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multi-project transition- company has no Agile experience

Last post 09:40 pm June 6, 2022 by Ian Mitchell
2 replies
02:38 pm June 6, 2022

I just started with a company that wants to transition to Agile. They work with state specific analytics and there's at least 5 projects in process right now. Each project comes from a different different department working on a different project. The team that hired me are the only developer, engineers and coders in the company. To be fair, the company is only about 60 people. However, all new designs, updates, changes, new projects have to come to my team of 5. Obviously, we're not working within the parameters of Scrum or Agile right now. There's no POs or SMs... just me and a team of dev ops. I'm going in circles trying to figure out where/how to start transitioning a team that's already working on 5 current projects with more on the way.


I realize how much is wrong with this situation and ask that you spare me from pointing out the obvious. I'm genuinely asking for ideas on where to start with the problem I'm currently facing. Once I can find a place to start, I'll be able to work of changes, adjustments and get the company moving toward a more proper scope of Agile.

06:19 pm June 6, 2022

Usually (and unfortunately) numbers guide a lot. So if you can somehow figure out the expected ROI etc, and combine that with statistics on loss of quality due to context switching, you can already provide a massive argument to stop working on 5 things at once. 

Next to that I frequently catch myself putting three people next to each other and having them do the same thing with simple tasks like singing a song, reading a story, and counting from 1 to 10. A fourth person would be the timekeeper. The first person would start singing the first line of the song, the second would read the line of the story, and the third would count the first digit. When they're all done, the time will be noted. All good.

Second round they would collaboratively finish the respective assignments and then move on. So the first person sings the first line, the second person sings the second line, and so on until the song was finished. Then they finish the story, then count from 1 to 10. And what do you know, they're done so much faster! Stop starting, start finishing. Simple, yet exemplary for practice situations.

09:40 pm June 6, 2022

I just started with a company that wants to transition to Agile. 

Who in the company wants this transition to happen? What are the expected outcomes, and how would they be different to outcomes now? I think that's the starting point.