Build technical agility as your Basic ingredient !

Enterprises today struggle with large scale agile adoption and transformation, without looking at the prevalent technical agility, which is a basic ingredient for building the organizational and business agility blocks.

Wishful Dreams

The dreams of Successful Agile Transformation at SCALE, are sold and bought easily today, with  customer success stories , customer quotes and a conference presentation to back it all up. What else do you need? to dream up wishful thinking.

Reality Beckons

But if you dig deeper you realize that even Basic team level agility is a daily struggle for most enterprises. Most enterprises in the agile fluency model are at the 2 or 3 star teams. Rarely the teams go higher and almost all of them struggle!

So go ahead and ask  if your engineering team is leaning toward heaven or hell? As the statistics show that we are losing the engineering practices and the decline of extreme programming is evident now and ‘scrum’ and ‘scaling’ has overtaken as the Main menu item driven by the transformation office.

THE FIX 

Build up your team's technical agility FIRST.

Technical agility is the ability of your team to undertake technical endeavors, using the core tenets of extreme programming and agile modeling, without impacting the business delivery or compromising on the quality of the solution.

This means that you need to take care of your engineers and their engineering practices. You need to ask if the team is writing the best code, are aware and making use of the modern day engineering practices, which a true software professional would, and are they indeed proud when they sleep at night?

Summary

If the Technical agility is missing in your team, your agile transformation would miss the bus and fall flat on it’s back. You would end up as just another data point which supports this graph, and that would not be what you really need.

So cheer up and let the technical practices bloom first in your transformation, and then the honey bees will surely follow.

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Watch out for Fly-by Coaching

When your Agile coach simply throws the ‘jargon’ that you do not understand ??? and then pretends that this ‘jargon’ is way above you “mortal” souls, you are entering the world of “Fly-by coaching”

The coach can run this routine once or twice or even thrice if lucky, but the team members can quickly figure out the reality (thanks to google!) and will pick up that the coach is simply faking his stuff and is not really strutting his stuff.

When asked for How do you actually show the stuff (as put up in the jargon)? – you will see the coach either disappearing or simply attending to prepare some management reports.

You should realize that indeed that you have a ‘Fly-by’ Coach in your mix, and you can almost predict the disappearing act!

5 Tips to integrate Change management in DevOps

 

TalkIn order to reduce operational risks, organizations put in CONTROLS, typically via Change Management processes, which satisfy audit and compliance requirements. These CONTROLS create friction among the team. To minimize this friction,  let us look at 5 Tips to integrate Change management in your DevOps journey.

TIP #1 – TALK TO YOUR AUDIT/COMPLIANCE TEAM

START a conversation with your Audit/Compliance team members now, and try to understand their needs. These conversations will help your team to empathize and see the world from the ‘audit’/’security’ lens. You can then move forward to provide the ‘solution’ instead of jumping in with precooked notions. Read more here on how to start these conversations and ASK the right questions.

TIP #2 – CREATE TRACEABILITY AND CONTEXT FOR YOUR CHANGE SET

START providing the traceability and context for your change set to the operations teams. The goal for your team should be to provide evidence of quality test results for the proposed change set, which will provide the required CONFIDENCE for the Operations team. Read more here on how to start providing this traceability and have a deeper engagement with your Operations teams.

TIP #3 – RE-CLASSIFY YOUR CHANGE SETS

Start to reclassify your change sets, and build agreements, which allow you to auto-deploy to production. Building “standard” change sets, with pre-defined risk profile (low risk first!), you can move towards building a culture of trust with change and operations teams. Read more here on how to reclassify your change sets and increase transparency across the team.

TIP #4 – USE TELEMETRY TO SHOW EVIDENCE

Start to build out your telemetry systems. These systems allow capturing error, warnings, events, trigger points, and logging this data to central\distributed stores. Use this evidence to show the CONTROLS required for the audit, change management processes. Read more here on how to build these telemetry systems in your DevOps journey.

TIP #5 – AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE, AND AGAIN AUTOMATE !

Stop doing manual steps in your change management teams, STOP ! Start to automate your workflows –build-automated tests – deployments –reports. Read more here on how to increase the automation across the life cycle and increase transparency across the team

So go ahead, kick start and integrate the change management in your DevOps with these tips. Subscribe to my blog for more, and feel free to share your feedback here.