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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Jul 17, 2020

In today’s episode, Dan Neumann is joined by return guest, Andrea Floyd! Andrea is an enterprise agile transformation consultant at AgileThought. Andrea has 25 years of experience in software development and management. She is an innovator who has led multiple organization-wide scaled agile implementations, and she has also architected innovative solution strategies and roadmaps across many frameworks (including Scrum, Kanban, and the Scaled Agile Framework).


Dan and Andrea will be discussing the premise of agility and the common misunderstanding that it is only an IT ‘thing’ and is software-centric. Andrea explains how agility addresses needs across the enterprise and that it is about collaboration with many different areas of the business beyond IT. She shares how a shift from software agility to business agility drives the enterprise; and talks collaboration, feedback loops, design-thinking techniques, the importance of being customer-centric, applying agility across the organization, and key considerations around bringing the technology side and business side together.


Key Takeaways

Considerations when shifting to a more business agility:

Be careful not to create “us vs. them” scenarios (‘us’ as in the technology side and the ‘them’ being the business side)

As leaders, it is important to open up about the way you think about Agility and the principles

It is important to create a united effort of working together to achieve the desired outcomes (moving from ‘doing’ to ‘understanding’)

Be aware of cognitive biases, for instance, the ingroup and outgroup bias (where people tend to ascribe positive behaviors/attributes to people they consider to be in their group vs. ascribing/amplifying negative behaviors/attributes to people they consider to be outside of their group)

It is important to expand your ingroup bubble to at least your whole company (which would lead to more interpretation of positive intent and better collaboration)

It’s not about the individual developer getting to done; it’s about the team getting to done

Being more inclusive and valuing what every individual is bringing to the table has an incredibly profound impact

Key pieces in shifting from a software (or IT-centric) view of agility to business agility:

Start to reimagine roles and how you operate together

The business side needs to welcome the technologists to their side/domain and vice versa

Everyone needs to understand that there is huge value in understanding their customers/users and understanding the ‘why’ behind delivering

Allow people to be free and feel safe enough to create and innovate

Invite everyone into the full conversation

Truly value being engaged

Work towards building empathy between the people building the software and the people who will be using it

Apply the Agile principles, practices, and mindset pieces across the organization

Understand the ‘why’ behind why you’re doing agile practices as well as the intention behind them

Key places to have dynamic conversations with technology and the business:

Through backlog refinement — the inclusiveness comes from the product owner being able to articulate

Come up with a more creative ‘how’ or an ‘incremental how’

The product owner can communicate “no” or “not yet” to their stakeholders

The software on its own is not the product; there are other key pieces that create the ‘shrink-wrapped’ product

“When we think about business agility, what we want to do is understand what it takes to really get that product into the hands of our customers”

How you coordinate across the teams so you get that “shrinkwrapped product increment” is important

Think beyond just getting the software to ‘done’

Key points around accelerating the value chain:

Look to make ‘idea to value’ as short of a line as possible

Reference The Age of Agile’s three laws of business agility: the law of the customer, the law of a small team, and the law of the network

Empower your team and allow for autonomy

Feedback loops with your users/customers are key

Design thinking techniques are a great way to learn more about your customers/users

Empathy is huge it is the basis for innovation and creativity


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Agile Manifesto

Modern Agile — Joshua Kerievsky

The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done,
by Stephen Denning

The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success, by Kevin Hart


Andrea Floyd’s Book Picks:

Shelter in Place, by Nora Roberts


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