Through my consulting company, Leffingwell, LLC., I provide enterprise lean|agile transformation consulting, training and mentoring services to larger software enterprises. This work is based on my experiences in the enterprise setting, the content of my various books and typically uses the Scaled Agile Framework (TM) as a starting point. In addition, my Scaled Agile Partners, Drew Jemilo, Colin O’Neill, Alex Yakyma, Mauricio Zamora and Drew Jemilo, often assist me with the larger scale rollouts. Each of them has skills and experience uniquely suited to the enterprise setting.
While much of our work is custom consulting, purpose-built to the unique context and challenges of each enterprise, certain of our services exist as package offerings that have proven to be effective building blocks. Some of these are described below.
Setting the Stage: Lean|Agile Leadership Workshop
The two-day Leading and Effective Lean|Agile Transformation leadership workshop is intended for executives, managers, and team leads that are considering or implementing a Lean or Agile transformation, as well as for those leaders of any software organization needing a step-change improvement in software development productivity and quality. The workshop is an interactive, experiential-based format with tutorial and hands-on exercises, coupled with ample opportunities for discussion of applicability to the company’s current software development challenges. Modules include Lean Thinking, Introduction to Agility, Experiencing Scrum, Advanced Enterprise Practices, and the Agile Release Train. The final module, Agile Leadership, is a half-day focused solely on developing the leadership skills necessary to lead the lean|agile enterprise and build high performing agile teams. Download the syllabus here: Lean Agile Leadership Workshop Syllabus
Since your enterprise will ultimately be no more lean or agile than your executives thinking, this course is often the right place to start.
Upcoming Public Lean|Agile Leadership Workshops in Australia and new Zealand
Most of my workshops are delivered at a client’s site. However, I do have three public workshops scheduled in Sydney (February 7-8), Melbourne (Feb 14-15) hand Auckland, NZ (Feb 28-29), 2012. You can register for these workshops through Agile University here:
Scrum for Teams in the Enterprise
Scrum provides a lightweight and effective framework for implementing agility at the team level. Our two-day Scrum for Teams in the Enterprise (S4TE) class provides an introduction and practical experience with the Scrum team framework. In addition, this class includes an introduction to agility at scale via a half-day Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Larger Enterprises module. And, since our enterprises operate at scale, our delivery model must operate at scale, so we often deliver this class for 50-100 practitioners at the same time (5-15 teams). While this might sound a bit chaotic, it’s really fun and effective, and all the teams learn Scrum, build their backlog, write user stories and acceptance criteria and learn the basic disciplines, roles, meetings and cadence of the Scrum framework at the same time. Equally importantly, this class starts to build the relationships and trust that provide the foundation for the “Ba” of a dynamic, knowledge-acquiring agile program.
Workshop topics include: Scaling Agility, Scrum philosophy and basic practices, Roles in Scrum – Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Team, Building the product backlog, Writing user stories, Agile estimating, Developing acceptance criteria, Scrum ceremonies, Sprint planning and tracking, Sprint review and retrospective, Release planning
The workshop includes hands on exercises designed to help teams experience Scrum and to build real project assets for the team’s first sprint. At the end of the workshop, teams will be prepared to begin to implement Scrum in their individual team and program settings.
Agile Release Train Release Planning Workshop
This facilitated workshop/planning session is designed to provide a common vision, mission and joint commitment to a set of agreed to program objectives. During the workshop, the vision is set by the company’s executives, and program and product managers, and a plan for multiple sprints is created by the teams. The output of the session is a committed plan for the next release with measurable objectives and iteration plans. You can learn more about this important program best practice in the Release Planning category on this blog.
Agile Release Train Program QuickStart
When you are ready to take the plunge, putting some of these elements together creates a five-day program that will kickstart the launch of your most important programs down an agile path. Objectives of this offering include:
- Train 50-100 team members, (typically organized in to 8-12 newly formed Scrum teams in a common program), in the principles of Scaling Software Agility and the implementation of Scrum in an enterprise context
- Align the team to a common enterprise mission and product backlog and plan for the first release or potentially shippable increment (PSI, 8-12 weeks) of software. Establish iteration plans and measurable PSI objectives
- Introduce prospective Product Owners and ScrumMasters to the principles and practices unique to their role in the new agile enterprise
- Build a context and repetitive model for rolling-wave release planning, objective setting, program execution and adaptive feedback which provides a continuous flow of value to the user or marketplace
This is the fastest way to get your larger product, service, or application value streams delivering the benefits of agile at scale. A syllabus is here:
Enterprise Agility Assessments and Recommendations
For companies who have already rolled out agility in some or all of the enterprise, we’ve also done a series of Enterprise Agility Assessments and Recommendations. In this engagement, we typically interview the enterprise’s executive stakeholders as well as agile team members with respect to the state of the current agile transformation. These interviews are usually organized by role – dev managers, Scrum/agile masters, product owners and product managers, architects, quality and test managers, team leads, etc.
One dimension of the engagement is focused on assessing the development team’s current progress with agile technical and agile project management practices. The second dimension of the assessment focuses on understanding the next level of impediments that exist – those which often occur at the program, governance and portfolio level. Based on this input, we provide a set of recommendations for taking the company to the next level of productivity, quality and ROI benefits.
As I mentioned above, my service delivery partners, Drew Jemilo, Colin O’Neill, Alex Yakyma, and Mauricio Zamora often assist with large rollouts. Their short bios are below. Not to worry, these guys really get agile at scale.