Agile IQ® Score: 49-92
A team at this stage of its agile journey is establishing its agile behaviours in the Shu stage of Shu Ha Ri. A Stage Two team has an Agile IQ of 49-92.
A Stage Two team is typically focused on:
Once a team has mastered the basics, the key to moving to Stage Three is to start to add additional agile and user-centred practices, such as:
Choosing a framework to start with, rather than picking and choosing the pieces of agile practice you like, is key. 80% of agile teams use Scrum, so that’s a great place to start.
Most teams start out with functional silos in their team. A collection of designers and analysts, software developers, and a separate set of testers. When it comes to delivering work, each silo does its own work and then hands it over to the next person when it’s done.
A cross-functional team focuses on working as a single team, without silos. It takes on work and examines what’s needed from design, development and testing, and creates a plan on how these three separate functions will collaborate to get the work done. Only when the work is done, do they then take on the next piece of work.
In Stage Two, the team will need support to learn how to focus on collaboration of work over coordination of separate tasks defined by their functional roles.
Encourage the team to deliver outcomes frequently by reducing the size of the work they do. Help them to define work in smaller chunks over open-ended tasks. Help the team to deliver to a shorter timescale of days or weeks over months. Smaller batches of work have less variability and therefore less risk.
“Encourage people – customers, end-users, business people, and the team – to work together daily to deliver their outcomes.”,
“Encourage the team to work in short work cycles (Sprints) of a fixed length of no more than 30 days. With a fixed team size and a fixed Sprint length, this reduces the variability of work and increases their ability to forecast how much work can be done each Sprint.”
Choose an agile framework and learn its basics. Don’t modify or remote the bits you don’t like. Scrum is typically the framework people choose.
Focus solely on learning the basics. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t pick the parts you like or you feel “work for you”. If you don’t change the way you work you won’t get any new benefits or improvements from agile.
Ensure key agile roles are in place, especially the Product Owner. Don’t confuse the Product Owner with the team’s (often many) customers or stakeholders.
Formalise the use of agile language with the team. Changing your language helps change mindsets and establish new behaviours. If you just use existing terms that people are familiar with they won’t necessarily change their behaviour. Stick to the industry terms and don’t be tempted to make up your own.