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Three Ways to Spread Agile Practices in Your Organization

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For teams that have adopted Agile methods and found them successful, it can be frustrating to watch and work with colleagues on other teams that are maintaining the status quo, or to feel siloed away from other teams that are also using Agile, with no opportunities to share learnings.

By way of assistance, ANA instructor Greg Kihlstrom offers three approaches for promulgating Agile methodologies in organizations of various levels of Agile maturity, which are drawn from his on-demand training course, "Agile Marketing in Collaborative Environments."

Agile Working Group: This is the least formal of the approaches described here but can be appropriate in organizations in which Agile has not been widely adopted. The working group should include members from different teams and departments and will require support from an executive, to whom the benefits yielded by the group should be regularly reported to demonstrate its value.

Such a working group has the advantages of being nimble and easy to adopt with minimal investments; however, it lacks the reach and depth of more formal approaches.

Agile Practices Steering Committee: More formal than a working group, a steering committee will involve multiple leadership stakeholders. All departments in which Agile is used may be required to have a representative on the committee.

A steering committee like this has a more consistent presence from participating members and teams and can actively influence decision-making in the organization by virtue of its stakeholder support; however, it lacks the organization-wide support enjoyed by a Center of Excellence.

Agile Center of Excellence (CoE): A CoE is the most formal option of the three, with broad stakeholder support. It is implemented at the organizational level rather than at the level of a team or department, giving it broad reach. Its function is to retain institutional knowledge and roll out improvements developed on one team to the rest of the organization. Members of the CoE are usually Agile coaches who can be deployed to individual teams, allowing all Agile teams to benefit from the resources of the CoE.

A CoE can thus activate change across the organization most quickly; however, it is resource-intensive and may not be appropriate for less mature organizations.

The above represents just a morsel from the banquet of insights and best practices available in ANA's on-demand training course "Agile Marketing in Collaborative Environments."



"Agile Marketing in Collaborative Environments." Greg Kihlstrom, principal at The Agile World. ANA On-Demand Training Course.

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