Agile Transformation at an International Media Conglomerate: Based on a True Story | Part Two




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Agile Transformation at an International Media Conglomerate: Based on a True Story

Scott M. Graffius, CEO of
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements are not included.

This article is the second installment of the eight-part story. If you haven't already read the first post, you can find it here:
Part One: The Call.

Part Two: The Goals

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Highlights related to the goals follow.

The executive vice president (EVP) identified his top three desired outcomes:

  1. Accelerate the development and delivery of products and services—to be faster than the earlier baseline of 6-12 months,
  2. Improve the satisfaction of the Scrum Team—to be the same or better than it was earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach, and
  3. Improve the satisfaction of stakeholders—to also to be the same or better than it was earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach.

I individually met with and carefully listened to each member of the Scrum Team. There were recurring themes. We then met as a group and I asked them to identify their top two or three goals. They discussed the matter, voted, and decided on these:

  1. Meet or exceed the expectations of management, and
  2. Deliver valuable products.

I individually met with executives from different departments (the stakeholders). In every case, they related that things were OK with the earlier traditional/waterfall approach, but that things were worse now. The stakeholders indicated that, with the earlier approach, someone on the project team worked with their group to gather requirements, and around 6-12 months later the results were deployed. However, it was reported that with the then-current approach, the projects' purpose and requirements were not understood, and that what was produced was unusable. The goals of the stakeholders were:

  1. For them or their representatives to be as—or more—involved as earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach, and
  2. Get a usable product as often as—or more frequently than—earlier with the traditional/waterfall approach.

Here's a recap of everyone's goals. The EVP wants the development and delivery of products and services to be faster than 6-12 months, improved satisfaction of the Scrum Team, and improved satisfaction of stakeholders. The Scrum Team wants to meet or exceed expectations of management, and deliver valuable products. The stakeholders want (themselves or via their representatives) to be more involved in requirements/user stories and get useable project-delivered products more frequently than every 6-12 months.

Everyone permitted their goals to be shared with others. After discussing the subject with the EVP, I wrote the goals on oversize paper and posted it in a common area proximate to the Scrum Team and accessible to the stakeholders.

Highlights on the environment, roles, and practices—primarily focused on the Scrum Team—follow.

Agile Transformation at an International Media Conglomerate: Based on a True Story continues with Part Three: The Environment.

© Copyright 2019 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.




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