Over the years we have helped organizations adopt an agile approach to project delivery, discovering that there are several stages to truly becoming agile, and that the journey is different for most organizations.
Recently, Diana Larsen and James Shore wrote about this in an article they called “Your Path through Agile Fluency”, which is tightly aligned with our experiences and approach.
Tortillis Group offers a number of workshops to help you advance from one stage of agile fluency to the next, with each workshop based on actionable, focused, project or team instruction and practice. Our objective in each workshop is for the participants to leave with someone they can use immediately, tools that will help them improve the development process as soon as they are back at their computer or talking with their constituents. We firmly believe that the “learn it – use it – teach it” model has the greatest impact on individuals and organizations, and we follow this principle in all our workshops.
But we go further than simply teaching your teams what to do – we also work alongside you for some time, helping you apply the principles and techniques you learned in the workshop. We coach you through planning sessions, help you understand what a realistic iteration plan is, and work side-by-side in other aspects of iteration execution. And, of course, we help you pull this all together at the end of each iteration, assisting you in running the first few showcases, and helping the team improve through the retrospective technique.
Where do we start?
When you first decide to adopt agile, it is important to know what to do, and what to expect. Our Agile Adoption for Executives workshop sets expectations at the leadership level, providing the basic terminology, metrics, and approaches to be used by these leaders. Our Agile Fundamentals workshop gives the new agile team everything they need to know to start practicing agile, from developing user stories to executing an iteration.
After a while, the culture of the organization starts to shift, and different groups in the organization realize that they must adapt to a new paradigm. Our workshops for Business Analysis and Project Management give these teams the skills they need to operate most effectively in an agile workplace. The Project Inception workshop helps the agile team – from business through to technology – how best to define, plan, and start-up a new project in a fast, effective way using agile and lean principles.
Now the agile team is ready to learn and adopt new technical skills, to increase development speed, while increasing the quality of the solution they deliver. This is where our Developer Practices and QA Practices workshops add the most value, allowing the entire team to understand how to get to the right level of quality, while practicing highly-effective agile development.
After this, you need to practice what you have learned, and adapt these techniques to your specific organization and its unique issues. We can be there for periodic check-ins, more advanced workshops, or to help with those troublesome projects that just don’t seem clear.
Now the organization is seeing results they probably did not even imagine when they started their agile journey, and many organizations stop adopting new approaches. This is fine – after all, success looks different to every organization, and we must respect this. However, for those organizations that want to keep delivering value, but at a much higher pace, Continuous Delivery is the direction to go. Introduction to Continuous Delivery is aimed at the extended agile team (including release management, operations, and other folks involved in the entire release-to-production process), while our CD for Executives workshop sets the organizational expectations for this new direction. These workshops set the organization on the path to delivering software to production on a frequent – think daily, hourly, or multiple times and hour – basis.
After practicing CD for a while, you may want some additional help specifically for your delivery method, and the organization that orchestrates this delivery. Our CD in Practice offering is part workshop, part discovery, part industry proven-practices. We help you understand the bottlenecks in your delivery pathway, and help with improving these constraints, while introducing you to new, effective methods of delivery.
Finally – and very few organizations ever get here – we return to the Executive Leadership of the organization for our half-day workshop Leadership in the Agile Enterprise . Based on work performed by Jim Highsmith, and put together with his collaboration, this workshop helps the executives to understand alternative leadership methods and approaches, and how they can adopt an adaptive leadership approach for every aspect of the business, from IT delivery to portfolio management, finance to project staffing.
We have helped many organizations, large and small, government and private enterprise, by taking the pragmatic, focused approach of these workshop and curriculum. Please contact us when you are ready to take the next step in your agile journey.