Hi Tony, thanks for inviting me to talk about how I help organisations to develop software more effectively. I’m Ian Carroll and you can follow my blog at iancarroll.com for tips, insights, and techniques for Lean and Agile software development.
ok, so tip number one, Don’t focus on being Agile.
That is, don't make being Agile your end goal. You will fail if you do. What you need to do is make your end goal effectiveness.
You need to think of Agile as the means to the end, not the end in itself. Agile is made up of 100's of practices. Some are technical practices, some are project management practices, and some are ceremony to help people interact and communicate more effictively.
You’re not going to adopt them all overnight so just relax. Start with what you do now and enrich your ways of working by cherry picking the practices that can help you solve problems as and when you face them.
But whatever you do don't announce a big Agile transformation programme "hey everyone we're gonna do Agile" as you are setting yourself up to fail.
Tip number 2, Retrospectives
A retrospective is a meeting where the team get together in a room and review their working practices and put changes in place to improve their ways of working.
Get retrospectives in place asap. You'll want to retrospect as frequently as possible but most teams start by running retros every two weeks.
Retros are your primary vehicle to identify problems, look for corrective actions, and adapt your ways of working.
Once you've identified some problems you can then look across the hundreds of agile practices on offer and pick the right ones to introduce to see if they help to solve your problem.
Yes, you will probably uncover lots of problems in your first few retros but don't try to boil the ocean. Just go for some low hanging fruit to start with.
Tip number three, Workplace visualisation
Find a wall space preferably near to the team are and create a card wall. Basically, when you break your work down into tasks you simply write each task on an index card or post-it note and stick it in a column on the wall. Each column has a title. For example, some people may use ‘to do’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’. Some teams use more columns to show in more detail the value creation process, i.e. analyse, develop, test, showcase, and done.
The card wall is a very low-tech, quick to adapt, highly transparent tool to rapidly improve effectiveness.
So that's my top 3 tips for successful Agile adoption.
I'm Ian Carroll. Thanks for listening
Ian is a software quality expert with over 25 years of industry experience. Ian founded and runs a very successful group on Lean Methodology based in Manchester, England, with a 500+ membership. Ian has a national reputation gained from his experience a multitude of organisations improve their quality.
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