I’m sure that many of you will, like me, have experience of introducing Agile processes and ideas into organizations. My experience is that it is possible to be effective in this at the scale of a software development team, or of a few teams, and that it gets rapidly harder to make progress as more of the organization is affected. Of course, I’ve usually seen this from the point of view of a team member or practice lead within a development group.
This book views the organizational transformation from a different perspective: that of Doreen the CEO of an organization embarking on an agile transformation. From this perspective, it explores many of the reasons for the difficulties I’ve encountered and shows how, with the right leverage, these can be resolved.
Doreen drives the transformation of that organization from a ‘traditional’ model to an ‘agile’ one. She is guided along the way by the CEO of a new subsidiary that has already adopted agile thinking. Despite the different perspective, I recognise many of the struggles along the way as points at which organizations I’ve worked with have failed.
There are some minor failures along the way, but mostly successes; to the extent that it almost seems too easy. Mostly, I have found it far harder to get buy-in from senior management than it appears from the ‘conversations’ between the heroes of this book. However, the solutions proposed are plausible, the results reasonable and, I’m sure, based upon the experience of the authors. Expanding the discussions to the extent that I have experienced in real life would have inflated the book unreasonably.
This book gives a clear overview of an agile transformation in an organisation with many of the real-life resistances that will be encountered. It should not be mistaken for a complete guide to every problem that will ever be encountered, but it does provide waymarks that will guide the way.
I love it, it is not heavy going and gives me hope of achieving more in the future!