Whole-System Agile Adoption

Achieve DURABLE Success

Agile is Not a Program You Implement, But a Set of Values You Choose to Adopt.

It’s the difference between “doing Agile” or Agile theater, and “being Agile,” or Agile in real life. Organizations who wish to “become Agile” will benefit from experienced guidance during the process.

Our “whole-system” approach to Agile adoption is designed to take your entire organization—its processes and its culture–from Agile concept to complete adoption. Our whole-system approach to Agile adoption is designed to achieve durable success.

It’s not just the notes; it’s the melody.

Why is Whole-System Agile Adoption Important?

Because they are interdependent, durable success in Agile adoption requires change to both of the two organizational systems that compose and drive your value chain. One is the system by which your organization conducts its work—the processes and mechanics—this is where frameworks like Scrum fit in. The other organizational system that makes up and drives your value chain is the one by which your organization governs the conduct of its work—your culture—this is where leadership comes in.

For example, there will be new roles and responsibilities for everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, new behaviors will be measured and rewarded, there will be a new organizational structure, and more. The key point is this: if you make a change to only your organization’s mechanics without making a complimentary change to its culture, your organization will ultimately reject that change like the body rejects a transplanted organ.

This is why so many Agile adoption efforts fail, and this is why the ones that follow our whole-system approach do not. Our Whole-System Agile Adoption approach helps your organization through every step of the Agile adoption journey; we:

  • Provide coverage from start to self-sufficiency, from an initial pilot all the way through scaling across the entire organization
  • Engage all organizational levels, from the front-line to the management and leadership teams
  • Provide field-proven guidance from the base framework (e.g., Scrum) to leading organizational and cultural change using our proprietary “BHG Framework.”

What to Expect from the Whole-System Agile Adoption Program

Our Agile Adoption Program is designed and delivered by those who have led Agile adoption efforts in real life, and draws upon principles, concepts, methods and tools from both Dr. Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum@Scale, and Craig Larman & Bas Vodde’s Large Scale Scrum, or LeSS, frameworks. Each of our Whole-System Agile Adoption efforts is custom-designed based on your unique organization; however, they follow the same field-proven framework, which consists of 4-stages with 3 management checkpoints.

Leadership Overview & Management
Checkpoint #1

In our experience, organizational leadership is often misinformed and under-estimates the caliber of change that Agile adoption will require—especially of them. Too many leaders figure that all they have to do is allocate the money and the people, and they’ve done their part.

So, before they make any investment of either, we conduct a half-day session with your leadership team to help them understand the “why,” the “what” and the “how” of our Whole-System Agile adoption approach, the organizational change that is involved, what they should expect and what the expectations are of them.

Following this Leadership Overview, we conduct a management checkpoint to validate their desire to continue.

Proof of Concept & Management
Checkpoint #2

In the next stage, we work with you to take one of the Agile frameworks, typically Scrum, for a test drive. We help you select a product to pilot, the Product Owner, Scrum Master and Dev Team for the product. We conduct several levels of training and coach the Scrum team through three-to-five sprints.

In addition to teaching the mechanics to the Scrum team, we also conduct in-depth leadership education, explaining the leadership fumbles and fails we have observed over time. This knowledge will help leaders navigate Agile adoption successfully.

Upon completion of the pilot team’s three-to-five sprints, a management checkpoint is conducted to decide whether or not to continue.

Expansion & Final Management Checkpoint

During this stage, we demonstrate that our adoption process produces results that are repeatable and predictable. To do so, we will add three-to-five additional Scrum teams and coach each of them through the same adoption process as the pilot team.

Again, after three-to-five sprints by the several Scrum teams, a final management checkpoint is conducted to decide whether or not to continue.

Organizational Scaling

After the decision is made to scale Scrum across the whole organization, we create the additional Scrum teams following the same approach used in the pilot and expansion stages.

But the most important work done at this stage is with the leadership team. You see, the name of this stage, “Organizational Scaling” is really a misnomer. This stage is really more about de-scaling and simplifying the organization.

Using our proprietary BHG Framework, we help them lead the organizational and cultural change that will be required to ensure durable success in their adoption of Agile and the realization of its attendant benefits.

At a time mutually agreed with leadership, we will conduct maturity assessments of each Scrum teams to ensure they have achieved a level of self-reliance and to identify areas of team strength that can be leveraged across other teams.

When management becomes comfortable, we end regular involvement, re-engaging with you only at your request.

Ready to Start Your Agile Adoption Journey?

Are you ready to change your organization for the better? If so, whole-system Agile adoption could be the best choice for your organization. To learn more about Agile adoption or to get started on your own adoption journey, send us a message.