Agile Transformations - Taking Your Organization to the Edge
presented by James Schiel
Tonight unfortunately, Agile Philly missed the company of James
Schiel, as he was feeling sick. But, with André Dhondt, Naresh Jain
& Tobias Mayer's guidance, we as a group, were able to create a
very thought-provoking discussion on the same topic. All of us
walked away with many new thoughts, skills & techniques.
Since "Agile Transformations" is a huge topic to tackle in just one
evening, we decided to "reduce the scope." Tobias introduced us to
a very effective technique for decision making by consensus, called
"35". With about 15-20 people in the room, it took us about 5-7
minutes to come to a unanimous decision for a topic, an amazing
accomplishment itself! (We all have been in meetings, where hours
and even days get wasted, and sometimes without any positive
Next the group architected the following mind map on our chosen
topic of "Agile Transformation Patterns" :
We then voted and decided to delve into more detail and discussed
the "Managing" aspect of Agile Transformation Patterns. Mostly all
of us took part in the very interesting exercise called "fish
bowl", giving us a first-hand experience into this very effective
discussion tool. The following patterns emerged out of this
1. Set upfront (Business) goals. 2. Communicate the goals,
processes & tools to stakeholders. 3. Have passionate / excited
people on project. 4. Have an Agile (Executive) champion. 5.
Advertise the point of success. 6. Have a process to align
Developer and Customer Goals. 7. Support personal growth of team
members. 8. Recognize context, use shared language, e.g. "Velocity"
can be easily misunderstood. 9. Maximize use of Agile, while
fulfilling the client's needs. e.g. in addition to burn-down
charts, provide the client Gantt charts, if requested.
Some other quotes & discussions:
"use pain to sell change" "Agile is about delaying decisions"
"Advertise your goals instead of just proclaiming 'we are going
Agile'" "Never 'sell' Agile"
All in all, the evening was successful and full of
thought-provoking, insightful discussions. We all are looking
forward to the next Agile Philly meeting, and hoping it will be as
engaging and stimulating as tonight's.
When planning to transform an organization to agile development,
one has to consider a multitude of challenges that only begins with
software and development process. An agile transition changes
processes, practices, organizational structure, and customer
relationships - just to begin. The most difficult and time
consuming aspect of an agile transition begins and ends with the
people that make up the organization. Can they walk the line
between order and chaos? Can they embrace chaos sufficiently to
accept agile requirements management while, at the same time,
embrace order and discipline sufficiently to create software in a
highly regulated industry. By examining both the successes and
failures of Health Services Soarian Enterprise development
organization, we will look at all that is entailed in transforming
an organization to agile product development.
Jim Schiel has been with Siemens Health Services for over 20 years,
spending all of that time in software development, first as a
developer and, for 15 years, as a manager. Jim is a Certified Scrum
Trainer, a member of the Agile Alliance, and a contributor to the
Agile Alliance newsletter. He is currently the Agile Development
Program Manager for the Siemens' Soarian Enterprise development
organization, responsible for the introduction and continuous
improvement of agile development in the Soarian organization.
- 6:30 - 7:00 - Greet, Food, intro, and announcements, etc.
- 7:00 - 8:00 - Presentation
- 8:00 - 8:30 - Conclusion and further discussion
- 8:30 onwards - Social Hours
About the facility
(Note to visitors that have been to Ternary before--this office is
across the street from where we met last time). 180 Sheree Blvd.,
Suite 2000 Exton, PA 19341