How to Run An Agile Transformation Effectively

A case study to showcase Agile Transformation actions and benefits.

As part of the Agile Transformation of teams/business units, you do a lot of things as an Agile Coach or Scrum Master. You start a lot of initiatives, and a lot of new practices. Also make sure that Agile is being understood and implemented successfully. After a few months, you start seeing the results of these practices or initiatives. At this point, you need to showcase these changes and benefits to leadership to give them confidence. You want to showcase that we are on the right track and the purpose to bring in you, fulfilled.

Agile Transformation

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To showcase these transformation actions and benefits, one of the best ways is to come up with a case study. Usually, you a have case study after some activity done. But Agile transformation, is a long journey. People lose lose confidence if they don’t see progress in the right direction. Hence this case study is an important tool to highlight transformation benefits.

Now what an Agile transformation case study can contain? I think below few pointers below are good to include in your Case study.

|| Key Observations and Impact
This is something that you observed when you came to this team or Business Unit. How things were happening before, what were anti-agile patterns, and what roles, or practices were missing. What was the impact on business due to these anti-patterns? Was there an impact on schedule or cost due to these missing practices? What was the business losing by not having these roles or practices? So, you need to highlight all the delays in deliverables due to poor backlog management. Also if the team had to rework as there was no proper planning at the start of the sprint, etc.

|| Transformation Activities
Here you should highlight the practices/roles/initiatives that you brought in to solve above mentioned problems. You cannot have one silver bullet for all your problems, so here you will talk about the custom-tailored changes that you planned and implemented. It may differ from team to team or BU to BU. The important thing is it should address the problems and anti-patterns which you observed and identified and there were some business benefits which you could see by implementing these changes. Examples for this section can be establishing sprint ceremonies, regularizing backlog refinement, focusing on proper sprint planning, etc.

|| Business Benefits
Here you would talk about the business benefits you achieved through implementing the above transformation practices. It would be always good if you talk about tangible or quantifiable results. Leadership would always be looking for that. Along with this data, you may also talk about indirect results or something intangible. But the focus should be always on data or facts. You can use various metrics like burn-down charts, velocity charts, defects metrics, etc. for this. Examples for this section can be rework reduced this much %, defects count reduced by this much numbers or %, predictability increased by this much %, etc.

|| Future Coaching Plans and Key Challenges
In this section, you can talk about your future coaching plans, new initiatives, or maybe some new metrics that will help to solve some existing problems. You would also talk about the key challenges you are seeing in implementing these plans. Here you may look for support from teams and leadership to resolve these challenges.

These are a few pointers that you may include in your agile transformation case study. You may include a few more also which you think would present benefits from your agile transformation and have a good impact on business/deliverables. It is like in sprint review team showcases their work to stakeholders and gets feedback for future improvements, this is also an opportunity for Agile coaches and Scrum Masters to showcase their work to leadership and get feedback, it’s a good reflection exercise to look back and see how the transformation journey been so far.

Hope this information would help you in your agile journey. Thanks.