Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Event on the topic, Pre-Agile Transformation:  Promoting Mindset Change in Organizations That Aren’t Practicing Agile – Yet. A huge thank you to our facilitators Drew Schmidt, Sr. IT Manager, Network at Xcel Energy, and Ebony Gordon, IT Manager at Xcel Energy, for leading the discussion. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well! 

Agile is not magic. It’s important to find the benefit of agile and knows that one great agile coach is better than four bad ones. When starting with agile, it’s important to explain the language so everyone can understand. While people may be coming in from different levels, make sure everyone can speak to agile the same way.  

Benefits of agile to bring to your team: 

  • Self-Direction- the more freedom you have with the work will result in more success with customers.  
  • Predictable workflow- it’s ok to think about and plan for work requests before immediately working on them. 
  • Clear Definition of value- what is best for the customers  

Do you need permission to start agile? No. You are trying to sell the problem to your team and how agile will be beneficial.  

Don’t let tools stop you. To start agile, you do not need big expensive tools. As the facilitators mentioned, you can use something as simple as a whiteboard and sticky notes. 

 

Do’s of Agile   Don’ts of Agile  
Start testing methods to “work out loud” with customers and partners.  Spend months and/or dollars defining agile terms and call it value 

 

ask for permission using the “just this one-time” framework  Going agile without the CEO’s approval  
Work within Info Security Policies of your company  Use the tools you have; don’t go searching for tools. 
See what customers value.  Demand agile coaches before understanding the customer perspective 

 

In the early stages of agile, work with people who are okay with learning and failing. Focus on how you can help, and don’t push everything on your IT team.  Don’t admit to practicing Agile until the CIO says the whole company has adopted Agile. Be comfortable with different tools and collaborating with your team.