Stages of Evolving Agility


The progression of stages below hint at common stages & challenges along a journey to Agility, and some common things to help you make progress. Of course your organization's journey and stages to agility will be unique. It will depend on your industry, where you are now, objectives, culture, people, appetite for change, and more.

Fortunately, it's not critical to get it exactly right at first. The power of rapid-learning cycles in an iterative approach is that your organization will get better & better at recognizing issues & opportunities, and making rapid corrections & improvements. Your organization will continue to evolve. The goal is not to do Agile. The bigger goal is to keep improving your organizational agility and thrilling customers.

We've included some possible ways SourceCell can help your evolving Agility, at different levels of service. We would not presume to propose a canned plan for your unique situation. We will work with you in an iterative way, using Agile to get Agile.

Let's discuss situation, goals, objectives, challenges, time frame, and find a way forward. evolving@sourcecell.com 650-485-1203

Summary View

Stage Characteristics & Challenges What Helps SourceCell Help Level 1 SourceCell Help Level 2 SourceCell Help Level 3

Stage 1

Exploring Change

Pondering Options Including Agile, Design Thinking, ...

Characteristics & Challenges

Long release cycles. Missed opportunities. Chaos. All priority one. Limited innovation. Turnover. Inflexible policies reduce agility. Assessing root issues. Way forward? Aligning. Conflicting policies & incentives, Hearts & minds? ...

What Helps

Assessment baseline. Clear objective(s) & clear metric(s) for business success vs activity. Formation of exec-action team for improvements and impediment removal. Way forward. Similar case studies. Rapid learning cycles. Experimenting.

SourceCell Help Level 1

Advising/Coaching for leadership and sponsored explorers

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: Assessment, Objective clarification with metrics. A way forward. Leadership training & alignment. Help identify pilot projects, people, teams, & structure.

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: Intro training & alignment at all levels needed in a product release cycle plus finance & HR. Internal & external recruiting. Org design, Culture design.

Stage 2

Try Agile/Scrum at Team Level

Pilot Project. Some Leadership Involvement.

Characteristics & Challenges

Mix of excitement & fear. Some early adopters. Frustration. Disagreement about what agile means. Lethargy. Apathy. Change fatigue. Mistrust. Turf. Misaligned. Too busy to change/improve. Fuzzy objectives. No clear baseline or key metric(s), aligning? Org constraints & impediments. Silos & dependencies. ...

What Helps

A way forward. Leadership involvement throughout. Leadership training & coaching. Formation of product prioritization team at exec level. Planning portfolio & milestones. Form Agile practices group. Great people. Shared learning. Building shared understanding & alignment. Patience. ...

SourceCell Help Level 1

Training at team level. Coaching on all levels. Nurturing positivity. Creativity. Guarding against misunderstandings of Agile and backsliding.

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: On-going assessment. Coach EAT. Portfolio planning. Milestone planning. Scaling & descaling coaching/consulting.

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: High-performance team coaching. Agile engineering practices training & coaching.

Stage 3

Expand Agile/Scrum to a Full Product

More Leadership Involvement

Characteristics & Challenges

Good progress in some teams. Want to get better. Difficulty interfacing w/ non-agile teams. Misunderstandings. Too busy to change/improve. Teams are doing 'Agile' but customer has not experienced improvement. Small change in metrics. Doubt re change. "Doing Scrum, but not..." Managing work vs leading & streamlining the organization. ...

What Helps

Progress towards objective(s) with metric(s). One product group hyper productive (4X) to show it's possible. Reminder of pre-Agile baseline. Leadership coaching. Leadership supporting/helping improvements. Product prioritization all levels. Support Agile practices group.

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels. Coaching impediment ID & removal. Alignment. Advanced Training.

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: Technical training & coaching. Tools choice

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: High-performance team coaching.

Stage 4

Expand Agile/Scrum to Run a Whole Business Unit

All Departments

Characteristics & Challenges

Faster cycles. Fewer defects. Increased customer satisfaction. Increased transparency & trust. Collaborative discussions using data from experiments. Lack of test automation slows releases. Difficult inter-team coordination. Debates of "scaling" strategies. ...

What Helps

End-to-end visibility & management. Highly trusted and actionable metrics at multiple levels. Focus on moving the needle for end customer. Deeper impediment removal. Dependency mitigation. Test automation. Culture care, ...

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels, coaching impediment removal and alignment. Advanced Training, ...

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: Training & coaching in automation, scaling/descaling, Design Thinking, Lean Startup. ...

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: DevOps. Culture care. Co-create organizational design. ...

Stage 5

Accelerate and Become World-Class Innovators

Characteristics & Challenges

Fast release cycles. Minimal defects. Pace with strong competitors or alternatives. Happier customers. Attracting better talent. Unknown competitors or alternatives. Drive to keep getting better. Resistance. Predictive vs empirical mindset. Culture challenges. ...

What Helps

Customer discovery. Experimentation. Continuous deployment. Autonomous/innovation time. Culture care. ...

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels. Coaching impediment removal. Alignment. Advanced Training. ...

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: Deep training & coaching in Agile, Lean, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile engineering practices, experimentation culture, systems thinking, ...

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: Culture care. ...


More Detailed View

Stage Characteristics Challenges What Helps SourceCell Offers SourceCell Help Level 1 SourceCell Help Level 2 SourceCell Help Level 3

Stage 1

Exploring Change

Pondering Options Including Agile, Design Thinking, ...

Characteristics

Long release cycles. Missed opportunities. Can't keep up with competitors. Frustration. Disagreement. Limited innovation. Inflexible policies reduce agility. Limited transparency. Blame. Entrenched silos. Turnover. Soul searching. ...

Challenges

Assessing. Picking a way forward. Aligning. Winning hearts & minds. Increasing trust. Showing early progress. Focusing on value vs internal processes. Turf, Fear. Conflicting policies and incentives. ...

What Helps

Assessment & baseline. Objective clarification with metrics for success. A way forward. Starting the learning cycle early. everyone involved. great people. Positivity. Creativity. Celebrating early small wins. Hack day/time. Retrospectives. Fighting off back sliding. Recognizing misunderstandings and inconsistencies. ...

SourceCell Offerings

Assessment, Objective clarification with metrics, a way forward, leadership alignment, Facilitating retrospectives and brainstorming. Helping you find great people. Nurturing positivity & creativity. Culture of safety & kindness. ...

SourceCell Help Level 1

Advising/Coaching for leadership and sponsored explorers.

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus Assessment. Objective clarification with metrics. A way forward. Leadership training & alignment. Help identify pilot projects, people, teams, & structure.

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus Intro training & alignment at all levels needed in a product release cycle plus finance & HR, internal & external recruiting (help finding & filtering)

Stage 2

Try Agile/Scrum at Team Level

some Leadership Involvement

Characteristics

Mix of excitement & fear. Early success from early adopter people and teams. From some people, teams, & managers, you might see early frustration. Disagreement about what agile means. Lethargy. Apathy. Change fatigue. Mistrust. Turf. Incorrect understanding and assumptions. Too busy to change/improve. Passive aggressive. Undermining. ...

Challenges

Fuzzy objectives. No clear baseline and key metric(s). No experience. Disagreement on way forward. Aligning? Different vocabularies. Organizational constraints and impediments. Organizational & technical dependencies. "Do your normal job, plus all this new agile initiative stuff." Incomplete Scrum ("Scrum, but ..."). Premature talk of "scaling", tools, and standardization.

What Helps

Strong assessment. Clear objective(s) clarification with clear metric(s). A way forward. Leadership involvement throughout. Leadership training. Formation of leadership action team for improvements and impediment removal. Formation of product prioritization team at leadership level. Iterative portfolio planning. Iterative milestone planning. Formation of an Agile practices group. Great people. Safety. Kindness. Positivity. Creativity. Technical practices training & coaching. Shared learning via guilds or communities of practice. Building shared understanding and alignment. Patience....

SourceCell Offerings

Coaching on all levels. Iterative portfolio planning. Iterative milestone planning. Nurturing safety, kindness, positivity, & creativity. Technical practices training & coaching. Design Thinking. Lean Startup Design Sprints. Scaling & descaling coaching/consulting. Collaborative (non-violent) Communication

SourceCell Help Level 1

Training at team level. Coaching on all levels. Nurturing positivity. Creativity. Guarding against misunderstandings of Agile and backsliding.

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: On-going assessment. Portfolio planning. Milestone planning. Scaling & descaling. Coaching/consulting. Advanced training.

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: Coach EAT. High-performance team coaching. Agile engineering practices training & coaching.

Stage 3

Expand Agile/Scrum to a Full Product

More Leadership Involvement

Characteristics

Good progress in some teams. They want to get even better. Teams are doing 'Agile' but customer has not experienced improvement. Difficulty interfacing with teams/departments that are doing things the previous way. Mix of excitement & fear. Incorrect understandings and assumptions. Too busy to change/improve. Passive aggressive. Undermining. Turnover. ...

Challenges

Limited change in metrics. Arguments on change. Doubt. Incomplete Scrum ("Scrum, but ..."). Managers managing work vs leading & helping transform the organization. Disagreement on way forward. ...

What Helps

Progress towards some objective(s) with supporting metric(s). Highly-trusted actionable metrics at multiple levels. Focus on moving the needle for end customer. Get one product group to hyper productivity (4X) to show it's possible before scaling. Reminder of the way it was at baseline. Leadership involvement throughout. Leadership coaching. Support of leadership action team for improvements and impediment removal. Support of product prioritization team by leadership level. Support of an Agile practices group. Tangible/significant impediments removed by leadership and teams. Agile engineering practices improving. Test automation increasing. Better people joining. Growing positivity and creativity. End-to-end visibility & management. ...

SourceCell Offerings

Assessment updates. Coaching re objective clarification with metrics. Leadership coaching. Team coaching. Coaching of Agile coaches and Scrum Masters. Helping recognize people changes needed. Nurturing positivity and creativity.

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels. Coaching impediment removal and alignment.

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus: Technical training & coaching, tools choice help

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2 plus: High-performance team coaching.

Stage 4

Expand Agile/Scrum to Run a Whole Business Unit

Exec, Prod, Eng, Fin, HR, ...

Characteristics

Faster release cycles. Fewer defects. Increased customer satisfaction. (But not consistently thrilled.) Increased transparency and trust. Discussions are more collaborative using data from experiments. ...

Challenges

Threshold of Agile thinking. Desire for predictions vs empirical data. Disincentives. Holdouts. ...

What Helps

Deeper impediment removal. Team empowerment. Dependency minimization & mitigation. Test automation. Culture care. ...

SourceCell Offerings

Advising. Advanced training & coaching. Connections to experts in very specialized advanced topics.

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels. Coaching impediment ID & removal. Alignment. Advanced Training

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus Training & coaching in automation, scaling/descaling, Design Thinking, Lean Startup.

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2, plus DevOps. Co-create organizational design. Culture care.

Stage 5

Accelerate and Become World-Class Innovators

Characteristics

Fast release cycles. Minimal defects. Keeping pace with strong competitors. Thrilled customers, Great culture attracting great people. Drive to keep getting better.

Challenges

Continued improvement and experimentation vs complacency. Unknown competitors or alternatives. Incorporating new people. (emergent & surprising challenges)

What Helps

Customer discovery. Experimentation. Continuous deployment. More autonomous time. Culture care. ...

SourceCell Offerings

Advising. Advanced training & coaching. Connections to experts in very specialized advanced topics.

SourceCell Help Level 1

Coaching all levels. Coaching impediment ID & removal. Alignment. Advanced Training ...

SourceCell Help Level 2

Level 1 plus Deeper training & coaching in Agile, Lean, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile engineering practices, experimentation culture, systems thinking, etc ...

SourceCell Help Level 3

Level 2, plus Culture care, ...


Let's discuss your situation, goals, objectives, time frame, and help you find a way forward.


For More Info:

evolving@sourcecell.com

650-485-1203