Ganesh Pilli
Ganesh Kumar Pilli

Ganesh Kumar Pilli

How leaders can mess with Agile

How leaders can mess with Agile

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Ganesh Pilli
·May 26, 2022·

3 min read

I have witnessed companies collapse or see great setbacks by implementing agile incorrectly. So I can talk about some dangerous pitfalls.

I have seen people say "take a sprint and complete the project", that guy is being kind of "Judge, jury, and executioner" for the team :-).

Hi, my name is Ganesh, and I am here to talk about how leaders should not see agile.

If your company is planning to move away from the waterfall kind of framework and adopt SCRUM Framework/Agile Philosophies please be cautious there are a lot of pitfalls.

Below are some pitfalls I was talking about:

  1. Buy tools and Hire SCRUM talent, in a month or so we will be agile
  2. Let's not touch the org structure
  3. I don't need to change
  4. My client/stakeholders don't need to know
  5. Agile is going to save me money

Let me explain how these ideas are going to fail you.

Buy tools and Hire SCRUM talent - Let's be Agile

This thinking is not correct, SCRUM is not some tool or training. SCRUM is a practice, it is a cult. Tools and training are essential but that's not all, Agile change is a continuous process to change the mindset of associates, workflows, delivery model, and technology stacks so its a reinvention but again all this can happen over a course in agile, that's what agile is one goal at a time.

Let's not touch the org structure

Agile works best in a flat structured organization. This means few or no levels of middle management between staff and customers/stakeholders. This increases the responsibility of a scrum team and improves coordination and communication. So re-alignment of the organization is really important.

I don't need to change

As leaders, your expectations or goals are the organization's goals which means you are the first person to start thinking the agile way. The promises or agreements to the clients or stakeholders should come from teams working on the project. So you will become responsible for the teams and teams will become responsible for delivery.

My client/stakeholders don't need to know

No, they should know, that Agile changes the delivery model from all at once to one thing at a time, this means everybody's expectations should be aligned to the agile delivery model.

Agile is going to save me money

No, Agile is a value-focused framework, financial befit will be a by-product of the value-focused delivery. The product or customer is the center of the agile journey, the customer or products might demand a lot of changes to the scope or estimates. So if your focus is not product or customer you better stay away from agile.

Thanks for reading please do comment on what other pitfalls/misunderstandings you witnessed.

Please do follow so I can send more awesome articles.

Edit:

Solution

The change from waterfall to agile should start with the leadership team. Leaders should think agile. Some of the important factors to consider:

  1. Tolerate failures, do not tolerate delivery without value.
  2. Make it work, then make it better
  3. Granular goals over larger goals
  4. Focused groups over larger groups
  5. Test, Test, Test, and Test
 
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