Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tutorial: A guide to transitioning to Agile methods of software development.

Instructor was Mike Cohn.
Why is transitioning to Agile methods so hard?

Introducing agile is hard b/c it’s both top-down and bottom-up. I.e Vision from the top. Practiced by the ground up by people who see the benefits.

Best practices -> good practices in most contexts.

Organizations are complex adaptive systems … not a system of well defined behavior where “closing the gaps” happen in a known way.

Aside: SCRUM is the most popular agile process these days. However, Mike is a fan of unbranded agile methods.

So …. the agile process should be a good fit with an organizations environment. Measure good fit if we are producing higher quality software at a faster pace.


A = awareness (that there is room for improvement)
D = desire (to change)
A = ability (to work in an agile manner)
P = promote (early success to build momentum)
T = transfer (the impacts of agile throughout the origination so it sticks)


Individual and group change:
Individuals will move through the Awareness, Desire, and Ability stage at their own rate
Early adapter and leaders can Promote to build Awareness and Desire and will need to Transfer impacts of agile to other groups

Comparative agility web-site to check where your agility practices are against the industry.

Iterating toward agility

It’s not about getting to Agile; it’s about getting more Agile – about getting better.

Improvement communities (a.k.a. grouplets) (a.k.a. communities of practice) – a small group of people passionate about a given topic (i.e. testing, documentation, or something else). Does the work of how organization implement changes. Also focuses on goals of practical relevance.


Not just managers, but opinion leaders, et al
Lead through example, questions, and focus: nudge, poke and prod

Overcoming Resistance

How they resist vs. Why they resist
How they resist: passive, active
Why they resist: skeptic, saboter

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