How to Help Your Non-Software Colleagues Adopt Agile
Exciting news! Colleagues from a non-software department, function, or business unit are interested in adopting Agile, and they have turned to you for advice!
While you’d like to help them, you realize that copying your Agile practices for software/IT won’t cut it. Maybe even a popular process framework (name starts with “S”) wouldn’t be right for their work. They are already starting to use Agile bits – boards, stickies, sprints, and standups – but you’d like to help them go further and enjoy a context-specific Agile implementation that will transform their world.
What you need to do is help them design their implementation based on Agile values and principles. While you don’t have to be a process expert, you do need to have the right conversations. And, you need to discuss the Agile approach in a way that empowers your colleagues to make suitable choices, without being tied to any prescription, tool, or so-called best practices. Come to this session, led by the author of “The Agile Mind-Set” and the forthcoming “Agile for Non-Software Teams,” to learn how to facilitate a rigorous, collaborative, empowering set of activities for successfully customizing Agile to their context.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
I have been coaching, training, and guiding organizations toward intentional Agility for ~15 years. More and more, I get asked to help outside of software/IT, and I get to see how people in those areas try to go agile on their own.
Based on these experiences, I have put together a facilitated sequence of activities for designing Agile implementations outside of software/IT. It is the subject of my almost-ready third book, “Agile for Non-Software Teams: A pragmatic path to making it work for you.” My process accommodates, but does not require popular frameworks if they are indeed appropriate. The activities involve collaborative workshops and 1-on-1 conversations that normally span multiple weeks, as people digest the information. My aim in this session is to empower the attendees to carry out that process on their own.
This session is aimed both at non-software folks who want Agile and at software agilists who are being asked to help their colleagues. Having presented at TAC many years, I assume most of the audience would be of the latter type and have designed the session accordingly.
In the session, I will take the attendees through the sequence of activities. We will spend a few minutes on each workshop/conversation: I will explain its purpose, give examples, and share my favourite process for conducting it. If the subject of an activity is likely to be familiar or obvious to the attendees – such as elicitation of objectives and success criteria – we’ll only spend 2-3 minutes on it. For trickier or less familiar conversations, we’ll spend an additional 5-10 minutes on mini-exercises to give the audience some practice.
I presented this session at Agile 2019 this month. 200 people attended, and rated the session as 4.6/5 (the response to “Would you recommend this session” was also 4.6).
- Outline the first conversations you must have, and how to conduct them, for an Agile implementation that works
- Empower your colleagues to make Agile-minded choices without being tied to any prescription, tool, or so-called best practices
- Facilitate a rigorous, collaborative set of activities for successfully customizing Agile to a given context
Experienced and/or passionate Agile practitioners in software/product/IT who are helping increase business agility