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No One is Benched During a Successful Agile Transformation: A Combination of Agile with Scrum is Key

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Published:
July 6, 2021
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Gizela
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

Scrum Masters and Coaches are no longer terms that are reserved only for sports. These two terms have made their way into the organizational business world too. Agile Coaches are responsible for training the teams in the art of Agile transformation, whereas a Scrum Master is then responsible for ensuring that the team or ‘scrum’ continues to follow agile practices daily. And it is during an Agile Transformation, Agile with Scrum needs to work together to ensure a successful transition. Agile Transformation is the process of changing an entire organization or business from its standard approach to a more reactive, adaptable, and creative approach.

Agile Transformation is based on the 12 Agile principles and 4 Agile values spoken about in the Agile Manifesto. The four aspects this transformation values are; individuals and their interactions, working progressive software, collaboration with customers, and responding to any problems that may arise with change.

What Agile methodology and its approach solve are many of the most common problematic aspects of a company or a business. Typically, the Waterfall methodology makes change difficult due to its rigid set of steps, and it tends to exclude the end-user/client completely. The Agile approach makes it much easier for a company/business to be flexible and adapt to change while including the end-user/client throughout the development process.

What Agile Methodology Consists of and the 12 Principles to Adhere to

  1. Keep the customer satisfied by constant delivery of valuable software or products
  2. Respond to any necessary changes in the customers’ favor
  3. Make use of frequent short-term software or product deliveries
  4. Communicate and work together throughout all layers of the company
  5. Empower and support individuals with the right skill sets, building your projects around them
  6. Make use of in-person, face-to-face conversation whenever and wherever possible
  7. Measure success and progress by having products or software that customers love
  8. Sustainable development with realistic expectations is key
  9. Keep focussed on an excellent technical design
  10. Build with strategy and purpose so that you have the most impact
  11. Self-organized, group managed teams are more effective
  12. Reflection and effective adjustment at regular intervals are always needed
“Failure really just means that your system is trying to tell you something – so you’d better listen” – Henrik Kniberg

The Agile Sprint is One Leg of a Race with a Lot of Moving Parts

Agile sprints are what makes scrum and agile methodologies go round. Sprints are linked to the third principle of the Agile Manifesto that is listed above. An agile sprint is a specific period wherein particular work, tasks, and product additions need to be completed. This period can range from 1 week to 1 month. Each agile sprint consist Scrum Masters of the team responsible for delivery and the Scrum Master and Agile Coach. While the Scrum Master manages the team and ensures that each sprint is successful, the Agile Coach ensures that both the team and the Scrum Master operate within the Agile transformation module and processes. Both the Scrum Master and Agile Coach are essential to the success of each sprint. Every sprint is usually reviewed on the last day of the sprint before the next sprint begins. The reviewing and reflecting upon each sprint links to the 12th and final principle of Agile transformation mentioned above.

Agile Coach vs. Scrum Master; What Does Each Position Bring to the Table?

Agile Coach’s Responsibilities:

  1. Help everyone, including leaders, adjust to the new Agile way of life and way of company operations
  2. Maintain Agile standards and best practices
  3. Develop strategies to alleviate any potential problems that may arise and to make the necessary changes
  4. Lead daily check-ins and reflections
  5. Encourage the Scrum Masters to take charge and encourage group work
  6. Train Scrums (teams) and Scrum Masters on how best to implement Agile practices
  7. Continually communicate the 12 principles and 4 values of the Agile Methodology to the organization
agile with scrum, No One is Benched During a Successful Agile Transformation: A Combination of Agile with Scrum is Key

Scrum Master’s Responsibilities:

  1. Lead the transformation process within their Scrum
  2. Create a responsive atmosphere that thrives off effective communication
  3. Teach Scrum Masters the practices and theory they need to run a successful scrum
  4. Help people improve their knowledge in terms of the Agile transformation and processes
  5. Facilitate sprint planning and organization within the Scrum
  6. Implement any changes that need to be made to improve the team’s performance
  7. Solve any issues that the Scrum can’t handle on its own

Agile with Scrum Master

The Scrum Master and Agile Coach may essentially have two different jobs, but successful sprints and a successful Agile transformation rely on how well agile with scrum can operate together. Scrum Masters stick to their specific scrum and manages all aspects of such, but an Agile Coach works with several scrums and manages only particular elements. Coaches come in to advise Scrum Masters on overcoming a specific problem noticed in reflection or how to boost a particular aspect of the Agile transformation that is lacking. The ultimate goal is that the Scrum Master in charge is self-sufficient and effective in upholding the Agile principles independently. Once that goal is complete, they move onto the next issue within the next scrum.

Agile Transformation Doesn’t Just Happen in a Day.

Like in life, all good things take time. Agile transformation is about changing the behavior and mindset of the entire organization. Agile transformation won’t just magically happen within a day, and neither will living by the practices and principles of what Agile Methodology outlines. The 12 principles and 4 values outlined above only come with time and from extensive experience. Agile with Scrum Coaches and Masters are there to train and guide the scrum so that they maintain processes, procedures, and product development under the Agile principles and thrive under them. It is time for out with the old Waterfall approach to business and in with the new Agile approach.

The Agile approach has become more and more popular amongst modern-day businesses. Agile Transformation boosts the entire organization's efficiency by reducing problems, advocates for more robust communication, and works towards faster product and service delivery, leading to happier customers and stakeholders.