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How to win with Agile resistant teams - A Case Study

by Scott Weiner

How to Win with Agile Resistant Teams

Agile teams don’t begin as Agile teams. They begin as a group of people with a purpose. Sometimes those teams want to embrace Agile approaches because they believe they understand the benefits and see a path forward. Often times that path is more difficult than they thought because they misunderstood the subtlety and importance of various aspects of the agile mindset and various methods. Often the team will ignore or misunderstand the significance of the external environment on their ability to be successful and will fight the wrong battles and become frustrated and even feel defeated sometimes. Other times agility is (ironically) mandated by the larger organization looking for perceived benefits or just looking for a level of standardization of methodology and approach.

So what happens when a team that has had bad experiences with poorly implemented agile approaches and has chosen to jettison the concepts completely collides with organizational requirements to “be agile”? It turns out it isn’t much different than a team that practices methods associated with agile without really understanding their value. They struggle with morale, clarity, productivity, quality, and much more. What’s a team to do in these circumstances when they company is counting on them to succeed and quickly? They may seek out a coach with the secret formula.

In this session we will explore the lessons learned in coaching a real-world high profile team that has spent years struggling and becoming more agile-resistant and somewhat dysfunctional to a high-functioning and productive team that embraces agile with a high-degree of effectiveness in a matter of a few months. We will explore the process and discuss how the findings could benefit all agile teams and perhaps change the way you think about the nature of supporting agility in your organization too. While this case is real and somewhat of an extreme, it highlights many of the struggles and dysfunctions we all struggle with from time to time.

Key Ideas:

  • At it’s core Agile is common sense but sometimes it doesn’t feel common for some very good reasons that we will discuss.
  • Enabling autonomy is challenging but is critical for this type of rapid transformation we will explore.
  • Understanding the psychology of metrics is a key to rapid improvement and better results.

Learn more about Scott Weiner

Scott Weiner is a recognized expert in organizational transformation. He has helped hundreds of companies improve their technology, processes and overall business strategies. He provides strategic guidance to entrepreneurs at startups and executives and teams at multi-billion dollar organizations looking to create and use technology more effectively in highly competitive environments. He is an experienced leader who has an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for managing people, processes and business strategies that are geared toward seeing the optimal results for clients.

Over the past thirty years Scott has provided vision and leadership in roles such as CEO, CTO, VP Product, VP Engineering, VP Professional Services across a variety of industries including financial services, insurance, healthcare, education and technology industries. Throughout these industries and roles, Scott’s expertise spans a variety of technologies and methodologies and he also has extensive experience in process development and refinement. His insights and guidance has been relied on by dozens of CEOs, investors and hundreds of software teams, product organizations including many in the Fortune 500.

He has built multi-million dollar consulting, training and software technology companies. Scott has more than 15 year’s experience in mobile technology, experience developing and managing SaaS and enterprise applications in healthcare, financial, insurance and education industries.

Scott is also an advocate and leader for small businesses, having been a co-founder of ParentsWithApps, a coalition that brought together thousands of small educational businesses. He also coaches and mentors at the Hult Prize, a multi-national social impact business competition where he has coached teams to million dollar prizes and helped them launch successful businesses. Scott also meets regular with the US Congress and Federal Agencies to discuss technology policies.