Last Friday, during our Agile Roundtable, professionals from TCF Bank, 3M, US Bank, Cargill, General Mills, and others got together for the first stop on our roadshow to discuss ways to move successfully towards Agile and struggles encountered along the way. A huge thank you to TCF Bank for hosting us! Below you will find the key points that were discussed.
Even though most of the group is at various levels of maturity in their stages of Agile, one thing was true for all. You must get into being Agile and not just doing Agile.
The first issue we discussed was the rework of teams as you transform to Agile. What are the different job duties within the teams? Unfortunately, there is no cookie–cutter approach, and every product team will look different. A few individuals mentioned that they took technology team members and turned them into product owners. One attendee shared that they broke the team into business product owners and technical product owners. Although many shared their concern for this approach and that it may confuse job duties and ownership. Another professional shared that their teams are on a fixed–capacity model with allocated money allowing the team to own their roadmap. As we wrapped up this question, the group agreed that the most important part of success is empowering your teams. This doesn’t mean you are hands–off; it means you are supporting your teams.
We transitioned into the topic of traveling team members to support the team when needed. Many stressed the importance of not changing the team or adding team members where needed. The teams are more likely to be successful if you bring the work to them. Even if you move one team member onto the team, that is now a different team, and they will be learning how to work together all over again. You will most likely see in a deep in velocity. This goes back to the point that if you want to have successful teams you need to instill empowerment in them.
The last question we covered before wrapping up was how often is change being introduced at your organization? We had a wide array of answers ranging from once a week, month, quarterly, and for one organization completely depended on the product.
Thank you to everyone that attended the session – we look forward to the next stop on the roadshow!
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