The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was in the initial stages of planning its Census 2021 program and traditionally this program is delivered in waterfall stages over a five year cycle period which is heavily weighted towards up front planning an design in the first few years. The previous Census program had issues during implementation and collection of Census data and therefore the Executive were looking to adopt and agile approach to decrease program risks and engaged ZXM to undertake agile coaching and training support to help develop and support its staff – from Directors through to teams –to work smarter.
Specifically, agile was seen as a key enabler regarding its change in focus for Census 2021, including:
ZXM’s approach was to consider the risks in agile adoption with the Census Executive for the 2021 Census. The cultural change and management support were identified as key risks, and so ZXM worked with the executive and the Directors to practice Scrum to understand and experience agile for themselves so that they would be in the best position to support and promote agile adoption in their own teams.
We helped them visualise their backlog of work and prioritise based on value. ZXM developed an implementation roadmap and assessed baseline agile capability and maturity. ZXM coaches then helped form and roll out agile teams across the Census program.
Over a period of 12 months working with the 2021 Census program for a year into its 5-year program., ZXM helped them to implement:
ZXM’s experience in agile at scale across government enabled the 2021 Census program to quickly establish mechanisms to prioritise and visualise work and to create feedback loops between the strategic, the tactical and delivery layers of the program.
The patterns and practices introduced to the 2021 Census with respect to prioritisation of work and establishing a cadence of planning and review across all layers of the forward work program helped them identify where they could potentially iteratively and incrementally developed work products for the program earlier than previous years. The initial success of this agile implementation saw the adoption of agile as their approach of choice to deliver the Marriage Law survey in 2018.
Single prioritised list of initiatives from the strategic vision through to execution across the numerous streams of Census work.
Improvement in transparency and visibility of the entire program of work.
50% higher quality through replacing "stage gates" with agile "Definition of Done" from executive work through to teams.
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