Sharing Session: Implementing Agile Transformation

Overview

Somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must’ve done something good
Something Good – The Sound Of Music

If you like musical movie, you must be familiar with that song.
A song that was sung by Maria (Julie Andrews) when she finally knew that Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) had a mutual feeling with her.

Whoa…wait a minute… what is this got to do with the sharing session?

Yes, it is related 🙂

On February 2018 I got a surprising whatsapp from a friend in SkyStar Ventures.
Yovita – that’s my friend’s name – was asking my availability to speak in one of their weekly sessions which will be held in April.
She said the theme of April is Woman Empowerment and she wanted me to participate.

I was like… “What? Me? Sharing? Women Empowerment? What should I share? I’m not that ‘Good’. Not a public figure. Not a founder of any business.”
But then I just replied with “let me think about it”

After some sharing with my colleagues and tried to put all the guts in one bucket, I finally said yes.

Then I thought… “I must’ve done something good to get this opportunity”.

See…I told you it’s related 😉

What To Share

Yovita was so excited with my response.
She was automatically asked me on what topic I wanted to share, then I was stunned for a while.

After a while, I told her that I want to share about my day to day activity in the journey of Agile Transformation in the organization I currently work.

She agreed.

And here are the slides.

Sharing Moment

The sharing session was held in SkyStar Ventures on 12 April 2018, 17:00 – 19:00 – which in reality ended on 20:00 due to lots of questions came after the sharing session.

The Slides

01 Transformationslide_1

In this first slide I was introducing myself and my background.
I also asked each attendee to share their name and background.

Then I was explaining that if they were expecting a step by step to transform an organization to be Agile, they definitely came to the wrong event.

I explained them that transformation is a journey.
What works for one organization might not 100% work for other organization.
I explained them that even my journey is not coming to its end yet.

02 HIGHWAY TO HEAVENslide_2

Many people think that a journey is like the picture above. Smooth, easy and heading to a light ahead.

In short…like a highway to heaven.

But is it really like that?

03 REALITY BITESslide_3

In reality, it’s not.
People say “REALITY BITES, MAN!”

Transformation is not that easy. We will face lots of challenges.

In this picture, you see some problems:

  1. Rain:
    Management pouring us with deadlines. They don’t want to know about whatever framework we use.
    They don’t care whether we use scrum or any other framework.
    What they want is ALL SCOPE completed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE with the LOWEST BUDGET.
  2. Backpack:
    Heavy lifting of changing the team mindset from waterfall to agile.
    Heavy lifting of changing PM to SM, making them understand that some of their roles are now handled by PO
    Heavy lifting of finding and grooming the right person to become PO
  3. Thieves:
    These are the situations which stole our energy to transform.
    For example: Colleagues or Business Users saying that Agile is only a HYPE … IT things
  4. Holes:
    This is the situation where we try, we fail and people judge that we’re wasting our energy and the old ways are better than this one

BUT … Is that stopping us? NO!! We keep on moving!
Why?

04 WHY WE CHANGEslide_4

In order to keep moving, you must have some reasons.

For us, the reasons were as stated in the slide above.
THOSE THINGS SUFFERED US!

For us, those were enough reasons to keep us going.

05 SMALL STEP MATTERslide_5

Do the math … aiming for Big Change Result all at once equals to

  • Big effort
  • Long execution time
  • Huge Energy Consume

Just like scrum itself, we try to transform in an Agile way.
We have the vision for future, but we break it down into small things.

Small step matter.
Try to reach as long as your hand can reach.
Inspect and adapt for every step you make to plan for the next one.

When I presented this slide, I also shared about the book Iceberg Is Melting.
In this book, the penguins were planning to find other place to live and what they did at the first was setting up the vision.
Without the same vision, the transformation team will go in different directions, which will turn into chaos.

06 SNAKES AND TIGERS ALONG THE ROADslide_6

But even small step has some challenges

  • We don’t have the knowledge – we only learn from : autodidact, reading books, watching video
    But

    • Do we implement what we read correctly?
    • Could we do better?
    • Action items:
      • Discussion with experts
      • Join communities
      • Try to engage Agile Coach
  • We are lack of ammunition
    • Not much people know about scrum
    • No PO
    • No SM
    • No Cross Functional Team
    • Less Self Organized Team
    • Less experience in DevOps
    • Action Items:
      • We groom people while we also learn – and that is not easy.
      • Grooming BA as PO
      • Grooming Business Users as PO
      • Grooming PM as SM
      • Simple Agile Sessions for everyone
  • Business Users’ Mindset
    • Whatever framework you use, as long as it deliver fast and correctly and give me no more work (while in Agile, we will need user involvement more)
    • Getting the PO from the business was also an issue
      • not in their KPI
      • must be taken out from day to day activities but also need to be close with real business situation
    • Business Users need to get the budget fixed and don’t want to care about the time and scope arrangement.
      “I pay this much…you need to complete this far by this date”
    • Action Items:
      • Try to show them the benefit in every opportunity
      • Invite them always to Sprint Review
      • Having meetups that invites them
      • Deliver result faster and tell them that it happens because of Agile

07 CHALLENGE –> CHANGEslide_7

Do you realize that CHANGE is CHALLENGE without L and E?
When you face challenges, always keep in mind that you’re heading for changes

When we face challenges I explained in previous slides, these are the things that we did:

  • Build the army
    • Grooming PO, BA and educating Dev Team with enough knowledge of Agile
  • Community of Practice
    • Have weekly session with all SM and PO to share and help each other
    • Make the community of practice as a support system for all Agile Practitioner
    • When you have a regular meetup with the same group, you will finally have the same view on things and how you do things
  • Keep experimenting
  • An apple a day
    • Don’t make yourself worry about underachieve goals. Make sure you’re doing one step at a time.
    • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
    • Bottom line: DON’T STOP TRYING
  • Writing
    • For me, I write this blog to learn.
    • Every time I write something, I learn something new
    • After writing and share the blog post in the community, I will get feedback that gives me new knowledge.
  • Get Help
    • At some level (let’s say to convince C-level, I might not have enough “power” or “influence”. So don’t hesitate to get help.
    • What we do is engaging experts to talk to management (Agile Coaches)
    • Looking for ally that also comes from the C-level. The ally that understand about Agile and willing to help spreading the Agile knowledge among management.

08 WIN THE BATTLEslide_8

In order to win the battle we need to:

  • Change mindset of everyone
  • Willing to step forward and not afraid of stepping back if it doesn’t work
  • Keep on learning, be it from books, video, experts, etc
  • Last but not least, don’t be afraid to fail.
    Failure doesn’t mean that we’re starting from zero.
    Every time we fail, at least we learn something to try again.
    So when you started from level 0 and you fail, next try will be starting from higher level (let’s say 3)
    Just like when you play Mario Bros, when you fail on a level, you know what to avoid on the next try.

09 ANNALOGY.INFOslide_10

And yes… I was using this opportunity to spread the news about this blog 🙂

I’m so happy that this blog helped so many Agile practitioners to know more about Agile.

Conclusion

Yes, it’s an honor to share in this event.
The hosts were very supporting.
The audience were very friendly.
Question and answer was very active and even some of the audience also help in answering.
Thanks to Akbar Azwir for the help on consultant agreement questions 🙂

I didn’t feel like I was giving a lecture or something, in fact I felt that I was discussing, sharing and learning together with the audience.

Looking forward to have more sessions like this.

See you all.

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