Copyright © Focussed Agile LLC. All rights reserved.
Since 2007 I’ve worked as an internal coach leading two large Agile transformations, the first of about 75 teams (550 people) to 12 countries, the second of 60 teams (450 people) to 8 countries. These transformations were from a traditional (waterfall) software development practice to a Scrum implementation at scale using ideas from the whole Agile world – XP, lean, Kanban, SAFe etc.
In each case I was responsible for developing and executing the transformation plan for initial rollout of Agile. This included providing training at all levels of the organization – executives, management, teams, other leadership – as well as working the day to day issues involved in building a successful approach at scale.
More recently I have been working transformations based on SAFe, Agile, Scrum, XP and Kanban - see resume below.
2007 marks the beginning of my journey into implementing Agile at scale.
At the time the company I worked for (Intergraph, a software products company developing enterprise tools for large scale engineering projects such as power plants and offshore rigs) was looking for ways to radically improve how we developed software. The traditional approaches were not working for us any more - we had quality issues and a reputation for missing dates and taking a long time to deliver value. We'd heard of Agile, Scrum, Lean but did not think we could apply to our world. There were not a lot of scaled Agile success stories out there. We had complex enterprise products, over 500 development people operating in 12 countries around the world, working on code-bases that were more than 30 years old in some cases and products that involved literally millions of lines of code at one end of the spectrum, while others were much smaller.
I was selected to drive the implementation based on our business objectives. We worked with outside consultants to help us establish the program and then carry it into the organization, training everyone in the new way of working and thinking and then working every day to deal with the issues that arose - how do we coordinate teams, how do we establish budgets, how do we deal with personnel issue, how do we do capitalization, how we sustain and not regress to old approaches, and so on. Every day brought another challenge, another experience, and another success.
We were very successful. We improved the visibility of the work, improved our quality, increased ability to deliver in a predictable fashion, and increased how much value we were able to deliver. We had a scaled implementation where we were able to drive the entire business. But perhaps, most importantly, we had a changed culture where people took responsibility for the work they did and were highly engaged in the business.
It was so successful that other parts of the organization, marketing, field services, and support services wanted to use the ideas as well. I worked with these teams to customize Agile to their needs.
Another division of Intergraph decided they needed to do this change as well. This division consisted of another 400 technical personal in 8 locations. In 2011 I transferred to this company and worked with the executive team to establish goals, metrics and approach based on their business needs and the experience I previously had. The initial rollout was completed 1 1/2 years later. My role then focussed on ensuring continuous progress and improvement, while ensuring we did not regress.
News of this success lead to work with other companies within the conglomerate.
Traditionally, you don't tell this kind of story on a Web site. Here is why I am doing this ...
You don't want to do this kind of organizational change without someone who has been there before. Its hard to do, very hard, and unless you are working with someone that can support you through the day-to-day issues, deal with the conflict such a change engenders, worked these conflicts to resolution, then your implementation invites risk and may not be as effective as you'd like it to be.
Focussed Agile was established to help others implement a successful Agile implementation at scale leveraging our experiences as well as the latest thinking and models associated with Agile - Scrum, XP, SAFe, Lean and Kanban.