Dr. Ahmed Sidky gave an amazing keynote at today’s one-day conference called Agilepalooza, which was sponsored by VersionOne. Sidky is also known as Dr. Agile, and he was talking a lot about how to spread agile principles from small teams to the wider company within the context of an enterprise organizations. He had a lot of great insights that could be applied to any waterfall team in how to slowly integrate agile principles without disrupting the existing pace and amount of required resources.
He talked about taking a phased approach of five different distinct stages. The first stage is to focus on increasing the amount of cooperation and communication, which has the least change to resource allocation and cadence of development. He’s not even talking about implementing iterations until the second phase, and so the first phase if focusing primarily on the principles that would increase the amount of connectivity and flow between the teams. See the green colored squares in the picture above for more specifics. (Incidentally, Diana Larsen would add the principle of learning to the first phase of communication and collaboration.)
Dr. Agile posted his slides at http://agile.santeon.com/agilepalooza, and there’s a slide that shows all five phases and all the various practices and goals within a generalized roadmap. He emphasized that his consulting company of Santeon usually goes to each company and designs a very specific roadmap for their transition towards Agile. Each company is going to have their own unique situation with a roadmap that would work best for them.
One really great concept that Sidky talked about was the idea of balanced scorecards, which tries to explain the benefits of implementing the agile mindset and various practices to the executive decision-makers within the company. The four categories that he shows in the flowchart shown above are in learning and innovation of the team, operational excellence, improved experience of the customer, and the reduced financial costs due to the increased efficiency. I love how this visualization relates all of these benefits in a way that is not always intuitively obvious for what the financial bottom line may be.
Sidky was an amazingly dynamic speaker, who very clearly talked about the process of transitioning companies from small-scale implementations of agile to the wider enterprise company. It’s very similar to the technology adoption curve and crossing the chasm from the innovators and early adopters and moving into a completely different mindset of the early majority and the late majority.
His slides were packed with a lot of amazing information that I highly recommend checking out as well as his consulting group of Santeon, and his http://www.doctoragile.com/ website which provides some assessment tools to see which agile practices your team is ready to implement.