Check Your Expectations: Are You Expecting or Growing Agile Skills?

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The article by Chris Moody “That’s Not Agile” caught my attention. There has been a lot of discussion in blog-land in this area. Chris hits the nail right on the head and fires back with a suspicion that those making such a statement “that’s not agile” may not be well versed in the subtleties of agile methodology.

Chris leaves the door open to ask, “How is your team growing to be more agile?” Identifying the issue and understanding the change process are two very distinct activities for the APM (Agile Project Manager). Our recent blog on this topic, “Agile or Not, PM’s Need to Keep Dysfunction at Bay,” highlights some ways in which an APM can effect change when dysfunction rears its ugly head.

Building a plan to become more agile is very similar. Let’s delve into the approach:

The thing you want to avoid the most when you hear an outcry like "that's not agile" is to make a snap decision to change methodologies. Instead take a coaching approach to finding balance for your project team.

(1) Careful listening – use an audit process to score your team's Agile skills

(2) Problem diagnosis – review your audit findings objectively

(3) Create an action plan to improve these areas:

  • Group dynamics
  • Methodology training and methodology adoption
  • Technology and tools to improve team member productivity and support the methodology
  • Appropriateness of team member roles and assignments based on experience, skill set and training levels; make sure you’re leveraging the talent on the team to the greatest extent possible

(4) Monitor progress of the team with each change from your action plan

As an APM, grow Agile knowledge and skill in your team using coaching techniques and adoption and positive changes will occur naturally.

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