Principle – Benefits are realised incrementally and as early as possible. (Or “starting with the end in mind”, if I take a note from Steve Jenner’s Benefits Management approach).
A large company, one of many, has just “finished” an organisation wide implementation of Agile, using up vast amounts employee production time and funding, only to find, after a far too long waterfall cycle that the Agile way of working is not functional or practical. In fact, they started with the wrong Agile model to begin with.
So imagine if an executive had insisted that before millions were spent, some real benefits needed to be proved early in the initiative. This executive would also ask that the ultimate vision of the Agile implementation would be describable and coherent, clear in what the measurable benefits would be and could be realistically achieved. Yes, whilst you do not do much detailed planning in Agile, you must have an excellent thoughtfully crafted vison to set direction to all stakeholders that leads to real benefits to ensure ongoing commitment.
So much for ignoring some key principles, let’s look at just one key driver from the Agile Alliances’ Manifesto. It’s called “Customer Collaboration”.
It’s mandatory for Agile to work closely with the customer. But on the whole left out because it’s so difficult, and culturally different to the common current silo’ed way of working from behind PC screens. But only your customer can tell you what they want, and just like you, they probably won’t get it right the first time and they’ll change their minds. It’s hard at first, but with some new skills (like workshop facilitation) it makes team work fulfilling and ultimately far more successful.
Now, you’re the Agile implementation executive, think who are your customers that you have to work so closely with to get Agile thinking in place across the organization? That many hey!
That’s it for now, my tip of the moment is to attend my 2 day Agile Programme Management event to get the big picture before crashing into the detail. And look out for my next article: What’s blocking your Organisation from Agile thinking?
About the Author
Guy Eastoe is a thought leader and an APMG accredited consultant specialising in portfolio, programme, change and benefits management. He has been consulting and training in this space forever.