Tips when adopting agile

I'm frequently asked whether I got tips for how to start an agile adoption. A lot of people are looking for the ten step magic recipe that will magically transform their organization to an agile organization. I tend to reply with the 'bad' news first: Every organization is different and it probably takes a long time... think years not months. That said. Over the years I've collected small tips which helped organization I worked with. Some come from organizations that tried them out and it worked really well... others come from organizations that tried out the opposite and it was a disaster.

Here they are, tips for adopting agile:

  • Avoid forcing Scrum on people and instead find people who are willing to try.
  • Get enough training so that all people have the same understanding. Differences in understanding is a common failure point.
  • Go See how things *really* happen. Talk to everyone. Look at code and tests.
  • Start with one team but immediately make the organizational changes needed to support that one team.
  • When adopting Scrum, also focus on the technical practices that are needed. Technical and organizational agility have to go hand-in-hand.
  • Do not buy any agile tools. Tools are unlikely to be the main problem.
  • Do not change Scrum or the technical practices without first many months of practices
  • Get in coaches. Organizations that want to do it all by themselves usually make a lot slower progress. This will be a huge change and getting help is a good idea.
  • Make sure the team is co-located and has an "agile-friendly" office environment.

Why just these tips? I don't know. From my experience, these seem to be of major importance.

Me and Craig have given more adoption advice in our "Inspect & Adapt" chapter of the "Practices for Scaling" book. You can find a free copy of this chapter on informIT

ps. Thanks to the other Odd-e people for their input!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Bas Vodde published on March 5, 2011 12:40 PM.

History of Nokia Test was the previous entry in this blog.

Organizational changes to support one team is the next entry in this blog.

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