I’ve frequently said that agile transformations are marathons and not sprints. But when someone runs a marathon there are mile markers to understand how far they’ve come and to help them get their second (or third or fourth) wind.
While there is no single model for how a company will progress through its agile transformation, it is a good idea for transformation teams to proactively identify tipping points where previously unique outcomes or behaviors have become commonplace. While such milestones won’t help them forecast how much longer it might take to reach their ultimate goals, it can provide a leadership team with proof that things are continuing to move in the right direction. Such evidence is critical if there is to be sustained commitment and investment in the transformation.
This list is not exhaustive nor is it in chronological order. Depending on what the starting point is for the organization and where the transformation team chooses to focus their efforts, there may be additional milestones and the sequence of when those are accomplished will vary.
- Team social pressure encourages appropriate agile behaviors without the need for sustained external coaching
- Delivery frequency matches stakeholders’ change appetite
- Zero defects
- Empowered Product Owners with sufficient capacity, capability, knowledge and influence
- Team allocation shifts from maximizing utilization to maximizing value delivered
- You don’t hear team members say “the business” anymore (we are all “the business”!)
- Pivots in product or solution direction are praised, not punished
- Teams provide accurate and current updates to information radiators and stakeholders effectively pull information from those radiators
- There is NO one size fits all for ceremonies, practices or tool
- Overtime and weekend work is the exception not the rule
- Hiring practices and performance measurement systems emphasize the “how” as much as the “what”
What would you add to this list?