This article explores three of the top reasons Agile transformations struggle and how to overcome them.
Reason 3: Agile transformation requires the right team in place.
“A guiding coalition is more than a group of managers given “just another thing to add to their plate.” This group is comprised of the change agents who believe in the need for an Agile transformation.”
A third common reason Agile transformations struggle is because they don’t have the right team in place leading the Agile transformation. An Agile transformation is too big and complicated for one person to lead on their own. While there may be one key sponsor of the transformation, that person cannot make all the decisions in a vacuum and expect the transformation to go well. Successful Agile transformation requires a dedicated team leading the effort. This team is often called the guiding coalition.
The guiding coalition has specific characteristics:
The guiding coalition is small
The guiding coalition is small, with no more than 7-8 people, allowing for quick decision-making while representing multiple perspectives in discussions.
The guiding coalition is autonomous
This team must have the authority to make decisions without seeking approval from someone else in the company. If you cannot trust this team to make key decisions involved in leading the Agile transformation, you need different people.
The guiding coalition needs a team of individuals representing the company's key areas impacted by the transformation.
The guiding coalition needs a team of individuals representing the company’s key areas impacted by the transformation. These are representatives beyond typical management roles that can speak on behalf of the department concerning the impact the transformation will have on its day-to-day operations. For instance, a tech lead can represent the software development teams, or someone from Human Resources can represent the impact the transformation is having on employee engagement. The guiding coalition team must be comprised of change agents who desire to lead from their current role.
A guiding coalition is more than a group of managers given “just another thing to add to their plate.” This group is comprised of the change agents who believe in the need for an Agile transformation. Without a guiding coalition with these characteristics in place to lead your Agile transformation, your company will likely struggle.
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Stevie has over 20 years of software development experience, with most of that being on Agile teams. From her first Agile project, she was hooked on the collaborative, customer-focused approach that enabled her teams to delight customers with incremental, valuable deliverables. After moving on from a developer role, she has held numerous roles, including Product Owner, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Coach, and Development Manager.
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