Friday, 11 May 2012

It's just the tip of the iceberg.

An organisation is in the middle of Agile transformation process. Some Agile methodology is implemented, but something is not right. Teams are lazily having their retros, some of them are dropping the daily stand ups. All cool practices are not really taken into use. The organisation feels like teflon, nothing really sticks and some off the stuff is falling off.  Does this sound familiar? If so please go on.

Introducing Agile software methodology (eg. Scrum) to the organisation is fairly easy, most easiest way is just to use old Command and Control mechanics and just push it in. The process is pretty simple, only three roles, handful of artifacts and meetings and that's it. But does it really stick? I would say no. I see the whole thing as an iceberg.

By Created by Uwe Kils (iceberg) and User:Wiska Bodo (sky). [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


This is where all processes, practices and methodologies are. If this part starts to show symptoms it's really painfully visible for everyone. In my experience, this is also what people are trying to fix. Usually this is just pushing more those processes, methodologies and practices in and what I have seen, this rarely do the trick. The reason for this is that there is really no soil to grow, soil is in the rest of the iceberg.


Here is the organisation culture, if this is not right, nothing magnificent really happens. When I'm talking about organisation, I mean everybody included from the coding grunt to the highest manager (and whatever roles you have in your organisation). Do you have trust in place? Are the different roles of your organisation blaming one another? Are people really taking responsibility? Is it really a great place to work? Do your people collaboratively seek better ways to satisfy the customer?

If you get this part working, I claim that magic really starts to happen. People are seeking better ways to work and they are learning and discovering new things.


It is always easier to work with the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the iceberg is really much harder and also more fuzzy. But hey the question is: do we really want to change the world? Or at least our organisations? Please, if any ideas, post a comment.