An agile transformation journey implies a starting point, where you are now, and a destination. That destination might not be the final end point for your transformation journey, but that destination is somewhere you know you want to go – more automation, faster cycle times, higher quality, unimpeded flow from business intent to development, or just a happier place for everyone to work. A perfect destination to choose is Release Orientation.
How do you get a picture of that destination put into the entire team’s brains?
First, you need someone in the team who has enough knowledge or experience to be able to describe the vision of that destination. This can be one person in the organization or preferably many people. The key here is that someone needs to truly understand what the future could look like for the teams so that the picture of the destination even makes sense. This person or group does not necessarily need to know how to get to the destination yet, but at least be able to plug the destination into the company’s GPS. How do you get these “visionaries” into your team? You could hire folks that have the experience of being at or near the destination before. You could bring in agile coaching to temporarily hire in that “vision”. Most importantly, you need to give your scrum team members time to “scout” for the destination – read lots of articles, go to conferences, or create an “agile travel book club” for a group to read and discuss their potential next destination.
Second, you need to have a Shared Vision session that extends the team of “visionaries” out to include the whole team. Spend the time to get input from what everyone’s individual vision of the future could be, add on all the knowledge and learning from your core team, and then come up with a Shared Vision of the destination.
Third, you need to plan your route. You need to create a roadmap of the incremental improvements that will move you towards the Shared Vision. Do not overthink this roadmap but also do not slop it together either. There is a good balance of thoughtful preparation of the route to the destination and just getting started on the journey. This step is probably the best place to insert some real expertise to make this lean planning happen quickly and ensure the route chosen is effective.
Lastly, get moving! You know where you want to go, so get moving towards the destination. Just know that the route you laid out in the roadmap will change because every point in time in the journey presents an opportunity to figure out a better path and a slightly better Agile destination.
Good luck on your travels!
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