16 Tips to Keep Focused on an Agile Journey

The work of an Agile Coach is very versatile. Agile transformations are as well.

Each team has its own fingerprint and organisations are one of a kind. This is what makes our work so interesting. One of the challenges of an Agile coach is to stay objective and keep one eye on the horizon. As you become a part of the system you get involved in many initiatives. Some of them can be categorized as “seizing the opportunity for a great intervention” and “being adaptive”. Necessary since a transformation can’t be fully planned in advance. Some initiatives satisfy a need in the organsation. They may seem like good changes to make an impact, while in fact they distract you from the path that forms the Agile journey. The 16 tips that I collected in this article can be read as individual tips. When looked at them holistically they serve as a checklist that can be used to get and stay on the path. When I reviewed them, it triggered some critical thoughts. I had to conclude that, although I wrote the tips myself, I did not give some of them that much attention lately. I probably got distracted, while trying to make an impact. I will use the tips to stay on course and hope they will benefit you in the same way.


Tip 1: Have your Scrum roles clearly defined

Many Agile teams and organizations are struggling with executing the various roles in an appropriate way. Scrum Masters that book the meeting` rooms but fail to challenge the team. IT managers that control the team rather than facilitating them. Product owners that lack the power to really own their product and say no to demanding stakeholders. The examples are countless. Try to get the roles clear — it will oil the machine, trigger improvements, and provide handhelds for personal coaching. You can use the table in the article I wrote as a starting point for dialogue, see  Role agreement in scaled multiple team organizations.


Tip 2: Be aware of “add-ons” that increase complexity and mask deficiencies in the system

The Agile Principles urge to maximize the amount of work not done. Agile likes to keep things simple. Still, many teams are really creative in defining extra processes and solutions when encountering a problem. Recently I spoke with a manager who created a special bug fix team. The teams had complained that their sprint goal was challenged by incidents, while in fact the organization was suffering a quality problem. They solved it by creating an extra team that would do all the bug-fixing. This way the other teams could continue their sprint without too many disruptions. It may seem like an effective solution, but itmmakes the organization more complex without solving the root cause.


Tip 3: Be clear

Content By Agile Alliance

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