With the continuous reduction of barriers to entry for adopting agile methodologies within federal agencies, organizations are facing bigger challenges of tailoring agile approaches and making them work for their specific needs and business practices. There is no one-size-fits-all agile dictate, rather, it is a framework that allows for a self-organizing refinement of practices and team-norms based on constant feedback and retrospectives. Given the flexible nature of agile practices, it can be challenging to identify potential hazards and anti-patterns that can derail even those teams that have a solid buy-in to adoption.

Over time, organizations will try to pull agile teams away from the manifesto. As agencies adopt agile at various levels, in fits and starts, with or without top down support, it just happens. Examples that will be discussed in the presentation include things like the following:

1 - Applying mature teams' norms to new teams violates the principle of the self organizing teams. Let Teams ALWAYS Self Organize no matter how mature other proximal teams may be.

2 - Requiring status or metrics that are hard to gather or can't be automated can steal time from producing software or services. Hunger for arbitrary status can lead to unintended "documentation".

We’ve seen and managed these types of pitfalls in long term agile projects with experience that comes from adopting agile in cross-cutting organizations that often have competing interests. Certain behaviors and practices may, on the surface, appear to be the right things to do for an organization’s specific needs, but have shown in the larger sense to be impediments to realizing the longer term productivity and responsiveness benefits that agile can bring.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

0-5 minute - Introduction to agile in the federal government and provide context to client work

6-20 minute - Stories about what went wrong

21-35 minute - Recommendations for anticipating, recognizing and overcoming agile landmines

36-45 minute - Q&A

Learning Outcome

5 new techniques for energizing agile teams and avoiding common pitfalls

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Product Owners and active agile scrum team members

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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