I was chatting with some colleagues the other day and the topic of agile maturity came up. Particularly for Technology Leaders who are inquiring about agile approaches.
These could be leaders who are new to agile and want to start the transformation OR leaders who are currently engaged in a transformation and looking for assistance.
The questions were around, how to tell IF:
- Do they truly “get” or understand agility?
- Are they really “ready” for it?
- Are they serious about it?
- Are they a good candidate for a coaching engagement?
- And, are they properly aligned with the principles of the coaching/consulting firm?
Some of the questions focused towards money. In fact, quite a few of them. Questions here were around budgets, the contractual/approval process, and payment terms.
I was almost embarrassed to admit that these are not forefront in my mind when I’m engaging clients. My feeling is that they sort of take care of themselves. What I care more about is how I perceive the Inspection Report - February 2017 client’s answers to the first set of questions AND how do they align with my own principles.
Mike Cohn in a recent newsletter entitled: The Dangers of Definition of Ready made some solid points that have had me “thinking” ever since I read it.
You see, I’ve been a proponent of DoR for at least the past five years or longer in my coaching. I often “couple” the discussion with two areas:
- Definition of Done
- And as an “exit criteria” for Backlog Refinement
I actually consider DoR to be one of the healthier agile practices and I often recommend it to my clients. So I read Mike’s cautionary article with some trepidation. Hoping that I haven’t been misleading my clients in some way.
I’ve captured Mike’s exception to DoR in the below snippet from his post:
Have you ever entered a Sprint taking on a User Story that you later regretted? For example:
- One that you should have broken down a wee bit more?
- Or one where the team had not a “snowball’s clue” how to technically implement?
- Or one where the value wasn’t clear from a business perspective?
- Or one where the estimate and the reality were not equal?
- Or one that, when you got it “Done”, you weren’t quite sure how to determine that it was done?
I’m guessing, of course you have. I encounter these scenes in teams I’m coaching all the time. And truth be told, it’s not a terrible event. Teams make mistakes…all the time. And they usually learn from them.