9 Steps PMOs Should Take to Enable a Successful Agile Transformation
The Chronicles of an Enterprise Agile Transformation (Part Six)
Over the past several weeks, our transformation has taken a backseat to portfolio planning for next year. During this time, many teams have commented on just how big a change Agile is.
The PMO’s role is becoming increasingly critical to the rollout even though this function was not initially called upon for assistance. Today’s blog post will highlight the top nine steps the PMO should take to enable a successful Agile transformation.
I’m also writing a sister post for our friends at Planbox where I explore if rolling out Agile to an enterprise can be done using Agile principles. I thought it would be fun to challenge the conventional thinking behind an Agile rollout. To read my post at Planbox click here.
Now, onto our nine steps…
- Setup a core team PMO to monitor the entire deployment. The PMO needs to be in a supportive role and help out those new to Agile. The PMO can also be used to mentor business leaders so that they fully understand what’s expected of them and what they can expect out of their teams.
- Define how the PMO should govern the Agile deployment. This includes deciding on the tools to be used, how these tools will be integrated, and what metrics and measurement will occur. This step is critical because it’s very easy for Agile teams to customize their processes – according to their needs – which may or may not be in the best interest of the organization.
- Define/create templates for documentation and defining standards. Yes, documentation! One of the items abused in Agile projects is documentation. For example, how will user stories be recorded? And what kind of documentation will be created to turn over the project to support teams?
- Identify a couple of (preferably low risk) pilot projects and execute them with some of the” key” influencers while providing a coach to ensure the entire teams’ success.
- Slowly deploy Agile to the entire organization. Gauge the organization’s ability to successfully deploy and sustain the Agile approach.
- The PMO needs to learn, fine-tune, and find the right balance. In the majority of organizations this means finding a hybrid approach that’s suitable to your organization as each organization’s needs, size, complexity, and environment are different.
- Attend project/program retrospectives to get feedback. A lot of communication happens within the scrum team but this communication rarely makes it outside to the broader organization. Therefore, the PMO’s participation is very important in order to understand pain points and best practices.
- Take lessons learned (from retrospectives) and distill what worked and what didn’t work. I don’t advocate text book implementation of Agile or any process for that matter! See what works for your organization and fine-tune your implementation accordingly.
- Share success stories and make these pilot projects the basis for future training sessions and mentor selection. This will help generate positive momentum within the organization.
Keep an “eyes-wide open” approach throughout the entire process and communicate, communicate, communicate!