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My experience identifying agile teams and how I approach them

Facundo Gangemi

Facundo Gangemi

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Every coach has their process for helping teams. My learnings and advice from other experts have led me to develop a plan to help organizations avoid waste, as we say in agile. This is my experience identifying agile teams and addressing their transformation process.

How to identify team?

Before approaching a team, I usually identify them through an assessment or conversation to figure out their challenges or initiatives

That helps me decide if I use the Kanban System in the case of a process team (Legal, Accounting, People, etc.), enabling teams, if I am scaling the organization as, for example, a UX, Infrastructure, or Technology team or if on the contrary, I implement Scrum in the case of product development (although, Kanban, could also be applied in this case). 

These are the two frameworks that I usually implement, as they are the most used in organizations.

How to approach teams?

Identify to plan

The first step is to conduct sessions with the team to generate identity by making a Team Canvas where they define the purpose of their existence, generate agreements, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. 

In addition to this practice, I usually conduct a skills matrix, a tool taken from Jurgen Appelo‘s Management 3.0, which allows me to identify the skills of the team, and their needs, and most importantly, it allows me to generate an action plan to mitigate the gap that exists between the both.

Approach Scrum or Kanban

In the second step, it is time to prepare the approach. To do this, I do an onboarding with basic agility training and one of the practices (Scrum or Kanban) with which the team will work. At this point is where the paths are divided: in the case of implementing Kanban, I usually use STATIK, a system designed with different steps that allow us to understand the process by service that runs through a task, recognize the value flow that goes from the request of an element to its delivery to the customer; visualize the work (dashboard) and manage the process of delivering the work.

Which metrics are the right ones in each case?

The third phase is for metrics. In Kanban, I usually use Lead Time, Cycle Time, Throughput, Unmet Demand, and Cumulative Flow. 

While in Scrum, I like using: Team Velocity, Burndown Chart, and Cumulative Flow.

Establish the final model

Once the four previous phases have been completed, the team is ready to start working with the new model

I accompany the team in their events, developing and strengthening responsibilities, facilitating the first ceremonies, and any needs they require to achieve stabilization

During this stage, I like to use Delegation Poker from Management 3.0, a tool by Jurgen Appelo, to define the delegation levels between the Product Owner/Process Owner and the team.

Delegation Poker is a deck of cards that helps teams agree on their level of autonomy in decision areas. Another tool I often use is an experiment board where the team will have all the resources and learnings they achieved during this process. That will allow the team to pull towards self-management behavior. 

As a coach, I think it is essential to use a tool such as the Maturity Model every three months, ideally in a specific session, although sometimes you can also take advantage of the Retrospective spaces, so we don’t shceadule the agendas. 

Once the team achieves stability, it is time for me, as a coach, to stay in as an on-demand observer and start the same process with a new team.

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About the Author

Facundo Gangemi

Facundo Gangemi

Facundo Gangemi, Enterprise Agile Coach, Digital Transformation, Ontological Coach at Netmind, has experience since 2001 in various areas, including Developing, Functional Analyst, Team Leader, Account Manager, Project Manager, Scrum Master, Facilitator, Agile Coach. Facundo began his career in the area of ​​software development, team leadership and project management. He has offered consultancy, management and project administration to small businesses and large corporations in Latin America. He speaks Spanish and Italian fluently. Facundo is also an active member of the "Heart of Agile" communities founded by Alistair Cockburn, the Kanban Argentina community and facilitator of agile workshops. He completed his Postgraduate in Leadership and management of work teams at the Escuela Business España. You can contact him on his LinkedIn!

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