Tag Archives: enterprise agile

A Scrum Master Can’t Help You

I failed Scrum.org’s question about whether or not the Scrum Master is a management position.  I still think it was a trick question, and I did manage a 77% so I guess I’m qualified enough to still talk about Scrum.

The textbook definition of a Scrum Master is someone who “removes impediments” and facilitates the process for the team.  I suppose from a process perspective the Scrum Master does do management type of work but in general terms the Agile community doesn’t agree that the team’s manager makes a good Scrum Master.    The general thinking is that a manager can circumvent team self-organization and creativity by directing the team and in theory this is fine but in practice it’s just not reality for medium to large sized organizations. Continue reading

Position Paper for Agile Coach Camp 2010

Agile Coach Camp 2010 is coming the weekend of March 19, 2010 in North Carolina.    I’ve heard great things about Coach Camp and this is my first opportunity to attend.  You can check out their site here and for those who aren’t familiar with Coach Camp, it’s an Open Space conference focused on peer-to-peer learning and exploration as opposed to the traditional speaker/audience conferences I’m not a huge fan of.

Anywho, onto the position paper:  You’ll notice these are high-level points, that’s the point of Coach Camp.  The goal is to share experience and gain feedback from the Agile community.

Title: A Recipe for Enterprise Agile Transformation

Background and Challenges:

  • large department within large organization
  • tall hierarchy, great deal of office politics
  • heavily silo’d organization
  • complex product portfolio
  • mix of full time, contractors, outsourced developers and teams
  • limited people with Agile experience in the organization
  • no recognized Agile champion

Speaking and Presentation topics I plan to share:

  • transitioning focus of functional managers and other roles
    • there is much confusion about ‘where does my role fit’?
  • breaking down silos between multiple groups
    • having to prove you are worthy of being trusted
    • demonstrating and sharing success and failures
  • portfolio and team organization
    • how to structure your teams with the right skills for the project
  • techniques for handling ‘specialist’ groups
    • how these groups interface with teams
    • how these groups share information gained from working with multiple teams
  • cross-project knowledge sharing (technical or process related)
    • getting people together to talk about experiences.
  • How PMO and process teams evolve
    • more teaching and coach, less command and control
  • spreading Agile culture
    • making it about the organization, not the coaches
    • teaching the organization to think for themselves

The above topics will be accompanied by some fancy diagrams I’m working on for an experience paper and due to the format of Coach Camp, if my paper is accepted and put into the plan, the topics discussed with likely be determined by what my peers want to hear about.

I am still planning on writing and experience paper I had hoped to have finished by now where I can share more details.  Interested in your thoughts and experiences!