Scrum implementation / maturity audit

Adopting agility is never just adopting agile practices. It's not even about adopting an agile culture. Although these things are important, if you do not achieve better business results, implementing an agile approach is not worth the investment. Your path to greater business efficiency begins with determining what results are most important to your organization's success. This knowledge helps in making decisions about how to adapt the approach and lead the transformation to show measurably the progress in achieving key business goals.

Agile and Scrum are now trendy!

Agile / digital transformations are becoming more and more popular, also in large organizations. This trend for about 15 years, has become increasingly visible not only in IT departments, but in virtually every field and business sector.

There are various reasons why organizations decide to “implement” an agile approach. On the one hand, it is possible that the methods of value delivery used so far. management and leadership did not bring the expected results. On the other hand, it happens that suppliers themselves are “forced” to provide services in the agile model, otherwise they will not be compatible with the client’s requirements and his procurement processes (called Procurement). They will lose the client to the competition. Another reason is “fashion”, organizations opting for Agile, because this style of management is becoming more common or expected by the employees themselves, especially in the era of so-called “employee era”, ubiquitous body leasing, extremely present especially in the IT industry. Which translates into the needs of building a positive image of the employer (called employer branding) encouraging future employees with an agile culture and a positive work atmosphere.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein

Selected clients who have used the Scrum audit services

 
ABCData
Asseco Poland
BGŻ BNP PARIBAS
BZWBK
E NET Production
InterCars
Macoscope
Maruta Wachta
Media-Saturn
Roche
RTVEUROAGD
Sandvik Group
Santander
SESCOM
 

Beautiful presentation but no effects

Whatever the reasons, real, hidden, and maybe political … the approach and planning of the change management process (which is also an agile transformation) does not often end with the noticeable and measurable effect only visible in PowerPoint presentations and during presentations vision during the quarterly “Town Halls”. Sometimes also called “one-day-transformation”, where after sending an email from senior management and training people in Agile theory from the proverbial “Monday” we are “agile”.

No matter what the transformation methods are, problems are natural, but worse when their layering causes that the organization is not satisfied with the achieved effect. Because regardless of whether, why or how we implement the transformation, investing any capital in anything that does not bring real benefits is pointless.

And one thing is certain: Scrum is not goals in itself but only a “tool” for achieving business goals. So the question arises: How do your company and teams use it efficiently?

Scrum is just the beginning...

Business Agility

It should be recognized that Agile is an organizational change (going significantly beyond IT) that includes entrepreneurship (budgeting, business knowledge, trends, market and end-user needs, etc.), process maturity, project and flow management (proficiency in Agile and Lean), technical maturity (proficiency in software engineering, automation, DevOps, etc.), change management (adaptability, teams, people, culture) and soft skills (communication, conflict management, personality traits, motivators, etc.).

As internal auditors, assisting in those aspects of the transformation is important to cover all those aspects. To do this, a solid understanding of how the team is organized and their level of Agile maturity is necessary. This can provide perspective on the effectiveness of Agile programs and can help the organization obtain the benefits of this new way of working.

Over 15 years of experience

We have over 15 years of active and comprehensive experience in IT, management, leadership, coaching (ICF), mentoring and training. We work not only with IT agile teams but also marketing teams, sales teams, lawyers and others. We supported over 10 organizations in the process of agile / digital transformations, covering not only IT and PMO departments but also Business, HRs, Legal, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Support, Centres of Excellence (CoE)). We mentored and coached managerial staff, C-level staff, management boards, directors and shareholders of companies.

The widest offer in Poland

As the only company in Poland we have coaches, mentors, trainers certified (and experienced in agile transformations) from all key agile frameworks and methodologies, including solutions dedicated to scaling Agility and methodologies for conducting transformational changes in organizations such as PROSCI. We offer the widest range of Agile coaching services from: Scrum, Kanban, NEXUS, Large Scaled Scrum (LeSS), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Agile Project Management (AgilePM), PRINCE2 Agile.

Audit lifecycle

The more work put in to the planing and preparation phases of an audit, the smoother the conduct of the audit. In this steps it’s very important on how audit people will be introduced. Definitely not as Auditors, since in most organizations this word has a negative connotation. Rather as Coaches or Consultants who will observe, give feedback and mentoring lessons. We estimate that up to 10% of the total project time is required for both the Plan and Prepare phases.

Using our unique methodology, maturity model, experience, and deep-dive checklists, a further 75% of the project time is required to Perform the audit. This phase involves both observation, interviews, cross-checking, verification and validation steps. Key aspect here is trust, building a relationships and gaining trust of people being audited. Only this way any empirically gain information will we valuable for further refinement.

The results of the Audit are documented in a formal manner and presented to the organisation in a standard report with formalised findings. This is part of the concluding stages in this Report phase. If the audit determines areas for quick-wins and improvement, further Follow-Up actions may be necessary to close out these issues.

Audit lifecycle

Our offer

As part of the Scrum implementation / maturity audit service, we check the current level of effectiveness of Scrum or Scrum Studios at teams and on orgazational levels. We compare and confront empirically collected evidence with our experience and examples of Scrum’s “implementations” in organizations of a similar level of complexity.

As part of our work, we pay special attention to:

  • Are the teams working in Scrum able to consistently achieve the goals of Sprints and provide value / product, at least once under Sprint / Iteration?,
    • Unfortunately, practice often shows the opposite.
  • Does the team work together like a mature team. A team able to consciously use the unique competences of each of its members and exchange tasks when necessary. A team that can manage conflicts within a team in a mature way, even in the case of significant differences in people’s personalities? … and many others,
    • Unfortunately, practice often shows low awareness and level of cooperation within teams as well as frequent conflicts at the personnel level (open or non-open).
  • How does the team make difficult decisions and whether and if so, on what terms does it assume obligations and responsibility?,
    • Unfortunately, practice often shows the authoritarian, autocratic attitudes of a Product Owner.
  • Does the product delivered at the end of the Sprint / Iteration meet the DoD criteria (both business and non-functional resulting from, among others, good software engineering practices)?
    • Unfortunately, practice often shows a tendency to “bend” reality, postpone difficult and uncomfortable tasks for later and generate (aware or not) technical debt.

The above list is only a fraction of the areas we study. And it is the observation mechanism, the opportunity to look from the expert eye, a fresh eye from a distance allows you to observe what is happening on a daily basis. Culture, habits, process maturity, metrics, and continuous improvement process have many areas to observe and check. And a significant part of these things requires both experience and the ability and impartial, non-judgmental and non-critical observation of people and their behavior.

Audit length

The length of the audit and how it is conducted depends on the characteristics of the client’s organization. However, the minimum period is work for a period of two Sprints / Iterations. After the audit, client receives a report and recommendations for further development.

Supporting resources

Newest Scrum Guide 2017 - www.scrumguides.org

The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master Whitepaper 05.2017 by Scrum.org

Scrum Master Trends Report 2019 by Scrum.org

Evidence Based Management Guide 01.2019 by Scrum.org

Cooperate with us and increase the efficiency of your company and teams!