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Gaining Support for a Sustainable Agile Transformation

Command and control task level management is the norm in many organizations. In contrast, one of the key principles of Agile is around building projects around motivated individuals and trusting them to get the job done. Moving an organization to Agile can generate fear and uncertainty in the executives and management of organizations. That fear often manifests itself in an increase in the level of micro-management and the sense within teams that they aren't really trusted. These challenges can derail an Agile transformation.

This talk explores three key techniques for positioning teams and the transition as trustworthy, thereby earning the trust of the organization and gaining support from the PMO, managers, and executives to support, rather than derail, a transformation effort.

1. Tell executives what's in it for them:
(a) predictability,
(b) transparency,
(c) time to value, and
(d) quality.
Show them how supporting the organizational design and management behaviors associated with Agile will increase their ability to achieve these goals. Big pictures, constant communications, and frequent interventions in conflict are required to deliver this. Use outcome-based metrics and show how executives expectations can help improve these outcomes.

2. Demonstrate engagement, progress, and control over the transformation efforts.
Use a competency model to present the number of teams engaged, the agile competency of the teams, and the progress of the teams in achieving agile competency. Use the competency approach to engage the management in specific approaches to improvement. Use this model to show the light at the end of the training, coaching, and transformation tunnel.

3. Use Lean tools like road-maps, Kanban boards and A3's to demonstrate specific efforts targeted at specific improvements aligned with improving the metrics and the level of engagement with the teams. This shows awareness of the needs of the organization and the intentional management of addressing these needs

Biography – Mike Cottmeyer

LeadingAgile co-founder and President, Mike Cottmeyer serves as our resident champion of core Agile values and principles. As a coach, he is an industry leader in enterprise focused Agile Training. Mike plays an extremely active role in the Agile community as a blogger, published writer, speaker, board member of the PMI Community of Practice, and leader of the Atlanta Scrum Meetup.

Mike takes a pragmatic approach to Agile practices. He is a proven leader with a diverse set of experiences working with both large and small companies. Mike has a track record of delivery providing Agile solutions to IHG, Southern Company, Ericsson, Discovery Channel, Turner Broadcasting, and dozens of other enterprises all over the country. He is a certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), DSDM Certified Agile Project Leader (DSDM APL), and he co-created the DSDM certification while serving on the board of APLN.

For Mike’s full resume and links to his published works, check out the following link:

Join or login to comment.

  • Rob S.

    Great to hear the latest thinking on sustainable agile adoption. Thanks Mike. And thanks Improving Enterprises for the pizza, drinks and venue!

    1 · January 23, 2014

  • Brian A.

    Very pragmatic. My kind of thinking. I look forward to more from Mike on this topic.

    January 22, 2014

  • David K.

    Very good discussion - awesome to see a thought leader put a fresh idea out and have a jam session on the topic. It takes courage - Mike has it.

    1 · January 22, 2014

  • Victoria D.

    Excellent presentation, and it has given me a lot to think about... Especially while I attempt to wrangle our enormous backlog into something manageable and actionable.

    January 22, 2014

  • Jessica

    One of the best!

    1 · January 21, 2014

  • John G.

    As usual excellent with me looking for work to get my feet wet and the certs as the money improves.

    January 21, 2014

  • Bryan E.

    I have so much to think about related to our approach to agile now.

    January 21, 2014

  • John G.

    I am looking forward to the meeting as I will be there early. In the area as we have a lot of people coming

    January 21, 2014

  • David K.

    Will Mike Cottmeyer be here in Dallas for this? Or is it a virtual presence presentation?- yes it does make a difference too me.

    January 7, 2014

  • Vince G

    Hello everyone, I'm Vince. Hope you all have a great year:)

    January 7, 2014

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