But what do you do, when you have a relatively young development organisation, cobbled together from various parts of the world, all differing skill levels & competencies, and when the leadership is lacking (incoherent) such that no one in the department has ever delivered a project successfully using Agile/Scrum before, have never really seen the development, people & cultural transformation required to realise the change from start-finish, and not have had the patience & privilege to live the agile journey of a few years??
What do you do when a team of aspiring young engineers that are just starting out on delivering formidable, real world-class products for the first time, who have been used to the heavy-handed old school project management styles of yesteryear -- suddenly fall in love with the premise of Agile -- but unfortunately lack the depth and breadth of understanding the real challenges of software engineering (product development, not proof-of-concepts)??
In the business of Set-Top-Box software product development, this is the software that provides your TV services like Personal Video Recording, Video On Demand, Linear TV, Electronic Program Guide, etc. A mixture of hardware design, low-level drivers, middleware operating system & high level user interface. Technologies are Java, Flash, HTML5, C/C++, embedded environment. This space is becoming highly competitive, how do such software providers remain competitive??
The answer generally touted is "We're adopting Lean/Agile/Scrum - we deliver fast, work with a rapidly changing market, flexible & practical" principles for product delivery -- but in reality ain't that easy - Agile adoption is a journey of at least three years, including time for experimentation & failure - it doesn't happen overnight. Some foundations need to be in place, principles that become the substrate for the future - a team without these foundations is operating in chaos, or as they say "Paying lip service to Agile"...
In this post I provide a straw man around goals that a development team could strive for in their quest for Agile. Just as they teach you in business school, that you need to have a plan guided by a mission, vision, strategy & plan of action -- so too can a development team ground themselves around goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Moreover, if a team can latch onto some Real, Tangible, Concrete, Credible messages, these can be quite powerful in galvanising the teams around a singular purpose: