The day I joined my first project as a Scrum Master, which I had to convert from Waterfall to Agile , I met my new team members who were more worried than relaxed, more perplexed than happy to become “Agile”.
I got questions like “how do I manage my work”, “do I have to work more”, and soon realized I wasn’t only going to change the methodology for the project, I had a bigger task at hand, of changing people’s mindsets and making them Agile. I had to teach them not only how to implement Agile at their workplaces, but also how Agile can better their own lives. How planning,retrospection and a daily reminder to yourself that why are you here and what is the greater goal can make their lives and work easier and in line with the future goals.
Those who have worked in Agile management can easily understand how the process is and how it helps the developers as well as the clients. Those who are new are often too scared to take it up as a challenge. They tend to believe that their freedom to take their own time to finish work will be lost, but they overlook the fact that they can actually portray their work more transparently and can play an important role in achieving business goals.
Today’s clients don’t want to just hand in the requirements and then forget about it for the next 6months-2years time, and then get to see a completely mind boggling product in hand with a technology which will soon be outdated. In such cases, they will have to pay the company again to upgrade the product. Customers want to be updated with the progress of the product to cope up with the fast changing world.
Being agile requires a lot of your focus and energy. Focus on the targets/commitments and energy to go with the velocity to achieve the target. This focus and energy cannot be taught in a training; it has to be instilled and has to be blended in the team to make them enthusiastic towards their work and understand Agile. A team may follow the process but the result may be zero if at the end of a sprint the team does not present the client what they had in mind. So it’s very important for every team member to know the business perspective of the client to deliver the perfect output. Agile processes demand transparency, commitment and output. Today the clients and end-users are also well informed; hence the producers of the product have to be all the more careful.
When a team gets into a mode where they know the client’s goals and more importantly, align their goals to the client’s goals is when a team can be truly Agile.
When we transform a team to Agile, we also must keep in mind that typically in a Waterfall model there are many roles and some of them are senior to others irrespective of the fact that they may be working equally. Agile promotes and stresses on a leaner model.So someone who may be a "lead" or "senior lead" will all be developers now. In many MNCs there are still so many hierarchies. Every hierarchy has its own mindset and to break that, is altogether a different challenge. In a very beautiful way Agile breaks all these boundaries and makes everyone work as one and credit everyone on achieving a "common goal".
At the end of it all I can proudly say I converted a team's mindset to Agile and changed their way of thinking and enabled them to be the torchbearers for agile methods.