Jul 01, 2016 | 2 min read

T-Shirts, Aircraft Carriers & Speedboats: 5 Insights From our June Agile Roundtable

By: Patrick Emmons

T-Shirts, Aircraft Carriers & Speedboats: 5 Insights From our June Agile Roundtable

Implementing Agile is challenging for many businesses. At our recent Roundtable, Transitioning to Agile: An Insider’s Look Into Disrupting the Status Quo, Roman Dumiak, Director of Technology Innovation for the Allstate Insurance Group, shared his experiences bringing Agile to his organization and the cultural shift that’s required in five key areas:


The number one rule when moving to Agile is communicating what Agile is … and isn’t … to everyone in your organization. Ensure that everyone understands the Agile Manifesto—including your CEO and leadership. Make it highly visible, so others can challenge you if you deviate from it.


Posting the Agile Manifesto on the break room wall isn’t enough. Staying on course requires continual effort. Hold your team accountable if it veers in the wrong direction and set people back on track as needed.


Energize your Agile team. Some companies put their staff in a glass lab, for everyone to see. While you’re at it, encourage and unite the team with something simple like t-shirts, so they can show their Agile spirit to the rest of the company.

Sticking to the Process

The Agile Manifesto emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation. But some companies spend months trying to codify how they will achieve Agile. That’s a mistake. Don’t try to implement Agile with a Waterfall approach. Find a coach or transformational specialist, and trust their expertise.

Growing or Transforming

There are multiple ways to transition to Agile. You can create and staff a separate technology center or make a culture shift that spans the entire organization. Roman looked at Waterfall as an “aircraft carrier.” In making the culture shift, he compared it to “turning the aircraft carrier around” and launching “speedboats” (Agile sprints) instead.

If you’d like to implement or improve your Agile culture or processes, plan your course of attack with DragonSpears.

About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.