How a 5 year old Agile program went through a strategic realignment

A software program stuck after 5 years running in Agile

  • 90-100 actors, 8 teams, 5 year doing Agile (Scrum)
  • metrics were sinking (velocity, business satisfaction)
  • business was about to drop support and funding
  • friction among the teams (“my Agile is better than yours”), and among the roles (support vs dev, PO vs devs, SM vs the world), among the hierarchical lines (3 hierarchy intertwined in the program)
  • an intricate complexity of legacy software services to talk to

A simple goal: project ROI back in the black

  1. Find a breakthrough strategy to turn the situation around
  2. Work better together as team of team

Approach: Strategic coaching + Agile coaching

  1. With program directors and head of division: change management coaching (inspired by Kotter model of change)
  2. With managers and team leaders: strategic coaching as a leadership circle
    • Bi-weekly coaching to become a highly performing team steering the transformation
    • Strategic Planning and Strategic follow up (workshops)
    • Systemic Thinking
    • Agile management coaching
  3. With Scrum Masters, Product Owners, teams: Agile coaching to step up their game
    • reviewing rituals and practices upon team demand (retrospective, planning, story mapping, etc.)
    • dispelling some misleading practices and myths about Agile
    • introducing sharper Agile tools and practices (facilitation skills, roles and responsibilities workshop, advanced retrospective techniques, etc.)

Outcome: a new dynamic and a situation back to green in 6 month

  • 45 days of coaching over 6 month + yearly follow up for 2 years
  • Program on track / out of “red state” after 1 year
  • Leadership circle remains the spinal chord of the project governance
  • Continuous improvement dynamic still vivid at organisation level
  • Hierarchy lines clarified / streamlined
  • Team restructured as Feature Teams
  • PO working hands in hands with their teams

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