What Works Right Now?

Agile infiltrates an increasing amount of organizations. Changes in the jargon detect its influence. Phrases and words like “inspect and adapt”, “vertical slice”, “velocity”, and “collaborate” start getting batted around like volleyballs at a beach party. People ask questions in the serious tone of a late-night host discovering what is interesting about the guest: “What is the highest ranked item?”, “What are the acceptance criteria?”, “What does the team think?”. Zealots mutter incomprehensible phrases like “maximize the work not done” and “tracking actual hours worked is unnecessary”. People insist it takes a shift in mindset to understand, and yet we don’t sign up for loosing ours in the bargain. How should this be dealt with? Where to start?

Some current activities must be worthwhile. Utilizing these new Agile tools for working, the team can gain consensus on what those things are. It’s not that what we’re doing is under investigation like a new federal appointee. How can the team carry on the best of the organization while remaining willing to change that which does not work and moving on?

With the basics understood, one way may be through reflecting on what works right now. Retrospect and close out the old while opening up to the new. This may be intensive, as the scope of the session could be broad and wide.

What works well for the team? These are the team’s working agreements. What works in the process? Map out how ideas turn in to revenue with a value stream.

The best way to capture the information is with high visibility. Hung on the wall and written to be read across a room. While analyzing the information the team also looks for immediate improvements and prepares the way to embrace the new Agile culture.

Using a retrospective approach in this way helps the team build consensus through collaboration. Keep an active meeting objective visible, as well as an area to park off-topic suggestions and ideas. With the iterative approach of Agile the team can also safely begin transitioning away from traditional behaviors and courageously embracing this modern approach to software development.

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