Developing Agility Transformation Teams

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  • 0:03 Agility Transformation Team
  • 1:17 Team Makeup
  • 2:22 Responsibilities of…
  • 4:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nathan Hurwitz

Dr. Nathan Hurwitz is a tenured Associate Professor in Theatre and has three books in print, two textbooks and a coffee table book.

This lesson will examine the nature of agility transformation and look at how to select and develop an agility transformation team, along with who should be represented on the team and why.

Agility Transformation Team

Agility has become so prevalent today that its advantages, flexibility, creativity, and speed are becoming more and more a necessity in many business operations. As its name implies, an agility transformation team leads the transformation from a traditional model to a full-organization agile model. The members of the agility transformation team need to live and preach agility. They must communicate regularly and powerfully on the reasons for the shift to agility and periodically offer their view of how this process will happen.

The team needs to approach the transformation as an exercise in agility. Which approach your organization takes does not matter; it could be Kanban, OpenAgile, or any other variant, but the path to agility must itself be an agile path. Imposing this shift from the top in a traditional model, however, stands a much lower chance of success. Agility requires buy-in from everyone, so the agility transformation team needs to empower the entire staff. Encouraging, helping, and coaching staff members in agile processes and techniques and offering agile approaches for a range of projects will lay the foundation for an agile environment that will be rooted deeply in the culture of the organization.

Team Makeup

What's the right size for your agility transformation team? There is an inherent tendency to look at who could be useful on the agility transformation team and keep adding names. The problem with this is that too many voices at the table can get in the way of a successful transformation. An agility transformation team should have no more than 12 members, who represent six sectors of your organization. They should each bring unique perspectives. It's essential that some, but not all, of the team members have some experience working in an agile environment.

The six sectors are:

  • Executive sponsor, possibly the chief information officer
  • Process management, perhaps the head of compliance or product management officer
  • Technology management, maybe the vice president of development or technology
  • Business management, possibly a senior VP of product development or sales
  • Human resources, perhaps the director of staff development and training
  • Agile champions or agile apprentice coaches

Responsibilities of Team Members

The executive sponsor should be the visionary and the primary role model. They must be seen gladly investing themselves and their time to reset the organizational culture to adopt agility. While the entire team must preach the virtues of this transition, the executive sponsor must be the leader of this effort, setting the vision, embodying it, and always talking about it. They also must go out into the workplace to discuss it with employees at all levels, as well as listen and respond to the questions, concerns, and fears of anyone in the organization.

The members from process management bring a global view of the goals and history of the organization. Understanding the structures that have been in place can be very helpful to moving to a leaner structure. Imagine moving into a beautiful old house. You want to give the house a contemporary look by removing some walls to create an open floor plan. Understanding which walls are structural and what steps need to be put in place to change them is essential to the effort. The same is true of creating a more open structural plan in the organization.

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