Agile Implementation and Support

Put Everything into Practice

Implementation

The Implementation process can be varied, time-intensive and frustrating. Agile training can be challenging, but Implementation is a new way of practicing and gaining experience in a real-world environment.

agile-implementation-services

Implementation begins with identifying teams and key roles and responsibilities within each. An average team consists of a Team Lead or Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and several team members (developers and programmers). Support services are a combination of QA, DevOps, Domain Experts and Tech Support and are shared among two or more teams (also called Shared Services).

Next, the Consultant prepares them for and guides them through their first PI Planning (Project Implementation), conducted quarterly.  This is relevant only if teams operate in this particular planning style.

Each PI period includes a set number of ‘sprints,’ often 13 one-week sprints. Planning involves aligning projects over the 13-week period, and team members assign components of each project to the appropriate sprint, such that completion is ideally met by the end of the period. At that time, the group reflects on what was accomplished, what could have been improved, and proceeds to the next planning cycle.

Real-world reality is never so perfect. Often sprints need to be adjusted along the way, but teams try to maintain overall due dates within the PI period.

Implementation, depending on size and scope, may involve Pilot sprints, perhaps the first 3 sprints, to test how the team configuration is working. The Consultant guides them through their first iterations and observes the beginnings of self-sustaining units.

Example

For one group of 12 teams, the Consultant spent:

  • 9 months through Implementation,
  • 3 months in a Support role, and
  • 4 – 8 hours per week on a continuing basis.

When a re-structuring of teams took place two years into the work, the Consultant returned to near full-time capacity to integrate new people, aid productivity, and closely monitor progress over several months.

Client Response

Agile has really helped us build and drive a better business, a better product for our customers, and we’re delivering on that vision, and that vision is so important. If we continue to do that, that will put us back in that #1 spot.

Like every other operating group, Agile teams can face issues, but the coach is quick to remind them that Agile is a journey, not a destination.

Support

The Mission of a good Agile coach is to become unnecessary as soon as possible. This means that the coach supports the teams by observing and monitoring how they operate, providing individual and group guidance such that the team is more productive but relies less and less on the coach.

They may be reluctant to let the coach go even after they seem to be ready, a signal that it is time for the coach to depart.  A good Agile coach does not want to foster dependence; rather, creates independently, productive teams who are operating successfully on their own as testament to his/her success.  The coach leaves satisfied, and walks through the door to the next project.