What is Agile?
Agile is a way of accomplishing work collaboratively to achieve the best business results. It provides the flexibility for the organization to learn about what the market wants in a product / service and deliver it without being constrained by the original plans. Agile leans heavily on inspect and adapt cycles to continuously improve delivery. After all, organizations that aren’t continuously evolving and improving will get left behind in this highly competitive global market.
Although agile originated in software development, it is easily applied to various areas of businesses including marketing, engineering, production, manufacturing, human resources, accounting and operations. Different frameworks exist under the agile umbrella, with Scrum, XP and Kanban being the most popular. These frameworks can be adapted to the different types of work occurring and to your organizational context.
Why Adopt Agile?
My mantra is that agile frameworks allow organizations to deliver better products / services faster and cheaper with higher employee engagement and better organizational alignment. I’ve repeatedly seen these results in organizations that commit to transform their culture and organization to become agile. Let me take a moment to dissect my mantra for you.
- “Better products” has two distinct threads. First, the products / services have fewer defects because agile has a relentless focus on quality. Teams understand defects are considered waste and strive to prevent them. Second, teams focus on delivering the right product / services. They avoid creating products / services that will not be used or will be under utilized, thereby maximizing the return on investment.
- “Faster” is all about speed to market. Agile teams deliver quickly because they focus on high quality incremental delivery. Delivering incrementally allows for more inspect & adapt cycles to ensure the right product / service is being delivered. These cycles essentially provide opportunities to pivot from the original plan in order to ensure the product / service is viable and beneficial to the market.
- “Cheaper” has two distinct threads as well. The first thread is reducing the cost to deliver by focusing on eliminating waste by continuously improving the processes. Second, delivering incrementally provides opportunities to release products / services to the market earlier so the organization starts earning a return on their investment earlier.
- “Higher employee engagement” is achieved because agile team members have a higher level of autonomy. Team members choose and commit to the work they will accomplish and are able to execute the work the way they see fit. Plus, team synergy results in sharing knowledge that enables team members to continuously improve through shared learning.
- “Better organizational alignment” is achieved because agile teams see how their product / service supports the organization’s mission. Team members understand the benefits of the product / service to the organization, end customers and to the world.
What Turning Point Coaching Offers
Agile transformations require commitment in order to be successful. And having a guide during your agile journey enables faster adoption and more rapid maturity of the agile practices. Turning Point Coaching provides the following range of services:
- Agile Assessment to examine the existing organizational structure and culture to determine the best approach for your agile transformation. The output is an Agile Transformation Roadmap for your organization.
- Enterprise Agility Coaching supports the enterprise adoption of the Agile Transformation Roadmap. This coaching also involves working with leaders, governance and support organizations to transform their processes and practices to enable an agile organization.
- Agile Leadership training focuses on how the role of leaders change in an agile organization, how leaders support the agile transformation and developing the skills agile leaders need to be successful.
- Kanban Training provides teams with an essential fundamental understanding of Kanban. Participants learn the lean principles and create their Kanban board that they begin using when they return from training.
- Scrum Team Training focuses on providing agile team members the values, principles and practices of agile and Scrum. After this experiential training, participants are prepared to use Scrum
- Scrum Master Training teaches participants the skills that Scrum Masters need to be successful. This training goes beyond the popular certifications offered by turning out Scrum Masters who have the skills to be effective in this role when they return from training.
- Product Owner Training dives deeply into the responsibilities for this Scrum role. Going beyond the popular certifications, this training enables participants to be effective in this crucial role when they return from training.
- Agile Coaching is designed to support people on their own agile journey. In the early stages of a person’s agile journey, agile coaching focuses on guiding and mentoring the person in agile practices and how to think agilely. More experienced people and teams benefit from agile coaching as a means to jump-start a team that has stalled in it’s progression and improvement. This also includes “coach the coach” to enable your organization to become self-supporting and self-sustaining.
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) training and coaching is an evolving, adaptive framework created by Dean Leffingwell and others in the agile community for large-scale programs to adopt agile practices. As a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC), I am able to deliver the SAFe Agilist and SAFe Practitioner training for certification. SAFe also introduces the concept of Agile Release Trains (ARTs) to launch programs with multiple teams during a week-long engagement that includes training and program launch activities.
If you are contemplating an agile journey of your own and want an expert as a guide, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.