Taking everyone along in Agile Implementation
One of the thoughts which strikes me everytime I think about Agile Implementation is our CTOs comment “Project Managers need to be on top of things all the time.” And yet, as a project manager of Agile Implementation myself, I have not been the most Agile Project Manager over the last few months. I have not adhered to the Agile principle of carrying everyone forward. I have allowed people who do not quite understand Agile to dictate how we should structure our Agile Implementation. For instance, one of the junior most designers who was earlier a part of our truncated sessions for 3rd group is no longer considered to be worthy enough to take the sessions. This is because the current thinking is that Agile sessions are for employees with certain “IQ” and “who can take us forward“. The argument put forward is that we need to explain to employees why someone is allowed to take these sessions while others are not allowed/ considered. Hence, only the very best [or at least the very best in our eyes] should be allowed to take the sessions.
The other side of the story comes from the usual office politics. Some project managers will not allow anyone from their team to take part in the sessions. This is because they either do not like what we are doing or they have problems with people in the Agile Implementation group.
In both the situations above, it indicates that the reason why we are not able to take everyone along is because we cant get people in top management to be carried along as well. The implementing group has been thinking of it as some kind of agenda that we will implement Agile without the support of top management. This is obviously not going to happen. Also, this alienates them to the extent that before Agile is going to become a total reality we have already create a group that does not want to hear anything to do with it. In the first case [where a designer was barred from attending 3rd session] it indicated failure of communication internally in the group and in the second case [where office politics was at play], we were at failure in getting along everyone in top management.
We know its hard to work with people whom you have passionately hated all your stay in the office but we need to decide what is more important for us, Agile Implementation or Our own Comfort Zone. The answer is not that simple. But one thing is for sure, we need to find a way to get everyone along.