Yesterday I participated in a Dutch Agile Government Open Space meeting. The theme of this session was ‘Agile & ICT Policy’. One of the speakers was Brigitte van den Burg. She is one of our Lower House representatives and within her party responsible for the Dutch ICT policy. It was a very interesting session and it is abundantly clear to me that making policy isn’t easy at all.

After the presentations we had several Open Space sessions. The one I facilitated was themed ‘how to lower the agile adoption threshold?’. We had a very creative and productive session with lots of real life experiences and these are the results (in no specific order):

  • Crisis
    ‘I’m sorry, everything else has failed, this is the only option left’.
  • Stealth
    Starting working agile without asking permission first. When management finds out, it’s already created tangible results which makes adoption easier.
  • Business Case/Time to market
    An agile project delivers fast so value is created early on (as compared to a V model approach where the project usually is delivered in whole at the end of the project).
  • Pull the plug
    ‘If you’re not satisfied about the results you can pull the plug at any time’.
  • Collaboration
    ‘You’ve tried everything else to get your people collaborating, this is the ultimate approach to accomplish that’.
  • Pilot or experiment
    ‘So you’re trying something insane? That’s great, we’ve got the perfect matching crazy approach for that’.
  • Learning/Uncertainty about specifications or outcome
    Address uncertainty head on. ‘This approach specializes in dealing with uncertainty and creates certainties fast through a process of learning and adapting’.
  • Encapsulating
    Embed Scrum as the product delivery process within the PRINCE2 project management framework.  “Yes, we haven’t done this before, but you’re still in full control with all the processes you’re used to”.

Of course there is no recipe for lowering the adoption threshold that works every time. The agile adoption process is an agile process in itself 🙂