Second Team Problem

Last week, I attended a presentation at a large financial services company in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The company brought in David Hussman from DevJam to talk about the agile mindset and to answer questions from the audience. After the session, an employee of the company wanted my advice on how to help get agile adopted through the rest of the organization.

He said their first agile team is doing great. They are delivering more features with higher quality and have earned the trust of the business sponsors. His problem was getting a second agile team started. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: How was the first agile team started?

Him: A couple team members wanted to try agile. They convinced their managers to let them try it.

Me: Why doesn’t the second team take the same approach?

Him: We don’t have team members on the second team that want to try agile.

Him: Oh…

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

A common theme I find is a desire to scale agile and lean mindset across an organization. However their technique is to use process and tools over individuals and interactions.