Agile Transformation Sneak Peek Available

Agile Transformation: A Guide to Organizational Change is now available for preview on Safari Books Online!  Lessons 1 and 2 are available to subscribers of Safari Books online, here’s an outline of the chapters:

Lesson 1: The Roots of Agile

  1. From Deming to TPS to Modern Agile:  In this lesson I talk about how Agile isn’t the latest management fad, it’s rooted in practices, values and principles that are decades old.
  2. Breaking the Disconnect – Is Agile Processes and Tools or a Mindset Shift?: Are you “Being Agile” or “Doing Agile”?  52% of Version One’s 2011 Agile Development survey concluded that failure to change the culture was the reason for Agile failure.  I challenge that notion because changing your culture isn’t the point.
  3. The Value Stream and Business Agility:  Building from the last section, I describe what Business Agility is and introduce the differences between Agile Adoption and Agile Transformation.
  4. Agile Isn’t the Goal:  In this section I summarize the previous sub-lessons and reenforce that Agile isn’t the goal.  You’re bringing Agile in to solve business problems, it’s important to not lose sight of that.

Lesson 2: Understand – Discover the Business Purpose Behind Your Agile Transformation and Why Your Business Context Must Drive It

  1. Agile for the Sake of Agile: This lesson starts with a brief story of an organization that wanted to bring Agile in without establishing a strong business driver to guide the transformation.
  2. Establish a Sense of Urgency for Bringing Change Based on Business Objectives: I briefly walk through Kotter’s 8-Step model and talk about how to create a sense of urgency and how to avoid creating a false sense of urgency for change.
  3. Understand Your Organization’s Culture and Why Trying to Change Your Culture Might be a Bad Idea:  Ah, culture.  The often used yet misunderstood word as it relates to Agile transformation and organizational change.   It’s important to be aware of your culture to guide your Agile implementation plan but your goal isn’t to change you culture.
  4. Understand How Your Mindset Fits into Your Culture and Why That’s Important for Creating Your Strategy:  Your culture is a by-product of the behaviours exhibited by your leadership team.  What’s your leadership style?  In this lesson I’ll show you why it’s important to understand how your leadership style will influence your path to agility.
  5. Now Try This:  I’ll give you an exercise you can try on the spot and with your management team to help you understand your organization’s culture and more importantly, your leadership styles and how that will influence your path to agility.  I’ll also talk about why Agile is a trigger to organizational change and set the stage for the next lesson where you’ll learn about change models and how to use them.

The remaining lessons will be posted shortly, here’s a quick peek at lessons 3 – 7:

Lesson 3: Educate – Learn About Agile Methods and Organizational Change

Simply put, Agile isn’t enough.  Agile is a trigger to bring change, you’ll learn about change models and gain an understanding of how people process change.

Lesson 4: Execute – Generating and Executing Your Organizational Change Strategy

There are no shortage of options for bringing change into your organization with Agile.  I’ll show you 3 common options and encourage you to use what you’ve learned to pick which one is most likely to get you where you want to go.

Lesson 5: Reflect – Using Metrics to Reflect on Your Progress in Order to Decide What To Do Next

Retrospectives are the most powerful Agile practice.  I’ll show you how to use retrospectives, how to scale them and how to find the right metrics to measure progress.

Lesson 6: Tying it All Together

I’ll summarize my 4-step model: Understand, Educate, Execute, Reflect and show you step-by-step how you can get started with it.  I encourage you to customize it and leave feedback on this blog.  I’ll also be updating this site with tools and new information as I learn more.

Lesson 7: Lean Startup and Visualization Techniques

Lean Startup is the latest reincarnation of Plan Do Check Act, from William Deming.  Some think it’s the latest fad but it’s the fastest way through Deming’s cycle that I know of.  I’ll show you how I used Lean Startup in a non-startup company to generate 160K of opportunities within 3 months and how my team won the Lean Startup Machine weekend competition in 2012.  I’ll also give you some bonus material on visualization techniques from my LSSC 2011 talk including how to visualize a release wall, non-software projects and more.

I am pleased to partner with Pearson Education, Safari Books Online and InformIT to deliver this Live Lesson.  I started this project as a book over 2 years ago, in fact, the original story map is still up on the wall in front of the desk where I’m writing this post.

At Agile 2011, Pearson Education approached me and asked if I wanted to write a book based on the workshop I delivered.  I agreed and it morphed into this Live Lesson.    I hope you enjoy it and I appreciate all feedback!

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