I have a good friend and colleague who works in a rather large enterprise. Among others, she’s tasked with bringing “agile” into the organization and “transforming” their work. She’s largely leading the effort, so has a tremendous amount of responsibility for its success.
They’ve chosen Scrum for this effort.
They’ve engaged a rather large agile coaching firm to help them “go Agile”.
So far their strategy has been along the following lines:
- Hire full-time agile coaches
- Do a little training for “Leaders and Managers”, less than a ½ day, usually 60-90 minutes
- Spin-up Scrum teams (a little training), with Technical Leads as ScrumMasters and limited Product Owners (time and skill)
- Start sprinting
- Hire more agile coaches
- Spin up more Scrum teams…start sprinting
- Rinse & repeat…
To-date, there are more than 50+ newly minted Scrum teams who are dutifully sprinting away creating lots and lots of value.
I’ve written several times on the subject of how coaches and trainers in the Scrum and Agile communities often use “management” as a term implying dysfunction and marginalization. Not always as clearly as that might sound, because they’re often paying the bills, but behind closed doors they’re often complaining about them.
If an agile adoption goes awry, we often blame it on the leadership team –
Clearly our training and coaching of the agile teams was complete. The fact that the adoption is failing or dysfunctional isn’t my problem. It’s those pesky leaders. I tried to invite them to the CSM class…and they didn’t have the time. They only had time for a 1-hour leadership overview and half of them were on their cell phones the entire time.
They keep asking me to do more team training, and I’m doing that. But they really need to get their act together for this agile transformation to work. Sadly, I’m at a loss as to what I can do…
In a previous post, I tried to create a “Call to Arms” for Scrum Coaches and Trainers to do much more than simple, team-based training. While that seems to be a great deal of our focus, I don’t think it’s creating the environment and landscape for agile methods and Scrum in particular to “Transform the world of work”.
In early May 2014, I was at the Scrum Gathering in New Orleans and hanging out with a significant part of the CST and CSC community. A great deal of the discussion on how to “Transform the world of work” is focused on training and certifications. To be honest, I’m quite disappointed on the lip service that is largely given to the world of agile coaching. And coaching “downward”, toward the team, is most of that coaching focus.