In this issue:
One of the reasons I use agile approaches is because they work. Not all of them, all the time. I find that I have to adapt my agile approach to the current context: the organization and its culture, the people, and the product(s) in development.
Some people prefer to use a single framework or approach to their agile adoption. That’s because these people identify with that framework or approach’s tribe.
My tribe—and with any luck, you are part of it—is the pragmatic, practical tribe. We subscribe to many possibilities, not dogma. We say it’s about the outcomes: for the people, the products, and the business. It’s not about the process. (Yes, process helps, but give me a choice, and I choose outcomes, the results.)
That means we have to build our agile tribes in our organization to build and transform the organization to an agile culture.
Do you have a tribe yet? Can you identify your tribe?
I bet you do have a tribe, even if you haven’t thought about how to identify those people yet. Here are some clues to who is your tribe:
- You have empathy with each other.
- You trust each other.
- You have a common goal.
- You understand the promise of the value agile approaches can create.
- You’re ready to connect with more people across the organization to achieve the change in culture.
Seven years ago, Cindy was a more traditional project manager. She was dissatisfied with her project outcomes, both in business outcomes and the people’s disappointments. Her projects were moderately successful, but she could see there was more.
She started to read about agile approaches and took a variety of agile classes. She started to work in iterations and use a kanban board. Her project teams started to be more excited about their approaches.
Cindy didn’t call her approach “agile.” She didn’t think they were quite agile, but they were on a journey. She urged the people to collaborate, not just working alone but together on the work.
She helped her project teams find collaborative workspace. She facilitated their ability to deliver something valuable, first once a month, then once every couple of weeks, then once a week, eventually, once a day.
All of this took her about a year. As she worked with her project teams (two different projects), she took her project manager colleagues out to coffee and started to socialize her successes and challenges. Cindy didn’t realize it, but she started to create both a tribe of interested people and a Community of Practice.
After a year, she and two of her colleagues proposed their agile approach to their PMO. They suggested ways to manage the project portfolio that increased flow efficiency and throughput.
Cindy is now called an Agile Director. She works with four other coaches to help the organization’s agile transformation. Here are actions she uses each week:
- Describe the value in terms business outcomes.
- Sees and describes the system to people who don’t see what she sees
- Creates measurements and experiments so she can see the ever-evolving data and help other people understand what that data says.
- Recognize that she is changing the culture, which is a journey.
Cindy has found that business outcomes attract people to her tribe. And, understanding the system and the data helps people realize they can’t—and don’t have to—change everything from Day 1.
Cindy doesn’t just have an internal tribe. She also builds her external tribe. Her external tribe helps her see possibilities.
If you also want to build your external agile tribe, please join us at the Influential Agile Leader workshop, June 7-8, in Boston.
At the Influential Agile Leader, workshop, you can build your external tribe. And, you'll have opportunities to discuss your business outcomes, describe your system, explore data and consider cultural changes. Take advantage of the early bird registration and register now. See the Influential Agile Leader workshop.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues.
Till next time,
© 2018 Johanna Rothman
Tags: agile, change, problem solving, servant leadership