As a professional Scrum master, I got the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of agile methodology and Scrum process through courses, workshops and profound discussions in forums. Practicing Scrum is more of a craftsmanship. Mastery is achieved over time.
On the other hand, being in leadership at large, Fortune 500 corporations, I helped in agile transformation using scrum framework within the boundaries of hierarchical management.
Have We Really Transformed?
3 fundamentals of Agile methodology or Scrum process can be consolidated as following:
- Transparency - a great way of building this pillar is visualization. Common realization is that boards depict the workflow.
- Monitor - one of the most important aspects of agile methodologies. It enables improvements every day. Through monitoring, we learn where we currently are and discover what we need to do to achieve our vision and mission. Common realization is measuring velocity, feedback through demonstrations and retrospectives.
- Fast Forward - establishes micro planning which implements a culture to do the most important thing first. Through micro planning, we incorporate changes fast and alternative progress path when obstacles are found. One of the key approaches to mitigate risks is by distributing risk elements into smaller timeframes.
The enterprise wanted a management upgrade. Agile was the new buzz so we decided to transform into agile management. To complete our agile transformation, we have applied all 3 fundamentals of agile methodology stated above. So, we have now transformed our organization and become agile, right? let's dig a little deeper into that.
Agile is a methodology for a way of working and be effective in R&D development. To succeed, development team and many other existing roles need to be well orchestrated. For management agile transformation is not only about changing some methods of working, the transformation is also about mindset changes, so it is as much as a philosophy as it is a methodology.
One hidden philosophy of agile is control. In Agile management, the control is given to agile teams, meaning ideally no external control shall be necessary. A methodology that may transformation the enterprise from traditional management towards agile leadership.
In large corporation control and governance is achieved through hierarchical management model.
Does that mean the management is obsolete in agile methodology?
How do you keep all the managers in the organisation as Scrum framework doesn't define the manager role?
The easier way to answer this question was to change the framework. This adaptation is done by the enterprise themselves and enforced into practice. There was no standard adaptation of the methodology. Figure-1 depicts this enterprise's adaptation of the scrum framework.
Figure-1 is just one way of changing the framework within the boundaries of traditional management. Here, Scrum triangle has been modified. Development teams position has been replaced by the management.
Scrum is a very light weight framework that tries to give a guideline for value driven software development. It is very difficult, close to impossible to define a framework that fits all needs. Implementation of scrum framework in enterprises shall require tailoring. The adaptation will always be dependent on the company's culture and existing leadership style. One key point is that when every enterprise makes its own version of Scrum, we may lose the founding philosophy of Agile thus the essence of the transformation. For long term benefits, we shall strive to find some common elements and try to standardize the adaptation as much as possible.
In the implementation of agile transformation and scrum adaptation, we shall always emphasize our efforts to create self-organizing teams. Self-organizing teams are the primary lead to agile management culture in the enterprise.