Steve Thomas and Jim Trott talk about internal coaching in Lean-Agile transformations: why coaches are needed, what is involved, the difference between internal and external coaches, who makes good coaches, can manager make good coaches, how to develop internal coaches, coaching as a career, and metrics to use. Continue reading “Bringing Your Internal Coaching to the Next Level”
Frequently, middle managers have struggled to find their place in an Agile transformation. If we add Lean to the mix, it becomes easier to see the role that these managers need to play. Maintaining flow and increasing the capacity of the team are the two primary contributions that a middle manager can make. Continue reading “What Is the Role of Middle Management in Lean and Agile?”
No framework will ever fit a specific organization without some custom tailoring. Organizations are complex systems, with many superficial similarities. However, as experience implementing frameworks shows, there will always be some need to adjust the framework to accommodate the structure, culture, skills, and other important traits of a specific organization. Therefore, leaders and managers need to incorporate these adjustments into their transformation strategy. Continue reading “How Easily Can We Import a Lean or Agile Framework Into the Organization?”
The team is responsible for its process. Teams employ their local knowledge about what is required to do their work, complementing required enterprise standards. The team agrees to use and improve its own processes. Processes exist to serve the people, to help them get their work done. No process is perfect; when problems arise, the team is responsible to stop, change the process, and start again, all without affixing blame to any one person. Continue reading “What Organizational Concepts Matter the Most to Agile at Scale”
In teams, peer-to-peer relationship is the glue that coordinates everyone. In larger organizations, peer-to-peer relationship can no longer keep the higher number of people connected well enough to accomplish a shared purpose.
That is when Lean ideas and structures pick up and create… This article discusses differences between team-sized and mid-scale or above, and some factors to consider in determining where an organization fits on this spectrum. Continue reading “What Makes an Organization “Mid-sized” (or Above)?”
A framework is only heavy if it prescribes more than what is needed to get the most value for the effort expended. While SAFe can be used in an overly-heavy way, that is not the intent nor the best practice. This article discusses what in SAFe is definitely needed and what may be optional based on.
Continue reading “What Is It That Can Make SAFe® Heavy?”
Agile at scale takes more than Agile in teams. This article lists several of the most-important elements of this picture of Lean and therefore Agile at scale. Continue reading “What Traits Are Typical in Successful Agile at Mid-Scale and Above?”
One of the biggest challenges of a large enterprise is to choose the set of projects that will realize the greatest return on investment (ROI) possible. To achieve this, organizations use some form of product-portfolio management. Continue reading “How do We Maximize Value Across Many Programs / Portfolios?”
Agile thinking emphasizes self-organization and personal initiative. We want these active in our organizations. However, when this emphasis is taken to an extreme it can imply that there is no place for managers. Some Agile leaders have even said this explicitly.
Lean-Agile, however, says that management and especially middle management has an important role in Agile. It becomes a force-multiplier for organizations in mid- and large-scale organizations. This article describes what middle management can do and how it benefits the Agile organization. Continue reading “What Value Does the Middle Manager Add in Mid-Scale Agile?”
To produce the most value from your available resources in the allowed time, as soon as possible release first the part of the system that is truly necessary to have a viable business product. Restrict the time allowed for building this core part to only the time your estimates say it needs and don’t use all of the calendar time available.
This approach works with either kanban or Agile approaches. It is possible and simple to achieve a level of predictable work throughput and to do effective release planning. Continue reading “How Can We Deliver the Most Value from Available Resources?”
Agile is often described as iteratively building software in increments. It is more effective to think of it in terms of being the incremental delivery of business value. Software by itself is not useful. Software that helps deliver business value is. The focus should be on the value to the business, not on the software. While we all know the importance of “time-to-market,” investigating how this relates in the software arena is particularly useful. Continue reading “How Does Agile at Scale Increase the Delivery of Business Value?”