A lot of organizations today are going through an agile transformation. They’ve sent everyone to training. They’ve introduced product owners and scrum masters. They’ve created product backlogs and are working in iterations. The teams have planning meetings, standups, reviews and retros. The result? Teams are just going through the motions and organizations have yet to see the benefits. Sounds familiar? Why is that? What role does leadership have to play? How about the team? You? Come to this session to uncover some of the most common impediments that derail an agile transformation. Learn a five step approach to overcome these obstacles at both the team level as well as the leadership level. Leave with a new tool for your toolbox that you can use with your organization to get them moving faster towards greater agility and better business outcomes.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

This is primarily a talk with 2 short table discussions. It’s is an intermediate/advanced talk to discuss the challenges organizations are facing with their agile transformation and ways to overcome them.

The premise is that a lot of organizations believe agile is a team level thing and that leadership does not need to be engaged or change. All that is needed is to send teams to training and then jump straight into execution. The result is that teams go through the motions. Progress is measured by the introduction of various practices and there is no real tie in to business objectives and outcomes.

Borrowing from Kotter’s leading change, we’ll look at a 5 step approach to a successful transformation

  1. Alignment: Identify urgency, vision, business outcome
  2. Coalition and empowerment: Setup Leadership team, create transformation roadmap and backlog
  3. Short term wins: Create pilot team/initiative and feedback loops
  4. Consolidation: Expand on the early wins and change structure and policies
  5. Institutionalization: Tie changes in practices and structure to business outcomes

Within each step we’ll look at activities for teams as well as activities for leadership that help move the organization towards greater agility.

The 2 short tables discussions will be around:

Discussion 1: How’s your agile transformation going?

I’ll open with a connection exercise asking participants to chat with their table partners and share how their agile transformation is coming along.

Discussion 2: Why transform?

Participants will discuss with their table partners why their org is going through an agile transformation.

This discussion is to highlight that agile is not the goal. There has to be a broader business objective/outcome. Going through the agile transformation is one way of achieving these outcomes. This is key to creating a sense of urgency, vision, and alignment tied to a business outcome.


Intro (2)

Discussion 1 – How’s your agile transformation going? (3)

Why agile (2)

Top obstacles in an agile transformation (5)

Discussion 2 - Why transform? (3)

5 typical business outcomes driving the need for transformation (5)

How does becoming agile tie into the business outcomes? (5)

5 steps to a successful agile transformation(15)

Q&A (5)

Learning Outcome

Recognize obstacles in an agile transformation

Apply a 5 step change management approach to ensure a successful transformation

Identify how different agile practices lead to desired business outcomes

Compare different approaches of measuring progress

Target Audience

Scrum masters, coaches as well as managers and leaders going through an agile transformation

schedule Submitted 1 year ago