Kickstart your career with best deals on top training courses NY10 Click to Copy

Search

The Biggest Challenge of Agile

I have had the experience of implementing Agile from scratch in organizations that were using no development methodology at all. And I have also had the opportunity of guiding and supporting several companies in the improvement of their Agile adoption. In both cases, you need to know how deep the company wants to go, what level of adoption they expect and  whether they understand the benefits of being Agile (yes, several companies just do it because it’s trendy, but trendy is not enough when it comes to organizational changes).   As a coach, when guiding organizations in their Agile journey you will have in your mind several ideas on what you have to do to be successful. You will revisit those ideas and find out which ones are the most appropriate for your client. There are different approaches you can use, but at a higher level, you will have to choose between the two: let the organization detect what is the best way to meet their objectives, or use your previous experience to tell them what steps they should follow to succeed.  No matter which approach you select, you may probably think that your ideas are considered brilliant. After all, who can say Agile is not good nowadays? You may also think that everybody believes that the change is going to be beneficial for them (if most organizations are using it, why would it be different in this case?). Your work will be really successful! But guess what? Things may start to get complicated. The steps you chose may make no sense anymore. Agile adoption may no longer be an easy way to go. So, what’s happening? Why are you facing all these challenges and setbacks? Well, the answer is simple: people. People are the major roadblocks when implementing Agile. They offer resistance, even when they do not make it consciously. The big question is… why? Fear Even when this may seem a bit exaggerated, many people are afraid. They think they may lose their jobs, may be exposed and at risk for not having had good ideas in the past or not having detected the improvements before.   Lack of understanding It may happen that people will not understand the approach you are suggesting. They may not be clear on what to do and how to do it. Thus, they feel unsafe, they think they may ruin everything. And don’t forget that all this is really important for the organization (they may feel the pressure, don’t you think?)   Comfort zone “If everything works this way, why should I change?”. This is one of the most commonly heard excuses. But what that generally means is “All this is so new, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. Just thinking about it stresses me out!”.   Then, what can you do to help people commit to and collaborate with the change?   1) Show yourself as a peer - you’re not the enemy and they have to know that Reserve some time to meet people so that they know you. Spend time building relationships, understanding the main concerns of the people involved in the transformation. Tell them why you’re there and what you want to achieve. Let them know that your job is to serve, not to command. 2) Define a clear vision and, most important, the reasoning behind it If the team has no vision, then they have no north. The vision is the place where they will go every time they lose focus. No matter how busy you are, you must ensure that the whole team knows what the final goal is and why it is important. Most importantly, they need to know why they will benefit from this.   3) Let the team decide their own path Have the team not only detect their areas of improvement, but also define the specific actions to improve. Doing so, people will feel reinforced, they will believe in their autonomy and they will feel owners of the change. 4) Assign owners, avoid being the “boss” You will be tempted to do everything on your own. After all, you’re the most experienced person in this journey! This is a tremendous mistake. If you do so, people will see you as the “boss” and all the effort you made to win their trust and to build relationships will be sent to the trash. Instead, remember that people need to feel important, they need to feel that they are adding value and that their work matters. Assign them important tasks, make them feel appreciated and valuable. 5) Guide them in the process of change, since change hurts! We’re not designed to adapt to change. Our brains are not prepared for that. But the world in which we’re living requires adaptability from us, everything evolves so fast! So, given that it is pretty normal that people feel uncomfortable with change you should be their guide and help them overcome difficulties and deal with their own limitations. 6) Give them wings to fly (and to learn to improve on their own) You will not always be there for them. The best legacy of a good coach is a person or group of people that can continue your work. Use your time with the team to identify those that have the required skills to support the company and its improvement cycle once you’re gone. Be a personal coach for them as well. This way, you’re job will be complete, you will have guided the company in its initial Agile transformation and you will have left people prepared for future improvements.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews

The Biggest Challenge of Agile

201
The Biggest Challenge of Agile

I have had the experience of implementing Agile from scratch in organizations that were using no development methodology at all. And I have also had the opportunity of guiding and supporting several companies in the improvement of their Agile adoption. In both cases, you need to know how deep the company wants to go, what level of adoption they expect and  whether they understand the benefits of being Agile (yes, several companies just do it because it’s trendy, but trendy is not enough when it comes to organizational changes).
 



As a coach, when guiding organizations in their Agile journey you will have in your mind several ideas on what you have to do to be successful. You will revisit those ideas and find out which ones are the most appropriate for your client. There are different approaches you can use, but at a higher level, you will have to choose between the two: let the organization detect what is the best way to meet their objectives, or use your previous experience to tell them what steps they should follow to succeed. 

No matter which approach you select, you may probably think that your ideas are considered brilliant. After all, who can say Agile is not good nowadays? You may also think that everybody believes that the change is going to be beneficial for them (if most organizations are using it, why would it be different in this case?). Your work will be really successful!

But guess what? Things may start to get complicated. The steps you chose may make no sense anymore. Agile adoption may no longer be an easy way to go. So, what’s happening? Why are you facing all these challenges and setbacks? Well, the answer is simple: people. People are the major roadblocks when implementing Agile. They offer resistance, even when they do not make it consciously.

The big question is… why?

Fear

Even when this may seem a bit exaggerated, many people are afraid. They think they may lose their jobs, may be exposed and at risk for not having had good ideas in the past or not having detected the improvements before.


 

Lack of understanding

It may happen that people will not understand the approach you are suggesting. They may not be clear on what to do and how to do it. Thus, they feel unsafe, they think they may ruin everything. And don’t forget that all this is really important for the organization (they may feel the pressure, don’t you think?)


 

Comfort zone

“If everything works this way, why should I change?”. This is one of the most commonly heard excuses. But what that generally means is “All this is so new, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. Just thinking about it stresses me out!”.  



Then, what can you do to help people commit to and collaborate with the change?


 

1) Show yourself as a peer - you’re not the enemy and they have to know that

Reserve some time to meet people so that they know you. Spend time building relationships, understanding the main concerns of the people involved in the transformation. Tell them why you’re there and what you want to achieve. Let them know that your job is to serve, not to command.

2) Define a clear vision and, most important, the reasoning behind it

If the team has no vision, then they have no north. The vision is the place where they will go every time they lose focus. No matter how busy you are, you must ensure that the whole team knows what the final goal is and why it is important. Most importantly, they need to know why they will benefit from this.  

3) Let the team decide their own path

Have the team not only detect their areas of improvement, but also define the specific actions to improve. Doing so, people will feel reinforced, they will believe in their autonomy and they will feel owners of the change.

4) Assign owners, avoid being the “boss”

You will be tempted to do everything on your own. After all, you’re the most experienced person in this journey! This is a tremendous mistake. If you do so, people will see you as the “boss” and all the effort you made to win their trust and to build relationships will be sent to the trash. Instead, remember that people need to feel important, they need to feel that they are adding value and that their work matters. Assign them important tasks, make them feel appreciated and valuable.

5) Guide them in the process of change, since change hurts!

We’re not designed to adapt to change. Our brains are not prepared for that. But the world in which we’re living requires adaptability from us, everything evolves so fast! So, given that it is pretty normal that people feel uncomfortable with change you should be their guide and help them overcome difficulties and deal with their own limitations.

6) Give them wings to fly (and to learn to improve on their own)

You will not always be there for them. The best legacy of a good coach is a person or group of people that can continue your work. Use your time with the team to identify those that have the required skills to support the company and its improvement cycle once you’re gone. Be a personal coach for them as well. This way, you’re job will be complete, you will have guided the company in its initial Agile transformation and you will have left people prepared for future improvements.

Gisela

Gisela Provenzano

Blog Author

Gisela is an IT consultant with over 10 years of experience as a Processes and Methodologies SME, Project Manager, Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Her forte includes Agile methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Pair Programming, and TDD for Data Science and Operations Research projects. Since 2013, she has been working for different accounts like Deloitte, Carnival, Teletech, BBVA, LAN, GAP, Pernod Ricard, K12, iSeatz and Westcon, wherein she was involved in project improvements, processes framework implementation, project management, consultancy and coaching.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

Who is the Target Audience for Certified Scrum Master Certification Course?

Who is the target audience for Certified Scrum Master certification course? It is easy to understand the Scrum rules, but it is difficult to implement it in real-time projects. CSM course is the best to learn both in detail. It not only teaches you the principles and practices of Scrum but empowers and energizes you to make meaningful changes. Certified Scrum Master course focuses mainly on the Product Owner, Scrum Master and the Team in a software development company.   Who will be benefited from this course? Certified Scrum Master course is helpful for everyone who wants to become smart in implementing Scrum in their organizations. Doing a certification course in Scrum strengthens the Scrum Master's experience.  This learning event is highly productive and effective for both leaders and members. As the course is completely revolving around the Scrum Master role, individuals who are planning to take up this role will get benefited more from this course. There is one reputed company in Denmark that sends all the employees from receptionists to senior management to the Scrum training, in order to make them knowledgeable about Scrum concepts and enhance operations throughout their company.    Target Audience     There is no such fixed set of target audience for the Scrum Master Certification course. It is designed not only for Scrum Masters but also for the complete project or product delivery teams and anyone interested to work with the Agile teams. You may be a- Software Engineer Product Manager Project Manager Team Leader Business Analyst Development team member Testers etc. Irrespective of your current designation, there are a few basic qualities you should have as a Certified Scrum Master.    It is best for organizations or teams who need memorable and practical instructions. Even students can join this course to get real-time work experience in Scrum by Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) such as: Understanding Scrum framework Building a backlog Estimating a project Different techniques to improve team productivity Effective, project-proven exercises You will also find a CFO, CIO, or CEO in the Certified Scrum Master training classes and others as well who are intended to expand Scrum throughout their organizations.     The State of Scrum in 2017 The 2017 state of Scrum report by Scrum Alliance suggested that most of the successful businesses are using Scrum irrespective of the sizes. Agile and Scrum are not limited to only software and IT departments, they are being applied to different industries such as government, education, manufacturing, banking, and finance. Moreover, some other departments such as human resources, finance, and accounting, sales and marketing reported their ongoing Scrum projects. Here are 3 statistics by Scrum Alliance: 89% of Agile users said that they use Scrum approach. 86% reported that they hold a daily Scrum meeting.  83% reported that Scrum was responsible and important to improve the team’s quality of work. Taking a 2-day CSM course, qualifying the CSM exam, and accepting a license agreement primarily establishes you as a Certified Scrum Master. This certification is a way to tell your peers and the world that you have strong knowledge of Scrum and are fit to work as a Scrum Master.  After all, in the Agile confines, CSM certification is the ultimate answer and the way forward.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Who is the Target Audience for Certified Scrum Mas...

Who is the target audience for Certified Scrum Mas... Read More

SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: Which Certification Should You Choose?

The competition for jobs is getting tough in today’s world. Whether you are a job seeker, corporate employee, or a consultant, you should keep your skills up to date in a fast-paced, online world. Agile has become the standard of project management very fast in today’s world, specifically in the IT and service field. Most of the project management professionals have adopted Agile techniques, tools, and concepts to deliver the projects successfully that has never been seen before.If you want to make a career in Agile or want to make a career shift then Agile certification can be an added advantage. You might be in confusion as to which certification you should do, as there are different types of Agile certifications available. SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP® are the two most in-demand IT certifications today that will increase your career growth and salary.  In this post, we will discuss both the certifications and help to choose a career that best suits you.SAFe® AgilistLarger organizations are struggling with Agile, especially the well-established enterprises who are trying to adopt Agile and shift their way of doing things. SAFe® is one such example that provides best practices for adopting Agile at an organizational level and SAFe® certification covers every aspect of Agile from architecture, governance, funding, integration, and roles. Holding a SAFe® certification proves your proficiency and hands-on experience and shows your knowledge and skills in real-time implementations.SAFe® Agilist could be a perfect choice for you if you want to be part of different teams in the adoption of SAFe® and willing to be part of enterprise Agile. Scaled Agile is something different to standard Agile knowledge which is required for Agile change agents, managers, and executives for leading a lean-agile change initiative in large-scale enterprises. This is also essential for those executives who have already implemented Agile principles and practices at small-scale enterprises and now want to take it to the next level.Leaders of Lean-Agile change initiative can learn how to build a Lean-Agile Mindset and implement the SAFe® principles and practices to support Agile Teams, Program Portfolio Management, and Teams from this SAFe® 4 Agilist (SA) course. SAFe® Agilist certification demonstrates your efficiency of leading the Scaled Agile Framework adoption in an enterprise context.PMI-ACPPMI-ACP® certification could be an ideal choice for those who have been applying Agile values and principles in their day-to-day project work and who want to shift to a leadership role. To apply for  the PMI-ACP® certification, applicants must have at least 2,000 hours of working experience on project teams and 1,500 hours of working experience with Agile methodologies or on Agile project teams. Applicants should also complete 21 hours of Agile training and need to pass the exam.The PMI-ACP® is close to the mid-level CSP that is offered by the Scrum Alliance. Enterprises that are shifting to an Agile context and applying different Agile techniques are more interested in recruiting individuals with PMI-ACP® certification.PMI-ACP® could be a right choice if your enterprise is looking forward to adopting Agile framework in order to achieve high-end project goals. It not only covers Scrum framework but also includes XP, Kanban, Lean, and other frameworks. The PMI-ACP® certification exam is more difficult when compared to the basic Scrum Master certifications and individuals must take online or classroom training before going to attempt the exam.Let’s see the key differences between SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP®:It is important to look at the career opportunities before selecting the particular course. Think of various factors such as job security, responsibility, stress, income, and other benefits while choosing a profession.Just choosing a certification that is best for you doesn’t lead to the success you deserve. Choosing the best training provider will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a course. Compare course outlines of different institutes and find the best training provider that will guide you in the right direction of the particular course chosen. You can also visit the institutes and attend some of the demo sessions to understand their approach to training. KnowledgeHut is a Registered Education Provider and offers both SAFe® Agilist and PMI-ACP® training classes across the country by experts who have years of industry experience.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 25 customer reviews
6963
SAFe® Agilist Certification Vs PMI-ACP®: Which C...

The competition for jobs is getting tough in today... Read More

How CSM Certification Can Impact your Career

Today Agile methodology is taking the world by storm, and Agile practitioners are a dime a dozen. What is it that can set you apart in the agile space, and make you more noticeable than your peers? The Certified ScrumMaster credential from Scrum Alliance may be the answer. As a CSM, you will be recognised as part of an elite group of Scrum specialists who are proven to guide their project teams to agile success. The CSM credential sets you apart as a leader who is able to provide knowledge and expertise far beyond what a typical project manager could contribute, using powerful agile practices. As an effective Scrum Master, you would have to adopt the Scrum ideology and think, live and breathe Scrum! Here’s how the CSM Certification would help you in your career: It would set you apart from the crowd— The CSM credential demonstrates to your employees that you have the experience and skills to lead an agile team to success. It serves as a differentiator showing potential employers that you have an edge over your non-certified counterparts. It shows that you know your goal—The ScrumMaster knows the goals to be achieved and has a clear vision of what it will take to succeed. You know the quality that is needed to be delivered, and ensure that the team works towards it, ensuring project success and client satisfaction. You will succeed as a servant leader—As a Certified ScrumMaster, you have the ability to motivate and lead your teammates. You will guide them and help the team work together smoothly. You will iron out any glitches — In case there are any impediments in the way of project progress, the CSM will negotiate, address any such challenges and build a positive work culture. You will be able to judge risks— Scrum teams are known to release better products at lower risks, and as the CSM you can be the first to spot any red flags that could lead to potential disaster. You will be able to prioritize—Prioritizing is the first step towards Scrum success; a CSM will be able to prioritize tasks efficiently. You will be a team player—A CSM is, above all, a good team player. You will listen to your teammates, accept their suggestions and address any challenges they may be facing. You will shield the team from distractions — Any external entities that may have conflicting requirements would distract the team from its goals. The CSM will be able to redirect the team vision in line with the goal, avoiding all distractions. You will communicate well—By keeping channels of communication and collaboration open, you will share all relevant reports, calendars and deadlines with the team so that you can work together towards project success. You will be part of a worldwide community of Scrum experts and can engage with them for continuous improvement. You will also have your own profile page on the Scrum Alliance website with a specially designed logo, and can have your achievements ratified. Last but not least, CSM certified individuals earn more on the average than their non certified peers. All very compelling reasons to explore this certification further!  Advance your career with the ScrumMaster certification from Scrum Alliance, and sign up for a CSM Training workshop led by the best minds in the business.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
1944
How CSM Certification Can Impact your Career

Today Agile methodology is taking the world by sto... Read More

other Blogs