How can we achieve agile buy-in across our teams?

You have helped bring scaled agile to your organization. You want to see agile buy-in as your teams come together while taking pride in the value they are delivering and embrace an agile mindset.

For months, you have been preparing. Your agile teams have gone through training, and the Agile Release Train (ART) launched. The team has worked through a few Program Increments (PIs), yet you see your teams struggle to embrace agile. Subsequently, your organization has yet to realize the benefits of agile, including faster time to market, reduced turnover, or increased market share.

It is not unusual to see hesitation from individuals and teams as they transition to an agile mindset. This shift changes the way people interact with others, and it takes time to adapt a consistent, agile response. Individuals and teams with an agile mindset gain agile rewards.

It is often difficult to overcome challenges on your own. Working with an agile coach can help you remove these roadblocks and get your team on the right path to agile rewards. We have compiled five scenarios we often see during agile transformations that may hinder agile adoption. We offer guidance to implement agile practices and provide the agile buy-in you seek.

 

CHALLENGE 1:

A manager had past success as a micro-manager who directed all details, great and small. To him, it is not responsible to hand control over to others.

AGILE SOLUTION 1:

Agile decentralizes decision-making when possible. It asks us to respect each other. All of us want to showcase our skills to the team; this manager struggles to show his value. Agile training is needed.

This manager should have a defined agile role, such as Epic Owner. In this new role, he now has direction and specific responsibilities with deliverables. An embedded agile coach will work with him in real-time to transition from his previous command-and-control mindset.

 

CHALLENGE 2:

A product manager shares information on a need-to-know basis. Plans are not distributed in the fear that they will be held to a “maybe,” or the team will challenge his judgment. Developing two-year roadmaps are not up for discussion.

AGILE SOLUTION 2:

Agile relies on transparency. Teams cannot be innovative or design to reduce future rework if they don’t know future intent. Solution intent improves flow, builds in quality, and reduces rework.

In this case, a robust Value-Stream Mapping exercise with the Product Manager, Product Owners, architects, business owners, stakeholders, and agile coaches will bring clarity on the future of the product to the teams. Not only will it show the value of collaboration, but it will also provide the team with a vetted, detailed roadmap.

 

CHALLENGE 3:

A solution manager keeps the agile release trains (arts) siloed by using confusing metrics, separate syncs, and different demo sessions. As the only holder of cross-art information, she feels invaluable.

AGILE SOLUTION 3:

Lean proves the value of removing or reducing any flow impediment. In this case, the Solution Manager should focus on integration, not division. An agile coach can teach the Solution Manager her essential responsibilities, such as defining the Solution Intent and Solution Vision. This enables teams to innovate towards a common purpose. Transparently coordinating arts’ delivery of capabilities empowers teams to devise better solutions.

 

CHALLENGE 4:

A scrum master directs his teams like a traditional project manager. He preaches in daily standups, drowning out others’ voices. In addition, he updates the boards by himself and sets iteration commitments for the team without input.

AGILE SOLUTION 4:

Agile relies on the scrum master to be a selfless servant leader who supports the team, often in a silent, supportive “work behind the scenes” way. Each role has a purpose so that the work will flow smoothly.

This scrum master is harming the team. A scrum master should focus on enabling the team, perhaps by using powerful questions to unlock the team’s potential. The scrum master should encourage team members to focus on their responsibilities, like updating boards, which helps them produce valuable work. It would be helpful for him to shadow an experienced scrum master. An agile coach could also review the scrum master’s role and explain each responsibility to him.

 

CHALLENGE 5:

Some technology development team members complain that their app or system is so complex that they cannot change the way they work, or the whole house will crumble.

AGILE SOLUTION 5:

No system or application is so complex that an improvement backlog cannot be built. An Agile Coach can host a series of workshops to identify the current system flow, current issues, and brainstorm potential future states. Once the team commits to a vision of the future, add those items to the backlog.

As you bring your challenges to the forefront and resolve them, your teams will buy-in to agile, move forward, and experience the benefits of Agile. Sila can provide an agile coach to shadow the teams and provide recommendations on ways to boost agile benefits.

Read more Agile FAQs.

What questions do you have?

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