new product development game”: Teams operate like start-ups, setting their own agenda and taking their own initiatives. Management acts as a venture capitalist, not intervening on a daily base but rather providing guidance, money, and moral support at the outset.
  17. 17. Engagement is key Closing of Scrum Day India Gunther Verheyen Scrum Day India 20 July 2019
  18. 18. 18© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee A trap for start-ups Why ‘grow’ like this?
  19. 19. 19© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee The industrial paradigm The shift that is happening The Agile paradigm !!!
  20. 20. 20© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Agility Path ‘Empirical Management’ Value
  21. 21. 21© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee Employees who are engaged actually care a lot more about customer outcomes and profitability. Team engagement, the untapped potential (Source: Gallup – State of the global workplace (2017) India: 13 % - 65% - 22%
  22. 22. “The future state of Scrum will nolongerbe called ‘Scrum’. What we now call Scrum will have becomethe norm,and organizations have re-emerged aroundit.” Source: Gunther Verheyen, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)”, 2nd edition, 2013-2019
  23. 23. 23© 2003-2019 Gunther Verheyen – Ullizee-Inc, - @Ullizee About Gunther Verheyen independent Scrum Caretaker • eXtreme Programming and Scrum since 2003 • Professional Scrum Trainer since 2011 • Shepherded Professional Scrum at Scrum.org and co- created Agility Path, EBMgt, the Nexus framework for Scaled Professional Scrum (2013-2016) • Author of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” (“Scrum Wegwijzer”, “Scrum Taschenbuch”, “Scrum – Um Guia de Bolso”) Mail gunther.verheyen@mac.com Twitter @Ullizee Blog http://guntherverheyen.com

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