Okay, so you are a business or functional team, and you’ve decided to “go agile.” Where to start? Help me out, coach!
Start by forgetting agile (or “lean“) for a second. Instead, think about what you know: you know your team all the work you need to get done. Now what about your work or your team presents the biggest problem or opportunity? Is it that you have tons of unaligned stakeholders? Or your team has low levels of trust? Or perhaps your team is focused more on tasks and less on outcome, and you want to empower and enable your team to take on more responsibility and think more about outcome?
After this moment of self-reflection, now look at the menu of values. Which value presents the biggest problem or opportunity?
Let’s say, for the sake of this example, that your team is not always in sync. If that’s the case, you can consider scheduling a daily or semi-daily standup. Start with this. Coach the team so that they understand the value of the standup, and what the yesterday / today / impediment standup is doing for the team. If the team tries to solve problems in the standup, create a “parking lot” of items that you can discuss after you’ve conducted your standup.
After a few weeks, reassess. Is the team more in sync? If so, go back to the values. Now what value causes you to stay up a night? Is it the fact that you have no way to show if you are on track? If so, consider release planning.
And so on. In this way, your team can adopt the practices that work best for them. You don’t have to do it all at once. You can make progress incrementally and focus on improving the biggest problem or opportunity within your team.
For those of you who like things to be literal, I’ve put the values and ceremonies / artifacts on an actual menu: