Day 5 of 100 How Successful Pilots Can Hurt an Organization

April 26, 2013 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Continuing with the  100 Things You Must Know to Be Effective In Software Development.

For the last several years I have been claiming that the Agile Community has been a bit myopic on the team.  I'm not questioning whether the team was a good place to start Agile - it's what we did.  It was certainly the easiest.  It also didn't require significant changes to corporate management, strategic planning, portfolio management and other even more difficult things than effective team organization and management.  This myopia is not too detrimental in small organizations, but can be very harmful in larger ones.  Especially those organizations unsure of Agile.  In these cases Agile evangelists will be even more pressed to ensure that an Agile pilot succeeds.  It's all too tempting to pick and chose who is on the pilot, but doing so is often fraught with danger.  As I discussed in Day 3 of 100 Specialization Exists, Honor It one must recognize not all people are equally skilled and that some folks are needed throughout the organization more than others.  

Pilots that don't address the bigger issue of how we share critical people but just assign them to the pilot may achieve success only to exacerbate this challenge and make the organization weaker. Eventually, rolling out Agile will fail as this problem becomes paramount and people will shrug and say Agile doesn't work. In reality, team-focused Agile may not work, but enterprise focused (aka Lean-Agile) will. 

This is such an important topic I have both written about it- How Successful Pilots Often Actually Hurt an Organization - and have created a short lightning webinar as well.

Al Shalloway
CEO, Net Objectives

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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