"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change!" - Charles Darwin

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The snowball

This week I host another article from Mauro Bagnato. Today he shares some reflections about his experience with enterprise Agile transformation and provides a concrete example of a management practice about leading self-organizing teams.

After almost three years working as Agile Coach, one of my personal take away is that the Agile transformation is like a rolling snowball.
Once you really walk this way, your mindset will gradually but inevitably change till the moment when it’ll be impossible to get back to your old way of thinking, just like a snowball getting bigger and bigger while rolling downhill.

A clear example of what I’m saying happened weeks ago.
After a complete re-organization, the management team decided to let people self-organize to form twelve brand new teams…and the snowball was thrown! The team setup was a great whole day event (if you’re interested have a look at my previous post).

Everyone had the chance to choose the team to work with, but we all knew that this was just the starting point.

How to select the Scrum Masters and the Product Owners? 
How to group the teams to form four development units? 
How to assign a manager to each unit? 
Those questions and many many others were on the table and needed a fast answer.

”Why not letting teams decide again by themselves?” said one of the managers.

"Did I get it right?": I thought.
The snowball was getting bigger and was still rolling…

So…after having given people all the support and information they needed to make a conscious decision, teams were asked to select their Scrum Masters and Product Owners and to give their preferences among the list of managers.

How did it go? I would say that the whole experiment was a complete success!
I’ve got this feeling not because I’m 100% sure that we found the best setup possible, but because of how much we learned out of this journey.

And now? The snowball keeps moving and we’ll see what happens!

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