Help! My Teams are Agile but my Execs are Waterfall!

by Eliassen Group

Mon Oct 24, 2016 at 11:42 AM
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Software is strategic differentiator for companies and the ability to design and deliver this software effectively and efficiently is dependent upon agility. Back in the 1990’s companies started considering how they could deliver software more efficiently which launched the Agile Movement. And starting in 2010, we began to see large scale agile transformations - “Agile at Scale.”

Since then, we have discovered that many organizations live in a bi-modal world; they are using both traditional and agile practices at the same time. And as agile leaders, we need to bring both modes of thinking together so that they can coexist, rather than collide.

At the core of this concept, we have four levels of scale:

  • Team
  • Program
  • Portfolio
  • Enterprise

To start, Teams and Programs are trying to align to the Portfolio and the Enterprise as a way to bridge the gap between Agile and Waterfall. Not forcing everyone to change overnight means that you “de-risk” your Agile Transformation. You need to resolve, move forward and then scale.

So how can we align the teams when the highest levels of the organization haven’t made the transition? How do we bridge the gap?

Here are the key questions you need to ask to drive proper alignment:

  • Plan: How do I translate waterfall-style strategic portfolio planning cycles into Agile Execution?
  • Resource: How do I resource waterfall “projects” into an agile delivery organization?
  • Manage: How do I effectively manage dependencies in and across agile projects?
  • Report: How do I report on funded projects when agile teams report progress in story points?

As Scott Blacker, VP of Product at AgileCraft says, “thinking needs to come together to coexist, not collide”. To hear more from Scott Blacker and uncover solutions to better align your team across the board, take a look at our recent webinar in partnership with AgileCraft. Alongside Scott Blacker, Eliassen Group Agile Delivery Lead, Hunter McCluer uses real life examples to illustrate the importance of having a synchronized team throughout an Agile Transformation.View this webinar below and find this and other webinars on our resource page.

Are you curious to where you stand in your Agile Transformation? Eliassen group has the resources to help your team transition and effectively transform at any stage on your Agile Roadmap.