This is the eighth in a series of posts going into more detail around my thoughts on remaining an effective practitioner in scaled Agile – Educate yourself & others.
To get a wider context of this post, please refer to the original “Surviving Scaled Agile” post outlining the model.
Although this is last on my list, it actually runs through the entire argument. You need to be continuously learning as your context changes so that you are ready for the challenges you will face.
For example, one challenge I faced was convincing team mates & HiPPOs of the value of Agile & Lean principles. I was lead to believe this was a gap in my knowledge around SAFe itself so I took the Leading SAFe course to see what I was missing.
Turns out I had most basis covered, but there were areas I needed to learn about in more detail (e.g. Systems Thinking).
However, after successfully completing the course & adding my badge to my signature, people responded differently to me. My ideas seemed to stick more. Maybe that skill came from the course, or I changed my language, or they had been studying themselves. Either way, we had more successful interactions after learning.
Leading a horse to water
I believe you can’t be responsible for other people’s development, but you can lead by example & leave breadcrumbs which demonstrate & bring to the life the ideas you espouse.
In this way, my technique was to help others learn by me leading them to a certain extent to help them get the required momentum.
Educate your HiPPO
Joshua Arnold has a great talk on Educating your HiPPO from Oredev 2017 which has tips for effective communication with the decision makers in your organisation.
There are lots of resources available online which will help you learn about scaling Agile or Agile at scale. Some sources (amongst many others) I’d recommend as a leaping off point include:
- Agile principles
- Lean principles
- Scrum vs SAFe Eilsø
- Scaling Agile Teams Derby
- Educating your HiPPO Arnold
- Enterprise Scrum Executive Summary Beedle
- Beyond Scaling: Scale-free principles for Agile Value Delivery Gilb
- Stakeholder Power: The Key to Project Failure or Success Gilb
- Impact Mapping Adzic
- SAFe Whitepaper
- Scaling Agile at Spotify Kniberg (often incorrectly used as a framework itself…)
- Why Scaling Agile Doesn’t Work Humble
- Why Agile Doesn’t Scale North