I was brainstorming what kinds of topics or exercises the executives (or senior managers) need. This also includes things for the managers close to teams, but it is not especially for them. OTOH, we're not addressing the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, either. In an example with that kind of firm, we mean the 'executive' or head of a unit of the firm, with maybe 150 people reporting to her or him. Here is what I came up with in a time box. Not everything, not perfect, but I think some good ideas.
- Team self-organization and leadership
- The basics of Scrum. (We maybe start with this, and also end with this.)
- Reducing the negative impact of the matrix
- Management is required with Scrum (but a different kind)
- How to use the new levers of control (and how not to use the old levers)
- Letting the teams fail (some) and guiding them toward self-management
- How big the agile transformation is. And why it is hard.
- Let's draw the 'future' organizational picture (future = 6 months from now)
- Business side vs Technology: Going from distrust to collaboration.
- Influencing better collaboration with the business side
- Is it going to be a struggle to have dedicated teams?
- How do we manage the chickens? (The people and groups who must support the Scrum Teams.)
- How do we manage to get less Scrum-Butt
- What are our biggest impediments now? (The list mostly should come from the teams, but let's get their thoughts now.)
- Can we have an Impediment Removal Team? Can we have a Management Scrum Team? Can we have an Executive Action Team?
- How do we organize the chickens to get greater agility (faster release delivery).
- Focus and Deliver. Aka minimizing the interruptions and distractions of 'other work'. Stopping the 'death by project switching.'
- Minimizing WIP to speed the delivery of finished releases
- Using the new metrics
- Management must help fix some impediments (people, money, approval, hard work)
- How do we learn to double our velocity (productivity)?
- Scaling. First, do we really need it? Second: KISS.
- KISS. More generally: It is important to keep things as simple as possible.
- Getting the right product owners and 'business stakeholders' (people who will give good feedback every 2 weeks)
- Leading change. Most executives are bad at this; to be fair, it is very hard. Engaging everyone in the change
- Influencing the cultural change
- The agile adoption backlog (adaptive action list)
If we educated the executives on these topics and they started taking more effective action, could it make a difference? Your comments please.