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

[fa icon="user"] Patrick Emmons [fa icon="calendar"]  Jul 1, 2016 10:57:35 AM

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.


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