The Overly Ambitious Agenda
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
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
The Situation: Parachuting In
Source: Nellis Air Force Base
Create a toolset that:
• Comprises of surveys and questionnaires and
• Enables a knowledgeable agile practitioner to
• Answer ‘the question’
• In reasonable timeframe.
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?
A toolset to assess agility at team level.
Out of Scope for Today
firstname.lastname@example.orgMore: 70-plus self-assessment tools curated by Ben Linders
Out of Scope for Today (2)
Out of Scope for Today (3)
Out of Scope for Today (4)
A toolset to assess the progress
of an organization during a transition.
Out of Scope for Today (5)
No longer imposing
the factory model:
• High upfront costs
• Output focus
• Utilization fetish
• Functional silos
• Less fail-safe focus
• Failure is an option
• Rollbacks & CI/CD
• Chaos monkey-ism
Organizational Excellence Technical Excellence
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators:
The Survey (2)
Four Survey Questions:
1. What factors contribute to a team’s growing maturity in agile
2. What maturity levels do you see at a team level?
3. What factors contribute to becoming an ‘agile’ or a learning
4. What maturity levels do you see at an organizational level?
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (3)
1. People: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose
2. Organizational Excellence
3. Technical Excellence
4. Communication & Collaboration
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (4):
• Embrace and celebrate failure (Validate hypotheses by running
• Curiosity as a norm
• Undogmatic attitude, live Shu-Ha-Ri
• Share information and data at all levels,
• No more gated information or information brokers
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (5):
• 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.)
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (6):
• Managers to servant leaders
• Trust in people and teams
• Provides tools and facilities necessary to become agile
• Gemba and Kaizen become standard practices
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (7):
• 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
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (8):
• Shared vision among all actors
• Clear strategy
• Clear priorities
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (9):
Business value focus:
• Customer centricity mindset
• Delivering business results
• Shifting the IT focus business needs
• From project budgets to product teams
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (10):
• Built-in quality:
• Code reviews
• Test automation
• Pair and mob programming
• Practicing Scrum, Kanban, XP
• Open sourcing code
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (11):
• DevOps: CI, CD (Deployment at will)
• Regular cadence of releases
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (12):
Communication & Collaboration
Trust & respect:
• Benefit of the doubt for colleagues
• Safety to disagree
• Candid peer feedback
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (13):
Communication & Collaboration
• 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.”
The Taxonomy of Agility Indicators (14):
Communication & Collaboration
• Zero tolerance for political games
• No scripted collaboration
• No incentives to withhold knowledge (Or information.)
• No finger-pointing, no blame-game
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?
The Status Quo (2)
• Non-profit & philantrophic
• Legacy products
• Innovator’s dilemma
• Product life-cycle state of the cash-cows
• Is the business regulated by law?
The Status Quo (3)
• How is product development currently funded:
• Product teams?
• What process is applied to funding:
• Stage-gate model?
• Who will control the budget for a transition? (CEO, CTO or COO/CFO?)
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
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?
The Status Quo (6)
Team building & 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?
The Status Quo (7)
• 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?
The Status Quo (8)
• 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?
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?