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Hands-on Agile: The Agility Assessment Framework Workshop

I. The Purpose of the Workshop:

A group of up to 20 people will dive deep into building a prototype of an agility assessment framework, aiming at shipping a prototype at end of the day.

II. The Intended Outcome:

The prototype shall support agile practitioners in assessing, for example:

• Whether an organization shall consider embarking on a journey to become agile?

• What level of agility might be suited for a specific organization?

• What may the return on investment of such a journey be?

• How an organization in transition may track progress over time.

The outcome of the workshop will be available to all participants — feel free to fork it for your purposes.

Hands-on Agile: The Agility Assessment Framework Workshop

  1. 1. The Agility Assessment Framework An Open Source Toolset for Agile Practitioners Workshop #1 v0.9 © Stefan Wolpers • Berlin, February 3rd, 2018
  2. 2. Twitter: #XAAF
  3. 3. The Overly Ambitious Agenda 10:00 Welcome 10:10 Impromptu networking: Who are you and why are you here? 10:30 Name game round #1 10:50 Framing the task: Is ‘Agile’ a fit for every organization? 11:30 User story mapping 12:30 Product backlog creation 12:50 Team set-up 13:00 Lunch 14:15 Name game round #2 14:30 Sprint 1 15:30 Sprint review 1 15:45 Sprint retrospective 1 16:00 Sprint 2 17:00 Sprint review 2 17:45 Sprint and overall retrospective 2 18:00 Farewell & clean-up
  4. 4. The Question
  5. 5. Can an organization make an informed decision on becoming agile in advance? The Question (2): In Other Words
  6. 6. TheQuestion(3): LateMajority&Laggards stefan@age-of-product.comSource: InfoQ
  7. 7. The Situation: Parachuting In Source: Nellis Air Force Base
  8. 8. Create a toolset that: • Comprises of surveys and questionnaires and • Enables a knowledgeable agile practitioner to • Answer ‘the question’ • In reasonable timeframe. The Task
  9. 9. Side Notes Framing the question: • No need to ‘sell agile’ to the organization, however, it is not yet agile. • What is a suitable level of agility for the aspiring organization? • From a happy agile engineering island to… • …the destination ‘Holacracy?’ • How to achieve agility: • By gradually changing the existing organization? • Or by starting over? (Greenfield approach.) • How much is the budget to become ‘agile?’ • What will the return on investment be? • What are the next steps?
  10. 10. A toolset to assess agility at team level. Out of Scope for Today stefan@age-of-product.comMore: 70-plus self-assessment tools curated by Ben Linders
  11. 11. Out of Scope for Today (2)
  12. 12. Out of Scope for Today (3)
  13. 13. Out of Scope for Today (4) A toolset to assess the progress of an organization during a transition.
  14. 14. Out of Scope for Today (5) No longer imposing the factory model: • Taylorism • High upfront costs • Output focus • Utilization fetish • Functional silos Resilience: • Less fail-safe focus • Failure is an option • Rollbacks & CI/CD • Chaos monkey-ism Organizational Excellence Technical Excellence
  15. 15. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators
  16. 16. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators: The Survey (2) Four Survey Questions: 1. What factors contribute to a team’s growing maturity in agile practices? 2. What maturity levels do you see at a team level? 3. What factors contribute to becoming an ‘agile’ or a learning organization? 4. What maturity levels do you see at an organizational level? Responses: 86
  17. 17. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (3) Agility Indicators: 1. People: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose 2. Organizational Excellence 3. Technical Excellence 4. Communication & Collaboration
  18. 18. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (4): Organizational Excellence Culture: • Embrace and celebrate failure (Validate hypotheses by running experiments) • Curiosity as a norm • Undogmatic attitude, live Shu-Ha-Ri • Transparency: • Share information and data at all levels, • No more gated information or information brokers
  19. 19. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (5): Organizational Excellence Leadership: • Focus on innovation, quality and business value (No more HIPPOism.) • Supports of ‘agile’s way of working’ fully • Enforces ‘agile’ as the core of the company culture • Respect for roles, principles, and processes (The ‘real’ PO.)
  20. 20. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (6): Organizational Excellence Management: • Managers to servant leaders • Trust in people and teams • Provides tools and facilities necessary to become agile • Gemba and Kaizen become standard practices
  21. 21. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (7): Organizational Excellence Organizational design: • Abandon functional silos for cross-functional teams • Remove redundant middle management layers (Flatten the hierarchy) • No more command & control, compliance driven management • HR aligns with requirements of self-organizing teams • The organizations morphs into a team of teams
  22. 22. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (8): Organizational Excellence Clear objectives: • Shared vision among all actors • Clear strategy • Clear priorities
  23. 23. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (9): Organizational Excellence Business value focus: • Customer centricity mindset • Delivering business results • Shifting the IT focus business needs • From project budgets to product teams
  24. 24. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (10): Technical Excellence Engineering practices: • Built-in quality: • Code reviews • Test automation • Pair and mob programming • Practicing Scrum, Kanban, XP • Open sourcing code
  25. 25. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (11): Technical Excellence Release practices: • DevOps: CI, CD (Deployment at will) • Regular cadence of releases
  26. 26. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (12): Communication & Collaboration Trust & respect: • Benefit of the doubt for colleagues • Safety to disagree • Honesty • Candid peer feedback
  27. 27. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (13): Communication & Collaboration Conflict resolution: • Constructive disagreement: • Disgree but commit approach • No tyranny of compromise* • Non-violent communication Peter Drucker: “With strategy, one always makes compromises on implementation,” he wrote. “But one does not compromise on goals, does not pussy-foot around them, does not try to serve two masters.”
  28. 28. The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (14): Communication & Collaboration Collaboration: • Zero tolerance for political games • No scripted collaboration • No incentives to withhold knowledge (Or information.) • No finger-pointing, no blame-game
  29. 29. The Status Quo The Why & Who: • What are the reasons to become agile? • Become more efficient • Deliver more & faster • Improve predictability • War for talent • Outperforming competitors by creating learning organizations • Creating a great culture by providing room for autonomy, mastery and purpose • Mastering continuous product discovery & delivery • Minimizing risk, improving ROI • Who is the sponsor of the decision to become an agile organization?
  30. 30. The Status Quo (2) Organizational background: • Size • History • Culture • Non-profit & philantrophic • Engineering-focused • Sales-driven? • Market: • Legacy products • Innovator’s dilemma • Product life-cycle state of the cash-cows • Customer-base • Is the business regulated by law?
  31. 31. The Status Quo (3) Budgeting: • How is product development currently funded: • Projects/initiatives • Product teams? • What process is applied to funding: • Stage-gate model? • Who will control the budget for a transition? (CEO, CTO or COO/CFO?)
  32. 32. The Status Quo (4) Collaboration with product teams—How does it work now? • W/ business stakeholders • Among teams • W/ customers • W/ the management • W/ the leadership
  33. 33. The Status Quo (5) Nature of teams: • What is the outsourcing level; are there internal teams? • Team longevity: • Are teams funded or projects/initiatives? • Are team members assigned to teams randomly? • Are people simultaneously working on several project? • Are teams functional silos or cross-functional team? • Are teams co-located? • If not: are team members meeting regularly in person?
  34. 34. The Status Quo (6) Team building & hiring: • Hiring: • Are teams diverse? (Gender, age, religion, race etc.) • Peer recruiting of team members? • Are the teams selecting themselves? • Is HR is pursuing old-school career development? • Titles, certificates etc. • What about ‘autonomy, mastery, purpose?’ • What is the fluctuation rate: • Among teams? • Within the organization? • Freelancer vs. Employees relationship: • Are freelancers regarded as equals? • What is the ratio of freelancers to employees?
  35. 35. The Status Quo (7) Team management: • People management/team management: • Are people or teams micromanaged? • Detailed instruction what and how to do? • No trust in the capability of a team? • Management of teams by OKRs? • Do people have conflicting incentives with their teams’ objective? • How is failure handled? • Is a change of the incentive schemes planned? • WIIFM syndrome? • Is pursuing personal agendas or local optima lucrative?
  36. 36. The Status Quo (8) Workspace: • Can all work spaces be provided? • Large, flexible space(s) for training, public ceremonies • Defined team spaces to create a sense of togetherness • Ad hoc collaboration space for 2-5 people • Silent workspace to for deep, focused work • Are exclusive spaces available? • Whiteboards in abundance? • Offsite work spaces to leave the comfort zone of the office?
  37. 37. The Status Quo (9) Tools and technology: • On-premise vs cloud—what is the status? • Bring your own tech? • Choose your own tools/software? • Is open source acceptable?
  38. 38. Contact Information Stefan Wolpers Email: Blog: Newsletter: (Join 14,150 peers) Slack: (Join 2,400 peers) Twitter 1: @StefanW Twitter 2: @AgeOfProduct