In 2016, Derk-Jan de Grood wrote a book to help organizations to start with the Agile. “Since that time, I have learned a lot”, says the author who recently published The Waves of Agile. “In this new book I share the insights and experiences that I gained in the last couple of years. The Waves of Agile deals with value delivery in medium and large organizations and clearly states why it is a challenge to have an effective Agile way of working. In a single team setting, a lot of things are easily organized. However, on an enterprise level an organizations’ culture and structure often gets in the way. This is the main reason why today; we see a lot of teams and departments struggling in this area “
The Customer in the Driver’s Seat
The book starts off with an explanation on what is needed to keep customers satisfied. Organizations aim to put the customer in the driver’s seat to retain and attract their clientele. Consequently, grasping what our customers want helps us to understand how we can deliver value. However, value delivery becomes complex when the work of multiple teams has to be integrated into one solution. The Waves of Agile explains the challenges that organizations face when scaling up their Agile. Furthermore, this book shows us how this affects the success of organizational transformation. Even though organizations are complex systems and they all follow their own journey, common patterns can still be recognized in a broader context.
The Three Waves of Agile
At the core of his book is the recognition that agility generally evolves through three waves: The first wave of Agile is characterized by a strong focus on teaching and training teams on Agile and its principles. In the Second wave, the adoption of Agile shifts from a single team focus to a broader organizational approach. To yield value, the work of the individual Agile teams is integrated and embedded into larger business processes. Finally, in the third wave, In the 3rd wave, organizations go beyond putting software on a production environment. They focus on business value.
New Roles for the Agile Coach
The three waves of Agile help us to understand the transformational journey that we are currently on. It puts the challenges that organizations face into perspective and provides a roadmap for further transformation. Organizations that move beyond single team Agile and ride the second or third wave will encounter new challenges. Logically the coaching needs shift accordingly and with that the demands for agile coaches. The book describes how the role of the Agile Coach develops and evolves. The changing role of the Agile coach is a relevant topic in this book , since it helps Agile coaches to think about their added value and the competences that are needed to deliver it.
Tips, guidelines and checklists
Value delivery requires effective Change Management practices. Work needs to be prioritized, refined and divided over the teams. Practical tips and guidelines are given that can help you to draft a product roadmap, organize the refinement process and to manage inter-team dependencies. These activities become increasingly challenging when working with distributed teams. For this reason, the book includes a chapter that discusses distributed teams. This is the most practical part of the book as it contains a vast number of real-life cases and checklists that are meant to boost the output of your development process to meet the needs of your customers.
Customer feedback requires confidence in the solutions that we offer to them. Built-in Quality provides that confidence. But how do you build quality in? In the last section of the book, I explain how feedback loops enable us to improve the software development process by applying quality measures. This raises the quality awareness in various layers of the organization and eliminates waste. The three waves of agile helps us to apply those practices that fit the state of agile the organization is in. This enables targeted improvements that will enable us to deliver great products and keep the customer satisfied.
We have a range of software testing eBooks here on EuroSTAR Huddle and this September you can join us at EuroSTAR 2021. Check out the programme that Derk-jan helped to create as part of the 2021 EuroSTAR programme committee.